1st Pitch: One-run game madness

Quick Hits: On Sunday, there were 11 games decided by one run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that tied a major league record, done twice previously (1918 and 2001). That is continuing a larger trend that puts us on pace for 750 one-run games this season, which would smash the record of 719 in 2005.

  • At 12-6 in one run games, the Pirates have already matched their win total from 2009, when they went an MLB-worst 12-22. In fact, more than half of the Pirates’ 23 wins have been by one run.

  • The Rangers are on pace for 60 one-run games this season, after appearing in only 37 all of last season. They would be the first team since the 2005 Nationals to play in that many.

  • The Yankees have only appeared in nine one-run games, putting them on pace for only 25. Since the 162-game schedule was adopted, the fewest one-run games in a non-strike-shortened season was 28 by the 2001 Expos.

  • The Yankees are 0-2 in one-run home games. The 1906 Red Sox and 2009 Royals both won only two games at home decided by one run, fewest since 1901.

  • A year after posting an MLB-best 35-20 record in one-run games, the Mariners are just 7-13, tied for the second worst in baseball.

  • The Diamondbacks have currently played in seven straight one-run games, a franchise record. Arizona is just 2-5 over this stretch.

  • The Red Sox are 1-5 in extra-inning one-run games, and 9-5 in one-run games decided in nine innings.

  • The Braves are 8-1 in one-run games at home and 2-8 on the road.

Today’s Trivia: There are eight players currently on MLB rosters who made their MLB debut before Bryce Harper was born in 1992. Can you name the only one who was on the Expos when Harper was born?

Today’s Leaderboard: After beating the Twins 5-4 on Sunday, the A’s are 11-4 in one-run games. That .733 win percentage would be tied for second best in the majors since 1901 behind the 1981 Orioles, who went 21-7 (.750). Among the top four one-run records of all time, both the 1909 Pirates and 1970 Orioles won the World Series.


Highest Win Pct in One-Run Games, Since 1901 (Source: Baseball-Reference.com)

Key Matchups: Stephen Drew is 15-for-31 (.484) in his career against Derek Lowe, easily his best average against any pitcher that he has faced 20 times. Only Matt Holliday (.514) has a higher average against Lowe among those with at least 30 plate appearances. However, Lowe has had the upper hand lately. Drew hit .583 in his first 24 at-bats against Lowe, but is just 1-for-7 since.

Mired in a 3-for-30 slump, Todd Helton has to be pleased to see Wandy Rodriguez taking the hill for the Astros. Helton is a career .500 hitter against Rodriguez with 11 hits in 22 at-bats. He has six hits in the last nine times they faced one another.

Trivia Answer: Matt Stairs made his MLB debut for the Expos in May 1992, nearly five months before Harper was born.