On June 30th, as many of you know, I made a Now Infamous Post breaking down Raul Ibanez streaks over the past two years into 26 game, 106 PA of icy chill and warm summer fun. Some called it luck, others called it blind science, Whole Camels called it fascinating. Beat writers ignored it in public and tweeted amazement in private.
Either way, it was pretty fun to talk about. It took on a life of its own, especially when he did this in exactly 26 games and 107 PA in July, for his scorchingest hot streak ever. And just when we were certain that he was smack down in the middle of an ice cold streak, sitting shiva for his OPS before the first pitch on Jewish Heritage night, he goes and has a 2 hit game, and almost made it a 3 hit outing.
So what, then, do we make of last nights two hit performance in game 13? Where does this streak go from here? Was the Boston breakout really the bweginning of his hot streak? For those of you bored enough today to investigate, come along and find out...
So, heres what we know from last time:
1. COLD STREAKS: USUALLY starts with an 0'fer game, usually followed by consecutive 0fer games, or multiple K games, and typically ends with a multi hit game, or consecutive hits after an 0fer. (almost always though, it's a big mutli hit game.)
2. Conversely, his HOT STREAKS ALWAYS start with either a multi hit game like last night, or two to three consecutive hit games in a row, following a really bad streak.)
3. there are mini streaks inside the major streaks that fool us, kinda like that time in college where your girlfriend was "late" for a day or two...
Last night was definitely number 3. during his cold streaks, like clockwork, there is a 2 hit game right in the middle this year, it was game 13 against Florida (April 15th) and in his June cold streak, he actually had 3 two hit games (June 11,12 followed by a 5 game 4-25 stretch, another 2 hit game, and a 1-21 7 game stretch leading to The Boston Breakout
there's no doubt in my mind that last night was one of those anomalies.
The real questions are:
1. When was the end of the June streak, and the beginning of this cold streak?
2. When will he break out, and can we keep him hot through the postseason?
At the time of the Boston Breakout, we had no data to support whether it was really the beginning or the end. He followed that game with 3 horrible starts, going 0-13 with 0 walks and 5 K's and 1 hit as a pinch hitter sandwiched in there.
He then was lucky enough to face Chris Volstadt, and went on a tear, hitting .385/.410/.737 over his next 8 games (6 multi hit games) with 4 HR and 14 RBI and 1BB to 3 K's.
based on my own rules, above, I tend to think that the streak actually started HERE.
If you take it from the Boston game to the 3 hit Pirates game you get a hot streak of:
June 29th to July 31st 26 Games, 108 PA .294/.327/.588 8 HR 27 RBI 5 BB 15 K
and a cold streak of (13 games, 53 PA) .163/.207/.244 3 BB 8K 0 HR 6 RBI through last night.
the problem with this is that he follwed that 3 hit game against Pittsburg with 4 mediocre 1 hit games, chilling for sure, but didn't really get COLD until the second game of the San Fran series. going 2-29 into last nights game. He also had consecutive 0'fers against San Fran, a very important part of the start of a cold streak. Thats enough for me to believe we take if from Florida..
So if you take the streak from The Volstadt Massacre on July 5th , through the first Giants game:
July 5th to August 5th 25 Games, 108 PA .297/.343/.564 7HR 27 RBI 7 BB 14 K
and a current cold streak of: 9 games 35 PA .114/.142/.171 with 0 HR 4 RBI 1BB 4 K.
If you believe the Boston Breakout was the beginning of the hot streak, then he should break out on the 31st of August against the REDS. (A lot depends on how much play Mayberry gets. )
But if you're like me, and kind of think the break out was more the END of the cold streak, and he really broke out on the 5th, He's more likeley to break out sometime towards the end of the next Marlins series, to the beginning of the last series against the Braves.
That said, consdider this:
8 games against, 6 multiple hit encounters over the past two seasons, and 2 cold streaks snapped.
Vasquez is scheduled to start against us September 3rd, and Volstadt the 4th, barring a rotation switch. It should be Games 26 and 27 respectively, but once again, we are dealing with THE MAYBERRY CONUNDRUM, so this is uncharted territory. However, there is a HUGE variable in Vasquez and Volstadt. So huge that I am making a bold prediction.
HE GETS HOT AGAINST ONE OF THEM. If it's game 23 or 24, AB 96 or 101 so be it. Mark it down, pencil it in. It's as good as gold.
In fact, I'll go out on a limb. SEPTEMBER 4th. against Chris Volstadt. 2 hits with at least 1 HR and 3 RBI. Just in time to Scalp the Braves again
Have fun with the poll below, and lets see what everyone thinks.
NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
On a side note, theres been some talk about a left handed bat, and Gelb had an interesting take yesterday
While there is no data available to back up how Ibanez will react if Benched, CDharlie, we have a very stong case for a platoon starting around the Florida Series. stretch those 106 AB's as far as you can take them into the postseason, sit him for a while, and when he gets to around 90, make him your LH bat off the bench.
Make em count.
So says Catstradamus.