Baseball Reference Daily Deep Dive 2/17
Where we start: Random page on baseball reference and see where it takes us.
First off, how great are these logos? It screams steroids, 90s, The Astrodome, hills in centerfield, and most importantly they have no intention of apologizing for it. First thing that jumps out in the box score is how many hits there was in this game. Long before 3 true outcomes ruled the game; teams would put the ball in play, have base runners, and have an exciting product for fans at the game and at home to watch. 25 combined hits. If you combine the top 2 teams in 2020 at hits per game (Boston 9.20 and New York Mets 9.18) it would still be 7 hit shy of this game. This Marlins lineup is fun top to bottom. Edgar Renteria, Craig Counsell, Moises Alou, Gary Sheffield, and contract legend Bobby Bonilla.
Jeff Connine has an all time great stat line in this game. 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs while only seeing 10 pitches. TEN. TWO PER AT BAT. Definition of grip it and rip it. Of the 10 pitches he saw, 9 were strikes. All of this in the same game Houston Astros catcher Brad Ausmus saw 7 pitches (6 strikes) in 5 at bats while going 2 for 5.
Marlins pitcher Alex Fernandez got up to 124 pitches. In 2020 only the rare elite pitchers reach that mark. Before this moment I had never heard of Alex Fernandez, thus begins the rabbit hole and deep dive.
107-87 with a 3.74 ERA. Much better than I had expected. By no means was he a strikeout pitcher given his K/9. This is highlighted by his 1992 season with the White Sox where he pitched 187.2 innings and only striking out 95 batters. His career K/9 lands at 6.4. League average in 2020 was 9.1 K/9, Fernandez's 6.4 would put him in between soft throwing Alec Mills (who yes did throw one of the most improbable no hitters in history) and 36 year old Jon Lester.
1993 Fernandez finished 21st in AL MVP voting. Frank Thomas won it that year unanimously, but the real fun part of this voting is Joe Carter in 12th. While WAR is not a perfect statistic it does do a good job of showing value, Joe's 1993 season ended with him having a 2.0 WAR and he finished 12th !!! The good ole days of if you hit 30 HRs you end up on the MVP ballot. Then in 1996 Fernandez finished 6th in American League Cy Young. Pat Hentgen won it that year throwing an absurd 265.2 innings with 10 complete games and 3 shutouts. Hopefully Pat will show up again on another deep dive because he seems like one of the last of the true workhorses.