Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's Teh SmAllBall!1!!1

Here's where I'm torn.

The analytical side of me looks at Nook Logan and sees a fifth outfielder -- a defensive replacement or a pinch runner.

The fanboy in me sees what he did in the third inning when he reached on a bunt single, stole second, stole third, and scored on a bounding single past a drawn-in infield and drools.

The analytical side notes that he needed to spot that bunt perfectly, and he still barely reached against a pretty mediocre defensive third baseman, and that side also points out that he's been thrown out on 2/3 of his attempts to bunt for a hit in his career.

The fanboy in me loves watching speed rule the day and was impressed at the ballsiness of taking two bags on back-to-back pitches.

The analytical side in me would point out that the steal of third was gravy, and that if you believe in the fallacy of the pre-determined outcome (ie that everything that happens after an event would still happen if things prior change), then he'd have scored from second without the risk of the steal of third.

The fanboy loves to see manufactured runs.

The analytical side knows that runs are runs and that using one-run strategies sometimes slightly increases your chance of scoring one run, but hurts your chances of scoring multiple runs, and that everything needs to go perfectly -- as it did in the third -- for the strategy to work, and would point to the caught stealings and runners stranded on third as counterbalances to one happy, fuzzy memory.

Eh, but whatever. I'll just enjoy the win. The fanboy and the analytical side can both do that, at least.

  • Alternatively, read Federal Baseball's take including Bonus CF speculation!


    • dude, what's with taking a day off?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/20/2007 11:34 PM  

    • Next time, don't let your check bounce!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/20/2007 11:36 PM  

    • The very notion that Mr. Needham has a fanboy side is noteworthy. I shall savor this memory for use in a future discussion over yonder.

      I also direct the right honorable gentleman's attention to the horrible things Sam (L.A. type) was gonna say about Logan right before he did the unthinkable with bases loaded.

      That sine wave is on the rise for lil Nookie, it would appear. Perhaps for several other Nats bats as well.

      By Blogger Bote Man, at 5/21/2007 1:14 AM  

    • Fair enough that it's a free service, but when you live on the other side of the world, and the only Nats news/comments you get are from blogs, it's horrible to have to wait 2 days. The "notes" that get posted on the official site are, polite...USELESS, and Sports Illustrated do nothing but make fun of the team, so, please, for those of us that need it for our sanity, keep up the good work, daily.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/21/2007 1:44 AM  

    • If he's been thrown out in 2/3 of his attempts at bunting for a hit, that's a pretty good average, not something to deride.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/21/2007 4:03 AM  

    • There's a generational divide at my dinner table, something probably not unlike the Nixon-McGovern debates teenagers and their parents had in the mid-1970s. I'm a Logan guy; my 5-year-old is a Langerhans girl. She just thinks I'm hopelessly out of touch . . .

      By Blogger John O'Connor, at 5/21/2007 7:29 AM  

    • So failing at 2/3 of his attempts at something he specializes in is something we should praise him for?

      Ryan Zimmerman has a 77% SUCCESS rate.

      Who are some other speedsters who need to bunt?

      Lofton -- 44% success
      Pierre -- 38% success
      Roberts -- 35%
      Furcal -- 37%

      so he's at the low end of what successful bunters do.

      That's probably in part, because of the defense. That's really his lone offensive weapon, so the defense can really play the bunt aggressively, taking away all but the most perfect of bunts.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/21/2007 8:33 AM  

    • And, you really need better than a .333 success rate on bunts because they almost never drive in runs and never advance any runners more than one base. A .250 success rate for trying to hit the ball might actually be better if you did the math, assuming there were extra bases thrown in there.

      By Blogger John O'Connor, at 5/21/2007 9:17 AM  

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