BILL CHUCK: Baseball by the numbers
BY BILL CHUCK firstname.lastname@example.org | @billyball April 20, 2013 1:08AM
Alex Rios’ personal record is six home runs in the first month of the season. | AP
Updated: May 22, 2013 6:34AM
THE CHICAGO NINE
1If you are looking for something to love about the Cubs, try this: Fifty-four percent of the time, Cubs baserunners have advanced more than one base on a single and more than two bases on a double, the best rate in the majors. The station-to-station White Sox only have done it 23 percent of the time, second-worst to the Dodgers (19 percent).
2After going 43-75 against righties last season, the fact the Cubs got off to an 0-4 start against them this season isn’t a good sign.
3Through Wednesday, the Tigers had the best average with runners in scoring position at .283. The Cubs were the worst at .226, but the Braves were next at .232.
4Alex Rios’ personal record is six home runs in the first month of the season. He did it in 2006.
5On Gavin Floyd’s first 53 cutters to 17 batters, he has allowed seven hits, including two doubles and two homers.
6The Sox’ bullpen has been great, allowing only four of 27 inherited runners to score. But because their starters are averaging only 5.7 innings per start, you have to worry about wear and tear. Through Wednesday, Sox relievers had pitched in back-to-back games 12 times, tied for the most in the majors with the Mets and Blue Jays.
7Cubs and Rangers pitchers lead the majors with a 19 percent swing-and-miss rate on strikes.
8On first pitches of an at-bat, the Cubs are hitting .313 (24th in the majors) and the Sox .310 (25th in the majors). The Rockies are hitting .382.
9If it were funny, it would be like Second City vs. the Groundlings. The four Chicago/Los Angeles teams must find a way to hit with runners in scoring position. The four worst averages in the majors belong to the Sox at .181, the Dodgers at .171, the Cubs at .157 and the Angels at .155.
THE NATIONAL NINE
1Prince Fielder became the first batter to strike out five times in a game this season when he did it Wednesday. He had had three four-strikeout games in his career, but this was a new high (or low).
2Through Wednesday, the Royals had the fewest swings-and-misses in the American League Central with 185; the White Sox had the most with 214.
3Albert Pujols drew 11 walks in his first 14 games this season. Last season, it took him 44 games to walk 11 times.
4Pedro Alvarez started 5-for-41 last season, the only thing that has made his 4-for-45 this season a little more understandable.
5Chad Durbin has been perfect this season, inheriting seven runners and allowing all of them to score.
6The Tigers and Royals already have three pitchers with at least one save this season.
7Last season, Everth Cabrera stole 44 bases and was caught four times. This season, he has stolen four bases but already has been caught three times.
8The No. 8 batters in the Braves’ lineup are hitting .352. The Orioles’ No. 8 hitters are batting .060.
9Ricky Nolasco leads the National League with 81 called strikes. Justin Masterson leads the AL with 96.