Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. Entering Thursday, Cubs pitchers had allowed only 19 homers to the first two batters in opposing lineups, the fewest in the National League. 2. Cubs pitchers had held opponents to a .236 BAA in day games this season. Last year it was lower at .232, but in 2012 it was .251 and in 2011 it was .257. 3. Anthony Rizzo hit 13 homers at Wrigley Field this season, making him Chicago’s leading home run hitter because Jose Abreu had only hit 12 at home. 4. Jake Arrieta and … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:33:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chris Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamine use ]]>

Orioles slugger Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games for using amphetamines, a punishment that will extend into the postseason. ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:46:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Giancarlo Stanton hit in face by pitch, leaves in ambulance ]]> Lead story image

MILWAUKEE — Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was hit under the left eye by a fastball and bleeding from the face as he was taken off the field in an ambulance Thursday night. The major league RBI leader was struck by an 88 mph pitch from Mike Fiers of the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning. Stanton immediately fell to the ground and trainers from both teams came to his assistance. He was placed on a backboard and then a stretcher. Stanton’s father was at the game and came on the field while his son was treated, and left with … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. I would rather see a batter be aggressive than passive, which is why I like Starlin Castro’s decreasing percentage of striking out looking. In 2012, 17 percent of all his whiffs were looking. In 2013, it was 14.7 percent, and this season it was 12 percent. 2. The evolution of Anthony Rizzo’s ability as a hitter can be seen in his line-drive percentage: As a 21-year-old rookie in 2011, he hit 16 percent of balls for line drives. In 2012, it was 23 percent, in 2013, it was … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 02:36:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. After watching Jorge Soler’s first at-bat, I wished I had trademarked ‘‘Soler Powered.’’ Soler was the 114th player in MLB history to homer in his first at-bat — 47 in the American League and 67 in the National League. My favorite is former pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, who homered on April 23, 1952. When he retired in 1972 with 452 career at-bats, he still had just one homer. 2. When Javy Baez swings and misses, butterfly wings flutter in the Amazon. He already has had four four-strikeout games. Willie … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:34:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Still champions, even in defeat ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Jackie Robinson West lost a game Sunday but won over a country. The South Siders fell 8-4 to South Korea in the Little League World Series championship. Shortly after, they were reminded of what they had accomplished during their 11-day stay in South Williamsport. Manager Darold Butler and the U.S. champs got a call from President Barack Obama. “It was real cool and exciting because you’re meeting like the best person in the world, basically,” first baseman Trey Hondras said. “And to hear him talk to us and say, ‘Great job,’ it’s a real big thing.” … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:19:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Brandon Green, DJ Butler give their all in title-game defeat ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Win or lose, Jackie Robinson West players Brandon Green and DJ Butler knew it would be their last game. And they played like they had some unfinished business to attend to. Green and Butler struggled at times in the tournament, but they shined Sunday. Green was the starting pitcher after a poor outing in the team’s first game against Mountain Ridge. Butler showed why he is the center fielder who nearly got his team to South Williamsport last year. “That was the Brandon and the DJ that I’ve been seeing from jump,” manager Darold Butler said. … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:20:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cheers for Jackie Robinson West players who ‘brought the city together’ ]]> Lead story image

The applause never ended. Even as South Korea took an 8-1 lead over Jackie Robinson West in the final inning of Sunday’s Little League World Series Championship game, the crowd on State Street put their hands together for the boys from the South Side. Ultimately, Jackie Robinson West fell to South Korea 8-4 after one more thrilling run. But there were still cheers in the Loop. “I’m so proud of these boys,” North Sider Laveta Mitchell said. ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:29:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

WHITE SOX NINE TO KNOW 1 Jose Abreu leads the majors with a .771 slugging percentage and a 1.271 OPS on full-count pitches. 2Sox pitchers have 510 strikeouts at home, tied with the Padres for 15th in the majors, but only 389 on the road, the fewest in baseball. 3The Orioles and Sox are the only two teams with pitchers who have given up at least 20 home runs. John Danks has allowed 23 and Hector Noesi 20. 4Abreu leads the majors with 17 RBI when there’s a runner only on second. He is hitting .317 with six homers in … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:36:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cheers, tears from supporters in Chicago for Little Leaguers ]]> Lead story image

Timesha Wharton ran to the front of the gym where the giant screen showed the Jackie Robinson West boys winning the Little League World Series United States. Championship to become the third Little League team from Illinois ever to reach the world championship game. Then came the tears. “It’s just unbelievable that you have these kids from the inner city winning,” said Wharton, 25, who viewed the game in West Pullman at one of two city-sponsored watch parties. ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:27:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West advances to U.S. Championship ]]> Lead story image

Jackie Robinson West staved off elimination for the third time this week, beating Taney of Philadelphia 6-5 Thursday, to earn a spot in the U.S. championship game and a rematch with Mountain Ridge from Las Vegas. ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:59:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West team has big fan in Dodgers’ Carl Crawford ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Jackie Robinson West team got a call from its most famous fan Saturday. Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford spoke on Skype with the 13 Little Leaguers from Morgan Park. The experience might have given the youngsters an indication of how popular they have become. ‘‘That’s the first time I actually went voice-to-voice with an actual person that plays in the major leagues,’’ said Josh Houston, who was the winning pitcher Thursday. Said Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler: ‘‘If anything, that will motivate them. These are guys that they look up to. So … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:48:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West advances after wild comeback win ]]> Lead story image

Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler vowed his team’s hitting would re-emerge. ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:04:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kids on Jackie Robinson West team ‘refuse to lose’ ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler vowed his team’s hitting would re-emerge. First-base coach Jason Little said shortly before the elimination game on Monday that it’s “a two-game tournament.” Turned out, a mulligan was exactly what the kids from Morgan Park needed as their bats came alive in an 8-7 victory over Cumberland American of Rhode Island. With the win, Jackie Robinson West will play Pearland of Texas on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CDT in another elimination game. Playing for their tournament lives, the atmosphere at Lamade Stadium didn’t allow JRW any ­relief from what has … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:19:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ MLB by the numbers: Defensive shifts add twist to runs-saved stat ]]> Lead story image

Defensive metrics are changing constantly, moving much more rapidly than those on offense, where better information has been available for a longer time. One new wrinkle this year comes from The Fielding Bible runs-saved stat from Baseball Info Solutions. Those who subscribe to can see the result in its stats section. Through Sunday, American League teams had 105 runs saved through shifts; National League teams had 58 runs saved. The Astros had been the most effective team at employing the shift, with 19 runs saved. Seven teams had saved 10 or more runs via the shift. Three teams had … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:18:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West falls 13-2 at Little League World Series ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.— Jackie Robinson West lost by the mercy rule on Sunday, falling to Mountain Ridge 13-2 after four innings in its second game of the Little League World Series. The team from Chicago faces elimination Monday night. ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:23:37 -0500