Farwell to a legend
John Wooden passed away last night in a hospital in Los Angeles. The former UCLA head coach was 99. Wooden was the greatest college basketball coach of all-time, appearing in 12 Final Fours and winning 10 championships. He appeared in 10 consecutive Final Fours from 1967-76, during which he won 7 straight championships from 1967-73. He also coached UCLA during it’s record 88-game win streak for Division I schools. He will be very dearly missed.
Most Final Four Wins – Head Coaches
John Wooden, UCLA 21 <
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke 12
Adolph Rupp, Kentucky 9
Dean Smith, North Carolina 8
< 21-3, .875 win pct
Mets defeat Marlins 4-3 behind R.A. Dickey
The Mets snapped their 6-game losing streak vs the Marlins last night with a 4-3 win. The Mets rallied from down 3-0 to win their MLB best 20th game at home. R.A. Dickey improved to 3-0 as a starter this season and K-Rod notched his 11th save despite making it interesting again in the 9th. Jeff Francouer continues his Dr. Jekyll season as he is now hit in 8 straight games going 14-28 over that span. This after coming off a 18-105 (.171) span from April 21 to May 26.
Jose Reyes in the clutch – What once was to what now is
During the Mets 2006 season Jose Reyes drove in 81 runs for the Mets despite hitting in the leadoff spot. A major reason why he drove in that many runs was because he collected a large number of hits with 2 outs and RISP (runners in scoring position). Reyes had an uncanny knack to always seemingly come through in those spots. However since that 2006 season, Reyes has completely done a *180 as far as coming through in the clutch. Here are some numbers for Reyes with 2 outs and RISP.
Jose Reyes; RISP with 2 outs
5/24/06 to end of season 2007-Current
H-AB 23-43 41-183>
BA .535 .224
RBI 36 54
> .153 (9-59) since 7/30/08
Jose Reyes – The next Gary Templeton?
For those of you who thought they at one time remember Reyes being very clutch, these numbers back up your memory. Why has Reyes performed so poorly in the clutch the last few years? Will he ever revert back to what he was in 2006? That brings up another interesting trend that I think about with Reyes. He was so good and had such a promising future after the 2006 season and through much of the 2007 season, people thought of him as one day being a possible MVP candidate. After seeing him perform in the last couple seasons and noticing the trend his career is taking, I’m reminded of another SS who at one time was considered the next greatest thing. Here is how Reyes compares with that player through his first 3,569 AB.
Jose Reyes vs Gary Templeton; Through 3,569 AB
BA .284 .296
OBP .335 .318
Slug .429 .408
Hits 1,014 1,055
Runs 581 523
RBI 346 349
3B 77 77
All-Star App. 2 2
Silver Sluggers 1 1
The numbers are eerily similar. The unfortunate thing about Templeton was that after a great start to his career (he was one of two switch-hitters in MLB history – Willie Wilson in 1980 was the other) to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate when he had 111 batting left-handed and 100 batting right-handed during the 1979 season. Templeton had speed (has the same number of triples as Reyes) hit for average (currently 12 points higher than Reyes) and was an excellent fielder (no gold gloves, mostly thanks to the player he was later traded for – Ozzie Smith). No one really ever explained why Templeton dropped off so much after the 1981 season.
Gary Templeton – Per Season Averages
BA .305 .250
OBP .325 .291
Slug Pct. .418 .338
Hits 152 119
Runs 74 45
3B 12 4
That is a HUGE drop-off. Looking at Reyes numbers the last 2 seasons I’m starting to worry that he might be headed in the same direction. The first time I noticed that Reyes was beginning to struggle was in September of 2007. Not only did the Mets suffer a historic collapse, but Reyes seemed to popup to SS every other AB (a trend he has continued this season) . Starting with September 1, 2007 until last night is a span of 273 games. I have compared his last 273 games with his previous 273 games going backwards from August 31, 2007. Here’s how the numbers line up.
Jose Reyes Last 273 games compared to previous 273 games
Last 273 Games Previous 273 Games
BA .277 .300
H 323 346
Runs 179 210
HR 21 28
RBI 112 122
SB 86 132
A key stat there is stolen bases, as Reyes has stolen 46 less bases over that span. These numbers don’t SCREAM out, but there is a bit of cause for concern. Hopefully this will be the last time that Reyes and Templeton are mentioned by me. That would mean that Jose has returned to 2006-07 form.
Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels doubled yesterday to extend his hit streak to 55 games. It’s the 2nd-longest streak in Division I history. Wittels is one of 9 players in NCAA or Professional baseball history to have a hit streak of 50 games or more. Wittels is just 3 games shy of tying Robin Ventura for the longest hitting streak in NCAA Division I baseball history.
Players with Hits in 50 Consecutive Games – Professional and NCAA Baseball History
1919 Joe Wilhoit Wichita Jobbers (Independent) 69
1933 Joe DiMaggio San Francisco Seals (AA) 61
2001-03 Damian Costantino Salve Regina (D-III, Rhode Island) 60
1987 Robin Ventura Oklahoma State (D-I) 58
1941 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees 56
2010 Garrett Wittels Florida International (D-I) 55
1954 Roman Mejias Waco Pirates (Class B Minors) 55