Baseball by the numbers with Bill Chuck
BY BILL CHUCK firstname.lastname@example.org | @billyball July 13, 2013 1:34AM
Edwin Encarnacion has a hit in half of his 22 plate appearances in six games against the White Sox this year. | Tom Szczerbowski~Getty Images
Updated: August 15, 2013 6:59AM
CHICAGO Nine to Know Picking an all-Chicago All-Star team
1. Six different players have made an appearance at first base for Chicago this season, hitting just .236. Anthony Rizzo gets the nod despite hitting five homers since May 1. Adam Dunn has hit 14 in 48 games at first and 10 more as designated hitter. Alfonso Soriano has hit .471 as a DH.
2. Eight Chicago second basemen have hit .259. Gordon Beckham (.338) and his one homer (one more than Jeff Keppinger) gets the nod over Darwin Barney with his Philadelphia-area-code-like .215 batting average and 160 swings on pitches out of the strike zone.
3. Chicago third sackers are hitting .234. Cody Ransom and Luis Valbuena deserve some attention at third, but Conor Gillaspie gets the nod simply because he makes good contact swinging and missing on just 78 pitches.
4. Chicago shortstops are hitting .255. Alexei Ramirez deserves the shortstop nod, and that has nothing to do with the fact that Starlin Castro has hit .183 since May 17. In 2012-13, in 1,080 plate appearances, Castro has walked just 51 times, in part accounting for his .303 on-base percentage.
5. Chicago outfielders are hitting .256, so Mr. 6-for-6, Alex Rios, gets a nod, as do Alfonso Soriano, whose hot streak has propelled the Cubs, and Nate Schierholtz, who despite hitting .215 since June 18 has 11 homers against righties (none against lefties).
6. Behind the plate, Chicago is hitting .234. Combined, Cubs and Sox catchers have four homers against lefties. I would like to merge Welington Castro and Dioner Navarro into one receiver, Welington Navarro. Castro gets the start, and Navarro backs him up.
7. Chicago’s righty starters have a 4.35 ERA and a 1.308 WHIP (thank you, Edwin Jackson). The righty-starting Chicago All-Star pitcher is Matt Garza, who in 10 games has a 1.073 WHIP. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.22 is exceeded only by Jake Peavy’s 4.40 among righty starters.
8. The lefty starters are impressive in Chicago with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.079 WHIP. Travis Wood and Chris Sale both deserved their MLB All-Star selections. Both have outstanding ERAs and microscopic WHIPs. Wood allows 0.71 HR per 9 IP, Sale 0.69. Wood allows 2.69 walks per nine innings, but Sale only allows 1.9 while striking out 9.77 per 9 IP.
9. There have been 31 pitchers out of Chicago’s bullpen this season with a miserable 4.26 ERA and a 1.418 WHIP, which makes you really appreciate Jesse Crain’s 0.74/1.145, Addison Reed’s 23 saves and 1.050 WHIP and Kevin Gregg’s 1.78/1.022.
CUBS/SOX Opponents Nine to Know
1. Shortstop Ian Desmond of the Nationals has played six games against Chicago, three against each team, and has hit .571 (12-for-24) with three homers, four doubles and a triple.
2. Catcher Yadier Molina of the Cardinals has played six games against the Cubs and has gone 11-for-21, a .524 average. He has two doubles and a homer and a 1.345 OPS.
3. In six games against the White Sox, the Blue Jays’ Edwin Encarnacion has hit in all of them, going 11-for-22, a neat .500 average.
4. The Angels’ Mark Trumbo has played 11 games against Chicago (.275 BA), including four against the Cubs in which he had four hits but three were homers. (He has four homers overall against Chicago.)
5. Trumbo’s teammate, Albert Pujols, in his 11 games against Chicago (.244) had four hits against the Cubs, including three homers. (He has four homers overall against Chicago.)
6. The Mariners’ Kendrys Morales has hit in the three games he has played against the Cubs and the six against the White Sox, accumulating 17 hits in 41 at-bats for a .415 BA.
7. The Pirates’ Francisco Liriano is 3-0 against the Cubs with a 0.78 ERA and a 0.783 WHIP.
8. The Indians’ Justin Masterson is 3-0 against the White Sox with a 0.72 ERA and a 0.840 WHIP.
9. Grant Balfour, Ernesto Frieri and Aroldis Chapman all have five saves against Chicago, but all-opponent honors go to Balfour, who in two games against the Cubs and four against the Sox has not allowed a run and has held Chicago to a .200 batting average against.
They each appeared in 13 All-Star Games for Chicago
Nine Breaks and Feline Lox (scroll down for answer to anagrams)