Fun with Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index

Game Thread: NFC Championship Game
Damon Endorses Giuliani

I can’t overstress how great a resource Baseball-Reference.com is. For any blogger, this site is the ultimate in statistics. If you know where to look, it has information about any non-BP, non-Sabermetric statistic from any player in any year and a few Sabermetric ones thrown in for good measure. It has World Series data, MVP and All-Star data, and historical charts. You know it; B-R.com’s got it.

Within the past year, B-R.com has unveiled a tool that makes this site the Elias Sports Bureau for the everyday fan. No longer are we confined to the stats available on sites like ESPN.com and MLB.com. With the B-R.com Play Index, you can call up those stats that used to be hard to find. Want to know, as I did recently, how a player ranks at his position through a certain age? Well, now you can.

The best part of this deal is this cost. This information is available for $28 for a year (or less if you sponsor a B-R.com page). It’s hard to turn it down, and I’m not getting anything for this glowing review.

With that wordy introduction, let’s get down to the fun. What can we find out about the Yankees using the B-R.com Play Index?

  • Do the Yankees really have an 8th inning problem? The Yanks were 81-4 when leading after 7 innings last year. That’s a .953 winning percentage.
  • Of all players with at least 1000 games played at short stop up to and including their age 33 season, Derek Jeter‘s 2356 hits are second only to Robin Yount’s 2602 hits. But a good majority of Yount’s hits came when he was in the outfield. It’s hard to believe how great Jeter’s been.
  • On 13 occasions in 2007, the Yankees struck out to start the game. Their 117 7th inning strike outs were most of any inning.
  • This one’s my personal favorite. In his career, Dere Jeter has made an out toward short stop 882 times. Twent-six of those outs began a game; 15 ended a game; 8 put the Yanks ahead; and 1 tied the game. If this even comes up in conversation, let me know.

Really, the right person could go nuts with this tool and find themselves lost in the numbers for a long time. It opens up a world of stats and game outcomes that, for a long time, hadn’t been readily available to the average fan. I love the Internet.

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Game Thread: NFC Championship Game
Damon Endorses Giuliani
  • bill

    Wouldn’t you want to know the Yanks record in games in which they led afer the seventh inning in order to determine whether or not they had a problem in the eight inning?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      My mistake, Bill. That should — and now does — say when leading at the start of the 8th.

  • Manimal

    Find out the Bullpen’s ER total for each individual inning and see how the 8th inning compares to the others.

    Take Joba out of the equation and the .953 winning percentage will definitely go down.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Joba pitched the 8th inning 12 times in 2007. Let’s not blow his contribution that far out of proportion. He was great, but he pitched in just 7.5 percent of the Yanks’ 8th innings. The numbers wouldn’t look that much worse.

  • Rich

    I only wish that Jeter had followed Yount’s career path, making the shift to CF. I think he could have been excellent defensively.

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  • http://88topps.blogspot.com Andy

    I’m one of the authors at the Stat of the Day blog over at Baseball-Reference.com, and it’s been a truly amazing experience to use the Play Index, and see how other fans use it. I find it tremendously enriching for my own understanding of the game.

  • dan l

    With respect to your 8th innings stat could you tell us how many innings the starters went in those games? Last year the Yankees starters averaged under 6 innings per game. Finally Cashman may be right when he signed Hawkins to pitch earlier in games and not setup.

  • zack

    Speaking of DJ, does anyone see any reason for Dj to not average close to 200 hits straight through the remaining 3 years of his contract, which will put him right around 3,000 hits and still just 36?
    The point being, obviously a 36 year old DJ manning SS will not be worth the 20 mill/year that he was being paid, but not only is he DJ and therefore the face of the Yankees for the most part, but he’d be right around 3,000 hits with probably another 3 more productive years at the minimum in him, so by the end of those three years, he would possibly be entering the top 5 of hits. And DJ being DJ, I doubt he would accept a pay cut. So what do the Yankees do? I know its a far off question, but the BR thing got me thinking about it…

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    Robbie Cano is the 9th best hitter in MLB among 25 and under players. and only one of the guys above him is a middle-infielder (Hanley).
    http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/ySRk

    Go G-Men!

  • http://mybaseballbias.com Jason

    You’re right Ben. BR is an essential tool for anyone wanting to look deeper into the game. It’s always tabbed in my browser.

  • http://www.nyyank.com Yankee fan

    I had never been to or heard of that site before reading this post. Thanks for sharing, I bookmarked it; it should come in handy sometime.

  • http://www.myspace.com/vonhayes09 Drew

    That OPS+ list is fine, and of course you need a larger sample size than one season, but limiting it to 200+ games leaves off Ryan Braun, who’s gotta be in the top 2 or 3.

    Not to take anything away from Cano. I feel like he needs to walk more, depending on where he’s hitting in the lineup next year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Ryan Braun has one year under his belt. That’s not enough to evaluate his career in any sort of context. Plus, he’s played a grand total of zero career games at second base. How does he fit in to a discussion on Cano’s place among second basemen?

  • http://www.myspace.com/vonhayes09 Drew

    What I meant to say was: “Not to take anything away from Cano. I feel like he needs to walk more, depending on where he’s hitting in the lineup next year, but overall he’s great.”