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Stat Fun: Ramon Hernandez's highly improbable night

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Ramon Hernandez did something amazing Wednesday night, and you didn't even realize it. (USATSI)
Ramon Hernandez did something amazing Wednesday night, and you didn't even realize it. (USATSI)

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The Dodgers lost 8-6 to the Diamondbacks in 12 innings on Wednesday night, and in that game Dodgers catcher Ramon Hernandez went 1-for-4 with a solo homer, a walk, a strikeout, and a stolen base. Nothing really stands out from that performance; it's the kind of batting line you could find in the box scores on any given day of the season.

While that may be true, Hernandez's line is one of the most improbable you'll ever see. Here is an email we received from a reader named Drew (emphasis his):

At first I thought Dodgers backup backstop Ramon Hernandez had the least likely stat line imaginable tonight: 1/4 with a HR *and* a SB... but then I did the math:

Since he entered the league (in 1999!), Hernandez has hit a HR on average once every 9.0 games played; he's a far less prolific base stealer: averaging only one SB per 169.6 games... Which means the probability of stealing a base and hitting a home run in the same game is almost infinitesimal: (1/9.0) * (1/169.6) = 0.000655 or approximately 1/1526... In other words, given his rates of production, we should expect him to hit a home run and steal a base on the same night only one time every 1526 games, which is practically never....

Except that last night was Ramon Hernandez's 1526th game as a major league ball-player.

My head exploded. Baseball is amazing. I have nothing to add.

I recommend following Drew on Twitter at @BSDuJour, which is Twitter-speak for Baseball Stat DuJour.

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