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October 6, 2006

Prospectus Today

Division Series, Day Three

by Joe Sheehan

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PECOTA compares each hitter against a database of roughly 20,000 major league batter seasons since World War II. In addition, it also draws upon a database of roughly 10,000 translated minor league seasons (1998-2005) for hitters who spent most of their previous season in the minor leagues. (When minor league comparables are used, they appear in ALL CAPS). PECOTA considers four broad categories of attributes in determining a hitters comparability:

1. Production metrics--in particular, batting average, isolated power, unintentional walk rate, strikeout rate, groundball:flyball ratio and a modified version of the Bill James speed score.

2. Usage metrics, including career length and plate appearances.

3. Phenotypic attributes, including handedness, height and weight.

4. Fielding Position. PECOTA doesnt require that a comparable hitter play the same defensive position; it is a factor that is evaluated along with many others, and assigned a relatively substantial weight. Consideration is also given to the similarity between two positions; for example, a shortstop will be compared to a second baseman before he is compared to a left fielder. (See additional discussion).

For Pitchers:

PECOTA compares each pitcher against a database of roughly 15,000 major league pitcher seasons since World War II, and 10,000 minor league pitcher seasons from 1998-2005. Pitchers are compared only against others of the same age. PECOTA considers three broad categories of attributes in determining comparability:

1. Production metrics such as strikeout rates, walk rates, isolated power and batting average against, and groundball:flyball ratio.

2. Usage metrics such as career length, total batters faced, and percentage of innings pitched in starting/relief.

3. Phenotypic attributes, including handedness, height, and weight. \n

In most cases, the database is large enough to provide a meaningfully large set of appropriate comparables. When it isnt, the program is designed to cheat by expanding its tolerance for dissimilar players until a reasonable sample size is reached. In the case of very old or very young players, there may not be a significant number of pitchers who appeared in the major leagues at all at that age, and so the results of their forecast may be unreliable. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_47 = 'See Percentile Forecast.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_48 = 'The Percentile Forecast is a representation of the players expected performance in the upcoming season at various levels of probability.\nFor example, if a pitchers 75th percentile EqERA forecast is 3.50, this indicates that he has a 75% chance to post an EqERA of 3.50 or higher, and a 25% chance to post an EqERA lower than 3.50. Higher percentiles indicate more favorable outcomes.

\nThe Percentile Forecast is calibrated off two key statistics: EqR/27 (essentially the same as EqR) for hitters, and EqERA for pitchers.\nPECOTA runs a series of regressions within the set of comparable data in order to estimate how changes in peripheral statistics are related to changes in equivalent runs. For example, if it first estimates that Carl Crawford will produce 4.7 EqR/27 next year, it then tries to determine what home run total, walk total, and so on are most likely to be associated with a 4.7 EqR27/season.

\nPECOTA then iterates this result to ensure that the peripheral statistics add up to the right calibrating statistic (EqR/27 or EqERA). It is important to note that the Percentile Forecast is designed to work around the calibrating statistic only. \n

A players forecast is adjusted to the park and league context associated with the team listed at the top of the forecast page. Team dependant stats like Wins, RBIs, and BABIP account for the projected performance level of a players teammates

\nPECOTA forecasts playing time (plate appearances) in addition to a players rate statistics. These forecasts are based on a players previous record of performance, and the comparable player data, and do not incorporate any additional information about managerial decisions.\n'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_49 = 'Comparable Year represents the season analogous to the current projected year for a comparable player. For example, if Dick Allen is listed as a comparable, and the year listed next to his name is 1974, Allens 1974 is used as a component of the players forecast. It also indicates that Allens Baseline performance entering into the 1974 season was similar to the Baseline performance of the player in question.

PECOTA constructs a 182-day interval on either side of a players birthdate in order to match ages; this method is more precise than the Bill James similarity scores, which use a players age as of July 1. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_50 = 'Caught stealing. CS are not available for the NL from 1876-1950 (except for 1915, 1920-25, and some players for 1916), in the AL from 1901-19 (except 1914-15 and some 1916 players), and are not available at all for the AA, UA, PL, or FL. Surprisingly, they are available for the NA. In catchers fielding, not available prior to 1978.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_51 = 'Delta between actual wins and W1. Positive number means the team has won more games than expected from their statistics.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_52 = 'Delta between actual wins and W2. Positive number means the team has won more games than expected from their statistics.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_53 = 'Delta between actual wins and W3. Positive number means the team has won more games than expected from their statistics.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_54 = 'DEF_EFF, or defensive efficiency, is the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by a teams defense, or (1 - BABIP).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_55 = 'The number of hits above or below average for this pitcher, based on his own number of balls in play and his teams rate of hits (minus home runs) per ball in play; (H-HR) - BIP * (team (H-HR)/BIP). Essentially, the Voros McCracken number. For a team, Delta-H should be zero. Positive numbers signify more hits allowed than expected ("bad luck," if you believe pitchers have nothing to do with the outcome of a BIP), negative numbers mean fewer hits than expected ("good luck").'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_56 = 'The number of runs, more or less, that a pitcher allowed, compared to his statistics. The pitchers statistics (such as hits, walks, home runs) are run through a modified version of the equivalent runs formula to get estimated runs. Again, positive is "bad luck," negative is "good luck."'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_57 = 'The number of wins, more or less, that a pitcher won, compared to estimated wins. Estimated wins are derived from the pitchers actual runs allowed and team average run scoring. Here, a positive number is "good luck," negative is "bad luck."'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_58 = 'Defense-adjusted ERA. Not to be confused with Voros McCrackens Defense-Neutral ERA. Based on the PRAA, DERA is intended to be a defense-independent version of the NRA. As with that statistic, 4.50 is average. Note that if DERA is higher than NRA, you can safely assume he pitched in front of an above-average defense.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_59 = 'Diagnostics are a series of metrics designed to estimate the probability of certain types of changes in production and playing time; see the individual entries for additional detail. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_60 = 'Each league has been given a difficulty level, based on the performance of players in that league compared to the same players performance in other seasons. The reference difficulty level was defined by the trend line of the National League from 1947 to 2002, and extended backwards to 1871. The difficulty adjustment is the ratio between the actual difficulty level and the reference level.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_61 = 'Double plays, turned or hit into.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_62 = 'Drop Rate is the percent chance that a player will not receive any major league plate appearances in a given season, based on comparables who disappear from the dataset entirely. Because of the conventions PECOTA uses in selecting comparables, the Drop Rate is always assumed to be zero for the current year, but it is an important consideration in a hitters Five-Year Forecast. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_63 = 'Errors.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_64 = 'Expected win record for the pitcher, based on how often pitchers with the same innings pitched and runs allowed earned a win or loss historically (this differs from how it was computed, which was a more complicated, theoretical calculation).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_65 = 'Expected loss record for the pitcher, based on how often pitchers with the same innings pitched and runs allowed earned a win or loss historically (this differs from how it was computed, which was a more complicated, theoretical calculation).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_66 = 'Equivalent Average. A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position players defense. The EqA adjusted for all-time also has a correction for league difficulty. The scale is deliberately set to approximate that of batting average. League average EqA is always equal to .260. EqA is derived from Raw EqA, which is (H + TB + 1.5*(BB + HBP + SB) + SH + SF) divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SH + SF + CS + SB). REqA is then normalized to account for league difficulty and scale to create EqA. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_67 = 'The EQA Distribution chart displays a hitters EQA forecast at various levels of probability. It progresses in sequential intervals of five percentage points, ranging from a hitters 95th percentile forecast on the left, to his 5th percentile forecast on the right.

In addition to the probability distribution for a given hitter, which appears in blue, the chart also includes a normal distribution on EQA for all hitters in the league ("Norm"), and a dashed line representing the performance of a replacement level hitter ("Replace") at his position. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_68 = 'EqBB9 is calibrated to an ideal major league where EqBB9 = 3.0.\nWhile a major league pitchers equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league pitchers equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also adjust for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_69 = 'EqERA is calibrated to an ideal major league where EqERA = 4.50.\nWhile a major league pitchers equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league pitchers equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also adjust for park effects, and the quality of a pitchers defense. EqERA is conceptually identical to NRA, as used in the DT cards.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_70 = 'EqH9 is calibrated to an ideal major league where EqH9 = 9.0.\nWhile a major league pitchers equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league pitchers equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also adjust for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_71 = 'EqHR9 is calibrated to an ideal major league where EqHR9 = 1.0.\nWhile a major league pitchers equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league pitchers equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also adjust for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_72 = 'EqK9 is calibrated to an ideal major league where EqK9 = 6.0.\nWhile a major league pitchers equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league pitchers equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also adjust for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_73 = 'Equivalent Runs; EQR = 5 * OUT * EQA^2.5. In the fielding charts, the estimated number of EqR he had at the plate while playing this position in the field. In Adjusted Standings, EqR refers to the total number of equivalent runs scored by the team. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_74 = 'Equivalent Runs allowed by a team.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_75 = 'EqR/27, or Equivalent Runs per 27 Outs, is used in PECOTAs internal calculations to calibrate a hitters batting and baserunning outcomes (2B, HR, SB, etc.) with his overall offensive value. The correlation between EqR/27 and EqA is extremely high. Additional information on the derivation of Equivalent Runs can be found in the player cards glossary. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_76 = 'Earned Runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_77 = 'Earned Run Average. Earned runs, divided by innings pitched, multiplied by nine.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_78 = 'In PECOTA projections, the ERA Distribution chart displays a pitchers ERA forecast at various levels of probability. It progresses in sequential intervals of five percentage points, ranging from a pitchers 95th percentile forecast on the left, to his 5th percentile forecast on the right.

In addition to the probability distribution for a given pitcher, which appears in blue, the chart also includes a normal distribution on ERA for all pitchers in the league, as adjusted to the players current park and league context ("Norm"), and a dashed line representing the performance of a replacement level pitcher ("Replace"). '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_79 = 'The Five-Year Forecast is a players weighted mean PECOTA forecast, taken over his next five seasons.

\nThe process for generating a players weighted mean line for a season some number of years into the future (e.g. 2008) is fundamentally identical to generating his forecast for the season immediately upcoming (e.g. 2006). The exception is that some players may have dropped out of the comparables database, in which case their performance cannot be considered. (See also \nJeremy Giambi Effect).

\nIf a players Drop Rate exceeds 50% (that is, more than half of his comparables are no longer playing professional baseball), then PECOTA does not list his weighted mean line for that season. Instead the season is designated with the tagline Out of Baseball.

\nNote that the Five-Year Forecast assumes that a players team context remains the same for all years of the forecast.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_80 = 'A players offensive wins above replacement, as listed on his PECOTA card. Analagous to BRAR.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_81 = 'A players defensive wins above replacement, as listed on his PECOTA card, and accounting for the value of his position and the quality of his defense. Analagous to FRAR.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_82 = 'Total WARP (Wins Above Replacement) as listed on his PECOTA card, considering both a players offensive and defensive contributions. See WARP1.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_83 = 'As listed in a players PECOTA card, a series of metrics designed to evaluate a players value to his team going forward. See individual entries for detail.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_84 = 'Runners on second base batted in'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_85 = 'Runners on third base batted in'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_86 = 'Marginal Value Above Replacement Player, as introduced in this article. MORP is modelled based on the actual behavior of recent free agent markets, and accounts for non-linearity in the market price of baseball talent (e.g. teams are willing to pay more for one 6-win player than two 3-win players).

\nAs listed in a players PECOTA card, a players MORP includes the major league minimum salary, estimated to be $325,000 for 2006. Further, in a players Five-Year Forecast, we assume salary inflation of 5% per year through 2010 (EXCEPTION: a players Peak MORP does *not* include the minimum salary or the inflation adjustment.)

\nFor 2006, a players MORP is estimated as follows:
\n485000*WARP + 216000*(WARP^2) + 325000

\n\n\n'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_87 = 'Fielding Runs Above Average.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_88 = 'Fielding Runs Above Replacement. The difference between an average player and a replacement player is determined by the number of plays that position is called on to make. That makes the value at each position variable over time. In the all-time adjustments, an average catcher is set to 39 runs above replacement per 162 games, first base to 10, second to 29, third to 22, short to 33, center field to 24, left and right to 14.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_89 = 'Games played (pitched, fielded, officiated). Properly speaking, a pitcher should only be credited with a game played on his batting line when he actually appears in the lineup (i.e., not when a DH hits for him.) The BP database is currently inconsistent in this respect.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_90 = 'Ratio of ground balls to fly balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_91 = 'Grounded into double play. Not recorded prior to 1933 in the NL, or 1939 in the AL, and not at all for the other leagues. Unfortunately, without opportunity information, I dont find it very useful for inclusion in EqA. There is also evidence, from Tom Ruane, that players who hit into more DP also tend to advance more runners with outs, enough to offset the DPs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_92 = 'Games started by a pitcher.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_93 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_94 = 'See BABIP.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_95 = 'Hits allowed per 9 innings pitched '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_96 = 'Hits allowed per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_97 = 'Hit by pitch. Not recorded for the NL 1876-1886, the AA in 1882-83, the 1884 UA, and the 1871-75 NA, for either hitters or pitchers. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_98 = 'Holds. A Hold is credited any time a relief pitcher enters a game in a Save Situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_99 = 'Historical Stats are the players previous three seasons of performance as they appear in the BP book (with the addition of a players WARP scores).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_100 = 'Home runs, or home runs allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_101 = 'A category 1 start is a start in which the pitcher throws 100 pitches or less.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_102 = 'A category 2 start is a start in which the pitcher throws 101-109 pitches.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_103 = 'A category 3 start is a start in which the pitcher throws 110-121 pitches.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_104 = 'A category 4 start is a start in which the pitcher throws 122-132 pitches.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_105 = 'A category 5 start is a start in which the pitcher throws 133 or more pitches.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_106 = 'Intentional walks. Not recorded for any league prior to 1955.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_107 = 'Improvement Rate is the percent chance that a hitters EqR/27 or a pitchers EqERA will improve *at all* relative the weighted average of his EqR/27 or EqERA in his three previous seasons of performance. A player who is expected to perform just the same as he has in the past will have an Improvement Rating of 50%. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_108 = 'Innings officated.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_109 = 'Innings Pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_110 = 'Innings pitched per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_111 = 'Inherited Runs. The number of runners inherited by the reliever who scored while the reliever was in the game. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_112 = 'EqMLVr, or Equivalent rate-based Marginal Lineup Value, is calibrated to an ideal major league with an overall EqMLVr of .000.\n\nWhile a major league hitters equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league hitters equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also account for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_113 = 'Isolated Power (ISO) is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitter or pitchers comparables. PECOTA uses a slightly modified version of Isolated Power that assigns the same value to triples as to doubles (extending a double into a triple is generally an indicator of speed, rather than additional power). Thus, the formula for isolated power as follows: ISO = (2B + 3B + HR*3) / AB '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_114 = 'Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_115 = 'Refers to a pitchers losses. In Adjusted Standings, refers to team losses. In VORP and PAP reports, refers to league. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_116 = '"First order losses." Pythagenport expected losses, based on RS and RA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_117 = '"Second order losses." Pythagenport losses, based on EQR and EQRA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_118 = '"Third order losses." Pythagenport losses, based on AEQR and AEQRA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_119 = 'League. A or AL denotes American League. N or NL denotes National League.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_120 = 'The highest number of pitches thrown by a pitcher in one outing.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_121 = 'MLVr is a rate-based version of Marginal Lineup Value (MLV), a measure of offensive production created by David Tate and further developed by Keith Woolner. MLV is an estimate of the additional number of runs a given player will contribute to a lineup that otherwise consists of average offensive performers. MLVr is approximately equal to MLV per game. The league average MLVr is zero (0.000). Additional information on MLV and MLVr can be found here.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_122 = 'Players name.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_123 = 'Total number of pitches thrown.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_124 = 'Normalized Runs Allowed. "Normalized runs" have the same win value, against a league average of 4.5 and a pythagorean exponent of 2, as the players actual runs allowed did when measured against his league average.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_125 = 'On-base average. (H + BB + HBP) divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SF). '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_126 = 'On-base percentage. (H + BB + HBP) divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SF). For pitchers, OBP is on base percentage allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_127 = 'On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_128 = 'Known outs made by the player, defined by AB-H+CS+SH+SF. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_129 = 'Offensive Winning Percentage. A Bill James stat, usually derived from runs created. In EqA terms, it could be calculated as (EQA/refEQA)^5, where refEQA is some reference EQA, such as league average (always .260) or the position-averaged EQA. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_130 = 'Plate appearances; AB + BB + HBP + SH + SF.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_131 = 'The percentage of the teams total plate appearances that this player had. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_132 = 'Pitcher Abuse Points. When used in the Pitcher Abuse Point report, PAP refers to PAP^3, which assigns 0 PAP to a start in which the pitcher throws 100 or fewer pitches and (PC-100)^3 PAP for all other starts.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_133 = 'An adjustment made to account for the fact that some parks are easier to hit in than average, giving an advantage (in raw statistical terms) to hitters who play for that team. Park factors are always made relative to a league average of 1.00. The park adjustments in the BP are made only on the park factor for runs, averaged over five years; they can be found here. The first column is a one-year park factor, the second column is the five-year average centered on that year (assuming the team did not change or massively renovate their park).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_134 = 'Passed balls; not available for the NA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_135 = 'PERA is a pitchers ERA as estimated from his peripheral statistics (EqH9, EqHR9, EqBB9, EqK9). Because it is not sensitive to the timing of batting events, PERA is less subject to luck than ERA, and is a better predictor of ERA going-forward than ERA itself. Like the rest of a pitchers equivalent stats, his PERA is calibrated to an ideal league with an average PERA of 4.50. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_136 = 'Described more completely in the 2002 Prospectus, the breakdown is a sequence of calculations designed to separate the pitching and fielding components of defense from each other. Certain events (walks, strikeouts, home runs) are considered to be entirely the responsibility of the pitcher. Errors and double plays are assumed to be entirely the domain of the fielders. Other hits and outs are assumed to be 75% fielding, 25% pitching.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_137 = 'A pitchers park-adjusted RA, expressed on a scale like ERA or RA. RA+ -- Park and league normalized Run Average. Similar to ERA+ found in Total Baseball, but based on RA rather than ERA. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_138 = 'For Hitters:

The Player Profile is a chart that evaluates a given hitters primary production metrics (batting average, isolated power, unintentional walk rate, strikeout rate, and speed score) as a percentile compared to all major league hitters. For example, a player with an isolated power rating of 75% is superior in this category to three-quarters of all major leaguers. The player profile is based on the players three previous seasons of performance, rather than his projection.

For Pitchers:

The Player Profile is a chart that evaluates a pitchers performance in five categories: strikeout rate, walk rate, opponents isolated power (e.g. home run rate), hit rate on balls in play, and groundball-to-flyball ratio. The rates are presented as a percentile compared to all major league pitchers; for example, a player with a strikeout rating of 75% is superior in this category to three-quarters of all major leaguers. The player profile is based on the players three previous seasons of performance, rather than his projection.

Note that the denominator for strikeout rate and walk rate as presented in the Player Profile is not innings pitched, but batters faced. This calculation is somewhat more accurate as pitchers differ in the number of batters they face per inning based on their on base average allowed. Note also that, for pitchers, the percentiles take into account whether the pitcher threw in a starting or relief role, as most pitchers post substantially better numbers in relief.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_139 = 'Positional MLV rate. Runs/game contributed by a batter beyond what an average player at the same position would hit in a team of otherwise league-average hitters. Like MLVr, it is a rate stat. The comparable season total is PMLV. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_140 = 'Putouts.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_141 = 'Players position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_142 = 'For PECOTA, a players Position is a consideration in identifying his comparables, as well as in calculating his VORP. The players primary position as used by PECOTA is listed at the top of his forecast page; however, secondary and tertiary positions are also considered based on the relative amount of appearances that a player receives there. The position determination is made primarily based on the position(s) that a player appeared in his most recent season, with lesser consideration given to the position(s) he appeared other recent previous seasons. Both major league and minor league defensive appearances are considered in the determination of a players position, but major league appearances are weighted more heavily. PECOTA considers LF, CF and RF to be separate positions.

\n\nWhen listed numerically on our statistical reports, positions are: 1, pitcher; 2, catcher; 3, first base; 4, second base; 5, third base; 6, shortstop; 7, left field; 8, center field; 9, right field; 10, designated hitter; 11, pinch hitter; 12, pinch runner.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_143 = 'Pitcher-only runs above average. The difference between this and RAA is that RAA is really a total defense statistic, and PRAA tries to isolate the pitching component from the fielding portion. It relies on the pitching/fielding breakdown being run for the team, league, and individual. The individual pitching + defense total is compared to a league average pitcher + team average defense, and the difference is win-adjusted.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_144 = 'Pitcher-only runs above replacement. Similar to PRAA, except that the comparison is made to a replacement level player instead of average. The nominal RA for a replacement pitcher is 6.11 (the same ratio, compared to a 4.50 average, as a .230 EQA is to .260). This assumes that there is a 50/50 split between pitching and fielding. If the pitch/field split is less than that, as it was in the 1800s, the replacement ERA is reduced.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_145 = 'A modified form of Bill James pythagorean formula. Instead of using a fixed exponent (2, 1.83), the "pythagenport" formula derives the exponent from the run environment - the more runs per game, the higher the exponent. The formula for the exponent was X = .45 + 1.5 * log10 ((rs+ra)/g), and then winning percentage is calculated as (rs^x)/(rs^x + ra^x). The formula has been tested for run environments between 4 and 40 runs per game, but breaks down below 4 rpg. The original article is here.

\n\nAfter further review, I (Clay) have come to the conclusion that the so-called Smyth/Patriot method, aka Pythagenpat, is a better fit. In that, X=((rs+ra)/g)^.285, although there is some wiggle room for disagreement in the exponent. Anyway, that equation is simpler, more elegant, and gets the better answer over a wider range of runs scored than Pythagenport, including the mandatory value of 1 at 1 rpg. Go here for more.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_146 = 'Runs scored (for hitters) or allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_147 = 'Actual team runs allowed. Can also stand for Run Average--runs allowed, earned or otherwise, divided by innings pitched, times 9.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_148 = 'Park and league normalized Run Average. Similar to ERA+ found in Total Baseball, but based on RA rather than ERA. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_149 = 'For Pitchers:

Runs above average. At its simplest, this would be the league runs per inning, times individual innings, minus individual runs allowed. However, we have gone one step beyond that, because being 50 runs above average in 1930, in the Baker Bowl, doesnt have the same win impact as being +50 in the 1968 Astrodome. The league runs per inning need to be adjusted for park and team hitting (and difficulty, for the alltime RAA), and then you can multiply by individual innings and subtract individual runs. Finally, that quantity needs to be win-adjusted. See win-adjustment.

For Fielders:

Runs above average at this position, similar to Palmers Fielding Runs as far as interpretation is concerned.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_150 = 'Fielding runs above replacement. A fielding statistic, where a replacement player is meant to be approximately equal to the lowest-ranking player at that position, fielding wise, in the majors. Average players at different positions have different FRAR values, which depend on the defensive value of the position; an average shortstop has more FRAR than an average left fielder. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_151 = 'See FRAR, FRAR2. FRAR2 incorporates adjustments for league difficulty and normalizes defensive statistics over time.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_152 = 'A way to look at the fielders rate of production, equal to 100 plus the number of runs above or below average this fielder is per 100 games. A player with a rate of 110 is 10 runs above average per 100 games, a player with an 87 is 13 runs below average per 100 games, etc.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_153 = 'See Rate. Rate2 incorporates adjustments for league difficulty and normalizes defensive statistics over time.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_154 = 'Runs Batted In. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_155 = 'Raw equivalent average, the first step towards building the EqA. In its fullest form, REQA = (H + TB + 1.5*(BB + HBP + SB) + SH + SF) divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SH + SF + CS + SB). REQA gets converted into unadjusted equivalent runs, UEQR.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_156 = 'Runs Prevented. The extra number of runs an average pitcher would have allowed in the same number of innings pitched (adjusted for park and league). RP greater than zero indicates that the pitcher allowed fewer runs than an average pitcher (i.e. hes better than average). Negative RP indicates the pitcher allowed more runs than an average pitcher (i.e. hes worse then average) '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_157 = 'Replacement level MLV rate. Runs/game contributed by a batter beyond what a replacement level player at the same position would hit in a team of otherwise league-average hitters. The comparable season total is RPMLV. It differs from VORPr and VORP only in that it is solely based on batting performance whereas VORP includes basestealing. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_158 = 'EqSLG, or Equivalent Slugging Percentage, is calibrated to an ideal major league with an overall EqSLG of .440.\n\nWhile a major league hitters equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league hitters equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also account for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_159 = 'Actual runs scored by a team.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_160 = 'Stolen bases. Not recorded for any league between 1876 and 1885. On the catchers fielding charts, not available prior to 1978.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_161 = 'Sacrifice flies. The statistical category of "sacrifice flies" did not exist prior to 1954; the concept had been around, on and off, since 1908, but had been always been part of the "SH" category. See SH. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_162 = 'Sacrifice hits. Not recorded prior to 1894. From 1894-1907, they were essentially the same as the modern rule - a bunt which advanced a baserunner. From 1908-25, they included what we would now call a sacrifice fly (sacrifices increase 25% between 1907 and 1908 as a result). From 1926-30, they included any fly ball on which a runner advanced, not just ones where the runner scored (another 25% increase in 1926). From 1931-38, sacrifice flies were eliminated completely (causing a 45% drop in sacrifices, and a 4-point decline in batting averages); that brought us back to the modern definition of sacrifice hit. In 1939 they re-introduced the run-scoring sac fly (returning to the 1908-25 rules), but eliminated it again in 1940. When sacrifice flies appeared again in 1954, they had their own category, so the rule for what we would call a sacrifice hit has not changed since 1940.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_163 = 'Shutouts.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_164 = 'Similarity Index is a composite of the similarity scores of all of a players comparables. Similarity index is a gauge of the players historical uniqueness; a player with a score of 50 or higher has a very common typology, while a player with a score of 20 or lower is historically unusual. For players with a very low similarity index, PECOTA expands its tolerance for dissimilar comparables until a meaningful sample size is established (see Comparable Players). '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_165 = 'Similarity Score is a relative measure of a players comparability. Its scale is very different from the Bill James similarity scores; a score of 100 is assigned to a perfect comparable, while a score of 0 represents a player who is meaningfully similar. Players can and frequently do receive negative similarity scores, and they are dropped from the analysis. A score above 50 indicates that a player is substantially comparable, and scores in excess of 70 are very unusual. The comparable player observations are weighted based on their similarity score in constructing a forecast. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_166 = 'Slugging percentage (hitters) or slugging percentage allowed (pitchers). Total bases divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_167 = 'Support-Neutral Losses. the pitchers expected number of losses assuming he had league-average support.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_168 = 'SNW / (SNW+SNL)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_169 = 'Support Neutral Value Added - wins above average added by the pitchers performance.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_170 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added - like SNVA, but also adjusted for the MLVr of each batter the pitcher faced.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_171 = 'Support-Neutral Wins. the pitchers expected number of wins assuming he had league-average support.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_172 = 'Support-Neutral Wins Above Replacement-level. the number of SNWs a pitcher has above what a .425 pitcher would get in the same number of (Support-Neutral) decisions.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_173 = 'Strikeouts.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_174 = 'Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_175 = 'Speed Score (SPD) is one of five primary production metrics used by PECOTA in identifying a hitters comparables. It is based in principle on the Bill James speed score and includes five components: Stolen base percentage, stolen base attempts as a percentage of opportunities, triples, double plays grounded into as a percentage of opportunities, and runs scored as a percentage of times on base.

\nBeginning in 2006, BP has developed a proprietary version of Speed Score that takes better advantage of play-by-play data and ensures that equal weight is given to the five components. In the BP formulation of Speed Score, an average rating is exactly 5.0. The highest and lowest possible scores are 10.0 and 0.0, respectively, but in practice most players fall within the boundary between 7.0 (very fast) and 3.0 (very slow). '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_176 = 'The "standard league" is a mythical construction, in which all statistics have been adjusted for easy comparison. Its primary features are that runs scored is 4.5 runs per game; equivalent average is .260; and the pythagorean exponent is exactly 2.00.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_177 = 'In PECOTA, stolen base attempts as a percentage of times on first base. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_178 = 'A rough indicator of the pitchers overall dominance, based on normalized strikeout rates, walk rates, home run rates, runs allowed, and innings per game. "10" is league average, while "0" is roughly replacement level. The formula is as follows: Stuff = EqK9 * 6 - 1.333 * (EqERA + PERA) - 3 * EqBB9 - 5 * EqHR9 -3 * MAX{6-IP/G),0} '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_179 = 'Pitcher abuse points divided by number of pitches thrown, or PAP/NP.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_180 = 'Strikeout Rate (K) is one of five primary production metrics used by PECOTA in identifying a players comparables. It is defined as SO/PA. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_181 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for strikes.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_182 = 'Saves.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_183 = 'Total batters faced. Not recorded for the NL 1876-1886, the AA of 1882-83, the 1884 UA, or the NA of 1871-75.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_184 = 'Team.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_185 = 'In Davenport Translations, team and league for which he played. At this time, for players who played for more than one team in a season, the order shown is not necessarily correct. The leagues are as follows: N signifies the National Association of 1871-1875 and the National League of 1876-present. A is for both the American Association (1882-1891, a major league, separate from the later minor league of the same name) and the 1901-present American League. U is the Union Association of 1884, P the Players League of 1890, and F the Federal League of 1914-15.

Otherwise (as in the PECOTA cards), Team is the three letter abbreviation for the team in question.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_186 = 'An adjustment made for hitters, to account for not having to face their own pitchers. Using pitching stats, (league R * pf - team R), divided by (league IP - team IP), divided by park-adjusted league runs per inning.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_187 = 'An adjustment made for pitchers, to account for not having to face their own teams batters. Using batting stats, (league runs * pf - team runs), divided by (league PA - team PA), divided by league runs per plate appearance * pf.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_188 = 'Team.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_189 = 'Hits plus doubles plus two times triples plus three times home runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_190 = 'Trend identifies players who demonstrate dramatic changes from their Baseline during their comparable year.

For Hitters:

Hitters who improve their EqR/PA by at least 20% are identified by a green, upward-pointing arrow and contribute to a hitters Breakout score; hitters whose EqR/PA decreases by at least 20% are identified by a red, downward-pointing arrow and contribute to a hitters Collapse score.

For Pitchers:

Pitchers who improve their EqERA by at least 20% are identified by a green, upward-pointing arrow and contribute to a pitchers Breakout score; pitchers whose EqERA increases by at least 25% are identified by a red, downward-pointing arrow and contribute to a pitchers Collapse score. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_191 = 'Unadjusted Equivalent Runs; (2 * REQA/LgREQA - 1) * PA * LgR/LgPA. Analogous to runs created.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_192 = 'The Ugueto Effect is name given to the phenomenon in which very poor players are associated with very high PECOTA Breakout scores. It is far easier for a player like Luis Ugueto, who would produce about 40 EQR over a full season, to improve upon that figure by 20% than it is for Alex Rodriguez; as a result, his Breakout score is likely to be higher. This does not mean that Ugueto is a player youd want anywhere near your roster. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_193 = 'Umpires name.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_194 = 'Unintentional Walk Rate (BB) is one of five primary production metrics used by PECOTA in identifying a players comparables. It is defined as (BB-IBB)/PA. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_195 = 'Runners On Base (typically the number of runners on base during a batters plate appearances)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_196 = 'Others Batted In -- runs batted in, except for the batter driving himself in via a home run. Equal to RBI-HR'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_197 = 'Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a players defense.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_198 = 'VORP rate. Runs/game contributed beyond what a replacement level player would produce. Also a rate stat. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_199 = 'Refers to a pitchers wins. In Adjusted Standings, refers to team wins. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_200 = '"First order wins." Pythagenport expected wins, based on RS and RA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_201 = '"Second order wins." Pythagenport wins, based on EQR and EQRA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_202 = '"Third order wins." Pythagenport wins, based on AEQR and AEQRA.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_203 = 'Walks allowed per 9 innings pitched '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_204 = 'Wins Above Replacement Player, level 1. The number of wins this player contributed, above what a replacement level hitter, fielder, and pitcher would have done, with adjustments only for within the season.

\nWARP is also listed on a players PECOTA card. The PECOTA WARP listing is designed to correspond to WARP-1, not WARP-2 or WARP-3.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_205 = 'Wins Above Replacement Player, with difficulty added into the mix.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_206 = 'WARP-2, expanded to 162 games to compensate for shortened seasons. Initially, I was just going to use (162/season length) as the multiplier, but this seemed to overexpand the very short seasons of the 19th century. I settled on using (162/scheduled games) ** (2/3). So Ross Barnes 7.4 wins in 1873, a 55 game season, only gets extended to 15.2 WARP, instead of a straight-line adjustment of 21.8.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_207 = 'The Weighted Mean forecast incorporates all of the players potential outcomes into a single average, weighted baed on projected playing time. In almost all cases, poor performances are associated with a reduced number of plate appearances. For that reason, they dont hurt a players team quite as much as good performances help it; the weighting is designed to compensate for this effect (see also Jeremy Giambi Effect).

\nEXCEPTION: a players projected PLAYING TIME (and therefore, his counting statistics that are incumbent on his playing time) is taken based on the median of his comparables performance, rather than the weighted mean. This is designed to mitigate the influence of catastrophic injuries, which are better represented by Attrition Rate.

\nThis exception does NOT affect a players WARP and VORP forecast, which are calculated per the weighted mean method, treating players who dropped out of the database as having zero WARP/VORP.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_208 = 'A correction made to raw runs when converting them to a standard league to preserve their win value. Define an average team from season games played, league runs per game (9 innings or 27 outs, depending on whether you are using pitcher or batter data), and appropriate adjustments (park, team hitting/pitching, difficulty). "Team" is the effect of replacing one player on the average team with the player we are analyzing. Calculate the pythagorean exponent from (average + team) / games as your RPG entry; calculate winning percentage using the modified pythagorean formula. Now, go backwards, solve for "team" runs, given the winning percentage, an average team that scores 4.5 per game, and a pythagorean exponent of 2.00.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_209 = 'See WARP-1.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_210 = 'Wild pitches.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_211 = 'Adjusted Innings Pitched; used for the PRAA and PRAR statistics. There are two separate adjustments:

1) Decisions. Innings are redistributed among the members of the team to favor those who took part in more decisions (wins, losses, and saves) than their innings alone would lead you to expect. The main incentive was to do a better job recognizing the value of closers than a simple runs above average approach would permit. XIPA for the team, after this adjustment, will equal team innings. First, adjust the wins and saves; let X = (team wins) / (team wins + saves). Multiply that by individual (wins + saves) to get an adjusted win total. Add losses. Multiply by team innings divided by team wins and losses.

2) Pitcher/fielder share. When I do the pitch/field breakdown for individuals, one of the stats that gets separated is innings. If an individual pitcher has more pitcher-specific innings than an average pitcher with the same total innings would have, than the difference is added to his XIPA. If a pitcher has fewer than average, the difference is subtracted. This creates a deliberate bias in favor of pitchers who are more independent of their fielders (the strikeout pitchers, basically), and against those who are highly dependent on their defenses (the Tommy John types).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_212 = 'Reached On Error: when a batter reaches first base as a direct result of a fielding error.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_213 = 'Batters Left On Base'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_214 = 'Lefty One Out GuY - a left handed reliever specializing in getting one out, often in game critical situations'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_215 = 'Runs Above Replacement, Position-adjusted. A statistic that compares a hitters Equivalent Run total to that of a replacement-level player who makes the same number of outs and plays the same position. A "replacement level" player is one who has .736 times as many EqR as the average for the position; that corresponds to a .351 winning percentage. Used when fielding data is unavailable.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_216 = 'Batting Runs Above Average. The number of runs better than a hitter with a .260 EQA (i.e., an average hitter) and the same number of outs; EQR - 5 * OUT * .260^2.5.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_217 = 'Batting Average on balls put into play. A pitchers average on batted balls ending a plate appearance, excluding home runs. Based on the research of Voros McCracken and others, BABIP is mostly a function of a pitchers defense and luck, rather than persistent skill. Thus, pitchers with abnormally high or low BABIPs are good bets to see their performances regress to the mean. A typical BABIP is about .290.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_218 = 'EqOBP, or Equivalent On Base Percentage, is calibrated to an ideal major league with an overall EqOBP of .340.\n\nWhile a major league hitters equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league hitters equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also account for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_219 = 'EqBA, or Equivalent Batting Average, is calibrated to an ideal major league with an overall EqBA of .270.\n\nWhile a major league hitters equivalent stats should not differ substantially from his actual numbers, a minor league hitters equivalent stats undergo translation and may differ significantly. Equivalent stats also account for park effects.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_220 = 'like SNVA, but comparing to replacement level, rather than average. Replacement level is now being computed the same way in SNVA and in VORP (using the formulas from Keith Woolners BP 2002 article).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_221 = 'like SNLVA, but comparing to replacement level, rather than average. Replacement level is now being computed the same way in SNVA and in VORP (using the formulas from Keith Woolners BP 2002 article).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_222 = 'Standard deviation of per-start SNVA for each pitcher. This was previously shown as the variance, and was used to compute the "flakiest" pitchers. Standard deviation is just the square root of the variance, so these are equivalent.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_223 = 'Luck, as measured by the number of extra wins, and short losses the pitcher actually got, versus his expected record. LUCK = (W-E(W))+(E(L)-L)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_224 = 'Teams expected wins in the games started by the pitcher. This will always add (with TmL) up to the pitchers total games started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_225 = 'Teams expected losses in the games started by the pitcher. This will always add (with TmW) up to the pitchers total games started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_226 = 'Runs Above Position: The number of Equivalent Runs this player produced, above what an average player at the same postion would have produced in the same number of outs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_227 = 'Games in relief'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_228 = 'Inherited baserunners. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_229 = 'Inherited runners who scored. A raw count of the number of runners who scored. This differs from INR, which subtracts INS from the expected number of inherited runners that would have scored given league average performance in the given situations.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_230 = 'Bequeathed baserunners.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_231 = 'Bequeathed runners who scored.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_232 = 'Bequeathed runs prevented from scoring. Measures how many more or fewer of the bequeathed baserunners subsequent relievers allowed to score than would be expected from league average performance in those situations. I.e., a positive figure means the following relievers kept more of the bequeathed runners from scoring than expected, negative means more of the runners scored than expected.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_233 = 'Adjusted Pitching Runs (a la Thorn & Palmer in "Total Baseball").'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_234 = 'Adjusted Runs Prevented from scoring.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_235 = 'How much a pitcher is underrated by Adjusted Pitching Runs (DIFF = ARP - APR).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_236 = 'Percentage of plate appearances that result in a walk. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_237 = 'Home runs allowed per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_238 = 'Expected wins added over an average pitcher. WX uses win expectancy calculations to assess how relievers have changed the outcome of games. Win expectancy looks at the inning, score, and runners on base when the reliever entered the game, and determines the probability of the team winning the game from that point with an average pitcher. Then it looks at how the reliever actually did, and how that changes the probability of winning. The difference between how the reliever improved the chances of winning and how an average pitcher would is his WX.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_239 = 'Expected wins added over an average pitcher, adjusted for level of opposing hitters faced. WXL factors in the MLVr of the actual batters faced by the relievers. Then, like WX, WXL uses win expectancy calculations to assess how relievers have changed the outcome of games.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_240 = 'Expected wins added over a replacement level pitcher. WXR uses win expectancy calculations to assess how relievers have changed the outcome of games, similar to WX. However, instead of comparing the pitchers performance to an average pitcher, he is compared to a replacement level pitcher to determine WXR.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_241 = 'Expected wins added over a replacement level pitcher, adjusted for level of opposing hitters. WXRL combines the individual adjustments for replacement level (WXR) and quality of the opposing lineup (WXL) to the basic WX calculation.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_242 = 'The number of additional runs charged to the starting pitcher that his bullpen allowed to score after he left the game, compared to an average bullpen. Negative Pen Support means the bullpen prevented more runs from scoring than an average pen (i.e. the pitchers ERA looks better than it should because of good bullpen support).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_243 = 'The probability of winning the current game, given some\ninformation about how many runs each team has scored to a certain point in the game, how many outs there are, whether there are runners on base, and the strength of each team. Keith Woolner outlined a method for computing Win Expectancy given all of these parameters in BP 2005.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_244 = 'Number of runs a batter has driven in per runner on base during a batters plate appearances. Defined as total baserunners/RBI (NB: Runners on base are other than the batter himself--RBIs resulting from a batter driving himself in on home runs are removed).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_245 = 'Marginal Lineup Value, a measure of offensive production created by David Tate and further developed by Keith Woolner. MLV is an estimate of the additional number of runs a given player will contribute to a lineup that otherwise consists of average offensive performers. Additional information on MLV can be found here.\n'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_246 = 'Positional MLV. Runs contributed by a batter beyond what an average player at the same position would produce in a team of otherwise league-average hitters.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_247 = 'Runs Above Replacement. RAR compares a hitters Equivalent Run total to that of a replacement level player who makes the same number of outs and plays the same position. A replacement level player is one who has .736 times as many EqR as the average for that position; that corresponds to a .351 winning percentage.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_248 = 'Indication of who is on base, used to calculate Win Expectancy. An unoccupied base is designated with a 0, and an occupied base is designated with the number of the base (1=first base, 2=second base, 3= third base). All bases are represented by a three-digit string. For example, 000=bases empty, while 103=runners on first and third.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_249 = 'Refers to the Baserunner State combined with the number of\nouts in the current half inning, used to calculate Win Expectancy. For example, 2-103 indicates two outs with runners on first and third.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_250 = 'Runs Per Inning. RPI is the average number of runs scored per inning by a given team or lineup, used to calculate Win Expectancy. RPI is a measure of the strength of a teams offense (or conversely, the strength of the opposing teams pitching staff).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_251 = 'Runner on first. In the RBI opportunity report, refers to the number of times a batter came to the plate with a runner at first base.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_252 = 'Runner on second. In the RBI opportunity report, refers to the number of times the batter came to the plate with a runner at second base.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_253 = 'Runner on third. In the RBI opportunity report, refers to the number of times the batter came to the plate with a runner at third base.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_254 = 'Inherited runs prevented from scoring. The expected number of inherited runners that would score in the relievers appearances based upon league average performance, minus the actual number the reliever allowed to score.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_255 = 'Hits, or hits allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_256 = 'The maximum amount of Pitcher Abuse Points a pitcher has accumulated in a single start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_257 = 'Teams expected winning percentage in the games started by the pitcher.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_258 = 'Strikeout to walk ratio: strikeouts divided by walks. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_259 = 'Percentage of plate appearances that result in the batter reaching base on an error.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_260 = 'Percentage of plate appearances that result in a strikeout.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_261 = 'Percentage of stolen base attempts that are successful. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_262 = 'The total amount of baserunners that have been on base for a batters plate appearances.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_263 = 'The Pitchers Quality of Batters Faced statistical report shows how good the hitters a pitcher has faced are. A pitcher who has faced batters with an average OPS of .750, for example, has had an easier time than a pitcher facing batters with an average OPS of .800.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_264 = '"Fair" runs against average. RA with inherited/bequeathed runners included.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_265 = 'The percent of the time the double play opportunities (DP_OPPS) were converted into double plays (DP)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_266 = 'The percentage of the time that a stolen base attempt was successful.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_267 = 'Walk rate. Percentage of plate appearances that result in a walk. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_268 = 'The number of runs a player has batted in other than himself (BATTED_IN=RBI-HR).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_269 = 'Converts the players batting statistics into a context that is the same for everybody. The major characteristics of the translation are: 1) that the translated EQA should equal the original, all-time adjusted EQA (within some margin for error); 2) that all seasons are expanded to a 162 game schedule; 3) that the statistics are adjusted to a season where an average hitter would have, per 650 PA: 589 AB, 153 H, 31 DB, 3 TP, 19 HR, 56 BB, 5 HBP, 113 SO, 10 SB, 5 CS, 79 R and 75 RBI. His rates would be a .260 batting average, .330 onbase average, .420 slugging average, and a .260 EQA with 76 EQR.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_270 = 'Converts all pitching statistics into a standard context. Pitchers are translated to a league where the top five pitchers (in innings) pitch an average of 275 innings. An average pitcher will have rates, per nine innings, of 9.00 hits, 1.00 home run, 3.00 walks, 6.00 strikeouts, and 4.50 earned runs. In the standard context, a replacement level pitcher has a 6.00; the translation is set up to conserve runs above replacement (alltime PRAR). Wins and losses are set using the pythagorean formula with average run support, with the pitchers actual deviation from his real expected win percentage added back in.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_271 = 'Inherited runs prevented from scoring. The expected number of inherited runners that would score in the relievers appearances based upon league average performance, minus the actual number the reliever allowed to score.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_272 = 'Bequeathed baserunners.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_273 = 'Bequeathed baserunners who scored.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_274 = 'Bequeathed runs prevented from scoring. Measures how many more or fewer of the bequeathed baserunners subsequent relievers allowed to score than would be expected from league average performance in those situations. I.e., a positive figure means the following relievers kept more of the bequeathed runners from scoring than expected, negative means more of the runners scored than expected.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_275 = '"Fair" runs against average. RA with inherited/bequeathed runners included.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_276 = 'The Stars & Scrubs Chart represents the probability that a player will demonstrate a given level of performance over the course of his next five seasons.

\nIn particular, for hitters:

\nSuperstar performance represents an EqA of .300 or better.
\nStar performance represents an EqA of between .280 and .300
\nRegular performance represents an EqA of between .250 and .280
\nFringe performance represents an EqA of between .230 and .250
\nScrub performance represents an EqA worse than .230
\nDrop represents the players Drop Rate - the probability that the player will drop out of the league entirely.

\n\nNote that these thresholds ARE adjusted for a players defensive position. A shortstop would need an EqA of about .290 to be considered a Star performer, while a right fielder would need an EqA of .310.

\n\nSimilarly, for pitchers:

\n\nSuperstar performance represents an EqERA of 3.25 or better.
\nStar performance represents an EqERA of between 3.25 and 4.00
\nRegular performance represents an EqERA of between 4.00 and 5.00
\nFringe performance represents an EqERA of between 5.00 and 5.50
\nScrub performance represents an EqERA worse than 5.50
\nDrop represents Drop Rate - the probability that the player will drop out of the league entirely.

\n\nA small adjustment is made for starters versus relief pitchers, analagous to the positional adjustment described above.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_277 = 'Abbreviation for Speed Score as used in PECOTA cards.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_278 = 'Career Path Analysis is the name for a chart on a players PECOTA card. The solid, curved lines represent a players VORP at his 90th, 75th, 60th, 50th (Median), 40th, 25th and 10th percentile levels of performance over the course of his next five seasons. All of these lines appear in BLUE, except for a players Median/50th percentile forecast, which appears in RED.

\nThe dashed YELLOW line represents a players Weighted Mean VORP forecast. Because of the Jeremy Giambi Effect (the correlation between quality of performance and playing time), the Weighted Mean forecast line will usually be somewhat more favorable than the Median forecast line, particularly for players with highly volatile forecasts (lots of upside).

\nNote that players who drop out of a players comparables set are represented on the Career Path Anaylsis chart as having a VORP of 0.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_279 = 'The Jeremy Giambi Effect is a name given to the correlation between playing time and quality of performance. The Jeremy Giambi Effect has important implications for understanding a players PECOTA forecast.

\nFollowing are Giambis plate appearances and OPS for each year of his major league career

\nYear PA OPS
\n1998 70 .739
\n1999 336 .741
\n2000 302 .761
\n2001 443 .841
\n2002 397 .919
\n2003 156 .696

\nNote that the correlation between Giambis PA and OPS is very strong (r=.72). He played more often when he played more effectively, and less so when he played less effectively. Eventually, his performance became so poor that he could no longer secure any major league playing time at all.

\nBecause of the Jeremy Giambi Effect, players that perform better will make more contribution to his weighted mean forecast. Therefore, a players weighted mean forecast may lead to a falsely optimistic portrait of his future, particularly for players with high drop and attrition rates.

\nWe suggest paying the most attention to the Stars & Scrubs Chart, Career Path Anaylsis, and Five-Year WARP Forecast. All of these have a more sophisticated technique to account for the Jeremy Giambi Effect, by considering dropped comparables, but assigning them a value of zero.\n\n\n'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_280 = 'Defense, as listed in a players PECOTA card, provides the players number of defensive games played, primary position, and fielding runs above average (FRAA) with a given team in a given season.

\nAlthough only a players primary defensive position is listed on a players PECOTA card, the system considers his performance at secondary positions as well in making its forecasts.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_281 = 'Out of Baseball is the tag assigned to a players five-year forecast when his Drop Rate in that season exceeds 50%. That is, we do not list a players forecast line when it is more likely than not that he will not be playing professional baseball.

\nEven if a player receives the dreaded Out of Baseball tag, he can still accumulate residual WARP and VORP value based on those comparables that do remain in the league, as accounted for in his Valuation metrics.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_282 = 'A series of metrics designed to evaluate a players value over a consecutive five year period, as forecast by PECOTA.

\nFor a player aged 24 or older, his PEAK score is simply the sum of his value in a particular category over the next five seasons.

\nPlayers aged 23 or younger may receive an additional adjustement based on their age. This is determined by extrapolating a generic aging curve to the last two seasons of the players Five-Year PECOTA Forecast, up until a player is aged 28. Prince Fielder, for example, has projected WARP scores as follows

\nAge 22: 2.9
\nAge 23: 3.3
\nAge 24: 3.6
\nAge 25: 3.7
\nAge 26: 3.8
\nAge 27: 3.8 (Extrapolated)
\nAge 28: 3.7 (Extrapolated)

\n\nFielders PEAK score is determined by summing the highest projected score over a consecutive five-year period. In this case, that is the period from Age 24 to Age 28, wherein Fielders total projected WARP is 18.6.

\nNote that, while young pitchers are also eligible to receive an age adjustment, their aging curves are generally less favorable than those of position players.\n'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_283 = 'UPSIDE is determined by evaluating the performance of a players PECOTA comparables. If a comparable player turned in a performance better than league average, then twice that players BRAA or PRAA is counted toward his UPSIDE. If the player was worse than league average, or he dropped out of the databse, the performance is counted as zero.

\nFor example, say that a player has seven comparables, who perform as follows:

\nPlayer BRAA
\nBashful +30
\nDoc -10
\nDopey -15
\nGrumpy +5
\nHappy +40
\nSleepy 0 (Out of Baseball)
\nSneezy -5
\nAVERAGE 6.4

\nThese comparables contribution to the players UPSIDE would then be as follows:

\nBashful +60
\nDoc 0
\nDopey 0
\nGrumpy +10
\nHappy +80
\nSleepy 0 (Out of Baseball)
\nSneezy 0
\nAVERAGE 21.4

\nUPSIDE is designed to evaluate developing players to which a team has relatively little financial commitment. UPSIDE rewards players who have some chance of becoming very good major leaguers, without punishing them for other outcomes in which they do not become very good players, but their team wont suffer from their performance because it can keep them them on the bench or in the minor leagues. It may be less appopriate for evaluating established players, especially those to which a team has a long-term financial commitment.

\nUnlike regular BRAA and PRAA, UPSIDE scores are adjusted for a players defensive position, and for whether a pitcher throws in a starting or relief role.

\n(Note: the preceding Seven Dwarves example is a slight oversimplifaction of the process that PECOTA uses to assess the performance of comparables.)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_284 = 'Walks plus hits allowed per inning pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_285 = 'A players weighted mean Value Above Replacement Player, as determined in his Five-Year Forecast.

\nNote that, in the Valuation section of a pitchers PECOTA card, his VORP forecast backs out any favorable or unfavorable effects of his teams defense, and assumes that he pitches in front of a neutral defense.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_286 = 'The Five-Year WARP forecast measures a players projected wins above replacement. For position players, this value is subdivided into batting wins, and defensive wins.

\nAs time progresses, certain of the players comparables will drop from the dataset entirely. In some cases, this is the result of a comparable player not yet having appeared in the comparable year in question. These players are dropped from the average for the season in question without any prejudicial effect. In other cases, a hitter has completed his comparable year, but did not record any plate appearances as a result of injury, retirement, demotion, and so on. These players are retained in the wins above replacement calculation, but are assigned a value of zero. (These comparables also contribute to a players Drop Rate). Because of this convenient method for handling comparables who disappear from the dataset, the Five-Year Value forecast is the best way to evaluate a players value going forward.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_287 = 'The Five-Year Performance forecast measures a hitters forecast EqA or a pitchers EqERA at various percentiles (90th, 75th, 60th, 50th, 40th, 25th and 10th) over the course of the next five seasons. The percentile forecasts are indicated by solid lines, usually in BLUE, except for his median/50th percentile forecast which is indicated in RED. Also listed is the players weighted mean forecast in that category, indicated with a dashed YELLOW line.

\nUnlike the Five-Year WARP forecast, the Performance forecast has no convenient way to adjust for dropped comparables, and so it simply ignores them. For this reason, the Performance forecast may be misleading for players whose comparables have a high attrition rate. (See also Jeremy Giambi Effect). '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_288 = 'The Five-Year Attrition forecast measures a players Attrition Rate and Drop Rate over the forthcoming five seasons. These forecasts consider only players who have completed the comparable year in question.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_289 = 'Percentage of runners on first batted in'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_290 = 'Percentage of runners on second base batted in'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_291 = 'Percentage of runners on third base batted in'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_292 = 'Percentage of all runners on base batted in (Others Batted In Percentage)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_293 = 'Times On Base -- times reaching base by hit, walk, or hit by pitch. Reaching by error is sometimes included, depending on the context.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_294 = 'Fielders Choice'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_295 = 'Number of times Interference was called'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_296 = 'Situations where a Double Play was possible -- a plate appearance with a runner on first base and less than two outs'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_297 = 'Unearned Run Average. Equal to (Unearned Runs)/(Innings Pitched)*9'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_298 = 'Hits per inning pitched'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_299 = 'Walks per inning pitched'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_300 = 'Strikeouts per inning pitched'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_301 = 'Home Runs per Inning Pitched'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_302 = 'Baserunners per 9 innings. BR9 = (H+BB+HBP)/IP*9'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_303 = 'Unintentional base on balls rate (UBB per plate appearance).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_304 = 'Intentional base on balls rate (per plate appearance)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_305 = 'Hit Rate -- hits per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_306 = 'Singles rate -- Singles per plate appearance.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_307 = 'Doubles Rate -- doubles per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_308 = 'Triples Rate -- triples per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_309 = 'Home Run Rate -- homers per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_310 = 'Hit By Pitch Rate -- HBP per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_311 = 'Sacrifice Fly Rate -- Sac flies per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_312 = 'Sacrifice Hit Rate -- Sacrifices per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_313 = 'Reached On Error Rate -- reaching first on error per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_314 = 'Strikeout Rate -- Strikeouts per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_315 = 'Out Rate -- Batting outs per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_316 = 'Non-Strikeout Out Rate -- batting outs (other than by strikeout, i.e. outs on balls in play) per plate appearance.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_317 = 'Percentage of batted balls that were classified as popups (percentage is based on the number of batted balls that were classified at all -- batted balls which do not have a known type are omitted)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_318 = 'Percentage of batted balls that were classified as line drives (percentage is based on the number of batted balls that were classified at all -- batted balls which do not have a known type are omitted)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_319 = 'Percentage of batted balls that were classified as ground balls (percentage is based on the number of batted balls that were classified at all -- batted balls which do not have a known type are omitted)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_320 = 'Percentage of batted balls that were classified as fly balls (percentage is based on the number of batted balls that were classified at all -- batted balls which do not have a known type are omitted)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_321 = 'Runs scored Rate -- Runs scored (typically by a player) per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_322 = 'RBI Rate -- RBI per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_323 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) per game started'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_324 = 'Maximum Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) in a single start'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_325 = 'Total Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) accumulated'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_326 = 'Average number of pitches per start'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_327 = 'Maximum number of pitches in a start'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_328 = 'Total number of pitches thrown'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_329 = 'Win Expectation above Replacement, Lineup-adjusted.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_330 = 'Primary position played (position where the most PA were accumulated)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_331 = 'Number of plate appearances that started (led off) an inning'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_332 = 'Triple plays'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_333 = 'Number of plate appearances that ended a game'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_334 = 'Total Base Percentage -- total bases per plate appearance (as opposed to slugging average, SLG, which is total bases per at-bat)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_335 = 'At Bat Rate -- at bats per plate appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_336 = 'Batting Park Factor'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_337 = 'Percentage of total team plate appearances accumulated by one player. PA% = (Players PA) / (Teams PA)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_338 = 'Equivalent Outs'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_339 = 'Opponents Quality, Batting Average -- the aggregate batting average of all batters faced (by a pitcher), or allowed by all pitchers faced (for a batter)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_340 = 'Opponents Quality, On-Base Percentage -- the aggregate onbase percentage of all batters faced (by a pitcher), or allowed by all pitchers faced (for a batter)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_341 = 'Opponents Quality, Slugging Average -- the aggregate slugging average of all batters faced (by a pitcher), or allowed by all pitchers faced (for a batter)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_342 = 'Runs charged to a pitcher before he is removed from the game (i.e. excluding runners on base when he exited who may have been allowed to score by a subsequent pitcher)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_343 = 'Inherited runners who scored during a pitchers appearance'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_344 = 'Bequeathed runners the pitcher is responsible for (excluding runners still on base put there by a preceding pitcher)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_345 = 'Relief Percentage -- positive relief decisions (saves and holds) divided by total relief decisions (saves, holds, blown saves)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_346 = 'Whole innings -- complete innings started and finished by the pitcher (no fractional innings are counted)'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_347 = 'Innings completed by a pitcher'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_348 = 'Fair Run Average in relief appearances'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_349 = 'Pitching Park Factor'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_350 = 'Three True Outcomes -- home runs, walks, and strikeouts.\n\nOriginally conceived of as an offbeat tribute to Rob Deer (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=724), the TTO celebrates batters who dont put the ball into play.\n\nIronically, TTO gained some credence beyond its novelty value with the development of Voros McCrackens DIPS theory that states that pitchers have little control over the otucomes of batted balls in play, and thus should be evaluated primarily on the basis of the strikeouts, walks, and home runs they allow.\n\nBP has awarded the TTO crown annually for several years. e.g. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4721'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_351 = 'The "Three True Outcomes" (aka TTO) are home runs, walks, and strikeouts. Originally conceived of as an offbeat tribute to Rob Deer (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=724), the TTO celebrates batters who dont put the ball into play. Ironically, TTO gained some credence beyond its novelty value with the development of Voros McCrackens DIPS theory that states that pitchers have little control over the otucomes of batted balls in play, and thus should be evaluated primarily on the basis of the strikeouts, walks, and home runs they allow. BP has awarded the TTO crown annually for several years. e.g. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4721'; Tigers/Yankees

You would think, by now, that I would know better than this.

This series is over. They shouldn't even make the Yankees fly to Detroit.
I sent that out after Johnny Damon hit a three-run homer. The Yankees were up 3-1, had actually looked a bit better than that in getting there, and seemed set to knock Justin Verlander out of the game. The Tigers chance to win this game was largely predicated on Verlander throwing a big game, handing it over to Joel Zumaya, and Zumaya handing it over to a vastly inferior pitcher and hoping he held on. With Verlander having thrown 79 pitches through four innings, allowing six hits and four walks, it looked like that hope was dead.

I should be smarter than this. I've been a baseball fan for 30 years, a serious one for 20-25, and I've written about the game for a decade. There's no two-run lead that's insurmountable. The game just doesn't work that way; anything can happen, and the second you think there's a certainty, it's gone. Verlander, Jamie Walker, Joel Zumaya-the most entertaining pitcher in baseball right now-and Todd Jones combined to shut out the Yankees over the last five innings, and the Tigers' hitters took advantage of every mistake Mike Mussina made to eke out a 4-3 win a tie in the series.

The Verlander/Zumaya tandem is just ridiculous. Verlander struggled with his command and seemed to spend much of the game nibbling against the Yankee power bats. Every now and then, though, he'd pull it together and just own someone. He had Alex Rodriguez bent into a pretzel, following up two 98-plus fastballs with a curve for a called strike three. Twice. He didn't look nearly as good when Rodriguez's teammates were at the plate, but he did what Nate Robertson couldn't do Tuesday: kept it close.

Joel Zumaya is the most entertaining pitcher in baseball right now. His fastball is basically unhittable, and it doesn't actually matter what the rest of his stuff is. Not many pitchers can win with one pitch, and of those, few can do it for any length of time. Right now, Zumaya can dominate a game with just his fastball, and that's one of those baseball things that's just fun to watch.

Down 3-1, though, it took more than pitching to bring the Tigers back into the game. Mike Mussina was effective, but one of the problems he has is that when he misses with a pitch, he tends to give up long hits. Even in his best seasons he would allow 60-70 extra-base hits and an isolated power above .150. His success stemmed from keeping runners off base for those events, and keeping the guys who hit doubles and triples from scoring.

That approach failed him yesterday. Mussina allowed eight hits, but five of them went for extra-bases, and four of those contributed to the Tigers' four runs. Falling behind Carlos Guillen in the sixth and Curtis Granderson in the seventh led to a game-tying homer and a game-winning triple, both on fastballs that were located poorly. Mussina doesn't have the fastball to be wrong in the zone to good hitters any longer, and both Guillen and Granderson took advantage of that to help the Tigers pull out a huge win.

Note the names above: Verlander, Zumaya, Granderson. Today's win was helped along by the imports, but it was really all about the guys the Tigers drafted and developed themselves, as well as the product of one of the great thefts of the 21st century, Guillen.

All four, and their 21 teammates, head back to Detroit right now having quieted a lot of people who thought they'd be swept out of the postseason. They still have an uphill battle-the Yankees can still drop a nine-spot on you at any time, and Zumaya can likely only pitch in two of the three remaning schedule gams-but they have a much better chance than they did five hours ago.

Or three hours ago, when some moron sent a really dumb e-mail.

--

  • So, the Yankees started the game with a single off of Verlander. The Tigers had been beaten by the big inning Tuesday night, and the worst thing that could happen to them Wednesday was if their best starter fell behind early, especially given the concern over the state of his arm after the heaviest workload of his life. At the plate was a guy that no one had gotten out on Tuesday night. Things were already looking a bit scary.

    That guy who hadn't made an out all series? The one who hit .343 this season, having the second-best year of his life? He decided-decided-to make an out, squaring to sacrifice and popping up to Ivan Rodriguez. He didn't work the count, he didn't go to the opposite field, he didn't pull a ball into a hole. He tried to bunt. They hadn't gotten him out yet, and he tried to bunt. The Yankees got two more runners on base in the inning and didn't score, and if you want to blame the last hitter in the inning for that, you can, but at least he tried.

    This has gotten out of control, and needs to stop. I know that any time a good player bunts we're supposed to genuflect, but Derek Jeter does this far too often. Him laying down a sacrifice-and we can debate whether he was bunting for a hit or not, but it did not look quite like that, and he's sacrificed in similar situations-is a gift for the opposition, an absolute gift. Any time a .340 hitter offers you an out, you take it and thank him profusely. Jeter does this all the time. I don't think he's doing it to burnish his reputation, I think he's doing it because someone told him a long time ago that it was winning baseball, and no one's told him otherwise since.

    This isn't Little League. This isn't college. This isn't 1905. Great hitters put runs on the board by swinging the bat, not by passing the baton to the next guy in the lineup. I know that Derek Jeter is the Teflon Shortstop, but he's wrong in his persistence in sacrificing bunting, and he was egregiously wrong today. A sharp single to left might have helped the Yankees put the game away early.

  • Without necessarily defending Mussina, it's probably worth mentioning that until Granderson's triple in the seventh, he'd basically done the same thing Chien-Ming Wang had done on Tuesday night. The Yankees scored seven runs in the first six innings of that game, though, and Joe Torre took him out while he was pitching well and before any rallies got started. The difference between the two outings is the context-the runs the Yankees scored and Torre's approach-as much as anything the pitchers did.

  • I'd mentioned the return of the random strike zone. It was very much in effect today, especially with two very good breaking-ball pitchers on the mound. The net effect was probably neutral-it tends to be a function of "skill," not bias-but in the ninth, Todd Jones did get a critical strike on a 0-0 pitch to Posada. Not that it was outside or anything, but it needed a Metrocard and a transfer at 145th St. to reach the corner.

    Later in that at-bat, Posada let a 1-2 fastball go by that, by rights, should be in some bleacher kid's pocket right now. So you have to play around the umpiring.

Cardinals/Padres

Sunday in Phoenix, Bruce Bochy put his starting lineup on the field in an attempt to win the NL West crown and gain two home games against the Cardinals rather than a trip to New York to face the Mets.

The best laid plans…

Bochy's starters beat Brandon Webb and the Diamondbacks on Sunday, and they haven't won since. They've scored one run on ten hits in two games against the Cardinals. They've gone 2-for-17 with runners on base, 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Getting shut down by Chris Carpenter was one thing; losing today to Jeff Weaver and about 11 relievers today, quite another.

Bochy benched Mike Piazza to get an extra left-handed bat in against Weaver, the right-hander allowed a .340/.396/.609 line to lefties this year, 250 points of OPS worse than his line against righties. It didn't matter, though. Weaver had good movement and just enough command of it to be effective. He worked into, and out of, trouble in the first and fifth, and left the game after 79 pitches in part because Bochy had made a left-handed reliever such an attractive option for Tony La Russa

I know I wrote this yesterday, but it's worth mentioning today: last week seems like a very long time ago. Heck, even Sunday does. The Cardinals bullpen, such a problem during the long losing streak that nearly cost them a spot in the playoffs, threw 2 2/3 shutout innings Tuesday, and followed up today with four innings of near-perfect baseball. La Russa kept pulling levers-Randy Flores here, Josh Kinney there-and coming up cherries. Four innings, two hits, a walk and six strikeouts, capped by another dominating outing by Adam Wainwright. Suddenly, the Cards' bullpen looks less like a problem and more like a significant asset.

There's not much more to be said about the game. To be honest, and I admit I'm a hundred miles away, there wasn't much to it. The Padres' complete lack of offense kept the energy level in the park down, and it wasn't so much a pitchers' duel as a poor offensive game. The Cards scored just enough runs to win-testing Dave Roberts' arm twice along the way-and they go home with a very good chance to pull off a first-round upset.

  • Roberts was 1-for-2 nailing runners at the plate in the game, and credit Josh Bard with half an assist on the play. He bluffed Juan Encarnacion into slowing down a bit, then picked a low throw off the dirt and held on while making the tag.

  • Up 2-0, the Cardinals shouldn't feel a lot of pressure, but Game Three is important to them. Weaver's performance today notwithstanding, their chance to advance deep into the postseason is dependent on getting Chris Carpenter to the mound as often as possible. If the Cardinals lose Saturday, they'll likely start Carpenter on full rest Sunday in an effort to close it out. If they can win Saturday, though, they'd be able to put Carpenter on the mound in NLCS Game One, and there's no one the Mets or Dodgers can match up against him. He's the best pitcher in the NL playoffs.

    Winning Saturday not only puts the series away, but gives the Cardinals a big leg up in the NLCS. That's a very big reason to treat it as a must-win game.

Dodgers/Mets

The key to this one was a brutal performance by the Dodgers' infield. Three of the four runs the Mets scored were directly attributable to Dodgers' misplays, whether scored that way or not.

In the third, Endy Chavez dragged a bunt past the mound that was scored a single. Hong-Chih Kuo got a glove on it and might have had a play had he been able to pick it up. It's possible that he wouldn't have, because Nomar Garciaparra was nearly as far from the bag as he was. Had Kuo gone to the bag instead of playing the ball, Garciaparra may have been able to make the 3-1 play.

With Chavez on first, Tom Glavine was at the plate intending to sacrifice. Kuo threw a 1-1 pitch past him up and in that he bunted through, but that Russell Martin missed completely. Kuo was dinged for a wild pitch, but I thought it should have been scored a passed ball. It was a fastball up and in, very playable. Advancing the runner to second without giving up an out was critical, and allowed the Mets to get Chavez to third-on a Glavine swinging bunt-with one out. He scored on a Jose Reyes ground ball. The Mets had scored a run not only without hitting a ball out of the infield, but without hitting a ball even to the basepaths. Impressive.

In the sixth, the Mets were clinging to a 2-0 lead when the Dodger infield got involved again. With first and second and no one out, Jose Valentin dropped a bunt to the right of the mound. With a right-handed pitcher on the mound in Brett Tomko, third baseman Wilson Betemit should have charged the ball and gotten the out. (I pick on broadcasters a lot, but Steve Lyons nailed this, one of a number of good calls he made last night.) Instead, Betemit broke back to cover the bag, leaving Tomko-which means "the opposite of nimble" in two dead languages-to chase down the ball, plant and make a throw. Tomko made the play, but Julio Lugo dropped the throw covering first base. That error was critical, making it a near-certainty that the Mets would score rather than leaving an escape hatch open.

Mark Hendrickson did as good a job as could be expected, but became the third Dodger pitcher to be let down by the defense. He got Chavez to hit a weak grounder to the mound for a force at the plate. He then induced a perfect double-play grounder from Julio Franco, perhaps a bit slow, but then again, so is Franco. Rafael Furcal played back on it, made a soft flip to second, and Lugo's turn was slow, allowing Franco to beat out the grounder and Cliff Floyd to score. Furcal made the more obvious misplay, but you can see that Lugo's turn is mechanical, rather than smooth, which slowed the play down.

Jose Reyes followed with a single to make it 4-0, and the game was essentially over.

Note the names in the above paragraphs: Tomko, Hendrickson. The biggest pitches of the first two games in this series have been thrown by the bottom guys on Grady Little's pitching staff. Brad Penny lost Wednesday's game, while Jonathan Broxton pitched down two. Hendrickson pitched with the bases loaded down by two runs. Takashi Saito threw the eighth inning down by three.

Little is doing a terrible job of matching his pitchers with the situation. Hendrickson, who struck out three batters this year, was brought in to relieve Tomko in the sixth with the bases loaded and no one out, the most obvious strikeout situation in the game. With second and third and one out in the fifth-another strikeout situation-Little had Kuo walk Jose Reyes, presumably to set up a double play, then brought in the most extreme flyball guy he has in Tomko. There seems to be no consideration of skill sets at all, and that's costing the Dodgers at key times.

Little's management of the pitching staff appears to be one of two things: completely random, or dictated solely by the inning. Neither is going to do anything but leave Dodger Stadium free next week.

Of course, the Dodgers didn't help themselves at the plate, scoring just one run, on an eighth-inning solo homer by Betemit. Little appears to pay no mind to platoon differences, even well-established ones. Kenny Lofton bats second, every day, even though Kenny Lofton hit .214/.275/.274 against them this year. It's not a fluke: since 2002, Lofton has put up a sub-.320 OBP against lefties, with no power. He cannot hit left-handers, and he's not a good enough defender that he plays for his glove. Anyone would be a better choice.

Little has also decided that Marlon Anderson is Honus Wagner, turning him into an everyday player. Setting aside the idea that Anderson's Dodger performance reflects a change in his skill level that would make him a viable choice against right-handers every day, Anderson has been even worse against lefties than Lofton: .232 with 14 walks and 12 extra-base hits in more than 300 plate appearances. He's awful.

Both of those guys started last night, which makes the six shutout innings for Glavine look a lot like his expected performance. But here's the kicker, all you really need to know about the Dodger starting lineup against a lefty: When Willie Randolph had to replace Glavine, he went to another lefty, Pedro Feliciano. He didn't go looking to turn the team around, because Little hadn't put a lineup worth doing that to on the field. Somehow, Olmedo Saenz and Jason Repko never got into the game, while Lofton and Anderson went 0-for-8.

If the Dodgers get to a Game Four against Oliver Perez, they'll have to correct this. Little showed no compunction about using Lugo in the outfield in the regular season. He'll have to do so again, shuffling the lineup to get Lofton and Anderson out and guys who don't hit like pitchers against lefties in. Making a mistake once is forgivable. Making it twice isn't.

--

  • What drives me insane is that with all of this diving into first base when there's no tag play, guys do so little to avoid tags when one is necessary. On two of the three outs in the ninth, Jose Reyes, threw balls away, pulling Carlos Delgado off the bag and forcing him to make a tag for the out. In neither case did the runner--Russell Martin with no one out, then Julio Lugo for the final out-dive, slide or do much more than turn their body.

    I just don't get it. Sliding, and its grandchild diving, were developed in part as means of avoiding tags. We're now evolved to a point where players will dive on a force play and run through the bad on a tag play.

  • Martin had a bad night. In addition to missing the pitch in the third and not avoiding the tag in the ninth, he killed a Dodger rally by flying out on a 3-0 pitch in the fourth, with two outs and two runners on. I would never say that you never swing on 3-0, but when you do, you have to be successful, even if the outcome isn't great. Martin didn't hit a rope or a bomb; he hit a generic fly ball.

    Endy Chavez should play every day for the Mets. His defense in the corners this year has been terrific, enough so that the power he gives up to Shawn Green isn't enough to make up the difference between the two. If nothing else, he should bounce between left and right, giving the two veterans lots of time off. Given the fragility of the Mets' outfielders, Chavez has been a very valuable spare part for them this season.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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