|1||4/14||2.0||22.0||PHI 3, SD 0||Vince Velasquez (W,2-0)||9.0||3||0||0||0||16|
|2||8/1||2.0||22.0||KC 3, TB 0||Danny Duffy (W,7-1)||8.0||1||0||0||1||16|
|3||9/17||2.0||21.0||COL 8, SD 0||Jon Gray (W,10-8)||9.0||4||0||0||0||16|
|4||7/10||2.0||21.0||SF 4, ARI 0||Madison Bumgarner (W,10-4)||9.0||1||0||0||1||14|
|5||5/1||2.0||20.0||LAD 1, SD 0||Clayton Kershaw (W,3-1)||9.0||3||0||0||0||14|
|6||4/14||1.0||20.0||STL 7, MIL 0||Jaime Garcia (W,1-0)||9.0||1||0||0||1||13|
|7||5/11||2.0||19.0||WSH 3, DET 2||Max Scherzer (W,4-2)||9.0||6||2||2||0||20|
|8||5/12||2.0||18.0||LAD 5, NYM 0||Clayton Kershaw (W,5-1)||9.0||3||0||0||1||13|
|9||9/13||2.0||17.0||SEA 8, LAA 0||Taijuan Walker (W,6-10)||9.0||3||0||0||0||11|
|10||9/20||2.0||17.0||MIA 1, WSH 0||Jose Fernandez (W,16-8)||8.0||3||0||0||0||12|
|11||4/23||2.0||17.0||WSH 2, MIN 0||Tanner Roark (W,2-2)||7.0||2||0||0||3||15|
|12||6/5||2.0||17.0||MIA 1, NYM 0||Jose Fernandez (W,9-2)||7.0||4||0||0||0||14|
Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez has best single-game Box-Toppers game score in 2016
Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez had the best single-game performance of the 2016 season as measured by Box-Toppers game score.
In addition, two players each appear twice on the list of the 12 top single-game performances of 2016—Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and the late Jose Fernandez, who pitched for the Marlins.
Velasquez on April 14 pitched a three-hit shutout, striking out 16 and walking none, in the 3-0 win over the Padres. He had a Box-Toppers game score of +22.0, the highest in a single game for the season. While his game score of +22.0 was tied later in the year by Danny Duffy of the Royals (on Aug. 1 in the 3-0 win over the Rays), Velasquez’s game ranks ahead because he had more innings pitched (9 vs. 8). In the game Duffy earned a game score of +22.0, he gave up one hit, walked one and struck out 16 over eight scoreless innings.
There were 12 games in 2016 in which a player had a Box-Toppers game score of +17.0 or more. Kershaw and Fernandez each did it twice.
Kershaw ranks fifth and eighth on the list:
- On May 1, Kershaw had a Box-Toppers game score of +20.0 (fifth-best of the season) when he pitched a three-hit shutout, striking out 14 and walking none, in the 1-0 win over the Padres.
- On May 12, Kershaw had a Box-Toppers game score of +18.0 (eighth-best of the season) when he pitched a three-hit shutout, walking one and striking out 13, in the 5-0 win over the Mets.
Fernandez ranks 10th and 12th on the list:
- On Sept. 20, in his final start, Fernandez had a Box-Toppers game score of +17.0 (10th-best of the season) when he pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out 12, in the 1-0 win over the Nationals.
- On June 5, Fernandez had a Box-Toppers game score of +17.0 (12th-best of the season) when he pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out 14, in the 1-0 win over the Mets.
Fernandez was killed Sept. 25 in a boating accident near Miami.
There was only one no-hitter pitched in 2016 and that pitcher’s performance was not among the 12 best of the season. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta pitched a 16-0 no-hitter against the Reds on April 21. But Arrieta’s Box-Toppers game score that game was +11.0, which ranks just 108th among the 2,428 games played in 2016. While Arrieta gave up no hits or runs, his game score was lower because he gave up four walks and struck out only six. (By contrast, in the no-hitter Arrieta pitched in 2015 on Aug. 30, he had a Box-Toppers game score of +20.0 which was the seventh-best game score of 2015).
There was only one game of the 12 top performances of 2016 in which the player did not earn overall Box-Toppers Player of the Day honors and earn 2.0 Box-Toppers points. That was on April 14, when Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals earned a Box-Toppers game score of +20.0. While it was the sixth-best score of the year, it was second-best of the day, behind Velasquez’s +22.0, the top performance of the year. So despite the high game score, Garcia lost out on earning Box-Toppers Player of the Day honors. And since Garcia was, like Velasquez, a National League pitcher, he was not eligible to earn any Box-Toppers bonus points, so only earned 1.0 point for being Player of the Game. (Had he been an American League player, he would have earned AL Player of the Day honors worth 1.7 points; had he earned that score as a batter, he would have been NL Batter of the Day worth 1.5 points.)
Of the 12 top performances listed, only four were not done in a complete game:
- Second-ranked Duffy, previously mentioned, pitched eight innings.
- Fernandez’s 10th- and 12th-ranked performances, previously mentioned, pitched eight innings in one game and seven in the other.
- Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark with the 11th-highest Box-Toppers game score (+17.0) on April 23. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits, walking three and striking out 15 in the 2-0 win over the Twins.
In all but one of the 12 best performances, pitchers allowed no runs. Only Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer allowed runs—he allowed two in his seventh-ranked score (+19.0) on May 11, when he pitched a complete game, allowing six hits, no walks and striking out 20 in the 3-2 win over the Tigers. In that game, Scherzer tied the Major League record for most strikeouts by a pitcher in a single game (20) with Kerry Wood of the Cubs (who did it in 1998) and Roger Clemens of the Red Sox (who did it twice—once in 1986 and once in 1996).
Scherzer led all players in Box-Toppers points in 2016 with 25.7. While he appears once among the top performances of 2016, he appeared three times among the top performances of 2015, having three games with Box-Toppers game scores of +19.0 or better, including two no-hitters and one one-hitter.
Pitchers tend to earn more Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors and especially more Player of the Day honors than batters. Case in point: The top Box-Toppers game score by a batter who earned Player of the Game honors this year was C.J. Cron of the Angels, who on July 2, had a Box-Toppers game score of +10.0. That ranks 149th among the 2,428 games played in 2016. Cron hit two homers and doubled, going 6-for-6, scoring five times and driving in six runs, in the 21-2 win over the Red Sox. Cron earned AL Player of the Day for July 2 (worth 1.7 Box-Toppers points), finishing behind overall Player of the Day, Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir, who had a Box-Toppers game score of +13.0, ranked 65th-best performance of 2016.
For comparison, the Box-Toppers game score that ranks 148th, just ahead of Cron’s best 2016 single-game performance for a batter, was +10.1 earned by Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda on April 23. Maeda pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits, one walk an striking out eight in the 4-1 win over the Rockies.
Box-Toppers’ overall top three players for 2016 are among the 10 players who had the 12 highest Box-Toppers game scores during the season:
- Max Scherzer, with the seventh-best game score (+19.0), ranked first among all players in Box-Toppers points in 2016 with 25.7.
- Clayton Kershaw, with the fifth- and eighth-best game scores (+20.0 and +18.0), ranked second with 24.4 points.
- Jose Fernandez, with the 10th- and 12th-best game scores (both 17.0), ranked third with 22.4 points.
Here’s how other players on the best Box-Toppers game score list finished in overall 2016 Box-Toppers points rankings:
- Vince Velasquez, 8.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 94th.
- Danny Duffy, 10.7 points, 44th.
- Jon Gray of the Rockies, 7.0 points, 124th.
- Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, 13.0 points, 19th.
- Jaime Garcia, 8.0 points, 81st.
- Taijuan Walker of the Mariners, 7.7 points, 95th.
- Tanner Roark, 12.7 points, 22nd.
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
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