Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stat check...

Okay, so I've been wondering about something. In the MLB, it's rather common to hear of a player getting two steals in a game (probably happens nearly every day somewhere). Two homers in a game is less common, but still probably happens about once a week. A player with one homer and one steal is also fairly common, although I'm not sure if that happens every week.

However, when was the last time a player had two steals and two homers in the same game?

I tried searching for this answer online but couldn't find it. I'm sure that it has happened, but now I'm curious as to the last time it happened--and how rare is this feat?

Any suggestions out there?

7 comments:

clauff said...

My best guess would be someone from the 40/40 club (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40-40_club).

Alfonso Soriano ('06)
Alex Rodriguez ('98)
José Canseco ('88)
Barry Bonds ('96)

Not sure though.

clauff said...

Assuming that someone has done that, that is a pretty tough feat. One would have to be able to hit for power but also be fast and happen to get on base four times, two of which are two home runs, all in the same game, which happens infrequently as it is.

Again, my best guess would be one of the guys that have gone 30/30 or 40/40, but I'm not sure.

Greg said...

It's funny because I was on that same Wikipedia page (40/40 club) trying to find the answer before I wrote that post. (There were quite a few interesting tidbits on that page. For instance, I didn't know this one: Rapper Jay-Z named his sports bar, The 40/40 Club, in Manhattan after this exclusive club.)

But you're right, C-Lauff, that 40/40 list does give us "The Usual Suspects" to consider as a good starting point.

Fantasy baseball is actually what got me wondering about this topic. Last year I started paying more attention than ever when it came to looking for players who are capable of getting a homer and a steal in the same game. I noticed Ryan Braun accomplished the feat within his first two or three MLB games--and Jay Bruce has already done it as well. (Funny enough, Chipper Jones did it tonight.)

Once I started to realize how fairly common it was for somebody somewhere in the MLB to have a homer and a steal in the same game, I began to wonder, "Well, what about two of each in a game?" Dating back to last year, I've yet to notice this occurrence.

And yeah, the two stats are diametrically opposed to each other. If you hit a homer, that's one less opportunity for a steal. If you get on base without homering, then you have the chance for the steal. (BTW, theoretically the feat could be accomplished in three at-bats. Two home runs account for two at-bats. Then steal two bases, say 2nd and 3rd, after the other at-bat.)

For pitchers, we tend to make a big deal out of a no-hitter. For batters, it seems to be hitting for the cycle. However, we see each of those at least once a season. I bet 2 HR's and 2 SB's in one game is much rarer--even though 1 HR and 1 SB in a game is pretty common.

I'll keep looking. I want to get to the bottom of this mystery. ;-)

Greg said...

Ricky Henderson is another guy who I think is capable of 2 SB's & 2 HR's in one game. As it turns out, I did find a NY Times article mentioning a playoff game in 1989 where Henderson hit two jacks. But here's the lead:

Rickey Henderson did not steal a base today. There was little need.

The plot thickens...

clauff said...

I saw the one you're referring to about Rickey Henderson as well. The reason why you see so few 40/40 guys and for similar reasons why you see so few (maybe never?) guys hit 2 HR's and steal 2 bases in the same game is not only because they are mutually exclusive in an at-bat, but also because most of the guys who are capable of hitting two homers rarely steal bases at all and vice versa.

Besides the guys that are on the 40/40 club, the other 2 guys that may have done it are Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa from the '92 All Topps team or younger players who have pop and speed like Hanley Ramirez, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore.

If I had to guess who the next guy to do it would be, I'd say Hanley.

Pauly said...

FOUND ONE...see below.

OK I finally found a stats database where you can check out any player you want for this -- but I am getting to the point where I think it may have never happened. You can click on any player in the alphabetical "Directory of players" and then hit the "top performances" link and you will see the individual player's box score from every multi-HR game of his career. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/index.html#TopPerf

So far after checking, these players have NOT done it (I was picking players based on 30/30 and 40/40-type potential):
Rickey Henderson
Lou Brock
Jimmy Rollins
Johnny Damon
Jose Canseco
ARod
Soriano
Willie Mays
Eric Davis
Bobby Bonds
Vlad
Preston Wilson
Barry Larkin
Darryl Strawberry
Sammy Sosa (He did have a 6-for-6 game with 3 steals, however--nice)
Bobby Abreu
Shawn Green

AH HA- I JUST FOUND ONE!!! Carlos Beltran accomplished the feat on Aug. 27, 2004, in a 15-7 win for Houston over the Cubs. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2004/B08270CHN2004.htm

Greg said...

Wow! Very impressive, Pauly.

Although, I should have known that if this feat had been accomplished, it would have been against the Cubs. ;-)

I'll have to check out that retrosheet Web site some more. I just took a look at that 2004 Astros-Cubs box score and noticed that Beltran got his 2nd homer in the 9th inning with 2 outs... so he only barely got the 2/2.

Paul, thanks again for finding that info. I'm really glad to finally know!