Thursday's Three Things: Grand Slams, 200 Innings, Bullpen Decisions

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Not well thought out and quite frivolous.

Thing 1: Grand Slams

On Tuesday, Anthony Gose hit a game-tying grand slam in the second inning off the Angels' Jerome Williams. The grand slam was Gose's first of his career and the club's third of the year (Edwin Encarnacion was responsible for the first two).

That grand slam was 126th in franchise history, and only the fifth game-tying homer (4%). The other ones were hit by Rick Bosetti (1978)George Bell (1986)Lloyd Moseby (1986), and Shawn Green (1997). So including Gose, that's three centre fielders, one left fielder, and one right fielder who have done it.

Below is the distribution of all home runs hit in franchise history and how often each type of homer is of a game-tying or a go-ahead variety.

Type of HR Number Go-ahead % Tying %
Solo 3494 877 25% 437 13%
2-run 1733 636 37% 122 7%
3-run 637 234 37% 25 4%
GS 126 57 45% 5 4%
Total 5990 1804 30% 589 10%

So the Blue Jays are 10 home runs away from 6000 in franchise history. Who do you think will hit the milestone shot?

Thing 2: 200-innings

Last night, R.A. Dickey surpassed the 200 innings pitched mark, a goal that teams generally want their starting pitchers to hit. The only pitchers to have thrown more innings than Dickey as of the time of writing are Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, and James Shields.

With a 162-game season and a five-man rotation, one expects each starter to have around 32 starts if they pitch a full season, and surpassing 200 innings means that they average around six innings per appearance, which seems like it isn't an outrageous standard to ask of a major league pitcher. However, there have only been 60 pitcher-seasons in Blue Jays history where the 200-inning mark was surpassed.

Barring any surprises, the 2013 Blue Jays should have two 200-inning pitchers in Dickey and Mark Buehrle, who is sitting at 189 innings right now. The last time the Blue Jays had two was in 2008 with the Roy Halladay (246 IP) / A.J. Burnett (221 IP) combo. The last time they had three was 1989 (Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, John Cerutti), and one has to look back to 1984 for when they had four starters go 200 innings (Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy, Doyle Alexander, Luis Leal). In 1984, the club went primarily with a four-man rotation (although Jim Gott got 12 starts).

The pitcher in major league history to throw 200+ innings exclusively from the bullpen is Mike Marshall of the 1974 Dodgers. He threw 208 innings in 106 appearances and kept an ERA- of 70. He was an All-Star and was awarded a Cy Young for his efforts. Marshall also had 27 decisions that season from the bullpen (finished 15-12 for what it's worth).

Thing 3: Bullpen Decisions

Last night I was chatting with Retro Jays Cards guy Matt Ross while we stood above the greatest baseball player human being on Earth Mike Trout when he noticed that Aaron Loup has a 4-6 record. It's not often that one sees a middle reliever having made 10 decisions. Yes, we all know that reliever wins and losses are rather useless statistics, but the total number of decisions made might be somewhat related to starting pitcher quality.

Loup is tied for 10th place in the major leagues for reliever decisions, with teammate Steve Delabar tied for 30th place with eight.

The Blue Jays as a club are leading the majors with 55 of their 145 decisions made by a reliever, including Steve Delabar's loss last night. The 2013 bullpen is just two decisions away from the franchise mark of 57, set by the 2001 Jays, the year Paul Quantrill went 11-2 in 80 outings. The major league record is 66, set by the 1993 Cleveland Indians.

The teams above 50 are the Marlins, Royals, White Sox, Giants, Mets, Astros, and Diamondbacks, with the Royals being the best out of the lot. But 50 is an arbitrary end-point--the Dodgers and the Nationals have 49 and 48 bullpen decisions, respectively. It shouldn't be surprising that the teams with the fewest are the Cardinals, Tigers, Braves, A's, and Yankees. The Angels are right there with the sixth fewest in the league.

After the season I might want to go and see what the exact correlation is between the number of reliever decisions and team record.

Thing 4: Sandwiches and Beer

Bonus thing! Tallboys Craft Beer House in Toronto is hosting their second Diamond Club Event that is co-presented by Left Field Brewery and Bluebird Banter this coming Monday, September 16 at 7 pm.

This time we will feature a Toronto adaptation of Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers sandwiches. Three varieties are available: pastrami & cheese, "ragin' Cajun" chicken breast & cheese, and a deluxe double egg & cheese. All sandwiches have tomatoes, lettuce, and french fries--like right in the sandwich:

Primanti-sandwich-1-550_medium

All sandwich orders will come with a sample of Left Field Brewery beer. Mark Murphy, their brew guy, will be in attendance and he'll bring the "Resin Bag" one-off IPA, the "Eephus" oatmeal brown ale, and the "Maris*" American pale ale.

In terms of activities, we'll have a game on the big screen, we'll do a baseball memorabilia swap (bring in what you don't want, trade for what you want), and yours truly will host a baseball trivia session. So study up for the trivia and bring your old bobbleheads, stadium giveaways, helmets, card sets, pennants, and autographs and see if you’re can trade for something special! I will have one Ricky Romero bobblehead available.

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