Friday, 25 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 23: Hoc Quid Sit Sit

Highest Leverage PA:     6.4, PA#78, Espinosa pop-up vs Stauffer, Nationals 9th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .345, PA#101, Lobaton line-out double play vs Street, Nationals 12th.
QMAX rating:             (3,3) for Zimmermann (Success Square).
Bullpen Award:           None.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Harper         0.149
Werth          0.125
Espinosa       0.073
Span           0.009
Zimmermann    -0.010
LaRoche       -0.014
Frandsen      -0.055
McLouth       -0.065
Walters       -0.068
Moore         -0.116
Desmond       -0.145
Lobaton       -0.265
Rendon        -0.316
In the middle of the eighth inning, I thought 'this game has extra innings written all over it.' I'm not normally a fan of extra innings, but this game held my interest as the innings were filled with a degree of tension that often seems absent from extra innings.

I probably shouldn't credit all the negative value of PA#101 to Jose Lobaton, as it sounded from the radio guys as though Bryce Harper messed up the play. But normally I give full value of a double play to the batter, so I'm going to maintain that here.

I could have awarded both Hero's Palms and a Goat's Head, but in one case the head cancelled out the palm, and the other Hero's Palm didn't seem appropriate in this loss.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 22: Miraculum die S. Georgii

Highest Leverage PA:     4.8, PA#79, Werth double vs Fieri, Nationals 9th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .317, PA#79, Werth double vs Fieri, Nationals 9th.
QMAX rating:             (3,4) for Gonzalez (Success Square).
Bullpen Award:           None.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Werth          0.214
LaRoche        0.176
Espinosa       0.090
Span           0.020
Gonzalez       0.015
Rendon         0.010
Lobaton       -0.008
Harper        -0.015
McLouth       -0.042
Walters       -0.054
Desmond       -0.131

So when we got to the ninth inning, I think we all had given up. There was a note of resignation in Charlie Slowes' voice. I was planning to write something about how the Nationals have been a bit disappointing this season. Bryce Harper's two-strike bunt was attracting my ire.

Then, Saint George came to our rescue to slay the... Well, maybe one shouldn't take that too far, but the Angels were certainly Fallen last night. Jayson Werth, who has been my favourite Nationals' position player for some time, and whose Game 4 heroics are possibly the high watermark of this 'generation' of Nationals, came through again. Note that his LevIn Win Value has now exceeded one win. That means one of those Nationals' twelve wins is entirely due to Werth's bat. (Of course, the data is incomplete, so that may fall as I add more past results.) I am getting rather tired of hearing the likes of Carpenter and Santangelo bemoaning his lack of hits Let's look at OBP, chaps.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 19: Victoria Ritus Sacrificii

Highest Leverage PA:     5.4, PA#80, Span sac fly vs Maness, Nationals 9th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .155, PA#60, Espinosa single vs Martinez, Nationals 7th.
QMAX rating:             (3,3) for Strasburg (Success Square).
Bullpen Award:           Hero's Palm for Rafael Soriano.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Espinosa       0.268
Lobaton        0.252
Walters        0.136
McLouth        0.120
Desmond       -0.005
Werth         -0.012
Strasburg     -0.037
LaRoche       -0.067
Harper        -0.070
Rendon        -0.083
Frandsen      -0.086
Span          -0.150

Jerry Blevins vs Adams was the moment where I thought the game would turn. Manager Matt Williams had the chance at the platoon match-up with Carpenter, but risked it to ensure that he would preserve the advantageous platoon for Adams. This was the call I would have made, because there was always the chance Blevins could get Carpenter out. I'm firmly of the belief that a reliever who enters the game in the middle of an inning has a harder job, and that risking having to do it twice is doubling the jeopardy.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 20: The One That Did Not Slip Away?

Highest Leverage PA:     5.6, PA#60, Ibanez' double vs Clippard, Angels 8th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .370, PA#60, Ibanez' double vs Clippard, Angels 8th.
QMAX rating:             (5,3) for Roark (Uncategorised).
Bullpen Award:           Goat's Head for Clippard.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Werth          0.078
Desmond        0.046
McLouth        0.017
LaRoche       -0.014
Harper        -0.019
Walters       -0.022
Lobaton       -0.031
Roark         -0.045
Span          -0.091
Espinosa      -0.120
Rendon        -0.136

It would be easy to say that this game was one that slipped away from the Nationals, but I'm inclined to think it was never there to begin with. The rest of this note was written during the game itself, including the tenses.

When Adam LaRoche walked to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, I felt that the Nationals needed to score in that inning if they wanted to be sure of winning the game. The gap between the two teams in hits suggested that sooner or later the pendulum would swing towards the Angels. The foul pop made me think it was not going to be the Nationals' night.

I was a bit surprised by the applause for Tanner Roark when he left the game in the seventh. He gave up too many hits and must be regarded as lucky not to have found himself leaving a tie game or worse. Good for him to have such luck, of course.

My sense of foreboding was increased when Tyler Clippard came in to start the eighth. Clippard has not been his old self in the games I have followed this season. By the time we had Kendrick at first, Pujols at third and Boesch at the plate, I felt the moment had come to see this game slip away. At that point my 'leveraged win value' for the game had swung into negative for the first time since the 27th PA in the Angels' fourth. Boesch popped up and I breathed a sigh of relief, only for Aybar's single to tie the game. By the time Clippard left the game, win probability had swung from .734 to .092. That's a 64 per cent shift.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 14: I'm Drawing a Blank Here

Highest Leverage PA (tie):1.7,PA#5,Desmond ground out vs Koehler, Nationals 1st.
                          1.7,PA#8,Stanton homer vs Strasburg, Marlins 1st.
Highest LI Win Value:    .209, PA #8 Stanton homer vs Strasburg, Marlins 1st.
QMAX rating:             (7,5) for Strasburg (Hit Hard).
Bullpen Award:            None.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Walters        0.065
Rendon         0.036
Sousa          0.017
Werth          0.007
Moore         -0.008
LaRoche       -0.011
Frandsen      -0.019
Strasburg     -0.019
Leon          -0.027
McLouth       -0.034
Espinosa      -0.060
Desmond       -0.068
Harper        -0.131
A terrible pounding we all probably want to forget. But here it is again, just for my records.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Nationals 2014 Game 8: Anything But Ho-Hum

Highest Leverage PA:     6.2, PA#80 Werth grand slam vs Marmol, Nationals 8th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .763, PA #80 Werth grand slam, Nationals 8th.
QMAX rating:             (7,7) for Zimmermann (Hit Hard).
Bullpen Award:           Goat's Head for Clippard.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Werth          0.610
Zimmerman      0.279
Harper         0.257
Span           0.188
McLouth        0.055
Rendon         0.045
Lobaton        0.006
LaRoche       -0.044
Stammen       -0.049
Desmond       -0.050
After my lament last time about a rather dull game, the next one was quite the exciting ding-dong battle. Jayson Werth's Grand Slam appearance tops both the Leverage and Value chart. But the numbers also show that this game belonged to the batters. The fact that my two favourite Nationals' pitchers, Jordan Zimmermann and Tyler Clippard, earned rather poor ratings, pains me.

NB: I am sorry to slip so far behind. My mother is currently in a nursing home while she undergoes some treatments, and I am keeping her company. So my routines are badly disrupted as I have to deal with long-distance parenting, work and close-up visitations of the sick. So far I have been able to follow, on average, every other game, but posting to the blog remains problematic.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

2014 Game 7: Ho-hum

Highest Leverage PA:     2.3, PA#51 Johnson bunt vs Storen, Marlins 7th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .073, PA #19, Hechavarria caught stealing, Marlins 3rd.
QMAX rating:             (2,3) for Gonzalez (Success Square).
Bullpen Award:           None.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
LaRoche        0.075
Rendon         0.029
Harper         0.001
Moore         -0.005
Werth         -0.023
Espinosa      -0.026
Gonzalez      -0.032
Desmond       -0.035
Lobaton       -0.042
Span          -0.066
Beating the Marlins 5-0 did not do many people any favours, in terms of the kind of statistics I like to keep track of. The LI Win values are unspectacular, Gio Gonzalez' shutout wasn't quite good enough to make the 'Elite Square' and no-one came out of the bullpen to earn a Hero's Palm. Still, if you're the 'safe investor' kind of person, this was exactly what you came to the ballpark to see.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

2014 Game 3: All Hail The Z-Man!

Highest Leverage PA:     2.6, PA#56 LaRoche single vs Familia, Nationals 7th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .111, PA #12, Zimmerman HR vs Wheeler, Nationals 2nd.
QMAX rating:             (4,4) for Roark (Uncategorised).
Bullpen Award:           None.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Zimmerman      0.220
Span           0.168
Werth          0.074
Espinosa       0.070
LaRoche        0.055
Rendon         0.042
Hairston       0.042
Frandsen      -0.003
Leon          -0.023
Roark         -0.058
Harper        -0.074
Desmond       -0.277
Zimmerman was the Star, Span continued on a tear, and the game was basically won by the hitters. Roark did not do badly, but his QMAX rating demonstrates a rather nondescript performance, which is still to be applauded.

(I had to return to my mother's abode in order to help her through some treatments, and in doing so had to clear a ton of work before I left. So I fell behind. I shall catch up as best I can, but I probably won't be current for a couple of days and may have to leave a gap in coverage.)

Friday, 4 April 2014

2014 Game 2: Gio's Day

Highest Leverage PA:     2.1, PA#62 Duda K vs Clippard, Mets 8th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .148, PA #31, Desmond HR vs Colon, Nationals 5th.
QMAX rating:             (2,3) for Gonzalez (Success Square zone).
Bullpen Award:           None.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Desmond        0.108
Werth          0.088
Gonzalez       0.033
Rendon         0.025
LaRoche        0.021
McLouth       -0.005
Lobaton       -0.028
Span          -0.070
Zimmerman     -0.071
Harper        -0.094
There's a higher-leveraged incident than Lucas Duda's PA, which is an event that occurred in the Mets' fifth: Ruben Tejada was thrown out by Bryce Harper at home, trying to score off Juan Lagares' double. That was worth .120 of a win, which compensated for Harper's negative batting performance.

The Highest Leverage PA is low, reflecting the fact that the Nationals took charge of this game with Ian Desmond's home run in the fifth. (How much is he worth now?)

I did not watch the game, following on the radio as is most common for me, but the numbers suggest that Gio Gonzalez was the key to winning this game.

After Tyler Clippard walked Tejada (funny how the name of such an apparently disappointing player appears twice in this report), I was worried that he wasn't quite the Clippard I came to appreciate so deeply in seasons past, but he bounced back quite strongly. But none of the reliever's performances really warranted a Hero's Palm. I have decided retrospectively, however, to award one to Aaron Barrett for his Game #1 outing.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Baseball Hotbeds

In case this Nate Silver article hasn't got much circulation, I thought I'd post a link to it.

I like the way he has related Google searches to the size of television markets. This strikes me as one of the best methods people who have no money to pay for surveys have available to identify where the interest in baseball might be considered weak or strong. The results it gives largely meet my expectations. The Tigers are kind of average. The Cardinals and Reds are strong. The Diamondbacks and Marlins are weak. To me the anomalous results are the poor outcome for the Angels and the strong showing by the Pirates. Silver noted that there might be some kind of problem with the way the data is accumulated for the Angels. Pittsburgh, however, has always seemed so much a Steelers' town, and has done so badly until very recently, that its appearance ahead of the Reds, Tigers and Indians looks incredible.

Sad to say, the Nationals rank pretty poorly, behind even the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

2014 Game 1: Denard of Menthon?

My intentions to write a few posts during the Spring Training season were undone when my mother developed a grave illness. Posting may be erratic this season, as usual.

Highest Leverage PA:     5.5, PA#69 Span 2B vs Parnell, Nationals 9th.
Highest LI Win Value:    .363, PA #69, Span 2B vs Parnell, Nationals 9th.
QMAX rating:             (3,3) for Strasburg (Success Square zone).
Bullpen Award:           Goat's Head for Tyler Clippard.
Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Span           0.431
Rendon         0.205
McLouth        0.109
Lobaton        0.106
Espinosa       0.081
LaRoche        0.057
Desmond        0.013
Werth         -0.004
Strasburg     -0.024
Harper        -0.043
Ramos         -0.087
Zimmerman     -0.277
Not only did Denard Span have the highest-leveraged plate appearance of the game, he also had the second-highest, in the 7th against Rice. He delivered both times. Denard rescued a floundering Nationals' effort. Let's toast him with a cask of brandy!

Despite a difficult start, Stephen Strasburg still managed to keep his appearance in the QMAX Success Square, just. So he did his job.

Matt Williams showed great confidence in rookie hurler Aaron Barrett, who entered the game with the highest leverage at stake of any of the relief pitchers the Nationals used. However, he was facing some of the weaker hitters in the Mets' lineup at that point, so the risks were lower than they might have been.

(My title alludes to the patron of a certain breed of rescue dogs.)