Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hits: the victims

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It shouldn’t take anyone more than a couple of guesses to figure out which pitcher Derek Jeter has the most of his 3,000 hits against.  It is, of course, the one pitcher who has has been on a rival AL East team for the entire duration of Jeter’s career.

Here are the 12 pitchers Jeter has at least 20 hits against:

1. Tim Wakefield – 34-for-130 – .279/.315/.402
2. Pedro Martinez – 29-for-107 – .271/.350/.439
3. Sidney Ponson – 29-for-81 – .358/.402/.580
4. Rodrigo Lopez – 26-for-61 – .426/.493/.672
5. Josh Beckett – 25-for-83 – .301/.358/.422
6. Jamie Moyer – 23-for-74 – .311/.354/.432
7. Aaron Sele – 23-for-72 – .319/.367/.403
8. Roy Halladay – 22-for-94 – .234/.294/.277
9. John Lackey – 21-for-72 – .292/.378/.417
9. Derek Lowe – 21-for-73 – .288/.342/.301
9. David Wells – 21-for-67 – .313/.324/.522
12. Curt Schilling – 20-for-68 – .294/.324/.397

Nine of the 12 pitched for the Red Sox, though Moyer was with Boston only briefly, going 7-1 for the team in 1996. Most of Jeter’s hits off him came while he was with the Mariners.

Some other notables:

Cliff Lee – 19-for-47 – .404/.462/.553
Johan Santana – 19-for-43 – .442/.478/.628
CC Sabathia – 13-for-29 – .448/.484/.552
Greg Maddux – 12-for-26 – .462/.500/.462
Hideo Nomo – 12-for-20 – .600/.680/.800

Jeter has fared quite well against some terrific hurlers.  It goes hand in hand with his strong postseason performance.  Jeter has an approach and swing that has tended to make him just as effective against great pitchers as he is against mediocrities.

Jeter has hit 1.000 against 78 different pitchers. Most of those are in one or two at-bats, of course, but he’s 4-for-4 against Dennys Reyes, Matt Riley (with two homers) and Bob Tewksbury. He’s also 5-for-6 against longtime teammate Ramiro Mendoza and 7-for-10 against Jeremy Sowers.

The most at-bats Jeter has against anyone without picking up a hit is 14. He’s 0-for-14 against former Orioles reliever Jorge Julio, 0-for-11 against Casey Janssen and 0-for-9 against Rick Porcello.

Among pitchers he’s faced a bit more, he’s fared particular poorly against Ricky Romero (2-for-20), Jered Weaver (3-for-23), John Smoltz (2-for-18) and Scott Kazmir (7-for-45).

His worst OPS against any pitcher, min. 20 at-bats, is Travis Harper (.374), followed by Danys Baez (.382), Joaquin Benoit (.399) and Jon Garland (.442).

The best, using the same min, is Nomo (1.480) followed by Eric Milton (1.342), Ervin Santana (1.284) and the late Joe Kennedy (1.253).

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.