Friday, April 30, 2010

Pythag-or-Ass

Second place!?!!!?!?!

Tha hell???

Blah blah blah. It won't last. Nats have been outscored. They're outplaying pythagoras. Blahblahblah. Didn't we hear that crap during the '05 season? (Yeah, we did, and we saw in the second half what happens when you tease the Gods.)

But just go with me a second.

The Nats have scored 100 and allowed 108. They're 13-10, but their runs scored/allowed are more like a 11-12 team. We already talked about the high performance and the usage of the relievers as a big factor in the team's record.

But maybe ol' Pythagoras is a bit misleading in the Nats case.

Consider the case (very sad case) of Mr. Jason Marquis. 8.1 innings, TWENTY RUNS. Read that again. I'll repeat it here if your eyes don't work backwards: 8.1 innings, TWENTY RUNS.

Now you can't just subtract out a team's worst performance. This is like college. You can't wish away those Ds. (Not that I'd know anything about that... Hey! Look over there!)

But if you do. Say you replace his TWENTY RUNS with the team's average of about 5 per game. That's a saving of TWENTY RUNS - 5: so about 15 runs.

Then the Nats have scored 100 and allowed 93 runs. That gets you to 13-10 via Pythagoras.

So aside from Jason Marquis (and much as we wish we could, we can't with him away),we're playing about the way our runs scored/allowed suggest we would.

And if you're keeping track, that non-Marquis pace works out to 87-75. 87 wins hasn't been good enough to make the Wild Card in quite a few years. But none of those teams had STRASBURG!!!! or Storen coming up either.

Please pass the Flavor-Ade, Mr. Kasten! This grape is deeeeeeelicious!

14 Comments:

  • My goodness. Winning can make almost anyone cheerful and optimistic.

    By Blogger Jenn Jenson, at 4/30/2010 11:19 PM  

  • Next thing you'll be wanting to trade for Junior Spivey.

    By Blogger Nate, at 4/30/2010 11:37 PM  

  • Douchebag would just intentionally injure himself again. He can't taketheheat.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/30/2010 11:45 PM  

  • I went to the game. It was Bark in the Park night. The dogs were not confined to the stands, however. There was enough sloppy defense to make me cringe at both teams, notwithstanding the remarkable diving catch by Morgan to save a buttload of runs.

    I agree that the Nats bullpen has been the saving grace thus far, I just hope that the infield defense sharpens up a bit to support the pitch-to-contact staff.

    Also, Zimmerman tore the cover off the ball (duh!) and several other Nats batters put good wood on the ball off an uncharacteristically wild Nolasco. It looked pretty good for the Nats early on in this one.

    All 5 Nats fans in attendance enjoyed the night.

    I have to check the rotation. If the Large Tub of Goo pitches Sunday I WILL be there. That should be quite an experience.

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 5/01/2010 12:24 AM  

  • Bote Man:

    You're not this guy, are you? One of the other five, right?

    And Lannan will pitch Sunday, alas. Livan will be pitching against Jason Heyward next week in Washington. Should be fun.

    By Anonymous cass, at 5/01/2010 12:47 AM  

  • Lol def. Enjoyed reading this...we have Detwiller and Wang coming up at some point too although idk how much betta they'll b than wat we have now

    By Blogger mwyche, at 5/01/2010 7:10 AM  

  • If it weren't for Marquis and his three ridiculous starts the nats very well may be exactly where they are right now. Removing Marquis' three starts altogether our pythagorean W/L is 12-10.

    Or, another way to put it. The nats managed to score 4,4 and 7 in Marquis' three debacles. Instead of 0-3 in those games 4,4 and 7 is probably good enough for a 2-1 mark.

    Or maybe this is just irony for the fact that we were 7 games worse than our pythagorean W-L last year.

    Inarguables: the bullpen is better than it was at any point last year. Our starters have something like 10 straight Quality starts by now. And the players installed anew at their positions over last year (Desmond, Kennedy, I-Rod and the RF platoon) are improvements over their counterparts from last year. So the team is improved and it is showing on the field.

    By Blogger Todd Boss, at 5/01/2010 9:16 AM  

  • Matt Capps -- he of the brutal spring and plus 7 ERA.

    By Blogger Sam, at 5/01/2010 9:25 AM  

  • I think it's safe to say that it's pretty obvious by now to everyone who is at all statistically inclined that a lights-out bullpen is the best way for an average-ish type of team to "beat out" its Pythagorean record. The Angels have only been doing this for what seems like a decade now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2010 10:08 AM  

  • The problem of relying on the bullpen, of course, is that it's very unreliable. Riggleman hasn't killed Clippard yet, but if he continues apace, it'll be just like with Ayala, Rivera, Cordero, etc. For years, the Nats had good relievers in their pen, and for years, they topped the charts in appearances. But if you don't use them, they're not worth as much.

    Hopefully Storen (and maybe Slaten?) will come up and spell Clip 'n Save a bit.

    It's just a tad disappointing that even if we do make it to the playoffs this year, we won't have our best pitcher then, either.

    By Anonymous cass, at 5/01/2010 10:52 AM  

  • That was my only quibble with last night's game: Bruney's job at this point is to be good enough in that situation to save Clippard from pitching for another night. Team's are either going to figure out Clippard or he's going to get tired at this pace.

    I guess the real deal on this one is that he needs to only be light's out for another month or so because Storen will be there to take some of the load should he pass his classes in Syracuse. Last night I think he was okay, Storen went something like 1.2, 3H, 1K, 0R. Put himself in some trouble and then got out of it.

    By OpenID Souldrummer, at 5/01/2010 11:42 AM  

  • Hey souldrummer - I am Sam DC at Japers (just Sam here).

    By Blogger Sam, at 5/01/2010 12:00 PM  

  • Nahh, that wasn't me in that photo. I'm too ugly for them to put on TV so I doubt you would have seen me.

    I watched the (excerpted) replay of the game on Marlins TV after returning home last night. One thing that they didn't show were the two bone-headed baserunning moments of indecisiveness by both Willingham and Bernadina.

    Roger's I could attribute to "rookie mistakes" as 3 Marlins fielders danced in the vicinity of the ball in play while he started toward third--no go back--no, no go to 3B--no, wait!--no go--OK, really go!

    Willingham paused for no friggin reason that I could see when it was plain to me in the seats 22 rows behind home plate that they were not going to get the ball back in close. Had he broken for 3B and committed to running he would have been safe.

    I have NO idea why Pudge waited so long to steal home, or he would have been safe. Slow-mo replays showed him tagging the plate as he was being tagged on the shoulder. I thought tie goes to the runner, but that's not how the home plate ump saw it. He waited too long for the play to develop before breaking for home.

    So it wasn't an ugly game and the Nats had a comfortable lead*, but they certainly could have scored even more runs on a sloppy Marlins defense.

    *When was the last time you could call ANY lead by the Nats "comfortable"???

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 5/01/2010 1:56 PM  

  • Allright then -- one high water mark, duly noted, sir!

    By Blogger Sam, at 5/02/2010 9:13 PM  

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