Tuesday, March 9, 2010

.857, baby!

It's been a long time since I thought much about Spring Training records. Figures, then, that this is the year we are a smokin' hot 6-1 in the desert after another win today (FreddieLew and Buster go back-to-back!). Sky Andrecheck recently posted a story at SI.com titled "Spring training games aren't as meaningless as they may seem", and it got me thinking about whether a good spring indicates a good season. Here's a snippet:
Does a team's spring training record really tell us anything? Surprisingly, it does. A team's spring training record is a statistically significant predictor of its regular-season record, even when taking into account its pre-season projection.
Dude. That's awesome. I'm down with statistical significance! Here's more:
In a nutshell, if your team is having an extremely surprising spring training (for good or for bad), you would do well to adjust your expectations accordingly by about three games.
Only three? We aren't going to play .857 ball this year? Damn. Only statisticians like Mr. Andrecheck (and hopless Giants junkies like me) can get excited about such significance. Three games in the NL West could separate three teams in 2010. I'm on record as liking the Rockies as the favorites, but I don't see any runaway clubs.

I love this game. Just when you think you've made up your mind about something, someone comes along and makes you re-think it. Mainly, I'm thinking about an .857 win percentage. That's 138 wins.




Zo said...

And how about some of the Giants stats? Small sample size, but still, beats hell out of no sample size at all. I can't describe the immense pleasure I got from scanning the stats. What's not to like about John Bowker's .444 obp to go with a whopping .667 slg? Who else is whaling the tar out of the ball, you ask? Why Kevin Frandsen has a gaudy .364 average, which pales in comparison to Matt Downs' and Aaron Rowand's .455, and Velez has hit the ball in exactly half of his at bats. But even these don't hold a candle to Benjie Mo's .556 average and crisp 1.000 slugging. The man even found time to take a walk (and let's hope its not the last). Here are some guys with an OPS greater than 1.000: Bowker, Downs, Rowand, Velez, Molina, Whiteside, Guzman, Burriss and Holm.

Pitching, you say? Well, we got pitching! Cain, Wellemeyer and Zito all have era's under 3, and here's a few guys with a whip of less than 1.5: Cain, Wilson, Steve Johnson, Pucetas, Romo, Bumgarner, Romero, Runzler, Mota and Pena. Tim not looking so good with an 18.00 era, but you know what it would take to bring that down? One inning! Man, what a staff!

Richard said...

Hey MC,

My name is Rich, and I recently created a website/blog devoted to the Fresno Grizzlies. It's at www.grizzlies-baseball.com

I've visited your site several times over the last few weeks, and I always enjoy it. I've also included it in my blogroll.

If you get a chance you might want to check out my site, and if you like what you see, add it to your blogroll. Thanks and good luck! And Go Giants!


M.C. O'Connor said...

Rich, I called your site "Fresno Grizzles Baseball" and the team site (i.e. milb.com) "Fresno Grizzlies Home" to distinguish them on my blogroll.

Of course we will expect daily Buster updates covering everything that happens in Fresno. The man gets bit by a mosquito, RMC wants to hear about it! :-)

Anonymous said...

I was reading a recent headline on the Giant's website, and the headline said how the Giants were renowned for slugging and the Dodgers for pitching and how now the sides have switched. Did they overlook Christy Mathewson, Carl Hubbell, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, etc.? If anything, we were the team most balanced until around the 70s. But I think that the Giants are on their way to something great again.

Bob said...

So out of over 100 years of Giants history you can name four great pitchers and an etc.
Believe me, the Giants are most definitely NOT known for their pitchers.

Richard said...

Thanks for the link M.C. You'll definitely get frequent updates on all things Buster related.

Anonymous said...

There are more pitchers I just wasn't naming them all. They may not be as well known, but they have had good ones. They're not known for it but they have the 2nd lowest franchise ERA to the Dodgers (3.54 v. 3.56).

M.C. O'Connor said...

I think the 60s, that is the era right after the move west, is what most people think of when they think of the "character" of the Giant-Dodger rivalry. That era had Koufax/Drysdale, pitching-friendly Dodger Stadium, the high mound, Wills/Davis stealing bases, etc. The Giants, despite Marichal/Perry, had a slugging vibe with Mays/McCovey/Cepeda and relied on offense to win (or at least that was the general perception). All through the 70s the Dodgers had good pitching while the Giants floundered.

There is no way to adequately assess the history of two clubs that go back over 100 years. In MY lifetime, we have never been a pitching team, and this squad is the first I remember that really suppressed run scoring. Even our good teams had good pitching but never dominating pitching.

Anonymous said...

OK, you got me. I was just looking at the big picture without examining the finer details. Though, I think that I like this new direction. The lackluster offense of last year made Pablo look even better, many of the games were nail biters, and etc. It's nice to see a team like SO SO SO, maybe HR rather than the usual HR! HR! HR! HR! Well for me at least.

Anonymous said...

*By "SO" I meant K, for the pitcher, I chose not to repeat it as it looked kinda racist.