Thursday, October 04, 2007

MLB PLAYOFFS: TAKE THAT, STAT GEEKS

It's probably a good idea to brace for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies playing next week, with one of them going to the World Series. Scary thought.

It's going to take some adjusting. It means dropping some of those alt-nerd-obsessive, stat-collecting, baseball geek objections. This is not always a place for serious detailed analysis (Hardball Times this ain't, but check out this detailed chart of Jeff Francis' pitching performance), so what the hell.

Honestly, it took one at-bat to get past it last night. The D-Backs rookie centre-fielder, Chris Young, led off in the Diamondbacks' half of the first. No sooner than you could say, "When's the last time a guy with a .295 on-base percentage" -- which is really, really bad -- "hit leadoff in a playoff game?" than Young rapped a single and stole second base. Hey, there's a risk in thinking it will always make sense. Arizona is somehow here.

In case you missed it, here's ex-Lynx Jamey Carroll's game-winning sac fly in the NL wild-card playoff:



(Matt Holliday as MVP? Has the National League fallen this far?)

5 comments:

Pete Toms said...

D Backs were outscored during the season and made the playoffs, so much for geek analysis of run differential.

As for postseason baseball, you're right it defies analysis. Baseball is too random to predict short series.

I don't think Holliday will win the MVP, I think Rollins will.

sager said...

Oh, you don't want to know what the feeling is on this end about Rollins winning... he's basically the black Pete Rose, switch-hitter at the top of a good lineup with exceptionally good choice in teammates.

Pete Toms said...

I'm not saying Rollins should win, just that I think he will. He's been getting a lot of attention from the baseball press and well, it's their award.

As for the Rose comparison...Rollins unlike Rose plays a key position ( he plays it well also ) and hits with more power. I always thought Rose & Ripken were similar in that they were not dominant players but they racked up the monster numbers through longevity. Don't get me wrong, both great and both deserve to be in the HOF. This coming from someone who thinks Rose is a Grade A asshole.

sager said...

You're right, Pete, It looks like it will be Rollins. The 20/20/20/20 thing, the Phillies' runIn reality,... the 20/20/20/20 thing, but really, he had 139 runs and 212 hits in part because he batted so much and the Phillies had the hitters behind him.

Pete Toms said...

I agree that is the knock against Rollins, he plays in that great offense in that stupidly friendly hitters park. For that matter Holliday benefits from inflated numbers - even post humidor - playing in Colorado.

I think winning one of these awards is akin to winning an Oscar in that you have to curry favor with the voters. I see JRo ( as Peter Gammons recently referred to him - wow how hip is Gammons? ) quoted in a lot of columns, he can't seem to meet a microphone ( or in this era, a digital recorder ) that he doesn't like. We all know Bonds would have won more of these things if he had been nicer to the baseball writers.