What I am Listening to: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Bob Nightengale discusses why a common DH will most likely turn into the brand new customary in MLB, even past the 2020 season.


Certain, some sports activities are again. However “sports activities” as we all know them are in large part nonetheless on pause because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lately is Day 80 with out sports activities ⚾️. 

Would possibly 30 is a distinct date for each slugger Barry Bonds and baseball’s first dominant energy pitcher. In 1927, Walter “Giant Educate” Johnson set a file that is probably not damaged by way of recording his 110th, and ultimate, profession shutout. As for Bonds, the second-to-last day of Would possibly marked his big-league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates again in 1986.

So what would occur if Johnson toed the rubber in opposition to Bonds? Neatly …

In his day, Johnson used to be essentially the most dominant energy pitcher, placing worry into the hearts of hitters. Bonds, in fact, is the best slugger of all-time, maintaining the profession information for each house runs and walks — a file 688 issued deliberately.

So, the usage of essentially the most medical means lets in finding (Baseball-Reference’s similarity rating), we took Johnson’s related pitchers and used the one one that confronted Bonds: Greg Maddux.

In fact, that is primarily based best on statistics in opposition to their friends. Maddux isn’t an influence pitcher. In any respect. However he’s a right-hander who had — like many modern day estimates say Johnson most certainly had — a fastball that crowned out within the 91-93 MPH vary. Additionally, rather helpfully, Maddux confronted Bonds greater than another hitter in his profession.

So who had the higher hand? Bonds.

In 132 plate appearances vs. Maddux, Bonds had 35 hits, nine homers, and 19 RBI. Most effective Luis Gonzalez (20 HRs, 23 RBI) fared higher in homers and runs pushed house, whilst LuGo and Craig Biggio gathered 40 hits and Tony Gwynn had 39. Maddux as soon as mentioned Bonds used to be the “easiest guy to pitch to because if it mattered you just walked him.

The numbers endure this out: Maddux walked Bonds 24 occasions, two times up to another batter he confronted, and he walked Bonds deliberately 9 occasions.

So, sure, there are rather clearly some flaws with this comparability. Maddux used to be a keep watch over pitcher, nibbling at some very beneficiant corners whilst Johnson simply blew hitters away. In an try to stage the sector slightly, this is how Bonds fared in opposition to some Corridor of Popularity energy pitchers of his technology.

(daring denotes maximum allowed by way of pitcher in opposition to all batters, minimal 15 plate appearances; PA=plate appearances, OPS=on-base+slugging share)

  • John Smoltz: 108 PA, nine HR, 15 RBI, 35 BB, 16 Ok, 1.138 OPS
  • Randy Johnson: 62 PA, three HR, 12 RBI, 13 BB, 6 Ok, 1.003 OPS
  • Pedro Martinez: 43 PA, 1 HR, three RBI, 12 BB, eight Ok, 1.064 OPS
  • Trevor Hoffman: 24 PA, 2 HR, four RBI, 11 BB, four Ok, 1.069 OPS
  • Nolan Ryan: 15 PA, zero HR, zero RBI, 1 BB, three Ok, .619 OPS

For the reason that Ryan had the posh of going through Bonds early in his Pirates profession, it is sensible that he’d have the most productive numbers. However Bonds fared rather smartly in opposition to the others, particularly Smoltz. Johnson, in his time, used to be most certainly extra Ryan than Smoltz, however Bonds’ top aligns extra with Smoltz’s so the ones numbers deserve better weight.

Within the effort of equity, we will be able to additionally take a look at how Johnson fared in opposition to Babe Ruth, the most productive slugging lefty on the time. Ruth confronted Johnson 103 occasions and hit 5 homers (maximum given as much as a unmarried participant), drove in 15 runs, walked 23 occasions (maximum), and had a 1.170 OPS.

Conclusion: Bonds would were simply fantastic in opposition to Johnson.


Display Thumbnails

Display Captions

Final SlideNext Slide

Sports activities video of the day

Bonds hitting one to the moon within the 2002 International Sequence off Angels fireballer Troy Percival.

Tale time! This is a few of our easiest.

OH NO, TEBOW: An ex-Mets prospect *turns out* to have no longer been keen on having Tim Tebow putting across the minors.

AIR FIVES IT IS: No high-fives. No in-person conferences. May just baseball groups be going through chemistry problems.

SO MONEY: Roger Federer tops listing of highest-paid athletes.

SAFETY FIRST? Professionals concern O-lineman might be at better chance of COVID-19 must soccer go back within the fall.

PROTECTING PROTESTERS: Colin Kaepernick plans to supply monetary help to protesters in Minneapolis.

JOE BURROW: “The black group wishes our lend a hand,” the hot No. 1 general select within the NFL draft mentioned.    

DAN WOLKEN: On an afternoon the place athletes throughout many sports activities had been talking out, only some outstanding faculty soccer coaches tackled this painful second.   

Sports activities on TV

MLB (vintage): Jeter-palooza rolls on at MLB Community, highlighted by way of “The Turn” sport within the 2001 ALDS. That is at four p.m. ET, however there may be Derek Jeter content material all day lengthy. 

NFL (vintage): A veritable smorgasbord of vintage playoff video games on NFL Community, starting with the “Tuck Rule” sport in New England at 11 a.m. ET and culminating with Tim Tebow’s best hour at 1:30 a.m. ET.

NBA (vintage): Mythical playoff performances rule the day on NBATV, from Ray Allen to LeBron to AI.

Football (are living): The German Bundesliga continues with its fourth matchday since its go back two weeks in the past. On FS1 at nine:30 a.m. ET, USMNT avid gamers Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent meet when FC Schalke 04 hosts Werder Breman. That sport is adopted on FS1 by way of table-toppers Bayern Munich internet hosting Fortuna Düsseldorf. On FS2 at nine:30 a.m. ET, Wolfsburg hosts Eintracht Frankfurt in a sport that may come with John Brooks and Timmy Chandler, who had been contributors of the U.S. 2014 International Cup workforce.


Display Thumbnails

Display Captions

Final SlideNext Slide