Fernando Rodney had to go and ruin his perfect statistical match with Dennis Eckersley’s historic 1990 season by throwing a scoreless inning last night, moving past Eckersley for the best ERA of all time among pitchers with 50-plus innings.
Technically they both still have a 0.61 ERA, but Rodney has now allowed five earned runs in 74.1 innings while Eckersley allowed five earned runs in 73.1 innings. So it’s officially Rodney at 0.605 and Eckersley at 0.614.
Here’s what the rest of the leaderboard now looks like:
YEAR IP ERA
Fernando Rodney 2012 74.1 0.61
Dennis Eckersley 1990 73.1 0.61
Rob Murphy 1986 50.1 0.72
Earl Hamilton 1918 54.0 0.83
Nick Maddox 1907 54.0 0.83
What a weird list and what a crazy season at age 35 for Rodney, who prior to this season had posted an ERA worse than 4.00 in five straight years and had more walks than strikeouts in 2011.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.