The division winning Diamondbacks over-performed their Pythagorean record (95-67) by three games, finishing 98-64. The wild-card Giants finished two-and-a-half games back at 95-66, under-performing their Pythagorean projection (98-63) by three games. AZ led the NL in RS with 819, and finished 5th in RA at 674. SF was 3rd in RS with 783 and 2nd in RA with 616. (It is interesting to note that the 2009 Giants and Dodgers led the NL in 2009 with 611 RA.) You want to talk run prevention? How about the 2002 Atlanta Braves only allowing 565 runs to lead all of baseball? Wow! That was good for another impressive ERA+, this time 133. The Snakes took the second spot in the league (116) and the Giants the third (109). Those were two well-balanced clubs fighting it out in the West that season.
The Braves, on the other hand, had a mediocre offense, despite an outfield of Chipper Jones (153 OPS+), Andruw Jones (127 OPS+), and Gary Sheffield (138 OPS+). They scored only 708 runs (10th), below the league average of 720, yet they went 101-59, over-performing their predicted 96-64. That ought to give Giants fans some hope. A 27-year old super-sub by the name of Mark DeRosa put up a .768 OPS in 72 games for the Braves that year, and was 3-for-7 in the NLDS against the Giants. Y'all stand up and gimme a "V-S-C" chant!
Take a look at this piece on Tim and arbitration.
(A wink-and-a-nod to Giants Win for the link.)
UPDATE Monday 0850: JSanchez avoids arb and signs for $2.1M. Good!