Friday, April 22nd, 2005
11:59 am - Can't Win 'Em All...  
The Padres finally won one. Erickson got cuffed around for five runs in 4.2 innings (game score of 28). They weren't really hitting him hard, just hitting him often. Still, I'm not going to worry too much about the fifth starter losing. There were good things in the game. Hee-Seop got a couple of hits, and got his batting average above .200 for the first time in his Dodger career. Drew continues to hit and draw walks. Milton Bradley made some great plays in center.

• Vin Scully, commenting during last night's game on Brad Penny's return to the rotation:
We'll repeat the fact that Brad Penny, weather permitting, is going to pitch Sunday in Colorado. If not, [Dodger rookie] DJ Houlton...

...Of course, I'm sure Houlton understands, but at the same time, that's nice, ya know? They say, "Well now look, kid, here's the story. If it's a nice day, Brad Penny's gonna pitch. If it's brutally cold, you're in there, kid..."

• Pedro Martinez pitched another very good game last night for the Mets. Pedro's game scores so far: 64, 87, 71, 75. <Still playing with the spreadsheet>

Time for lunch.
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Hecubothecubot on April 22nd, 2005 - 09:14 am
Pedro is not looking so very washed up, is he? When I caught a clip of him pitching on Baseball Tonight, his fastball looked plenty tough, and all his breaking balls were sharp.
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Veejaneveejane on April 22nd, 2005 - 10:05 am
He's not washed-up now. In 3 years, we'll see how that shoulder is.

He's got a little more velocity now than he had at this time last season. Theory has it that last year, playing for a contract, he consciously held something back early, to be able to endure the second half of the season, and that inflated his ERA last year.

Whereas, right now he's going full bore and looking ferocious. And getting run support! (If not much bullpen support.)
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DXMachinadxmachina on April 22nd, 2005 - 12:15 pm
The numbers don't really support that he consciously held back early. Here are his average game scores, month by month:
April, 5 starts, 54.8
May, 6 starts, 49.2
June, 5 starts, 54.6
July, 5 starts, 47.4
August, 6 starts, 60.5
September, 6 starts, 48.0.

It seems like he was alternating good and bad months. As to his really awful starts, there was one each in April, May, June, and July, and two in September.
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Veejaneveejane on April 22nd, 2005 - 01:40 pm
Not held back overall, just held back velocity. IIRC he was generally in the 89-90 range all of the spring, and in September he was 91-2 with occasional flashes of 95.

He can still be awful when hitting 95, which September proves. But he's going full-bore, velocity-wise, this spring I think.
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Hecubothecubot on April 22nd, 2005 - 11:01 am
Super Baseball Geeky
I ganked this from Hardball Times. One of their stat tools measures how individual plays affect the chances of a win in a particular game. It's called WPA and I don't know what that stands for quite. But basically it measures which plays had the most dramatic impact on the game - validating the notion that baseball thrives on high drama and sudden reversals of fortune. Anyway, of interest to Dodger and Red Sox fans with geeky bents...

**************

Colin Gerowitz:

I really enjoy the Game In Review feature, and I also like the Win Expectancy calculator spreadsheet you made available. I was playing around with it, plugging in some classic Postseason plays, and I found that Kirk Gibson's home run in the '88 World Series swung the Dodger's Win Expectancy from .142 to 1.000, giving that one dinger a WPA of .858 and making it possibly the "clutchest" clutch hit in postseason history (though I only looked at the last 30 years or so).

Especially if you add in the fact that the pitcher was one of the top relievers in baseball and the batter was so injured he didn't play for the rest of the Series and never again played as well as he had prior to the injury.

Some other things I found:

Stanley's wild pitch (-.407) had a more negative WPA value than Buckner's error (-.385) in '86 Game Six. Carbo's HR (.437) had a higher WPA value than Fisk's (.345) in '75 Game Six.

The long forgotten (by all but the Royals fans who witnessed it, likely) single by Dane Iorg in Game Six of the '85 series had a WPA of .726.

What is it about game six, anyway?

Francisco Cabrera's famous single in '92 was worth .728. Joe Carter's famous dinger in '93 was worth .652.
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Hecubothecubot on April 22nd, 2005 - 11:07 am
Re: Super Baseball Geeky
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Hecubothecubot on April 22nd, 2005 - 11:09 am
Re: Super Baseball Geeky
Oooh! The Win Expectancy Finder is Fun!

In a geeky way, of course.
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DXMachinadxmachina on April 22nd, 2005 - 11:54 am
Re: Super Baseball Geeky
I need to take a look, but Cabrera's and Carter's hits both ended series. Carter's home run ended the Series, so probability of losing goes to zero. With Cabrera's hit, the Braves went on and then lost the World Series.

I always though the Stanley's wild pitch (although really, it should have been scored Mr. Potatohead's passed ball) was the key play. When Buckner erred, the game was already tied.
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Hecubothecubot on April 22nd, 2005 - 12:25 pm
Re: Super Baseball Geeky
Completely agree with you about Stanley's wild pitch.

I also thought Carbo deserved a little more credit for his homer in '75 since the Red Sox were losing until that point.
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