Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sabathia: Overworked

We all remember what happened to CC Sabathia last postseason, right? He wore down, presumably due to an innings-pitched overload.

Well, he's at it again. With 5 starts likely remaining in the regular season, Sabathia has thrown 210.1 innings already. Rounding his innings-pitched average up from 7.9 to 8.0 since joining Milwaukee, that would put him at 250 innings by the end of the regular season. That's 9 more than last year.

So why is Ned Yost allowing Sabathia to pitch so much? So they get into the postseason? Well, not really. They have a 6 game lead over Philadelphia in the Wild Card.

Is it because their bullpen stinks? Well, not really. They rank 5th in the NL in ERA, at 3.86, and have thrown the fewest innings, at 372.2.

Maybe it's because Sabathia has been pitching in a lot of close games, and Yost doesn't trust his closing situation, which would be understandable, considering they have used Eric Gagne in that position this year. Well, that can't be it, either. Here are the final scores of his Milwaukee starts in which he pitched at least 7 innings, with innings pitched in parentheses:
7-0 (9)
9-3 (9)
7-1 (7)
5-0 (9)
4-2 (8.1)
3-0 (9)
9-1 (9)
3-2 (9)
5-6 (8)

Only 4 of those 9 games were decided by three or fewer runs. So why was CC in there that long?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just Out of Curiosity...

I was just thinking about how often Nomar swung at the first pitch, and got wondering how many pitches he saw per plate appearance when he was with the Sox.

The answer is ugly.

In 2004, Nomar's last year in Boston, he averaged 2.93 P/PA. He didn't qualify due to a lack of at-bats, but the lowest qualifier was notorious free-swinger, Vlad Guerrero, with 3.17. That's a huge disparity.

In 2003 Nomar qualified for the title, and boy did he earn it. He finished dead last, with 3.12 P/PA. That's last in all of MLB.

In 2002 he finished with 3.06 P/PA, tied for second-to-last with Garret Anderson, behind Randall Simon.

He didn't qualify again in 2001, but he finished with a robust 3.18, which would have tied him for third-to-last.

And, predictably, he finished in dead last again in 2000, at 3.05, just ahead of Vlad this time.

That's as far back as ESPN.com's stat splits go, and I don't feel like going to search for more.

In a related story, Nomar's OBP this year is .285. Oh, and he's been injured all year. Again.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Official Mancrush: Jason Bay

I know RBI is a mostly-meaningless stat, but when you have 27 RBI in your first 25 games with the Red Sox, I take notice. That's a 178 RBI pace. Not that Bay is a 178 RBI guy, but this is a key time and he's proving that he can handle the pressure of Boston better than Eric Gagne.

Plus, his OPS is .908. Manny's was .927 with Boston.

This guy's gonna be fine.

Funny Exchange Between Remy and Orsillo

In the middle of an inning NESN decided to show an awful clip of a comedian making terrible jokes about names of Red Sox players. Even the audience where this "comedian" was performing didn't find her funny.

Then they cut back to the game as a White Sox player grounds into an inning-ending double play.

Orsillo: "Nothing funny about that."
Remy: "About what?" (alluding to the commercial)
Orsillo, stifling that trademark giggle: "The double play!"

Cut to commercial.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Old Dude Whining About Replay

Kenny Rogers today blamed the Yankees for instant replay, because of a game back in May. How about all the other times the umps have gotten the call wrong?
"It’s the beauty of the game. Mistakes are made.”
But if you have a chance to reduce those errors, wouldn't you take it? What if someone told you that MLB was going to (legally) institute a new policy that gave pitchers an advantage over hitters? Wouldn't you accept that?

Replay will also speed the game up, because managers won't need to spend 10 minutes arguing with the umpires and being kicked out.

Instant replay is a good thing. It's been good for the NFL and will be good for MLB.
“It’s a slap in the face of umpires that have been here for a long time and they’ve done a very good job with difficult situations in all aspects,” Rogers said.
It's a slap in the face that they make mistakes? If I were an ump, I'd be grateful to be given the chance to correct my mistakes without letting them affect the outcome of a game.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Love The Rays!

I'll admit it: I'm a Rays fan. How can you not be? They've been building and building and it's all finally come to fruition. Who knows how long it will last, but they sure are fun to watch. So many young, talented players. If you're a true baseball fan, you enjoy the team.

That being said, I want the Sox to catch them and beat them. According to Fox Sports, not only have the Rays played the toughest schedule in baseball to date, it only gets worse the rest of the way. It's pretty remarkable what they've done this year.

Here's what they say about the Sox:

Red Sox

Remaining Opponents' Avg. Win%: 0.532
Home Games Left/Road Games Left: 20/15
Biggest Series: 8/29-8/31 White Sox

Over at Baseball Prospectus, they give the Red Sox just a 27.3 percent chance of winning the AL East, but they give them a 63.2 percent chance of taking the Wild Card. That's why, from Boston's perspective, their most important games don't come against the division-leading Rays. The more realistic goal is taking the Wild Card. They don't play the Twins again this season, but they do tangle with the White Sox at the end of the month. The good news is that the Sox play most of their remaining games at home; the bad news is that their opponents are generally quite tough.

And if you think Bartolo Colon is going to be their savior, you have reason to be optimistic. Except he only threw 23 of 40 pitches for strikes. He's not ready yet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aren't Both Teams Affected By This?

In today's Buster Olney blog (Insider required), he says:

The folks who run the Reds know that the patience of their fans is running out, writes John Erardi.

If the Reds are serious about reconstruction, here's the first thing they should do: Reconstruct the ballpark. Blow out the first 10 rows of seats in left and right field and make the place play bigger, for the benefit of pitching. As currently constructed, Cinergy Field is as conducive to winning as Coors Field was in the 1990s, before the humidor.
I've never quite understood this logic. Wouldn't the away teams be just as affected by this as the home teams? I mean, they're conducive to someone winning; why not the home team? This seems like a lame excuse for your team sucking. Build a better team.

Am I wrong?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random Notes

Player A: 261 at-bats, .268/.355/.330/.685, 22 RBI
Player B: 132 at-bats, .318/.377/.492/.870, 30 RBI

Who is your shortstop for 2009? Player A (Julio Lugo), or Player B (Jed Lowrie)? I know that Lowrie will go through some slumps. He's not likely to finish with an .870 OPS. But there's no way he's as bad as Lugo. His minor league line was .287/.381/.447/.827.

Ollie from Big Brother 10 looks just like Barry Bonds. You can look up some pictures, but there aren't any good ones of Ollie. Just watch the show.

Curt Schilling is tired and contemplating retirement. Prediction: he'll sign with a contender in June or July of 2009, possibly even the Red Sox.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fuzzy Math on WEEI

This afternoon on WEEI, the guys were talking about how good Johan Santana has been this year, and how much better his record would be had he gone to the Yankees. Currently at 10-7, Ordway said the Mets bullpen had blown 5 of his wins in the 9th inning.

Ordway: "You know how good his record would be if he played for the Yankees?"
Someone else, who I think was Lou Merloni: "15-2!"
Ordway and everyone else: "Yeah, wow. What a record."

I think Lou Merloni is doing a damn fine job both on NESN and WEEI, but his math is off here. First off, they're making the assumption that Rivera wouldn't have blown any of Santana's wins, which is a safe assumption, considering Rivera just blew his first save of the season this week.

Secondly, Santana didn't take the loss in those 5 games; someone in the bullpen did (probably the craptacular Billy Wagner). Therefor, Santana's record would be 15-7, since he doesn't give back 5 other losses. Still an excellent record, but not a Pedro-Martinez-circa-1999 record.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Back, Baby!!

After six months away, I am making my completely untriumphant return. I've finished my novel and have a little editing left, but am taking a break and am constantly finding things that I want to blog about. A part-time blogger, when the mood strikes me. So, here goes, with a fun (read: stupid) quote from the idiot Steinbrenner brother:
"I think it's very simple, we've been devastated by injuries. No team I've ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team," Steinbrenner said. "Imagine the Red Sox without [Josh] Beckett and [Jon] Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can't lose two guys like that."
Wha--?

Let's take these one at a time. First, who are the Yankees' Beckett and Lester? No one matches Beckett's caliber. And one could argue that Mike Mussina is having one of his best seasons ever, with an ERA+ of 129 and a 15-7 record. Didn't see that one coming. So he replaced Wang's production.

As for Wang, he's really not that great. He was the beneficiary of some great run support. His ERA+ in those two years, while decent, was not great (124 and 121).

Pitching is 70% of the game? Way to bust out some scientifically-researched stats. How come your pitching only represents 39% of your payroll if they're 70% of the game?

Injuries killed your team because you signed old dudes. You've actually been pretty lucky with the old dudes and unlucky with the young dudes. Maybe you should fact-check your statements before you open your mouth. The Yankees have sent 18 guys to the DL this season, tied for 5th in MLB. They have 2 guys out for the season; the Braves lead with 4, with a couple of other teams at 3 and many other teams tied at 2. Shut up, Stein.

Joba Chamberlain is not the most dominating player in baseball. You, sir, are a dumbass. Joba is averaging 5.4 innings per start. Did he learn that from Roger Clemens last year? His WHIP is 1.30 as a starter. He's a disaster as a starter because he kills your bullpen. Papelbon would be the same way.

I'm back, baby!