**(1) What are the most and least frequent assisted out plays in baseball history?**

I don’t know, but I’m guessing these suggestions are as good as any:

Most frequent “out” plays involving, at least, one player assist prior to the actual out play: 6-3 or 5-3.

Least frequent “out” plays, same deal: 7-9 or 9-7. (It’s possible here that neither has ever happened beyond Little League.)

**(2) How do we calculate a pitcher’s E.R.A. (his “Earned Run Average”)?**

First of all, for those who don’t know, but care to learn, an E.R.A. is a baseball statistic calculated to show a numerical figure for how many “earned” runs a pitcher gives up on average over every 9 innings he pitches.

9 innings was selected as the benchmark because it equals the amount of innings a pitcher would have worked had he worked in whole game segments of 9 innings each time he pitched.

Earned runs are the only type charged against the pitcher in this calculation. If a batter reaches base on an error by any fielder, including the pitcher, and later scores, that run will be discounted as “unearned” and not included in the E.R.A. calculation. Similarly, if a batter reaches base after two outs, or any play that would have been the third and final out of the inning occurs to prolong the inning, any runs that score from this point will be treated as unearned and not included in the calculation of the pitcher’s E.R.A.

Here’s the calculation formula:

(a) add up the innings a pitcher worked in the game down to the fractional parts of one or two outs. If a pitcher works exactly 6 innings, show that on paper as “6.00″. – if he worked through one out in the 6th, show that as “6.33″ (reflecting that extra one-third of an inning that one out represents. If he works two outs into the 6th, of course, you record that figure as “6.67″ (For working our example, let’s say the pitcher worked exactly 6 innings.)

(b) now add up all the earned runs the pitcher gave up in the innings he pitched. (For our example here, let’s say he gave up 4 earned runs.

(c) next, multiply the number of earned runs surrendered by 9 (example: 4 X 9 = 36)

(d) Now divide the earned runs total X 9 figure (“36″ here) by the number of innings pitched (“6″ here) or (36/6 = 6) and carry your answer to two decimal points beyond the whole number.

(e) **The E.R.A in this example is 6.00**. It stands as a pristine example of the E.R.A.’s pictorial accuracy. In our example, the pitcher worked 6 innings, or two-thirds of the game, giving up 4 runs. So, if he averaged 2 runs for 1/3 of the game, – and 4 runs for 2/3 of the game, – it now stands to reason that, if he keeps this up over the final 1/3 of the game, he’s going to end up with an E.R.A. of 6.00.

Got it? …. Good.

**(3) What’s the deal with those dimensions at Marlins Park in Miami?**

Did anyone else who watched the Houston @ Miami game from the new Marlins Park on TV last night come away also haunted by the thought, “What were they thinking?” when they built in those those incredible distances down the lines and in the power alleys? Maybe I’m just too wired into our short distances down the line here, but those down the line distances were not what turned the game. It was that real death valley in the left center power alley that killed what would have been home runs by **Carlos Lee** and **Chris Johnson**, as I recall, and tipped the scale in Miami’s favor. Of course, the Marlins also suffered from the distances too. They will be lucky to have 40-50 home long balls this season.

Oh well, the late Jose Lima would have loved the place, as will most pitchers. Too bad a most favorable ballpark couldn’t save poor Brandon Lyon from what is too rapidly becoming his signature fate as “the walk off loser in another close late game.”

I was very happy to see **J.D. Martinez** put his name on his hometown park record books as the man who hit the first official game home run at Marlins Park. Through this morning, at least, Martinez still has a chance of being the only man to ever hit a home run in an official game at Marlins Park and that’s kind of a neat accolade too.

For your own study and amusement, here are the comparative field dimensions for both Marlins Park and Minute aid Park.

**MARLINS PARK, MIAMI**

**Left Field Line** – 344 feet (105 m)

**Left-Center Power Alley** – 386 feet (118 m)

**“Bermuda Triangle” In Left-Center**(unmarked) – 420 feet (128 m)

**Center Field** – 416 feet (127 m)

**Right-Center Power Alley** – 392 feet (119 m)

**Right Field Line** – 335 feet (102 m)

**Backstop:** – 47 ft (14.3 m)

**MINUTE MAID PARK, HOUSTON**

**Left Field** - 315 feet (96 m)

**Left-Center** - 362 feet (110 m)

**Left-Center** (deep) – 404 feet (123 m)

**Center Field** - 436 feet (133 m)

**Right-Center** - 373 feet (114 m)

**Right Field** - 326 feet (99 m)

**Backstop** - 49 feet (15 m)

**(4) Have a nice weekend, everybody!**

Tags: computing the earned run average, most common baseball out plays, the new Marlins Park in Miami

April 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

I wonder if somebody tipped off Albert Pujols about thie dimensions while he was negotiating with the Marlins last winter and that’s why he chose Anaheim? Those dimensions say “pitcher’s park” and will probably cut down the home run totals of guys like Hanley Ramirez. However, I also noticed that there isn’t much foul territory at the new park so batters will get more chances to hit but fewer home runs.

Another factor in the lack of home runs will be the high outfield fences. You not only have to hit the ball a long way but you also have to get it over the high fences. Martinez’ blast just cleared last night.

April 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

Yes, my confidence in Brandon Lyon was thin last year. It is non-existent these days.

May 6, 2012 at 6:58 am |

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