Where Has All The Hitting Gone? Mendoza Lives!

In 13 major league games on Monday, 11 teams had 6 hits or fewer. If you were in Las Vegas, you would have made a bundle on the over and under by picking the under when it came to hits for a game.

Here is a look at the limited amount of hitting last night: Seattle got 5 hits; Texas 6 hits; Milwaukee 6 hits; Diamondback 6 hits; Angels 5 hits; A’s 6 hits; Tampa Bay 5 hits; Rockies 5 hits; the Braves 2 hits; National’s 5 hits and the Phillies 6 hits. You can’t do a lot with 6 or fewer hits in a game.

Pitching certainly is a key to limiting hits. Darvish was on the mound for the Rangers at Seattle and the Mariners had King Felix on the mound. Understood. But the Mariners had Ichiro (he got two hits and drove in 2 runs in a 6-1 victory). Milwaukee struggled against Bumgarner who was masterful before Braun hit a game tieing home run off of him in the bottom of the 8th inning. Each team used 6 pitchers before the Giants won on the road 4-3. The D’Back’s had nothing against Capuano as the Dodgers also won on the road. The Angels, who are disappearing in the American League West, had a total of 5 hits. The good news: Pujols had one of them. The bad news: it was their 3rd straight loss. Milone was the winner for the A’s, his 6th victory this season. For the A’s, a win is a win even if you only get 6 hits. Tampa Bay had no excuses. They just didn’t hit in their home loss to the Blue Jays. The Rockies? They never hit, but they were up against Buehrle. The Braves had no excuses for only getting 2 hits. They faced a previously winless pitcher, Leake for the Reds. Now he isn’t winless anymore. As for the Nat’s at the Fightin’s, Gonzalez won on the road for Washington and is now 6-1. Kendrick lost for the 4th time this season for Philadelphia and is now 0-4.

I don’t mind great pitching. Bumgarner, Darvish, King Felix and Gonzalez looked sharp. But do we have to have 11 teams that can’t muster up enough hits to rise above the Mendoza Line during a single day? The Brewers, Phillies and Angels are all in big trouble unless they begin hitting.

By the way, the guy who makes $25 million a year for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who at 6’3″ tall and weighs 230 lbs. is now hitting .212 with 3 home runs. This is the very definition of The Mendoza Line.

The Mendoza Line is an expression in baseball, deriving from the name of shortstop Mario Mendoza, who’s lifetime batting average is taken to define the threshold of incompetent hitting. Mendoza’s career batting average over nine seasons (1974–1982) was .215. For purists this is the deciding line for lack of achievement in major league baseball. However, many use the cutoff point of .200, and, when a position player’s batting average falls below that level, the player is said to be below the Mendoza Line.

It was supposedly originated by Hall of Fame player George Brett. Thanks, George.

The good thing about baseball? There is another game today. Let’s have some hitting.

Play Ball!