If these guys didn't hit the ball out of the park, they probably weren't scoring.
In our earlier look at players who were immune to scoring runs, reader blocher asked about guys who hit a lot of home runs but otherwise didn't score much. He mentioned Andre Dawson's 1987 campaign, in which Dawson hit 49 homers but scored only 90 runs.
Quality starts have value, despite the cavils of retrograde thinkers.
Murray Chass is at it again, or perhaps he never stopped. I'm not sure, as I'll admit an aversion to reading the blog of a writer who years ago declared his loathing for the form and its practitioners, but now dwells in that very ghetto himself since being laid off by the New York Times. Chass has made noise twice in recent weeks via missives bemoaning the diminishing primacy of pitcher wins and assailing the so-called "new-age thinking" of anyone who would introduce more modern measures, be they VORP, WAR(P), or quality starts. Even the latter, which was introduced by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Lowe back in 1985, is too newfangled for Chass' tastes.
Breaking down the basics of estimating runs and why it is so important.
We spend a lot of time analyzing baseball, studying it, trying to learn about it, and simply enjoying it. But what if I were to tell you that there was a secret to understanding baseball, a shortcut to knowing (almost) everything you would ever need to know?
Well, there is. And it’s hiding in plain sight–it’s the second line of the official rules of baseball: “The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.”
Playing the percentages means different things in different circumstances.
Ugh! What is that vile stench? That’s right, it’s Sidney Ponson starts and the Mariners' offense polluting our pristine Run Expectancy and Win Expectancy Matrices. Before we write our congressman to apply for stimulus money for the cleanup, let's ask: How did it get this way?
Revisiting a conversation with the long-time official scorer in Boston.
Chaz Scoggins has been the primary official scorer at Fenway Park for over 30 years. A long-time sportswriter for The Lowell Sun and a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Scoggins sat down for this interview in December 2004.
Have some of us been overlooking the obvious when it comes to scoring runs?
If you have ever tried to explain the concept of Pythagorean Record to a baseball novice, you probably have had to answer the following criticism: "That counts the extra runs at the end of a blowout as much as other runs, even though it does not matter whether you win 10-0 or 15-0." The answer that we give to that criticism is that teams that can take advantage of blowouts have better offenses and those type of teams will be more likely to win close games in the future. That is the reason that we have thousand-run estimators that try to approximate how many runs a team will score on average, and why we evaluate players with statistics like VORP-measured in runs over replacement player. Runs are the building blocks of wins, and you win by scoring more runs than your opponent. We cringe when we hear offenses evaluated by batting average because we know that the goal of offenses is to score runs, not get hits.
Examining a strange love for early-season results.
I've spent the past few weeks romping through baseball history in this space, and in the meantime we've passed both the one-quarter and one-third marks in the season. Now that the sample sizes have been beefed up a bit, the statistics we're seeing have started to accumulate a bit more weight, both on the spreadsheet and in the public mind.
Baseball must be toasting this week's sports pages over glasses of vodka and schadenfreude. Last Friday, NBA referee Tim Donaghy was implicated in a betting scandal. On Wednesday, Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen, under heavy suspicion of doping, was kicked out of the race by his own team. And on Thursday, Michael Vick was scrambling away from reporters in a federal courthouse, rather than opposing linebackers on the field.
Jim digs back and looks at the best starting efforts by the Mets and Cardinals in the era of divisional play.
\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. ';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. ';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.';
xxxpxxxxx1160845280_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.