Cards 5, Braves 3

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 29, 2009 – ESPN

In defiance of all rational analysis of baseball and of traditional understanding of the game, the Braves lost tonight. This was a game in which the Cardinals’ starting pitcher went six innings, walked five, and struck out two, while the Braves’ starter went eight, walked one, and struck out eight. It wasn’t the bullpens, either. It was dumb luck.

Now, I know some people will disagree with me, but singles are mostly luck and defense. Vazquez gave up six singles in the fifth inning — three with none out, and three with two out. He only gave up three hits the entire rest of the game. With any luck, he would have been out of it unscathed, or at worst still tied. He had no luck, at least no good luck.

Adam Wainwright, meanwhile, was both wild and hittable, and the Braves should probably have knocked him out of the game early. But he got some good defense and the Braves’ peculiar lineup arrangement kept the most successful hitters (Infante had three hits, leading off; Kotchman had two and a walk in the cleanup spot; Schafer walked three times and stole a base hitting seventh) from interacting properly.

Yunel is in the doghouse!Yunel Escobar had a terrible night, going 0-5 with a GIDP (his fourth of the year) and not doing anything on the defensive end to save Vazquez from the singles explosion. It happens, but in combination with his baserunning exploits of late, I’m not really in any mood to give him a break. Still, the Braves aren’t going to score many runs when he and Chipper start off 0-9 (Chipper had a hit in his last PA). On the other hand, if they get ten PA apiece, the team should score more than three runs.

133 thoughts on “Cards 5, Braves 3”

  1. so what did we have – 8 hits and 7BB’s? and only 3 runs

    good Ab’s from Schafer tonight, its just too bad Bobby puts two guys with .400+ OBP in the 7th and 8th holes.

    so like I posted in the end of the last thread. 5 days off in April and now only 4 more until the break. Something is wrong with that

  2. To me a “Yunel” will always be trying to steal second while the pitcher still has the ball

  3. BTW, the Braves 3 overstates their offesive “effectiveness”–one run scored on an error by Rasmus and another on a WP.

  4. The thing that really did Vazquez in was lollipoping a curveball to Wainright that he hit for his RBI single in the 5th. He later came around and scored later in the inning.

    If Vazquez had beared down there and got the out he HAS to get the braves are at least tied. I don’t feel too bad for Vazquez. Stuff like that is what got him ran out of NYC and CWS.

    The offense is PUTRID. Wren went and spent 9 mil on KK and his bum shoulder when he should have signed someone/anyone to hit.

  5. BTW the doghouse is maybe the funniest thing I have seen on a braves blog…..AWESOME

  6. Clueless Joe and Skippee did make a really good point about Frenchy tonight:

    Teams are pitching him away. Teams WANT him to hit the ball to RF. They know he can’t hit it out to right. Teams also know he can absolutely UNLOAD on fastballs middle in.

    The braves organization is bound and determined to screw up Jeff.

    If you don’t believe me, then why are they trying to turn their only guy with 30 HR power in the lineup (yes, I included Chipper in that analysis) into a opposite field slappy guy. He needs to get closer to the plate and try and unload every once and awhile.

    He has made good strides in pitch selection, but at a major power outage cost. I don’t know how many bats he has broken this year hitting stuff off the end of the bat. He either has to get closer to the plate or stop stepping in the bucket.

  7. The doghouse is funny, but it does bring back bad memories like the 2006 Braves and Jeff Torborg.

  8. JC,

    Actually, Francoeur was on pace for 18 doubles and 18 triples at the end of last week……so does that mean he’ll still be sitting on two of each by the AS break?

    Amazing that Vazquez went eight innings tonight after that implosion in the fifth, but stupup74 is right — he should have gotten Wainright out, then he wouldn’t have ended up with those three two-out singles. You gotta get the pitcher out in a situation like that.

    Then again, you have to get a bunt down in fair territory when Bobby calls for one. Guess we’re just playing to our norm….

  9. Why? We won? LOL… Team’s not horrific, but they ain’t good either. There are AAA teams with better offenses.

  10. This year’s Braves & Phils should merge—their lineup, our pitching. Call ’em the Brillies. They’d win 100 games.

  11. @10 No, I don’t believe you. Francouer has “30 HR power” the way Khalil Green has 30 HR power, i.e. Green hit 27 one year and has never hit more than 15 in any other season and never will. Francouer only hit 11 HRs last year and a measly 19 the year before, and that was with his old “approach”. He doesn’t have power anymore because opposing teams realized that he can only hit one pitch out of the park and now he only gets that pitch if its a terrible mistake. Francouer has no pitch recognition, in part because he has an incredibly slow swing, which means if he wants to generate more bat speed (which he is admittedly capable of doing), he has to start his swing even earlier, which means he is even more likely to swing at a pitch that ends up in the opposing batter’s box. Likewise he can’t get closer to the plate because then he would just get busted inside. So he instead he is forced to pick either of two evils, to stand back praying for a straight fastball over the plate middle in and swinging for the fences, which results in an OBP of sub .300 and fewer and fewer mistakes to hit, or else to try and hit for average which results in a sub .330 OBP and even less power. Which is worse, I don’t know, either way you could find a better alternative on pretty much any AAA team. In other words, the fundamental problem is not the Braves’ fault. But it is their fault that they have continued to run a player like this out there for close to 700 ABs a season simply because someone in their marketing division has generated a spreadsheet “proving” that he singlehandedly generates X million a year in PR dollars.

  12. I do think Bobby needs to try something new with the batting order on Friday. How about

    CF Schafer
    SS Escobar
    1b Kotchman
    3b Chipper
    RF Francoeur
    LF Diaz
    C Ross
    2b KJ
    P Lowe

  13. I know it may mess us up defensively, but I’d like to see Cox start Infante at short and Prado at 2nd (not with Lowe pitching please). I agree with what some have said that Cox should have sat Escobar’s butt on the bench for disciplinary reasons based on baserunning exploits. If he would have done that tonight, we would have probably won.

  14. #19 – Esco cant stay in the 2 hole, what about

    Schafer
    Kotchman
    Chipper
    Ross
    Infante
    Prado
    Frenchy
    B Jones

    just to make it interesting

  15. I’d start by flipping Kotchman and Escobar and seeing if it works. Escobar doesn’t have a lot of power, but he has more than Kotchman, and before tonight he was actually hitting pretty well.

  16. Why? We won? LOL… Team’s not horrific, but they ain’t good either. There are AAA teams with better offenses.

    You are a funny guy to read. You are generally on the right side of things – this team is not very good, and the front office is pretty clueless – but you always manage to make yourself look clownish with statements like your AAA thing above. You need a good editor.

    Anyway it’s both funny and a little sad to see more or more of the game attributed to ‘luck’ in the name of “analysis”. Vazquez has good peripherals and high (or higher than you’d expect) ERAs. That’s his thing.

  17. I would like to see Schafer move up as well. The kid has a great eye. But as has been pointed out here and elsewhere, pitchers would attack him more and he would not be seeing as many pitches out of the zone if he had batters 2-5 hitting behind him instead of 8-9.

    Nevertheless, I still think it may make sense moving him up, if for no other reason, to let him steal bases. When Chipper has runners in scoring position, he is incredibly consistent at being able to drop singles in (batting .455 w/ RISP), and Schafer is probably fast enough to score on some of those.

    Nevertheless if/when he gets moved up, we should expect his OBP to drop.

  18. I mean, you expect to give up a few singles over the course of 8 innings, even when you strike out 8 guys. But you don’t expect 6 of them to be in the same inning.

  19. A quote from Bill James on the phenomenon Mac pointed out about our peculiar batting order:

    Q: On the topic of batting orders, does it make sense to space out your best hitters instead of clumping them together. This would seem to give an advantage because the team never has to deal with a weak bottom half. You always have a good hitter up, or on deck. Also this might mess with the pitchers mind cause he wont be able to “rest” pitching to 3 or 4 bad hitters in a row.

    A: It would seem to me that this offers speculative advantages and tangible disadvantages. Offense is interactive. If you have three good hitters, probably the worst thing you can do with them is to bat them 3rd, 6th and 9th.

  20. I mean, you expect to give up a few singles over the course of 8 innings, even when you strike out 8 guys. But you don’t expect 6 of them to be in the same inning.

    Not to pick on mraver, but this is exactly what I’m talking about. This now passes for analysis. Anything kind of funny happen – must have been bad luck.

    Last season Vazquez allowed a .237/.292/.423 line with the bases empty, .302/.356/.462 line with men on. Similar line for the few seasons before that. So what does that mean? It means from that from the stretch, Javy isn’t nearly as good and we should expect that he would give up hits in bunches. When it happens it’s not bad luck, there’s a real reason.

  21. I don’t think because runners hit .302/.356/.462 against him with men on for only 1 season necessarily means he isn’t as good from the stretch. Just because Chipper hit .248 in 2004 doesn’t mean he’s a below-average hitter. 1 season isn’t really a large enough sample size to make conclusions like that from. But I looked at Javy’s career splits and hitters really do hit him better when he’s got men on (though not nearly as drastic of a split), so you’re probably right and I don’t really have a point.

    I guess the analysis stems from the fact that the events that led to the scoring were more lucky than skilled. A few bloop singles, a few ground ball singles, etc. It isn’t like he gave up 3 doubles, 2 walks, and a homer that inning. The balls were put in play 6 times and 6 times the result was: “it wasn’t what the hitter was trying to do and it was hit weakly, but nobody was in that particular quasi-random spot so I get rewarded with a hit”. You expect to give those up in a game, but I don’t think there was really much skill involved in that rally, it was much more luck. The fact that 6 quasi-random events all happened within the span of 3 outs, thus maximizing the run output, could very conceivably be referred to as “bad luck”.

  22. I hate using luck as any kind of excuse.

    I hate putting Schafer in the leadoff spot before next season.

    The lineup order does not really matter because anyone can get either red hot or ice cold on any given night on our team. Nobody can be considered as consistent. They are all becoming KJ.

  23. I don’t think because runners hit .302/.356/.462 against him with men on for only 1 season necessarily means he isn’t as good from the stretch. Just because Chipper hit .248 in 2004 doesn’t mean he’s a below-average hitter. 1 season isn’t really a large enough sample size to make conclusions like that from.

    Just to clarify, I did look at more than one season. That’s why I said “Similar line for the few seasons before that”. I just didn’t want to bore everyone with the numbers.

    Your point about the balls not being well hit is well taken. But Javy’s K rate falls off pretty good with men on, so it’s should be expected that stuff like that is going to happen.

  24. Guys, Javy will never be an ace. That’s why people have been so frustrated with him because he is not that far away from being a great pitcher. He is sort of like the pitcher version of Andruw…a guy with so much talent but fail to utilize it completely. Just don’t expect too much from him and you will have a completely different opinion on him.

    He gave us eight innings tonight without burning the bullpen, which is more than what we can ask for when you think about last year. This is the one exact reason why we traded for him. THe White Sox fans have warned us not to expect him to be an ace. Javy is doing exactly what he has always been doing, which is providing innings and strikeouts.

  25. There is a lot of randomness in the world. Humans have long resisted admitting this. The ancient Greeks believed dice rolling was non-random. If you don’t like this, complain to God not Mac. What Mac said is correct. And if you don’t think that is “analysis”, I can point you to the evidence. There is a lot of randomness in baseball, just like there is in any other part of life.

  26. I love Mac’s point in regards to luck and defense. I think much of coaching must be directed at reducing the amount of randomness, especially on defense.
    Where do we position our outfielders? Why do we charge the ball on grounders? And why do the best outfielders run to a spot, then find and catch the ball, when poorer fielders try to run the ball down?

  27. Baseball probably has more random occurrences than the other team sports. A completely fooled batter hits a nubber off the end of the bat that loops slowly and hits the chalk on the right field line….triple. A guy smokes a frozen rope right at an outfielder … out. One of the reasons its a great game.

    I love the baseball statistical analysis that is fast becoming mainstream. But there is still a lot of luck involved.

  28. I love the baseball statistical analysis that is fast becoming mainstream. But there is still a lot of luck involved.

    Part of statistical analysis, rightly understood, is giving us a better sense of what is luck and what is skill, talent, strategy, etc.

  29. Anyone who plays professional baseball for a living is lucky.

    Except A-rod, because did you know that they hated him at Hooters because he only tipped 15%

  30. I think much of coaching must be directed at reducing the amount of randomness

    If you can fix it, then it’s not random.

    Part of statistical analysis, rightly understood, is giving us a better sense of what is luck and what is skill, talent, strategy, etc.

    Definitely agree. Most statistical analysis done focuses on separating random from the non-random. E.g., is a disease correlated with an environmental factor or are these people getting sick at a rate no different from the non-exposed?

  31. Speaking of random, I would accuse anyone calling Infante, Kotchman, and Schafer the “best” hitters in last night’s lineup of picking those names from a hat.

  32. Even if Robert is correct(and I put a lot of stock in JC’s point about randomness–go to any ballgame in person and you will see how random it is which balls go through and which are outs), Vazquez had one bad inning and pitched well enough to win if the Braves scored some runs. You certainly have seen guys pitch much worse and win. No one has said that Vazquez is Johan Santana but he keeps the team in the game; unless you have the Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz mid-90s rotation, that’s all you can expect.

    The problem with this team is offense. Wainwright’s a good pitcher but not that good and he didn’t pitch that well last night. The really disturbing thing to me is how few innings the Braves score. And the utter lack of power is just killing them. They don’t need “clutch” hitting; they need someone to knock the ball out of the park occasionally and put up some crooked numbers without relying on the other pitcher to walk half the team.

    The problem is, I don’t see how this offense can get substantially better without adding a big bat, which I just don’t see happening. (Oh, I forgot, Garrett Anderson will be back at some point.) KJ will probably get hot for awhile and then cold and then hot again; McCann getting back will help. But Kotchman is basically a line drive hitter (a poor man’s Sean Casey) with little punch, etc, etc, but none of this adds up to scoring a lot of runs. Basically, the only way they can put up runs is to be like the Angels were last year but the Braves have no speed so they can’t even do that. It looks to me like they are going to waste a lot of pretty good pitching this year.

  33. Count me among the ones ready to see Schafer leading off. I think he’s adapting pretty well to pitching adjustments and will eventually do extremely well at leadoff. I also think the extra plate appearances will help his progress. If Cox sticks him at leadoff tomorrow he will be better than any other option we have. This will also allow him to use his speed more and actually steal a few bases (or for Cox to bunt the 2 hole guy more – :-( ).

    After trying to hit in the leadoff spot during the course of the last two years, KJ has proven sufficiently to me that he is not the answer. No one else on the team will consistently keep an OBP that warrants a shot at the 1st spot in the order – except Chipper and McCann and they’re definitely better suited in the middle of the lineup.

  34. Speaking of being under the influence:

    Firefox is my browser of choice, and it ranks the sites in my address bar by frequency of visit, apparently. Does anyone else try to manipulate this by purposely going to sites more often than they otherwise would?

    Would a sober person ask that question?

    I’ll be back in a bit–I’m out of beer.

  35. Bmac went 1-3 last night with a double, didnt here about his contacts and if they dried out again or not.

    Cody Johnson hit his 8th HR last night also, its too bad he’s striking out about 50% of the time. 30K in 71AB

  36. From that A-Rod article on ESPN.com:

    Yankees teammates, Roberts writes, nicknamed Rodriguez “B—h T–s” in 2005 because he put on 15 pounds in the offseason which included round pectorals, a condition called gynecomastia that can be caused by anabolic steroids.

    I have a feeling we’ll be seeing that nickname all over the internet from now on.

  37. I’m in no hurry to move Schafer up. It was just a week ago that he looked completely overmatched. KJ and Esco have shown pretty good on-base skills before. I’d rather not jerk them around. Anyway, a high OBP guy at the bottom of the order can keep the lineup turning, and it gives Cox plenty of opportunities to employ his favorite weapon (the sac bunt) using the players who should be doing it anyway (pitchers).

  38. If there is any justice in the world, we will light up Hampton tonight for 10+ runs in 1+ innings.

    @48

    I love all of this A-Rod stuff, but feel like it is wasted for us because we play the Yankees so rarely.

  39. After seeing that video, I can only say one thing:

    A-Rod is a moron of mind-blowingly epic proportions. I tried to think of a joke about it, and truly could not put into words how hilariously inept he is at cultivating his image.

  40. Those are some major-league yabbos, Alex.

    And, if the following is true, what a teammate!

    In one shocking disclosure, the book accuses A-Rod of “pitch tipping” when he was with the Rangers – letting a friendly opponent at the plate know which pitch was coming in lopsided games.

    Rodriguez expected players he helped would do the same for him when he was having an off night and needed to get his batting average up and it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the game.

    My stats matter, but you—little back-of-the-bullpen guy, perhaps struggling to stay in the league—you’re not so important. I’m going to sabotage your efforts, so that I can inflate my precious numbers.

  41. RE ARod:

    Does anyone at all still kinda wish he would have signed with us over Texas back in 2001 when we supposedly had the 2nd best offer on the table?

    Makes you wonder how things might be different.

  42. @56 – can we blindly accuse Tex of doing that, too? I swear, half of his homers were hit when the outcome of the game had long been decided.

  43. The author of this article uses a bunch of unattributed sources, so be careful taking it as gospel. She is also the one who labelled the Duke lacrosse players as rapists, and we all know that there was a bunch of fiction writing on that one. She may be correct, here, but she is by prior acts an agenda-driven reporter trying to sell books. I wouldn’t take her information to the bank.

  44. “Cody Johnson hit his 8th HR last night also, its too bad he’s striking out about 50% of the time. 30K in 71AB.”

    Actually Cody Johnson’s k rate has been stable this year (too high still), but his walk rate has gone way up, so he has 31 K’s in 85 plate appearances. This is a hopeful sign, given all of the power. Johnson still K’s too much now to get to MLB as an effective player, but if he takes 1 more step in dropping K’s and adding walks, he is a better defensive Adam Dunn.

  45. @58 It’s a lot easier for a shortstop to see the signs and relay to the batter than a 1B, just like a baserunner leading off 2nd relaying to the batter. I’d imagine Tex would get caught doing that at 1B.

  46. @60,

    I agree that to this point (small sample size) Cody has taken massive steps forward.

    To get lots of walks, either a player has to go deep in counts. With two strikes, the batter has to cut down to a good “two strike swing” or else the K rate wil be hihg (like Dunn). With the percentage of the batted balls of Cody Johnson going out of the ballpark and going off the wall, it probably is not a good idea to worry about him developing a two strike swing.

  47. Sansho, they aren’t really the team’s “best” hitters — well, except in the sense that so far this year they’ve been the most productive other than Chipper — but they were the most successful last night. If they’d been in close contact, the Braves probably would have scored at least six runs.

  48. That’s true — it just strikes me, as filtered through PWHjort’s quote about maximal lineup construction, as a hindsight observation. Cox didn’t exactly split up Joe Morgan, Lou Gehrig, and Tris Speaker here.

  49. I agree with Mac, we need to flip the order around some.

    It is nice to see the first “Dog House” of the year and Frenchy isn’t in it. ha ha ha.

    With McCann out, we are really hurting.

  50. So Mac’s statement about singles being mostly luck and defense (and the fact that no one here has questioned it) has me wondering. I’ll assume for this post that “luck” as used here has the meaning synonymous with “chance” — an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another.

    Ichiro holds the current single season record for singles at 225. He is also single season record holder #3 (203), #6 (192), tied #10 (186), tied #23 (180) and further down the record charts. He led MLB in singles each year 2004-2008. He is #99 career (1486) — trailing Rose by 1729 — and did not play in MLB until he was age 27.

    Now it hardly seems unpredictable that Ichiro would hit a high number of singles — even lead MLB — in each of these years. He has a number of offensive traits that made (and make) it quite predictable that he would (and will) hit a high number of singles — left-handed hitter, speed, good pitch recognition, slashing contact style of swing — until he loses one or more of these attributes with age/injury.

    I totally agree that many singles are best attributed to luck — just like many other events in baseball, including many outs. But there are too many statistics pointing to highly predictable outcomes to reach the general conclusion that singles are mostly due to luck and the defense behind a pitcher.

  51. Jeff K,

    You are looking at two different things. Just because a pitcher may be the victim of bad luck (or randomness) in giving up hits doesn’t mean that a hitter that gets a lot of singles is simply lucky. Ichiro is obviously a good hitter. Mac’s point, I believe (I probably shouldn’t speak for him) is that when a pitchers gives up balls put in play, a certain number will result in singles due to random chance; since singles are ordinarily ground balls that find holes or line drives, which could also result in outs, the occurence of a large number of singles together may be the result of randomness rather than bad pitching. It doesn’t mean that each single a hitter gets is luck. If a guy like Ichiro can consistently hit sharp ground balls and line drives, you can expect that a lot will be hits.

    How’s that Mac?

  52. Joe Poz on the Lilburn Flash:

    “How many “Jeff Francoeur is a changed man” stories did we have to endure this off-season? Fifty? One hundred? From what I can gather, Francoeur is a wonderful guy — Lord knows that Royals general manager Dayton Moore will talk about him endlessly. He’s an excellent outfielder, a competitor, and all that. But he’s not, repeat NOT, a changed man. OK? He’s a moderate power guy with limited speed who doesn’t get on base. He was that when he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. And he was that when he hit .239/.294/.359 last year. That’s not to say that he is without value; I think in the right situation, in the right frame of mind, he can hit you 25 to 30 home runs, play good outfield defense, be a clubhouse presence, all those things.

    But we’re almost one month into the new season: And while Frankie has cut down on his strikeouts and he oddly already has hit two triples, he is what he is: .269/.301/.423. That should be his social security number.”

  53. Pretty close, Marc. Jeff, the number of hits (meaning, mostly, singles) a pitcher allows is extremely variable. Basically, previous performance predicts fairly accurately the rates for strikeouts, walks, and homers. The hit rate, on the other hand, varies greatly; it’s bound by the others (particularly strikeouts) but a pitcher who allows an extremely low rate of hits one year, or one month, or one game, is just as likely to allow a high hit rate the next year, month, or game. There just doesn’t seem to be, on the pitcher’s side, any way to consistently control where a ball is hit once it’s put in play. I don’t know for certain, but I’m guessing that 90 percent of singles could just as easily be outs if the ball was hit just as hard and just as high, but at a different angle or with the defense aligned differently. The only singles that are always hits are those hit fairly softly over the infield.

  54. Posnanski quoting Bill James:

    Billfact: This is how good Johan Santana is: He is 8-2 with a 2.29 against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better. He has been even better against those teams than he has against the good teams.*

    *Are the Mets REALLY going to keep blowing great Johan Santana starts? I mean, we all know here how much better Santana’s record should have been last year.

    Loss: 7 innings, 1 earned run.
    ND: 6 innings, 1 earned run
    Loss: 7 innings, 3 earned runs
    Loss: 6 innings, 1 earned run
    ND: 7 innings, 0 earned runs
    Loss: 7 innings, 1 earned run
    ND: 8 innings, 2 earned runs
    ND: 8 innings, 2 earned runs
    ND: 6 1/3 innings, 1 earned run
    ND: 7 innings, 2 earned runs
    ND: 7 innings, 2 earned runs

    He actually had a handful of other decent starts that could have been wins with some support, but just consider those 11 starts he either lost or did not have a decision. Santana went 16-7 last year. What COULD he have gone. With just a bit more luck, he would have been the unanimous choice for Cy Young winner last year

    When Lincecum won it last year, I think I was the only voice who said Santana should have had it. I don’t think anyone would argue that if he went 27-7 he wouldn’t have won, but the 2.29 ERA against winning teams drives home the point I was trying to make about his excellence in high leverage games. (which is relatively hard to quantify, but I feel he didn’t get enough credit for)

    I still say Santana should have won last year

  55. Eleven games & 76+ IP with a 1.89 ERA—and no wins. Hard to do.

    He was wearing the wrong uniform, of course, and they’re not scoring for him this year either.

  56. AP

    John Smoltz, recovering from shoulder surgery last June, will not throw batting practice Thursday, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

    “I just think it’s in his best interest to slow down for a week,” Francona said after the Red Sox beat Cleveland 6-5 in 10 innings Wednesday night. “That’s the best way I can put it.”

  57. Im guessing Smoltzie and Glavine are done, thats the way it should end. Retire together as Braves at the Season end

  58. Robert,
    In that game, hitters hit .400 against Vazquez with men on base. That included .125 in 7 of the 8 innings and .714 in the 5th inning. I’m just saying, the luck fairy could’ve blessed him with a more uniform distribution.

  59. Not that I’m a stat geek or anything, but what is the ML average for BABIP? And for the Cardinals to go 6-8 in one stretch during the inning seems a bit off, even to me.

  60. @74, Let’s look at Lincecum’s lines in games where he got the L or a ND
    6 IP 1 ER, ND
    7 IP 3 ER, Loss
    6 IP 0 ER, ND
    6 IP 3 ER, ND
    7 IP 1 ER, ND
    7 IP 0 ER, ND
    7 IP 4 ER, ND
    5 IP 5 ER, ND
    6 IP 4 ER, Loss
    6 IP 5 ER, Loss
    7 IP 2 ER, ND
    7 IP 1 ER, ND
    4.1 IP 1 ER, ND
    5 IP 5 ER, ND
    8 IP 3 ER, Loss
    4.1 IP 6 ER, Loss
    If you say that Santana should have won much more than 16 games, well the same thing goes for Lincecum, he should have cleared 22-24 wins with ease with decent run support.

    Lincecum’s run support was 4.57 runs/game on average. Santana: 4.83
    13 times, the Giants scored 3 runs or less to back him up. Santana: 11 (the Mets were never shutout on a game he started)

    Stats wise, Lincecum was way ahead of Santana (K/9 H/9 HR/9 K/BB and so on)
    Both are very good pitchers, but Lincecum is the Cy Young, hands down.

  61. 279,

    BAPIP at ML level is a little over 290. For rounding purposes, most people say “around 300”.

  62. Look at the team OPS “for” and OPS “against” on this chart.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/batting?team=atl

    Despite a 60 point OPS advantage (with that advantage coming from the more important component, OBP), Braves are once again scoring less than our opponents.

    The dumb baserunning must stop. The bunting by non- pitchers must stop (PARTICULARLY if it can’t be executed).

    This team can certainly contend for WC or for East Division (because everybody else is also wretched).

  63. @81

    Santana gave up 4 ER three times and 5 ER once, TOTAL, last season. Every other start (30 total) was 3 ER or less. Unreal.

    He also pitched more innings and his ERA was better.

    Again, though, the main point I was trying to make, that one really can’t quantify, is that when Lincecum’s Giants were double digit games out of the race in September, Santana had pretty much had the Mets entire playoff hopes riding on his every start. And while the Mets didn’t make the playoffs, he was as clutch as any pitcher I’ve ever seen.

    In September, over 6 starts, he AVERAGED 7.1 IP and 1.5 ER allowed. Maybe it wasn’t Lincecum’s fault he didn’t have the opportunity, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

    Johan was simply dominant under unbelievable pressure and that, more than anything, demonstrated to me why he was the best pitcher in the NL last year.

  64. Man, so I didn’t start Garza today because I was too busy with finals to be able to check my fantasy team. What a horrible night not to start him.

  65. Morton the other night:

    5IP 5H 1ER 2BB 2K

    87 Pitches, 52 Strikes

    For all our offensive problems, the pitching situation is looking pretty enviable right now. Unmatched depth of starters, and the last two innings are well in hand.

  66. I find it hilarious that anyone would attribute “luck” to a single, but not to a double, triple, or homerun..

    Wow, some of you guys really really needed to have read the Chocolate War instead of the Bill James Abstract in 1985.

  67. As someone who was not old enough to read either, I find it hilarious that, in this day and age, with everything we have at our disposal to occupy our time, someone would consistently take time to make unproductive, insulting comments to a group which has not sought him out, with which he has very little in common, and which he can easily avoid altogether.

    Dan Murphy is awesome, but this team and people who’ve read a book or two about quantifying baseball production are crappy. Got it.

  68. A conversation 600 years ago…

    Scholars: “And this information disproves the theory that the earth is flat.”

    Chief: “That’s ridiculous. You people are idiots. Everyone knows the earth is flat. You should spend your time doing something more constructive like draining someone’s blood to cure them of the flu.”

  69. Smoltz suffered a set-back in his rehab.

    So, let’s see: Theo Epstien wouldn’t give up an additional ten million to get Mark Teixeira (Yankees got him for 180 million, Red Sox reportedly offered 170.)

    But Epstein WAS willing to flush a guaranteed 12 million dollars down the toilet for Penny, Saito and Smoltz.

    I thought he was supposed to be a good GM?

  70. Chief,

    In 1985, Bill James wouldn’t have said pitchers lack control over balls in play. Also, in 1985 I was in fifth grade, had never heard of Bill James, but I understood that some things in baseball were just luck.

    But aside from the fact that you’re acting like a douche for no apparent reason, here is some brief analysis of pitcher control over different types of outcomes. The results: pitchers have almost no impact over hits on balls in play, but they have slight control over non-HR extra-base hits that can be easily ignored.

    Your move.

  71. Hanson has not been challenged at AAA; how long do people here think it will be before he makes his first start in Atlanta?

  72. Stephen at 99,

    IF Jo Jo stays fairly good and IF Kenshin comes back a little next week (not to great but to mediocre like 5 to 6 innings, 3 to 4 runs) and IF no other starter gets hurt, then NO WAY you see Hanson in Atlanta before approx. June 10. FO will not bring him up before then and let him “Super 2” after next year (and clear a 40 man spot) over 2-3 starts.

    If you add a mediocre comeback by Glavine moving forward (which I don’t expect) then Hanson could be down longer than that, but if I were GM, I would let him be my 5th, 6th, or 7th inning, 2 inning per appearance, every 3rd day, reliever for the balance of this year (after June 10) (unless somebody got hurt) to let him get his feet wet and to save innings on his arm. Plus, that is EXACTLY where either the biggest or second biggest pitching hole is on this team (other problem is another lefty better than O’Flaherty to make O’Flaherty the #3 lefty: Gonzo, other lefty, O’Flaherty).

  73. C’mon, guys – everyone is beautiful in their own way. (Sardonicism alert)

    Chief adds the base note, Gadfly provides the Mahleresque self-indulgence (interesting in smaller doses), and ububba lays down the funk.

    Room for everyone.

    (And Dix is somewhere lighting his guitar on fire … )

  74. Dan,

    Teixeira signed an 8-year deal with the Yanks; the Sox refused to pay him $80 million more dollars.

    Also, Lowell and Youkilis are pretty good.

    Also, haven’t Penny and Saito been healthy?

  75. Again, prefacing this with the I’m not a stat-head disclaimer…

    It seems to me that pitchers have more influence on the outcomes of XBH than they do of singles. Most of the HRs and triples are shots off bad pitches, and from personal observations there seems to be a lot more gapper doubles than bloop doubles. For singles, yes there are a lot of line drives as well, but there are a significant percentage of bloop shots just over the IF, seeing-eye ground balls, infield nubbers, and assorted “cheap” hits.

    So I can see where a pitcher has less control over singles than he does over XBHs.

  76. Cliff–That is a pretty good piece of analysis. My own sense is that they might be less patient and decide that after 8-10 starts he belongs in Atlanta.

    I think they will be continue to be concerned about his early innings….

  77. Anyone that goes to a game in person (as opposed to watching on TV where it’s not as apparent)can see that many(not all, of course) singles are balls that find holes or bloopers. Diaz’s hit the other night to win game was like that; he was lucky as hell that ball got through. A pitcher can throw a good pitch and still give up a ground ball that has eyes or a blooper. Extra base hits generally involve more solid contact and usually means the pitcher has made a mistake.

    I wouldn’t say that a pitcher that gives up five straight line drive hits is necessarily just unlucky, but in Vazquez’s case the other night, several of those hits were obviously not hard hit.

    Chief should go on Mets Blog; he would actually fit in well there because they enjoy flagellating each other.

  78. I think Charlie Morton gets the call before Hanson. He’s on the 40-man and has pitched decently. Had it not been for his spring injury I think he would have been called up be for Jo-Jo. And let’s wait until a majority of Jo-Jo’s starts have been good ones. This year he’s had one bad start in Triple-A, one mediocre start and one good start for Atlanta.

  79. JC,

    I didn’t even address Morton. I do agree with your analysis that Morton would be next up and that he probably would have been in front of Reyes if he had not missed so much work on account of injury.

    So add an IF: if Morton is not healthy or has been called up and proven ineffective over several appearances, THEN you might see Hanson in ATL.

  80. After attempting to make everyone buy season-ticket packages, the Mets are finally putting their single-season games onsale for the rest of the season (beyond May). They go onsale to the general public Sunday, but there’s a pre-sale that just kicked off today.

    If anyone wants to buy Braves/Mets tickets for the August & Sept series (or any other Citi Field games not vs. the Yanks), you can get ’em now. The password is REYES.

  81. Hope he is right.

    James (LA): Heyward or Stanton? Both are monsters, but Heyward seems like his game will translate better to the bigs.

    Keith Law: Heyward. Best prospect (non-Wieters/Price division) in the minors.

  82. I amend my statement. I hope Morton gets the call before Hanson, because it seems to make the most sense from a financial and development perspective. Given that I have heard zero chatter regarding his potential call-up, I guess I won’t be surprised if Hanson does get the call.

  83. Well then, if the bowls would be harmed, I guess a playoff isn’t such a good idea.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4121294

    Isn’t this the point. The bowls suck and accomplish nothing. The playoff would not suck and would accomplish many good things (awesome matchups, more defensible champion)

    Wouldn’t the playoff games get just as much sponsorship money as the bowls? The meaningless small bowls can remain so and be unaffected. The major bowls could be tied into the playoff somehow I’m sure.

  84. Dix, that’s crazy talk. Nobody could ever come up with such a system. There’s no way any type of system could even work logistically — I mean, most schools only have 4 weeks without games in December as it is…

  85. Hey ububba,

    I know they just opened the field so it’s not a typical season, but is it generally pretty easy to pick up Mets tickets on the day of the game? My wife and I are gonna be up in that way around the time of the Sept series at The Fed and we’re thinking about going.

  86. Go figure .. B Boyer throws a scoreless and hitless inning for St Louis .. 11 pitches and 9 strikes .. 1 strikeout .. he will probably be lights out for Larussa … CALL UP SOME STICKS .. trade KJ for Ludwick like yesterday and Escobar for anybody .. tired of his non challant attitude and carelessness

  87. I apologize in advance for this long post, but I’ve been thinking about lineup construction lately and I’m not sure if any of you ever use the Lineup Analysis tool on Baseball Musings. I used the stats so far this year of our current starting 9 (small sample size I know). Our best lineup, which should score 5.29 runs per game would be:

    1. Schafer
    2. Ross
    3. Yunel
    4. Chipper
    5. Kotch
    6. Kelly
    7. Diaz
    8. Francoeur
    9. Pitcher

    Our worst lineup which would score 4.73 per game is:

    1. Kelly
    2. Pitcher
    3. Kotch
    4. Diaz
    5. Yunel
    6. Chipper
    7. Francoeur
    8. Schafer
    9. Ross

    And just for reference our current lineup should score 4.99 per game.

    Interesting that Kelly is seen as the worst possible leadoff hitter.

  88. For some reason I’m hoping for “Separate Ways” by Journey, only to see the one guy playing the keyboard on the warehouse wall.

  89. Apart from the Hanson issue, I hope that the Braves do give Morton another shot at becoming a starter. I am not exactly sure how this might happen (there are many ways), but the more important issue is ability. Morton has lots of raw talent and with some luck he might yet turn into a solid starter. At this point, I just glad that these options appear to be available for the Braves….

  90. “With a trade at the end of the 2002 season, the Braves exiled him from his disastrous two-year stint in Colorado. . .”

    Does this make any grammatical sense? How do you “exile him from” someplace? Don’t you exile some “to” someplace”

    And, does it really take the same time to get to Phoenix from Atlanta and Houston? Isn’t Houston west of Atlanta?

    I don’t see the big deal about all this. Hampton left for whatever reason; people are unhappy because the Braves “stuck by him” and he spurned them. But teams get rid of players all the time with no regard to loyalty; there is no reason to expect loyalty on either side. He went where he wanted to play and, obviously he didn’t do it for the money. Remember, for all the money the Braves paid the last three years of the contract, they got a bargain the first few years when other teams were paying most of his salary (and Hampton was productive).

    It was funny though when Hampton was talking about how it wouldn’t be any different than when he came back to New York, Colorado, and other places he pitched. He seems to be making a booing tour of the NL.

  91. so Dexter Fowler had more SB’s in one game than our entire team has had this season. I love bunts

  92. url,

    Haven’t yet been to Citi Field & I can’t exactly say how things’ll be in September, but I’ve never been unable to get a Mets ticket to a regular-season game I wanted to attend.

    The scalper scene will totally depend on the Mets’ fortunes at the moment. If it’s a spur-of-the-moment thing, just check the internet the day before the game, if you can. I’ll bet you get something decent.

    And if you’re in the area, give us a holler.

  93. Well, it’s stupid to expect loyalty from a player when the team is run as a business concern (I’m looking at you specifically National Football League). I expect a player to play hard and give his best effort. And when it’s time for a new contract, I don’t expect anything from a free agent.

    If they want to come back for a discount, then I’m ecstatic. But if they leave for bigger bucks, then so long, and thanks for all the fish.

  94. @131,

    Well, all teams in all leagues are run as businesses because that’s what they are. They aren’t public utilities. The commissioners of the various sports are essentially CEOs. Of course, the line is blurred substantially when teams take public funds to build new stadiums, especially when they then fail to invest in the team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *