July 18, 2014

A Brief History of Texas's Worst Stretches

Given Texas's predicament, I researched the worst stretches in franchise history to determine how the current malaise measures against the team's long and occasionally sordid history. I arbitrarily chose 15 to 40 games -- long enough to be meaningful but no more than a quarter of a (typical) season. In the case of a tie for worst record in any given number of games, I chose the stretch with the worst pythagorean winning percentage.

There is 1972, and there is everything else. The inaugural Rangers weren't an expansion squad but played like one, losing an MLB-worst 100 games in a slightly strike-shortened season. Every franchise-worst stretch between 15 and 40 games (and undoubtedly many more outside that range) occurred in 1972. In particular, the Rangers lost 30 of 34 toward the end of the season, and every horrific stretch on the list incorporates some or all of those games.

So, I created another list of the worst stretches after 1972. Only five seasons appear on the list: 1973, 1980, 1982, 2003 and 2014.

Post-1972 Stretches

When
Games
Record
Run Diff.
Pythag.
1982 / games 12-26
15
1-14
-37
.187
1982 / games 11-26
16
1-15
-38
.196
1980 / games 140-156
17
2-15
-48
.210
1982 / games 9-26
18
2-16
-41
.215
2003 / games 53-71
19
2-17
-63
.221
2003 / games 53-72
20
2-18
-67
.222
2003 / games 53-73
21
2-19
-69
.220
2003 / games 53-74
22
2-20
-71
.217
2014 / games 72-94
23
3-20
-67
.218
2014 / games 71-94
24
3-21
-71
.221
2014 / games 71-95
25
3-22
-74
.228
2014 / games 69-94
26
4-22
-69
.253
2003 / games 48-74
27
4-23
-77
.254
2003 / games 47-74
28
5-23
-75
.265
1982 / games 11-39
29
6-23
-63
.230
2003 / games 48-77
30
6-24
-88
.255
1973 / games 108-138
31
6-25
-69
.291
2003 / games 48-79
32
7-25
-87
.269
2014 / games 62-94
33
7-26
-80
.270
2014 / games 62-95
34
7-27
-83
.273
1973 / games 104-138
35
7-28
-70
.306
1973 / games 103-138
36
8-28
-68
.314
2014 / games 58-94
37
9-28
-82
.291
2014 / games 58-95
38
9-29
-85
.292
2014 / games 55-93
39
10-29
-92
.278
2014 / games 55-94
40
10-30
-95
.275

1973 -- Final record: 57-105. Record outside longest stretch on this list: 49-77. Interestingly, only the '73 squad was expected to be terrible out of the gate, and so it was. The last win before an 8-28 slide was a 4-2 victory over the Angels backed by seven innings of one-run ball from none other than David Clyde.

1980 -- Final record: 76-85. Record outside longest stretch on this list: 74-70. Texas had finished five games out of first in each of the three previous seasons. The '80 edition underplayed its pythagorean record by five wins, courtesy of a 20-30 record in one-run games. They had a record of 69-68 entering the stretch and won five of seven afterwards.

1982 -- Final record: 64-98. Record outside longest stretch on this list: 58-75. In 1981, the Rangers finished at a strike-shortened 57-48 and missed the split-season playoffs by losing its final game before the strike. They expected to contend in 1982, but a flurry of moves in the last two weeks of Spring Training radically altered the club. 2B Bump Wills was traded for reliever Paul Mirabella, a complaining OF Al Oliver was shipped to Montreal for Larry Parrish and Dave Hostetler, and, most infamously, promising pitchers Ron Darling and Walt Terrell moved to the Mets for OF Lee Mazilli. The Rangers lost 12 straight after a 6-4 start and never recovered.

2003 -- Final record: 71-91. Record outside longest stretch on this list: 64-66. Until this season, 2003 dominated the list. This squad was similar to 2014 in some respects. Until the collapse, it hovered around .500 despite a significantly negative run differential. The stretch commenced about two months into the season.

2014 -- Final Record: TBD. Record outside longest stretch on this list: 31-30.

1972 Stretches

When
Games
Record
Run Diff.
Pythag.
1972 / games 137-151
15
0-15
-43
.149
1972 / games 137-152
16
1-15
-42
.158
1972 / games 135-151
17
1-16
-45
.165
1972 / games 130-147
18
2-16
-49
.160
1972 / games 130-148
19
2-17
-50
.161
1972 / games 131-150
20
2-18
-51
.158
1972 / games 130-150
21
2-19
-56
.152
1972 / games 130-151
22
2-20
-58
.157
1972 / games 129-151
23
2-21
-59
.164
1972 / games 124-147
24
3-21
-63
.158
1972 / games 124-148
25
3-22
-64
.158
1972 / games 125-150
26
3-23
-68
.152
1972 / games 124-150
27
3-24
-70
.151
1972 / games 124-151
28
3-25
-72
.155
1972 / games 124-152
29
4-25
-71
.160
1972 / games 121-150
30
4-26
-75
.182
1972 / games 121-151
31
4-27
-77
.185
1972 / games 119-150
32
4-28
-80
.185
1972 / games 119-151
33
4-29
-82
.188
1972 / games 118-151
34
4-30
-83
.192
1972 / games 118-152
35
5-30
-82
.196
1972 / games 119-154
36
6-30
-82
.196
1972 / games 118-154
37
6-31
-83
.200
1972 / games 114-151
38
6-32
-85
.204
1972 / games 114-152
39
7-32
-84
.207
1972 / games 115-154
40
8-32
-81
.215



Uncle Tupelo, "Fall Down Easy," from Still Feel Gone, 1991

Posted by Lucas at 05:30 PM

July 03, 2014

PCL All-Stars?

My quick and dirty Pacific Coast League All-Star squad. Rules: 1) Maximum age of 26, but not otherwise geared toward prospects, 2) in league as of yesterday (e.g., no Jon Singletons, Justin Bours or Christian Bergmans allowed), 3) in top 100 in plate apperances for hitters, 4) at least 10 starts or 20 appearances for pitchers. I also adjust for general park setting, which the league itself never ever does for All-Stars or MVPs.

UPDATE: Players in bold were actually selected for the 30-man roster. (I only picked 25.)

C -- Andrew Susac - FRE / SFO
1B -- Mark Canha - NOR / MIA
2B - Arismendy Alcantara - IOW / CHC
3B - Adam Duvall - FRE / SFO
SS -- Chris Taylor - TAC / SEA
OF - Joc Pedersen - ABQ / LOS
OF -- Randal Grichuk - MEM / STL
OF -- Alfredo Marte - REN / ARI

C -- Francisco Pena - OMA / KAN
CIF -- Ben Paulsen - CSP / COL
MIF -- Nick Franklin - TAC / SEA
MIF -- Enrique Hernandez - OKC / HOU
OF -- Stephen Piscotty - MEM / STL
OF -- Jared Hoying - ROU / TEX
OF -- Kyle Jensen - NOR / MIA

SP-- Jimmy Nelson - NAS / MIL
SP -- Nick Tropeano - OKC / HOU
SP -- Jordan Pries - TAC / SEA
SP -- Kyle Hendricks - IOW / CHC
SP -- Mike Kickham - FRE / SFG
SP - Chris Heston - FRE / SFO

RP -- Derek Eitel - REN / ARI
RP -- Buddy Baumann - OMA / KNA
RP -- Jeremy Jeffress - NAS / MIL
RP -- Kevin Munson - REN / ARI

Fresno -- 4
Reno -- 3
Tacoma -- 3
Iowa -- 2
Memphis -- 2
Nashville -- 2
New Orleans -- 2
Oklahoma City -- 2
Omaha -- 2
Albuquerque -- 1
Colorado Springs -- 1
Round Rock -- 1
El Paso -- 0
Las Vegas -- 0
Sacramento -- 0
Salt Lake -- 0

Posted by Lucas at 11:44 AM