Renteria’s Five Hit Day

Edgar Renteria had 115 hits last season. He recorded a little over 4% of that total in today’s game. Yup, Renteria took home the second stage of the improbable shortstop offensive outbursts by recording five hits in five at-bats. Not to be a downer and kill the impromptu parades undoubtedly taking place across streets in the Bay Area, but … have you ever looked at ow many players have recorded five hit games? It’s a nice casserole of names and abilities. Here are the last five years’ worth of April five hit games:

2009
Cristian Guzman
Ian Kinsler
Marlon Byrd
Mark Teahen
Ryan Braun
Russell Branyan

2008
Rafael Furcal

2007
Willy Taveras
Chase Utley
Scott Rolen

2006
Mike Young
Ivan Rodriguez

2005
Mark Kotsay
Mark Loretta
Alex Rodriguez
Aaron Miles

This list fascinates me because, again, the spread of talent is pretty wide. You have future Hall of Famers, all-stars, and superstars, and then … Miles and Tavares. Here’s a link to Baseball-Reference’s Play Index with a complete listing of every five hit game since the 1920s.

Now, this is not to say Renteria isn’t on his way to an improved season. There’s almost no way he posts a wOBA in the .280s again. It’s just that this game does not signify in any way that he’s back, front, or sideways. I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence and state the obvious, okay I will. Five hit games can happen to pretty much any batter. They are random and sometimes things just go that batter’s way for a night. Luck doesn’t discriminate on batting slot, defensive position, or projection.

How else do you explain Brett Gardner and Billy Butler sharing something in common besides Matt Klaassen’s heart?




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18 Responses to “Renteria’s Five Hit Day”

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  1. Bronnt says:

    It bothers me that you excluded Willie Harris’ 6 hit game in 2007. I guess he’s not random enough to fit in with the 5 hit motif?

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  2. Pandamonium says:

    4 out of 5 hits were on weak grounders that just got through. I’m leaning toward the Miles/Tavares conclusion on this one.

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    • Scott says:

      It helped that Jeff Keppinger was playing shortstop instead of Manzella. Although to be fair to Renteria, last year those grounders would have been dribblers. But, improvement!

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  3. Christian says:

    Shhh don’t ruin the hope for us New York Giant fans who didn’t see the game!

    More encouraging to me is the walks he’s posted so far, although that reeks of SSS and the Astros pitching staff

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    • OremLK says:

      Brett Myers is about average these days, as far as starting pitchers go. It was less the Astros pitching staff (which is pretty decent) than a combination of luck and bad defense (Jeff Keppinger should never, ever play another game at shortstop again).

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  4. Fresh Hops says:

    Of all the games in that B-R list, Alfonso Soriano’s 2002 performance is my favorite: -.005 WPA. How the fuck to you get five hits and reduce the team’s chance at winning?

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    • Steve says:

      the yanks won 16-3 and he made an out in his first AB when it was 0-0. 4 of his hits came after the game was blown open.

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  5. TexasRanger says:

    I don’t think anyone is saying that this signifies a return to the amazing Renteria, we just enjoy the game for what it was, an amazing contribution that led to a great win and sweep by the Giants. Its like Zitos start yesterday, they won’t return to their past glory, however we can still enjoy their good games when they do happen.

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  6. philkid3 says:

    Most importantly, he got .7% closer to being an automatic Hall of Famer!

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  7. Of course it’s all small sample sizes, but looking at the whole series, he was 8 for 11 with 3 walks during the series. I’ll take that for a good start to hopefully a good season. It’s kind of like those program, one step (series) at a time. This is just one great step.

    Certainly better than 0 for 14, which would also not be a sign that he hasn’t changed from last season either, but would cause a lot of consternation and teeth gnashing.

    And you know, you can apply this almost anything that has happened. Jason Heyward’s homer on his first AB. How many hitters have hit a homer in their first AB and had a horrible career? Many, and using a SF connection, Johnnie Lee “Boo” LeMaster was one of them. Or Dallas Braden’s 11 strikeouts, that’s not a sign that he’s suddenly going to strike out a lot of batters going forward either. Basically, we should just ignore everything good or bad that happened, because that’s not a sign of anything in the future.

    Oh, but wait, it did happen, so we may as well enjoy it while we can.

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  8. Cosmo says:

    As a Philly fan, the plural on Hall of Famers made me decidedly uneasy. I mean, are you saying that Chase Utley will make the hall despite the late start to his career (and absolute shafting by MVP voters)? Or am I to believe that the plural exists there for (cringe) Scott Rolen?

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  9. Gilbert says:

    The guy that sticks out on the list for me is not Miles or Tavares but Russell Branyan. Just hitting the ball fair 5 times is unusual for him, whereas a low power guy with better contact skills has a better chance of 5 hits.

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