Congratulations to Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, Mariano Rivera, and Roy Halladay on their election to the Baseball Hall of Fame! And bonus congrats to Rivera, the first ever elected with 100% of the vote.
Though he was usually used as a relief pitcher, on August 31, 1990, Mariano Rivera was given the start in a game on the final day of the season for the Gulf Coast Yankees. The opportunity allowed him to throw enough innings to qualify for GCL’s ERA title, an accomplishment that carries a contractual bonus. Rivera threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Bradenton to finish the season with a 0.17 ERA, 0.46 WHIP, 58 strikeouts in 52 innings, and $500 dollars richer.
Here’s a video from The New York Times I came across that describes what made Mariano Rivera such an effective closer. The video is wonderfully concise, yet explains the mechanics of Rivera’s cutter in an easy-to-follow manner complete with some excellent graphics.
I’m at an age where I’ve started noticing that many professional baseball players are younger than I am. As a Royals fan, virtually the entire team that I root for is younger than I am, and I actually find myself surprised to notice when a player is older than me.
This infographic is a few years old, but it does present an interesting perspective that I’m sure we can all relate to as fans.
I see the hitter when he’s moved in the box, like when he’s moved closer to the plate or changed his stance. I see when the batter has moved his feet, and then I make my own adjustment.
In an effort to speed up the pace of the game, in 1955, Major League Baseball announced a new rule that required a pitcher to deliver his pitch within 20 seconds of taking a pitching position.
By today’s rules, that time limit is down to twelve seconds:
When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call Ball. The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.
The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.
“2012 Edition: Official Baseball Rules.” MLB.com. Commissioner of Baseball, 2011. Web. Accessed 24 January 2014. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2012/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf
A pitcher’s Earned Run Average (or ERA) is the average number of earned runs that a pitcher gives up per nine innings pitched (as the typical game lasts nine innings).
An earned run is a run that is not scored as the result of a defensive error, such as a fielding error or a passed ball.
A pitcher’s ERA is calculated by dividing the number of earned runs he has allowed by the number of innings he has pitched, then multiplying by nine. For example, if a pitcher is charged with 21 earned runs over the course of 90 innings pitched, his ERA would be 2.10.
(21/90) x 9 = 2.1
An ERA under 3.00 is generally considered to be excellent. The lower a pitcher’s ERA, the better.
The lowest all-time career ERA in baseball history was 1.82, by Ed Walsh, who pitched from 1904 to 1917. The lowest career ERA during the live-ball era (that is, post-1920), belongs to Mariano Rivera, who pitched from 1995-2013 and posted an ERA of 2.21.