Toronto at San Francisco, July 9-11

Tuesday, July 09 2024 @ 07:15 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

We're trying hard to make this whole thing blend
As we sit upon this jagged storey block,
with you my friend

San Francisco, for the first time in five years.

The Jays last visited AT&T Park back in May 2019, and split a pair of games with the Giants. They won 7-3 behind Trent Thornton, as Vladimir Guerrero hit the first two homers of his major league career. The Giants won the next night on Brandon Crawford's tie-breaking homer off Ryan Tepera.

We'll be seeing a couple of last year's Blue Jays - after a slow start, Matt Chapman is having a solid season in his first season on the other side of the Bay. Jordan Hicks, moved into the rotation, has been trending in the other direction. Hicks went 4-1, 2.33 in his first 11 starts, but has gone 0-4, 5.51 since. The Giants pitching hasn't been quite what they were hoping for. Blake Snell, coming off his second Cy Young season, is winless in six starts, sports a 9.51 ERA, and has spent two stretches on the IL. He will try to get his season pointed in the right direction tonight.

The Giants have a couple of interesting young players. Heliot Ramos has taken over in centre field since Jung Hoo Lee suffered a season ending shoulder injury in May and has promptly turned into the team's best hitter. He'll be heading to the All-Star Game along with tomorrow's starter, Logan Webb. And catcher Patrick Bailey is having a strong sophomore season . So far. Bailey had half a fine rookie season in 2023, but faded badly in the second half, possibly because he'd never played so many games in a season before.

So Nigel and I briefly discussed base running last week - it's not one of the strengths of this year's Blue Jays team, although they haven't really hurt themselves a whole lot. And I discovered that bb-ref's baserunning data goes all the way back to 1912.

More than a century of numbers for me to scrutinize! What fun!

I had already determined that Alfredo Griffin holds the team record for most Outs on the Bases in a single season (17 in 1979.) And it's my suspicion that Outs on the Bases have generally been trending downward over... well, over the last one hundred years. Further scrutiny is required, but here are some fun facts.

Most Outs on the Bases in a single season? That takes us right back to the beginning of this recorded history - it was 1912 and the player was Ty Cobb, who managed to get put out on the base paths - wait for it - 41 times. As far as I can tell, Cobb was trying to take the extra base every single time. Cobb also made 35 Outs on Base in 1917 and 31 in 1919. Those are the only seasons where anyone has made more than 30 Outs on the Bases.

There were still lots of people being thrown out on the bases in the 1920s - your league leaders generally made more than 20 Outs on the Bases - but the offensive explosion of the 1930s do seem to have had the effect of discouraging hyper-aggressive base running. Since 1930, the AL has seen just four seasons where a player made more than 20 Outs on the Bases, and just two in the last 50 years: Hal McRae in 1978 and Chone Figgins in 2004.

As mentioned, Alfredo holds the Jays record and he tied for the league lead with Al Bumbry that season. Dave Winfield and Chuck Knoblauch tied for the league lead in Outs on Bases in 1992. Tony Fernandez led the league in 1985 and tied for the lead with Harold Reynolds in 1989. Jose Reyes (2014) is the other Blue Jay to lead the league in this dubious category.


Tue 9 July - Kikuchi (4-8, 4.12) vs Snell (0-3, 9.51)
Wed 10 July - Bassitt (7-7, 3.43) vs Webb (7-6, 3.09)
Thu 11 July - Gausman (6-8, 4.64) vs Hicks (4-5, 3.47)