|SEA||Ken Griffey Jr||-0.627||-0.627||0.000||0.000||0.000||0.00||0|
|US Cellular Field||3.704||0.000||0.000||-3.704||0.000||0.00||0|
Hey look! The Expected ERAs for today's performances are now included in the charts! They are of course under the label EXERA, and should be easy to find as they'll have a non-zero number in a new column on their right: PitOuts are the number of outs the team netted while a pitcher was on the hill, and is used to determine that pitcher's EXERA. If I haven't yet explained the formula in full (and yes I've got to go back and check), I will make sure to do so soon.
Player of the Game: U.S. Cellular Field (3.704 NRuns, all on bogus as hell wind-aided home runs SCREW THAT PLACE)
ChiSox Player of the Game: Alex Rios (2.535 NRuns: 2.024 hitting, 0.649 fielding, -0.138 running)
For a guy that's finished he sure pitched well: Freddy Garcia (2.193 NRuns: 2.056 pitching, 0.137 fielding)
Good thing this guy hit a HR because wow did he suck otherwise: Paul Konerko (-1.764 NRuns: -0.123 hitting, -1.139 fielding, -0.502 running)
Mariners Player of the Game: Casey Kotchman (1.861 NRuns: 1.567 hitting, 0.294 fielding)
Goat: Eric Byrnes (-2.126 NRuns: -1.207 hitting, -0.919 fielding)
- What do you get when your erratic flyball-happy closer takes the hill with a two run lead, an 18 mph wind out to left field and some good hitters due up? Why, absolute disaster, of course!
Aardsma didn't actually do all that worse or better in this walkoff loss than he usually does. He's always flyball prone. He's always walk prone. He's always throwing gas and striking people out. And with that every batter he faces seems like a roll of the dice. Most of the time since his 2009 arrival, he's succeeded. Sometimes, the flyballs and walks produce disaster.
Add in a stadium that would fit in well in the Cal League, and some good ChiSox hitters, and failure becomes distinctly possible. David Aardsma is still who he is, and who he is can close out his fair share of games. Two wind-aided flyballs over the LF fence later (though Rios did put a decent charge in his; that might have been able to leave many yards with no wind), I'm not any more or less concerned about him than I was before today. He hit 97 on the radar gun, and he was spotty with his control, film at 11.
- So after a few good games in the field, Eric Byrnes sure picked a bad time to go and have as bad a game as possible, as he was totally useless at the plate and also had a poor game in the field. With the team looking for spots to upgrade the roster, the last thing he wanted to do was look expendable, especially against an ordinary SP like....
- ... Freddy Garcia. For the second night in a row, the Mariners got owned by a pitcher with weak stuff who makes his living by nibbling at the edges of the zone. I didn't watch the game but decided to examine the pitch F/X and pitch by pitch data on MLB.com Gameday to try and get an idea as to why the lineup only got two hits in 7 innings off an otherwise hittable Freddy Garcia.
In what's becoming a recurring theme, the Mariners got eaten alive by the changeup. Several of Freddy's swinging strikes came on that pitch (he put awa Chone Figgins on strikes twice with the changeup). But to the M's credit, they took a lot of pitches... probably too many. They took a lot of called strikes, and let Freddy get to strike two uncontested quite a bit. Perhaps that was the idea, to try and get him to throw as many pitches per plate appearance as possible.
Many of the outs in play came on fastballs along the outside edge of the zone (though Junior's outs in play came mostly on the change), and the M's just could not take advantage of the jetstream, with only two balls (Franklin Gutierrez's HR and Jose Lopez's line drive RBI double, which BTW came on a 1st pitch slider) being hit to left field. Freddy got a lot of pop ups, and all the other flyballs were hit harmlessly to center. The lineup improved on yesterday's flailing failboat at the plate, and played it more patient with Freddy. The patience didn't pay off, and at the same time their struggles with hitting the changeup once again came into play.
Freddy's EXERA was around the 1's for most of this start and only reached the 2's towards the end. Casey Kotchman's RBI double (helped by a not-so-wise fan along the RF line) was the only serious damage by the M's off the bullpen.
- As for Doug Fister, who after yet another strong 8 inning start is definitely locked into the rotation for the foreseeable future... his outing was once again pedestrian per EXERA. Perhaps one item that could be improved with Net Runs over time is how line drives are counted against the pitcher. The methodology of assigning a value to each ball in play and handing that to the pitcher is fine, but not all line drives are perfectly equal, nor are all flyballs or groundballs. For example, Doug Fister allowed six line drives... but five of those came with the bases empty, and ultimately the ChiSox only scored two runs against him. Four of the six line drives came with one out and the other with two outs. Here's the composite run expectancy for US Cellular Field:
|Situation||0 outs||1 out||2 outs|
In US Cellular, I assign each line drive a value of 0.503 runs and give that to the pitcher. That's the average run expectancy added by all line drives in MLB, park adjusted to this horrifyingly hitter friendly South Side bandbox. But notice the run expectancy with the bases empty and one out, or two out. 0.296. 0.114. And notice the difference with a man on 1st and one out or two out. 0.571. 0.239. Not quite 0.503 big, is it? A double with one out and empty bases might be close to that value, but not with two outs.
The thing is that, to accurately assess the value by base and out would require an entire run expectancy chart for each batted ball type, and then conversions for every single situation, for every single park. And in the end, I'm not convinced I would have accurate, consistent values. It may be worth a shot down the line, but that's an example of how much tedious and lengthy work the slightest adjustment will require at this stage. The methodology that produced this method alone was a lengthy, tedious, weeks long process.
That is not to say I won't eventually work to do it, and see what happens. But this should illustrate why I stick with the current process even with the knowledge that there may be a more accurate way to assign value. As it stands, the current methodology is still fairly accurate and has done a consistent job of assigning overall value to a performance. And it does reward fielders in kind for catching a typically difficult to catch ball, even when a fielder happens to be in the right spot to catch it, or getting a ball back in quickly and preventing damaging extra bases.
To wit and to the contrary, when is a line drive allowed by a pitcher ever a good indicator, even if it's caught for an out? The batter timed and anticpated a pitch well enough to hit it hard on a line, a batted ball type that falls for a hit 70-75% of the time. That indicates the pitcher didn't fool the batter.
So anyway, after all that, Doug Fister allowed line drives on 25% of his balls in play, and that's not a good ratio... but he did only walk one, did strike out four and did get a lot of groundballs. The line drives are what lands his EXERA for the second consecutive 8 inning start despite an actual line that looks much better. His defense is that good (well, except for Eric Byrnes today, but still).