On eye color, time-of-day effects, and projecting breakouts.
DRA has changed everything for me. Before its release on Wednesday, I lived in a run-down house with two filthy roommates, my car was a rusty mess with a broken driver-side mirror, and I was a senior in college set to graduate into a weak job market with nothing but a journalism degree.
The Nationals did something amazing two nights ago. Matt Williams already had a better story to tell, though.
The Nationals’ comeback against the Braves Tuesday night will be remembered as a turning point in their season, if their season ends up being worth remembering. They entered the night at 7-13, and with their ace sidelined by a thumb injury, they asked rookie A.J. Cole to begin the process of turning things around. Cole got shelled, surrendering nine hits and nine runs in two innings of work, a mess that got worse than it needed to be because of Cole’s own error in the field. Atlanta led 9-1 after two innings and 10-2 after four. The Nationals stormed back. A fielding error opened the door to a four-run fifth inning, and ultimately, Washington chased Braves ace Julio Teheran with two outs in the sixth inning, down by the more manageable score of 10-7. The Braves led 12-10 after eight, but Dan Uggla—facing the team who pays the bulk of his salary, the team who cut him outright last summer—came up with a second huge hit (a three-run homer), and Drew Storen bravely held off Atlanta in the bottom of the ninth.
Just growing a list of every team's emergency catcher.
Help us crowd-source this. If you know one, leave it in the comments, email me by clicking the button at the bottom of this post, or tweet me @sammillerbp. Citations preferred, but not necessary. Current emergency catchers only, please.
On the 2015 strike zone, the poorly defined "cutter", the value of backspin and much more.
Boy, you kids don't know how easy you have it these days, with your roundup blog posts and whatnot. Back in my day, when we wanted to get a digest of the week's baseball research and analysis, we had to look for a tiny ad in the classified section of Popular Mechanics, cut it out and mail it to the Polo Grounds in New York. When it got there, an old man named Elroy would look at your address, tie a roll of ticker tape to a carrier pigeon and send it out to your house. And those pigeons got hit by cars a lot, so there were plenty of weeks where we just didn't know a dang thing about baseball.
On umpire bias, unimportant batting order strategies and unconventional deliveries.
This week, huh? I haven't been able to watch as much baseball as I'd like because of schoolwork, Kris Bryantstill hasn't batted in the majors, and the new Passion Pit album is really disappointing so far. Isn't that the worst feeling, to be anticipating something for so long and then to be totally let down? Thankfully, baseball never does that to us. Anyway, I've gone on long enough.
Does the Royals' seven-game winning streak tell us more because it came at the start of the season?
A couple of days ago, our friend Rob Neyer asked an interesting question over at Just A Bit Outside. The Kansas City Royals had started out the 2015 season with seven consecutive wins. I guess maybe that whole “Defending American League Champion” thing actually means something. Despite having come oh so close in the 2014 World Series, not many really fancied the Royals as contenders this year. Should the Royals’ seven-game perfect start change our expectations of them?
On batting orders, batted-ball data, boosting pre-season projections and other, non-alliterative topics.
Hello, friends. I hope you're enjoying the first full week of games! Isn't it great to have all our suspicions and predictions from the offseason completely confirmed or disproved? (Wait, the season is howlong?)
Let’s say you’re a terrible baseball team. You’re the kind of team that could get swept in the Tigers in its opening series by an aggregate score of 22-1 and not have Baseball Twitter coming within a mile of defending you as small sample size victims.
Overanalyzing a father's beautiful book inscription.
Fifteen years ago, in a used book store in Madison, Andrew found a copy of Roger Angell's Late Innings. There was an inscription in it, addressed to Andy—which, at the time, is the name Andrew went by. He loved that inscription, and a few weeks ago he sent it to us. Let's read that inscription, and then let's talk for a minute:
This is the seventh year I’ve run this contest, and the third at Baseball Prospectus. (You can find the questions and results from the 2014 contest here.) I stole the idea from my college differential equations professor, Doug Drinen of Pro-Football-Reference, and heck, I might as well steal his directions, too (translated into baseball-speak):