The San Francisco Giants had the best record in baseball in their first season in the new ballpark at 2nd and King. The team was 3rd in the league in runs scored at 925, and 4th in the league in runs allowed at 747. It was an era of big offense--NL teams scored and gave up an average of 5 runs per game. At 97-65, the Giants exactly matched their Pythagorean projection, and smoked the 2nd place Dodgers by 11 games. Despite the lack of a truly dominant starter, the Giants led the league with 15 team shutouts. The Atlanta Braves once again had the best pitching staff, yielding only 714 runs (4.41 per game) for an ERA+ of 113. (The Giants were 8th at 101.) For comparison, the 2009 Giants had a team ERA+ of 123, the best mark in San Francisco history. You have to go back to New York's 1954 World Series champs for a better one (132). Of course, there were only 8 teams in the league then, and none west of the Mississippi!
This is the first of a series of posts about the NL West. I am interested in runs scored, runs allowed, Pythagorean record, and ERA+. I thought it might be fun to mine the vast info bank known as Baseball-Reference and see if we find out anything interesting. After all, we all want to win the West. Is their anything we can learn from the last 10 seasons? I decided to start with year 2000 because we had a great ballclub, the Park was brand-spankin' new, and the league and playoff configuration was the same as it is today.
ERA+ = 100 * (lg ERA/tm ERA) with a park adjustment
Pythagorean W-L (Bill James' formula) = RS^1.83 / (RS^1.83 + RA^1.83)
Tim Lincecum filed for arbitration yesterday.