Saturday, August 13, 2016

Madbum Finally Wins

This team is driving me crazy.  I was all set to dump on them with all sorts of invective and swearing, and they go and win and look (mostly) pretty good doing it.  They are so confusing.

The Giants have THE WORST record in the major leagues after the All Star break, still.  They are 9 - 18 since the break (.333).  That happens to teams sometimes for short periods, but it has been a month.  I can't explain why one team, with mostly the same players, was the best team in baseball and now is the worst.   And you know the worst part?  Teasers like tonight's 6 - 2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.  Because whenever that happens, I get my hopes up and then have them dashed the next day, often when they don't score at all.  I could give up on this team, but I know I can't.  It's like heroin, you need it even when it doesn't get you high anymore. 

But you know what?  The Giants have been playing .500 ball for awhile now.   They have won and lost alternately since August 3 and played .500 since July 28 when they went to Washington DC.  A record of .500 doesn't win you a division, but it sure beats what came before (2 - 8).

The Giants finally put a W on Madison Bumgarner's record.  That is his first since July 10.   Maddy went 7, allowed 0 runs, struck out 8 and walked 3.   He allowed 3 hits.  He has a National League leading ERA (except for Clayton Kershaw, who probably won't be able to pitch this year).   Derek Law threw a perfect 8th and Romo and Lopez struggled through the 9th, giving up 2 runs before Casilla ended the game on 1 pitch.

Joe Panik, hitting!  3 hits including a pair of ground rule doubles that bounced over the wall.  Denard Span, getting 2 rbi in each of 2 identical situations (runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs).  A 2-run home run for Brandon Belt!  The Giants actually left 9 men on base in spite of scoring 6 runs.  So which team will show up tomorrow?  Will it be the crappy, no-scoring Giants, or the real Giants?  Please, please, let them be good.

So to wrap things up, I present a list of medal counts in the 2016 Olympics on a population-weighted basis.  The total number of medals a country wins, even though it incorporates many individual sports, seems to be a big thing, but wouldn't you expect a country with the larger population to win more medals?  Just a random sprinkling of athletic talent would seem to indicate that it would.  So although we like to see the US rack up medals, when a country like the Bahamas wins something, that is really meaningful. 

Country                 Medals per 1,000,000

Hungary                             1.12
Australia                            0.91
Great Britain                      0.46
Canada                               0.33
Italy                                    0.30
France                                0.28
South Korea                       0.26
Germany                            0.20
US and Japan                     0.19
Russia                                 0.16
China                                  0.03

Makes you think, doesn't it.


El said...

A team to drive you crazy:

Opp field % - 2nd in NL
Line drive % - 1st in NL!
High BB Rate - 3rd in NL
Low K Rate - 1st in NL 2nd MLB!
High Scoring - 5th in NL!
High AVG - 1st in NL

Soft contact – 13th in NL
Hard contact - 13th in NL
HR/FB ratio - 14th in NL
No Power - 13th in NL

JC Parsons said...

After all these years, and all that "torture", you would think we might all have a thicker skin. But noooooo. This year is as tough, emotion, unsettling, and potentially as amazing as any other of our championship runs. I, too, am going absolutely crazy. Each day brings new joy/terror. Oh, why can't it ever be easy?
I have been saying all week that this weekend would be very telling. If our aces can shut down the very talented O's then we may very well be back on track. .500 ball against good teams isn't too bad, so there truly is hope. Especially if Joe and Hunter finish well.
Will anyone grab Papelbon? Anyone with over 20 saves might be it worth the $11 million salary?

M.C. O'Connor said...

When I first saw the 2016 schedule I noticed the three against LA at home on the final weekend and thought "that's gonna decide it." Right now it feels like a 159-game prologue--just the warmup for the three-act drama at the end! It would be nice to get that big lead back, but I'll settle for steady winning.

campanari said...

As to Olympic medals, I wouldn't think total population is a very good measure of success rate. Russians stress chess, Nordic countries have excellent skiers, years ago the Romanians had a great, well-subsidized, coercive gymnastics training program. When the number of sports and medals is small, very small variations skew rates of success as with SSS in baseball.

As to the Giants, seventy years as a Giants fan (since I was 10) have given me some inner protection against their floundering. When they win I am happy but also feel that they're getting their just desserts. When they lose, I'm saddened but also feel they're getting their just desserts. Of course this degree of aloofness and insistent moral rectitude means that I follow their games on Gameday rather than watch, to get entrapped in their ecstatic or catastrophic moments. I have tickets to one of the upcoming Cubs games at Wrigley Field, and I will see how my airiness survives THAT.

Zo said...

Campanari - I'll work on it for my next post. Papelbon? Probably releasing him and eating his salary was the best thing Washington could have done to improve their team. No, No, and NO.