I don’t know what to call it. No Homer Streak? Whatever, let’s do this.
Ted Lilly has literally never gone a month in his career without giving up a home run. In 2002, he had only two starts in July and didn’t allow a home run, so there’s that. But September 2011 is the first time in his career he went a whole month without giving up a home run.
That was six consecutive starts without allowing a home run.
His longest homerless streaks before this:
2006: 3 (2)
2007: 3 (2)
2008: 2 (3)
Not only did he break his personal best for most non-homer-allowed games, he did it at the end of the season when he needed to allow only two home runs to join the 30/30 club.
Lilly has started 318 games in his career, appeared in 343 total. He’s given up 286 homers in that time; with multi-home run games, he’s had 193 games where he’s allowed a home run.
For averages, his HR/9 rate is 1.4 for his career, but since he averages 6 IP per start, it’s more like 0.933 per start. Yes, averaged out, he gives up a home run per appearances.
Since he’s had 193 games with a homer allowed, 193 divided by 342 is 56; 56% of the time he made a MLB appearance he allowed a home run. That leaves you with 44% of the time he was in a game and didn’t allow one. That’s even on the lighter side, since we’re including non-start appearances (fewer innings, fewer chances to allow a HR).
You have better odds betting on the brightly colored spots on a Craps table and winning six times in a row than betting Lilly not giving up a homer.
So what are the official chances? The chances of Lilly not giving up a home run in six consecutive games are slightly less than 1% (about 0.73%; h/t @jeffersonlives). And he did it solely to prevent himself from entering the history books.
That’s pretty cool. We saw a >1% odd happen tonight.
The 30/30 pitcher season is rarer than Lilly’s homerless streak. There are about 17 seasons I think of a pitcher giving up 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in tens of thousands of eligible pitching seasons. But instead of Lilly breaking a negative record, he created a positive one–and a personal one at that. Good for him.