I MISSED Zito's greatest start ever as a Giant and spent the day twiddling my thumbs at work because I fookin' forgot it was a fookin' DAY game! Sheesh! LAME!
Damn. Maybe I've been wrong about his team all along. Maybe you CAN win in the modern game 1-0 and 2-1 and whatnot like you're the '65 Doggers. (Eeeek! I'd rather lose.)
Then again, it was the Padres. Dr. J and I were talking the other night about home-field advantage. We oughta have one, you know? And so far in MMIX it looks like we might. At least against the Padres.
I just finished Baseball Between the Numbers: why everything you know about the game is wrong (by The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts, ed. Jonah Keri, Basic Books, 2006**). It was an excellent read: I highly recommend it. In Chapter 8-1, Steve Goldman asks "Can a Team Have Too Much Pitching?" He discusses one of the most lopsided teams of all time--the 2003 Chavez Latriners. They allowed 3.43 runs per 9 innings while the league allowed 4.64. The gap, even adjusted for the park, between their team ERA and the league's, was almost 30%. That's one of the biggest spreads in history. This was Kevin Brown, Hideo Nomo, Guillermo Mota, Eric Gag-me, etc. On offense, however, they "won" the Triple Crown: last in batting average, on-base average, and slugging percentage. Adjusted for their park, the team OPS was 17% below the league average. They were 16th of 16 in runs scored, 58 behind the 15th-place team. They scored only 18 more runs than they allowed, at a rate of 3.54 runs per game. (Shawn Green, .280/.355/.460 with 23 HRs, was the hitting star.) They were shut out 13 times and scored one run 25 times to go along with throwing 17 shutouts.
Using VORP, Goldman concludes that they were the most pitching-heavy team of all time. Their batters only supplied about 1/6 of their total VORP, the rest was from the pitchers. They finished 15-1/2 games behind Barry and the Seven Dwarfs, but managed a respectable 85-77 record. Only ONE OTHER TEAM IN HISTORY (the 1925 Reds) with that lopsided of a pitching-to-hitting VORP ratio had a .500 record (80-73, 3rd place).
What's the moral of the story? You have to have BALANCE!
Regardless, it was a great win today, eh?
**Google books link