Lots of mail pursuant to the Game Scores 2.0 piece…
Yesterday Kerry Wood shutout the Mets who fielded a lineup that was major league only because the players were allowed to wear Mets uniforms. Shouldn’t the game scores somehow represent the lineup a pitcher faces. A Pedro or Mulder shutout of the Yanks full-strength lineup simply can’t have the same game score as Wood’s “masterpiece” yesterday. BTW, the PCL champion Sacramento Rivercats (Crosby, Koonce, Grabowski, German, Edwards, et. al.) fielded a better lineup than the Mets yesterday. Check the Cats’ MEQs.
Ideally, H.W., there would such a variable, but that would just about 86 any ease-of-calculation appeal game scores might have. But the idea is certainly correct: not all outings, be they gems or disaster starts, are created equal. (For instance, take a gander at the cast of forgettables Eric Milton mowed down in his 1999 no-hitter.) It’s not quite germane to game scores, but Keith Woolner’s Pitcher’s Quality of Batters Faced reports are highly instructive in this regard.
Sox fans, how’s that 10 p.m. start working out for you?
I had no problem with MLB giving the A’s a postseason home game at night for the first time since, well, maybe ever. That said, I do think the AL playoff structure as a whole is pretty ridiculous. The Yankees and Twins ended up with about 52 hours between the end of their first game and the beginning of their second. The A’s and Sox will have about 13 hours. That’s not fair, and it’s the direct result of letting TV considerations override common sense. You can give the A’s a night game or you can give the Yankees and Twins the off day; you can’t do both.
As so often happens with things Selig, whatever could go wrong, did. The A’s and Sox played 12 innings in a shade under five hours, ending just before 3 a.m. EDT. Worse still for Sox fans, the game ended in defeat, as Ramon Hernandez laid down a perfect two-out, bases-loaded bunt to drive home the winning run, this after the Sox had blown a ninth-inning lead.
Those who stuck it out saw an exciting ballgame. It wasn’t the much-anticipated pitchers’ duel, and it wasn’t exactly a great game, but it was exciting. Todd Walker and Erubiel Durazo traded roundhouse punches for most of the night, with each player coming up a hero against a southpaw. The two starting pitchers were off their game, combining to allow six runs on 16 hits in 13 2/3 innings of work. Pedro Martinez wasn’t himself, striking out just three batters and allowing four walks.
Jerry Manuel gets his fond farewell. The Cardinals get a PECOTA mini-evaluation. And the Rangers get to look forward to seeing Ramon Nivar and Juan Ramon Dominguez in the future. All this and much more news from Chicago, St. Louis, and Texas in your Thursday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
The games so far have gone according to form, not in the sense that they’ve been predictable, but in the sense that each series has its strengths. Want slugging? Got it. Want great pitching? Got it. Want strategy? Got it. Want to second-guess managers? We’ve got that too. Want to see the best players that baseball has to offer? We might not have all of ’em, but there’s certainly plenty. (Even the announcing has been pretty good, but more on that later.) All in all, it’s a great time to be both a baseball fan and a medhead. The only negative so far? The fact that I’m up at nearly 2 a.m. watching the Red Sox play a phenomenal game in Oakland. Oh well… there are worse fates, I suppose.
While wondering if seeing high-speed film of Chad Bradford might make a biomechanist’s head explode, here are the injuries from today’s games…
On July 12, 2002, the Padres and White Sox struck a deal. The White Sox acquired one-time top prospect D’Angelo Jimenez for the non-pitching version of Alex Fernandez and Humberto Quintero, a 22-year-old catcher who was hitting .194 in the Carolina League. While it went unnoticed in most of baseball, I considered July 12th to be a dark day last summer, as the White Sox had just removed, from my own back yard, the most exciting defensive player I had ever seen. Quintero was simultaneously a joy to watch and a pain to endure. He exemplified both what is right and wrong with scouting in every inning, bringing entertainment to his fans and losses to his team. There was no mistaking the entertainment factor of watching him behind the plate. There was also no avoidance of the misery of watching him overmatched at the plate, wondering how someone so good at one part of a game could be so awful at another. Quintero is one of three or four people alive that I would pay to watch play defense. When scouts talk about great catch-and-throw guys, they compare them to Ivan Rodriguez. Quintero is currently on a level that Rodriguez has not seen in a decade. His arm strength is at the top of the scale, and his quick release and footwork have earned him the nickname “Little Pudge.”