Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-28-2010 (Seattle 6, Kansas City 5)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
SEARyan Rowland-Smith -2.5330.000-2.5330.0000.0008.7817
SEARob Johnson -1.030-0.5280.0000.000-0.5020.000
SEACasey Kotchman 2.0621.9050.0000.0000.1570.000
SEAChone Figgins 2.5411.6030.0001.685-0.7470.000
SEAJose Lopez -0.364-0.5620.0000.1980.0000.000
SEAJack Wilson 2.9000.5730.0002.3270.0000.000
SEAMilton Bradley 0.519-0.0840.0000.6030.0000.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez -1.942-2.0290.0000.0870.0000.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 0.7261.0750.000-0.5060.1570.000
SEAMike Sweeney -0.348-0.3810.0000.0000.0330.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEABrandon League0.3820.0000.3820.0000.0002.664
SEAMark Lowe-0.4060.000-0.4060.0000.0008.433
SEADavid Aardsma-0.4430.000-0.4430.0000.0008.743

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
KCRGil Meche -1.3540.000-0.422-0.9320.0005.6318
KCRJason Kendall 2.0672.1830.000-0.1160.0000.000
KCRBilly Butler -1.245-0.2990.000-0.9460.0000.000
KCRWillie Bloomquist -0.585-1.5200.0001.479-0.5440.000
KCRAlberto Callaspo -0.259-0.3070.0000.300-0.2520.000
KCRYuniesky Betancourt -0.725-0.9410.0000.2160.0000.000
KCRScott Podsednik 1.210-0.2180.0001.4280.0000.000
KCRMitch Maier 2.2111.6000.0000.6110.0000.000
KCRDavid DeJesus -1.1030.3070.000-1.4100.0000.000
KCRJose Guillen -0.714-0.7140.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRKCR Luckbox0.1450.1450.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRTrey Hillman0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRAlex Gordon0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRBrad Thompson0.5860.0000.4450.1410.0002.264
KCRDusty Hughes -0.8030.000-0.9660.1630.00013.113
KCRRob Tejeda -0.5460.000-0.5460.0000.00011.882
 Kauffmann Stadium0.9490.0000.000-0.9490.0000.000

Player of the Game: Jack Wilson (2.900 NRuns: 0.573 hitting, 2.327 fielding)

Pretty good:

Chone Figgins (2.541 NRuns: 1.603 hitting, 1.685 fielding, -0.747 running)
Casey Kotchman (2.062 NRuns: 1.905 hitting, 0.157 fielding)

Pretty bad:

Ryan Rowland-Smith (-2.533 pitching NRuns)
Franklin Gutierrez (-1.942 NRuns: -2.029 hitting, 0.087 fielding)

The Royals can play sometimes:

Mitch Maier (2.211 NRuns: 1.600 hitting, 0.611 fielding)
Jason Kendall (2.067 NRuns: 2.183 hitting, -0.116 fielding)


Ryan Rowland-Smith: He looked alright the first four innings. He didn't look so good in the 5th, and he looked absolutely terrible in the 6th, which completely sunk his outing. After spending most of the game with an EXERA in the 3's, the 5th sent it up to 5.73 and the 6th inning meltdown left him with an 8.78.

This, however, is not a serious cause for alarm. RRS has historically been a poor pitcher in April who picks up steam and pitches much better the rest of the season. Here are his rate stats by month over his four year MLB career:


And in many of those seasons, his velocity and command start out weak and picks up, just as his numbers do. He'll get better. In time, keeping him over Snell will seem more like the smarter move, unless Snell puts it together and becomes a better pitcher during his time in the pen... in which case that's a problem you'd like to have.

In case I haven't really covered it (and that's quite possible)...

What are Net Runs?

Similar to Sean Smith's RE24, Net Runs scores each play in a game solely by the run expectancy added or subtracted by each player, and gives us a total number of runs contributed for each player in the game. It delves deeper than RE24 by awarding defenders for plays made in the field, awarding baserunners for their baserunning, and factoring in luck, managerial decisions that take matters out of the players' hands and the dimensions of the park. Pitchers are scored in full only for outcomes in their direct control (walks, strikeouts, wild pitches, etc), while balls in play they allow are mostly scored according to their MLB average run value, adjusted for park factors.

Run expectancy numbers are derived from a composite five year league average (2005-2009) weighed more heavily towards recent seasons, and adjusted by park using ESPN's park factors and Tom Tango's Markov function. 2010 data will get factored in accordingly (with 2005 data being phased out) as that sample builds and normalizes.

What is EXERA?

EXERA is short for Expected ERA, taken from a pitcher's Net Runs earned and added with the league average runs scored per inning in the respective park(s) to devise an ERA the pitcher would expect to run in that park with a league average defense based on his performance. Each park has it's own baseline EXERA, against which the pitcher's performance is compared.

If a pitcher's actual ERA is better than his EXERA, his defense helped him out and/or he had some luck. But if it's worse, he had some bad luck or poor defense.

What is EMERA?

EMERA is short for Expected MLB ERA and is used to estimate how a given minor league pitcher would fare if he were immediately called up to the Majors, based on his walk, strikeout and batted ball rates during a given season at his current level.

To estimate this performance, the major league averages for walks, strikeouts and the three major batted ball types are adjusted to the player's given level through MLE adjustments. Then the player's rate for each batted ball type is adjusted by these revised weights to create a hypothetical opponent's batting line over the pitcher's number of ABs against. This line is run through a Markov equation to devise a runs per game total, which is then adjusted to give us EMERA. EMERA can also be used to compare pitchers between levels and organizations, since their raw numbers are neutralized.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-27-2010 (Seattle 3, Kansas City 2)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
SEAIan Snell 0.6380.000-0.4531.0910.0005.7616
SEAAdam Moore -0.998-0.9980.0000.0000.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman -1.776-2.0480.0000.2720.0000.000
SEAChone Figgins -1.379-0.4370.000-0.9420.0000.000
SEAJose Lopez 1.013-0.2910.0000.6880.6160.000
SEAJack Wilson -1.340-1.1500.000-0.1900.0000.000
SEAMilton Bradley 3.8611.3630.0002.4980.0000.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 3.1020.9780.0002.1240.0000.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki -2.094-0.0910.000-1.501-0.5020.000
SEAKen Griffey Jr0.1150.1150.0000.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAEric Byrnes 0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAShawn Kelley 0.6200.0000.6200.0000.0001.945
SEAMark Lowe -0.1530.000-0.1530.0000.0006.323
SEADavid Aardsma -0.6090.000-0.6090.0000.00010.133

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
KCRZack Greinke 1.3390.0001.3390.0000.0003.4521
KCRJason Kendall -0.622-1.0960.0000.4740.0000.000
KCRBilly Butler 1.5951.1990.0000.3960.0000.000
KCRAlberto Callaspo -1.475-0.2920.000-1.1830.0000.000
KCRAlex Gordon-0.308-0.4910.0000.0260.1570.000
KCRYuniesky Betancourt -2.195-0.9910.000-1.2040.0000.000
KCRScott Podsednik -0.105-0.7050.0000.6000.0000.000
KCRMitch Maier 1.6621.1850.0000.4480.0290.000
KCRDavid DeJesus 0.456-0.6230.0001.447-0.3680.000
KCRJose Guillen -1.606-1.6060.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRKCR Luckbox0.1570.1570.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRTrey Hillman0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRJosh Rupe-0.1020.000-0.1020.0000.0007.601
KCRRob Tejeda -1.1150.000-0.295-0.8200.0000
KCRBruce Chen1.3190.0001.2050.1140.0000.005
 Kauffmann Stadium0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000

Players of the Game because picking only one is absurd:

Milton Bradley (3.861 NRuns: 1.363 hitting, 2.498 fielding)
Franklin Gutierrez (3.102 NRuns: 0.978 hitting, 2.124 fielding)

ICHIRO HURTS THIS TEAM WITH NEGATIVE NET RUNS (-2.094 NRuns: -0.091 hitting, -1.501 fielding, -0.502 running)

See what happens, Wak, when you use a reliever for multiple innings?: Shawn Kelley (0.620 pitching NRuns)

That pitcher's pretty good, you should use him more: Zack Greinke (1.339 pitching NRuns)

They used to be Mariners:

Yuniesky Betancourt (-2.195 NRuns: -0.991 hitting, -1.204 fielding... the GOAT)
Jose Guillen (-1.606 hitting NRuns)


There was no way Ian Snell was going to pitch himself out of a demotion to the bullpen today, but despite his initial trouble he actually pitched very well in the early innings. Both back to back base hits that led off the game were on groundballs past Chone Figgins, and he got a strikeout and pop out with the bases loaded in that frame before a tapback to the mound got him out of it. Even the leadoff double in the 2nd came on a groundball, and none of his outcomes before the inning ending lineout in the 3rd were negative. Even the leadoff walk and wild pitch to start the 4th were negated by a strikeout, and his flyball that led to a triple was negated by a groundout.

It was only the Royals blasting off in his final 1.1 frames (three line drives and a walk) that brought his EXERA hurtling back to Earth like an armaggeddonic meteor. Though Snell will now work out of the bullpen with Cliff Lee back, he showed a ton of reasons today why the team keeps trying to work him into a better pitcher.

This was still a cheese grater of a win, and it took Milton Bradley and Franklin Gutierrez capitalizing with men on for the Mariners to pull ahead. One other positive is that Wak FINALLY used a reliever for multiple frames after a long stretch of one inning outings, as Shawn Kelley finished up the 6th for Snell, and then worked a 1-2-3 7th. See, Wak, it can work! Also, Kudos for actually using the otherwise disused Kelley. Shawn's velocity was down, but he also wasn't working consistently. Perhaps a rhythm of consistent outings can help him get back to form.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-26-2010 (Kansas City 3, Seattle 1)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
SEAFelix Hernandez -0.2770.0000.493-0.7700.0004.4621
SEARob Johnson 0.8120.8120.0000.0000.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman -0.881-1.1600.0000.2790.0000.000
SEAChone Figgins -3.121-1.4470.000-1.6740.0000.000
SEAJose Lopez -1.782-1.8080.0000.0260.0000.000
SEAJack Wilson -0.611-1.2230.0000.6120.0000.000
SEAMilton Bradley 1.716-0.3230.0002.0390.0000.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 2.228-0.2160.0002.4440.0000.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 0.237-0.1510.0000.0000.3880.000
SEAKen Griffey Jr-0.317-0.3170.0000.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAMike Sweeney 1.0001.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAMatt Tuiasosopo 0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEASean White-0.6600.000-0.6600.0000.00010.553

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
KCRKyle Davies 0.4510.0000.4510.0000.0004.4218
KCRJason Kendall -1.527-1.4260.000-0.1010.0000.000
KCRBilly Butler 1.3221.0100.0000.3120.0000.000
KCRAlberto Callaspo -1.897-1.1970.000-0.7000.0000.000
KCRAlex Gordon-0.238-0.4010.0000.1630.0000.000
KCRYuniesky Betancourt 0.6520.4540.0000.1980.0000.000
KCRScott Podsednik 2.009-0.0370.0002.0460.0000.000
KCRMitch Maier 2.045-0.5550.0002.6000.0000.000
KCRDavid DeJesus -0.203-0.6610.0000.4580.0000.000
KCRJose Guillen -0.325-0.3250.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRKCR Luckbox1.2981.2980.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRTrey Hillman0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
KCRBrad Thompson-0.5580.000-0.5580.0000.00019.011
KCRDusty Hughes -0.5450.000-1.1160.5710.00019.012
KCRKyle Farnsworth -0.3940.000-0.3940.0000.0007.025
KCRBruce Chen0.5150.0000.5150.0000.0000.001
 Kauffmann Stadium0.9490.0000.000-0.9490.0000.000

Player of the Game: Franklin Gutierrez (2.228 NRuns: -0.216 hitting, 2.444 fielding)
Great day for center fielders: Mitch Maier (2.045 NRuns: -0.555 hitting, 2.600 fielding)

Bad day for 2nd basemen....

Chone Figgins (-3.121 NRuns: -1.447 hitting, -1.674 fielding... also our GOAT)
Alberto Callaspo (-1.897 NRuns: -1.197 hitting, -0.700 fielding)

Welcome back, Milton Bradley (1.716 NRuns: -0.323 hitting, 2.039 fielding)
... oh... it's you: Jack Wilson (-0.611 NRuns: -1.223 hitting, 0.612 fielding)

We also kind of gave the game away: KCR Luckbox (1.298 NRuns)
SEA hitting: -4.833 NRuns


And that's the Mariners' performance in a nutshell. One run in garbage time, knocked in by former Royal and current bench-hog Mike Sweeney, and nothing against the hittable Kyle Davies, who had pretty much an identically ordinary night to Felix Hernandez... only Hernandez watched a ball leave the yard and made a defensive miscue to help bring in another run. And that was pretty much the difference, as neither lineup had much else to offer.

Chone Figgins had a bad game defensively, letting several key balls get by him, but this is hardly just his fault. Aside from Sweendawg, only Rob Johnson of all people had an overall positive contribution at the plate today. This team doesn't need hitters so much as they just need to HIT.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-25-2010 (Chicago White Sox 3, Seattle 2)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
SEAJason Vargas -0.6030.000-0.6030.0000.0005.3220
SEAAdam Moore -0.6650.1240.000-0.7890.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman -0.2840.5060.0000.068-0.8580.000
SEAChone Figgins -0.799-0.4210.000-0.3780.0000.000
SEAJose Lopez 0.017-0.1200.0000.1370.0000.000
SEAMatt Tuiasosopo0.308-0.6960.0001.0040.0000.000
SEAEric Byrnes 1.367-0.7840.0002.1510.0000.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 1.3490.2020.0001.1470.0000.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 0.427-0.4790.0000.9060.0000.000
SEAMike Sweeney 0.0800.0800.0000.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAKen Griffey Jr-0.477-0.4770.0000.0000.0000.000
SEASean White -0.5030.000-0.5030.0000.00017.151
SEABrandon League 0.1140.0000.1140.0000.0003.613

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
CWSJohn Danks -0.0920.000-0.3430.2510.0004.9224
CWSAJ Pierzynski-1.439-1.4390.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSPaul Konerko 2.4972.4290.0000.0680.0000.000
CWSGordon Beckham 0.546-0.0780.0000.6240.0000.000
CWSMark Teahen 0.2650.0600.0000.2050.0000.000
CWSAlexei Ramirez 0.325-1.0060.0001.3310.0000.000
CWSJuan Pierre 0.767-0.4560.0001.0080.2150.000
CWSAlex Rios -0.275-0.0950.000-0.2810.1010.000
CWSCarlos Quentin -0.562-0.9860.0000.4240.0000.000
CWSAndruw Jones -0.594-0.5940.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSCWS Luckbox0.4730.4730.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSOzzie Guillen0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSBobby Jenks 0.1330.0000.1330.0000.0003.453
 US Cellular Field2.3750.0000.000-2.3750.0000.000

He blasted off on the bullpen again: Paul Konerko (2.497 NRuns: 2.429 hitting, 0.068 fielding)
Godspeed, Tyler Flowers: AJ Pierzynski (-1.439 NRuns, all hitting)

He can still run them down: Eric Byrnes (1.367 NRuns: -0.784 hitting, 2.151 fielding)
So can he, of course: Franklin Gutierrez (1.349 NRuns: 0.202 hitting, 1.147 fielding)

Please retire:

Mike Sweeney: 0.080 NRuns, all hitting
Ken Griffey Jr: -0.477 NRuns, all hitting

Lowest M's contribution today: Chone Figgins (-0.799 NRuns: -0.421 hitting, -0.378 fielding)


There isn't much of a goat today. Even Brandon League can't be blamed for allowing a go-ahead home run to Paul Konerko that had a stiff 22 mph wind to left behind it: Outfield flies become outs 77-80% of the time... at least when there's not a 20 mph wind behind them, and otherwise he was solid.

But rearing its ugly head was a lack of patience by Mariner hitters. Mike Sweeney was the most obvious offender with several bad swings and quick outs, but the team seemed to be patient until around the 5th inning, and then it seemed like everyone swung into 1st, 2nd and 3rd pitch outs. He's by no means one of the better hitters on this team, but kudos to Adam Moore for being one of the few who did take pitches throughout the game (except of course for his RBI single on a 2nd pitch changeup in his 2nd PA).

Perhaps the Mariners figured that being aggressive against strikeout lefty John Danks was better than getting to two strikes, putting the PA in Danks' control and then getting fooled into bad swings... but alas, to the contrary they made Danks' day easier by swinging into easy outs and keeping his pitch count low enough for him to work eight innings. He actually didn't pitch that great of a game (4.92 EXERA), but strong infield defense (2.228 NRuns) and a decent day by Juan Pierre in LF (1.008 NR) plus the Mariners' quick outs helped him breeze through eight frames. A better lineup probably chases Danks after 6 or 7 at most if he's dealing. They don't get impatient after five innings and buy him an extra couple of frames with quick outs.

At this point, there's a lot of calls to bench Ken Griffey Jr and unload Mike Sweeney, as the two aged DH bats are not helping the offense and obviously can't help the fielding. Griffey's not going anywhere as the team has built several promotional nights at Safeco Field around him and thus has an incentive to keep him on the roster... but they can still bench him and use him as just a pinch hitter or a spot DH. Sweeney, on the other hand, hasn't justified the roster spot handed to hit after a hot spring, as his hitting has been anything but hot in limited duty.

However, they're not the only reasons this team hasn't produced at the plate.

- I've mentioned the quick outs.
- I also mentioned the struggles against the changeup, and a couple more of Chone Figgins' outs today came on bad swings against the change.
- Matt Tuiasosopo, filling in for Jack Wilson at SS, hasn't been bad defensively, but his patient hitting value hasn't cashed out, as he's been probably the easiest out in the lineup this side of Junior over the weekend.
- Eric Byrnes has been absolutely empty at the plate save for a few walks, and if not for his defense he'd probably justify a powerflush from the roster.
- Ichiro's aggressive swings early in the count have always been a part of his game, and I'm not going to argue with his particular approach after 3000+ professional hits. But sometimes that approach is going to hurt him and he's going to have games like today where he mostly comes up empty after only 2-3 pitches. To a much smaller extent, this is also true of Jose Lopez, but to Jose's credit he did work a couple counts and has been a little more patient this season.

Really, if anyone should get blamed for this weekend's sweep, it should be the bats for repeatedly coming up empty against White Sox pitchers that could be beaten, especially in a bandbox with a consistently stiff wind out to LF. The starting pitching was terrific, the bullpen got snakebit by spotty control, flyballs and the wind, and the defense was mostly there. The bats, however, came up too empty too often, and got exposed as a bit too easy to beat. They, not the bullpen, are the big problem with the team right now.

Parts of the offense can be obviously improved (the two DH spots), but beyond that there's not a lot of obvious options for improvement. No one in Triple A Tacoma seems capable of stepping into LF or DH, or upgrading the team at catcher. And none of the available options can really do anything about the offensive black hole at SS (Jack Wilson's recent doubles aside), save for the unlikely event that Josh Wilson's really hot April in Tacoma becomes a hot May and is in some way for real.

This is the offense we're stuck with, and most knew that going in. The team was rolling the dice with pitching and defense, and hoping the offense would sneak enough runs across to win games. This team has only topped 4 runs five times in 19 games this season (the expected league average is 4.7 runs/game). Even when Milton Bradley's sore calf heals and he returns to the lineup, this team's still got a few rally-killing holes, some lineup-related and some approach-related, and until they're addressed those holes, scoring is going to be a problem and games are going to be close enough that bullpen cracks are going to continue to ignite losses.

Sure, the opposition can't win if they don't score. But neither can you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A quick Net Runs look at Jake Peavy

As Dave Cameron noted, Jake Peavy isn't looking so good this season. None of his four starts have looked particularly pretty, and Net Runs confirms that, even granted Peavy's better looking 7.1 inning start in Cleveland, he's done a fairly poor job in all four starts.


The guy has been a walk machine (a bloated 13.6% of batters faced), and along with a lack of strikeouts (also 13.6%) and a 28.5% line drive rate as of today, it's clear Peavy's struggles aren't any product of bad luck, before you even delve into his velocity or pitch profile... which in turn offers plenty of evidence that something isn't right.

In the meantime, he's costing his team nearly 2 runs per start, and if he can't quickly adjust and resume getting guys out consistently, Peavy might need to look at a DL stint. The White Sox are struggling and need all the help they can get from a struggling pitching staff. Matt Thornton and John Danks can't do all the work ;P

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-24-2010 (Chicago White Sox 5, Seattle 4)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
SEADoug Fister -0.7180.000-0.7180.0000.0005.3124
SEARob Johnson -0.546-0.6840.0000.1380.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman 1.8611.5670.0000.2940.0000.000
SEAChone Figgins 0.546-0.1880.0000.7340.0000.000
SEAJose Lopez 1.8510.7600.0000.9900.1010.000
SEAMatt Tuiasosopo -0.115-0.4780.0000.3630.0000.000
SEAEric Byrnes -2.126-1.2070.000-0.9190.0000.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 1.1260.2810.0000.8450.0000.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 0.158-0.7300.0000.8880.0000.000
SEAKen Griffey Jr-0.627-0.6270.0000.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.2820.2820.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAJack Wilson 0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADavid Aardsma -0.0450.000-0.0450.0000.0005.132

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
CWSFreddy Garcia2.1930.0002.0560.1370.0002.1121
CWSAJ Pierzynski-1.056-0.9550.000-0.1010.0000.000
CWSPaul Konerko-1.764-0.1230.000-1.139-0.5020.000
CWSGordon Beckham-0.459-0.9500.0000.4910.0000.000
CWSMark Teahen0.1050.1050.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSAlexei Ramirez1.4471.2550.0000.431-0.2390.000
CWSJuan Pierre-0.8430.1110.000-0.497-0.4570.000
CWSAlex Rios2.5352.0240.0000.649-0.1380.000
CWSAndruw Jones0.5690.4820.0000.0870.0000.000
CWSCarlos Quentin-0.422-0.4220.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSCWS Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSOzzie Guillen-0.1320.000-0.1320.0000.0000.000
CWSJayson Nix0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSSergio Santos0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0004.563
CWSBobby Jenks-0.1160.000-0.1160.0000.0005.533
 US Cellular Field3.7040.0000.000-3.7040.0000.000

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 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:

Situation0 outs1 out2 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).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-23-2010 (Chicago White Sox 7, Seattle 6)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
SEARyan Rowland-Smith -2.4390.000-2.4390.0000.000
SEAAdam Moore -0.652-0.2060.000-0.4460.000
SEACasey Kotchman -1.117-1.1170.0000.0000.000
SEAChone Figgins 1.9561.3170.0000.6390.000
SEAJose Lopez 4.8132.0710.0002.7420.000
SEAJack Wilson 0.4980.4270.0000.0710.000
SEAEric Byrnes 0.4240.2560.000-0.0830.251
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 0.850-0.3330.0001.1830.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 0.3310.3310.0000.0000.000
SEAKen Griffey Jr-0.841-0.8410.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.1500.1500.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu-0.1370.000-0.1370.0000.000
SEAMatt Tuiasosopo -1.488-1.2290.000-0.2590.000
SEAKanekoa Texeira 0.4540.0000.4540.0000.000
SEASean White -0.8160.000-0.8920.0760.000
SEABrandon League 0.1580.000-0.0240.1820.000
SEAMark Lowe 0.0680.0000.0680.0000.000

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
CWSGavin Floyd 0.5600.0000.934-0.3740.000
CWSDonny Lucy -0.290-0.2900.000-0.1010.101
CWSPaul Konerko 1.8931.7560.0000.1370.000
CWSGordon Beckham 0.656-0.3420.0000.9980.000
CWSJayson Nix -1.158-0.1520.000-1.0060.000
CWSAlexei Ramirez 0.5650.1720.0000.3930.000
CWSAndruw Jones 2.7021.4850.0001.760-0.543
CWSAlex Rios -0.604-0.1020.0000.000-0.502
CWSCarlos Quentin -1.749-0.0360.000-1.7130.000
CWSJuan Pierre -0.514-0.7290.0000.0000.215
CWSCWS Luckbox1.2721.2720.0000.0000.000
CWSOzzie Guillen0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
CWSMark Teahen -0.114-0.1140.0000.0000.000
CWSJJ Putz-0.5600.000-0.5600.0000.000
CWSMatt Thornton 1.2080.0001.2080.0000.000

Expected ERAs based on today's performances:

Ryan Rowland-Smith: 8.38
Kanekoa Texeira: 0.00
Sean White: 15.73
Brandon League: 4.71
Mark Lowe: 3.71

Gavin Floyd: 3.33
JJ Putz: 18.58
Matt Thornton: 0.24

Player of the Game: Jose Lopez (4.813 NRuns: 2.071 hitting, 2.742 fielding)

Hail the Conquering Hero: Andruw Jones (2.702 NRuns: 1.485 hitting, 1.760 fielding, -0.543 running)

CWS Luckbox: 1.272 NRuns

(Luckbox > 1.000 ---------> Other team screwed up a lot)

His fielding wasn't the problem: Matt Tuiasosopo (-1.488 NRuns: -1.229 hitting, -0.259 fielding)

Goat: Ryan Rowland-Smith (-2.439 NRuns, all pitching)

Remember when we were glad we lost him cause he sucked?: Matt Thornton (1.208 NRuns pitching)

Remember when we lamented losing him cause he was good?: JJ Putz (-0.560 NRuns in 0.2 IP = 7.56 R/G)

US Cellular Field: 6.079 NRuns


Two items stand out on everyone's radar, as well they should. And apologies but I'm going to digress from the numbers above in discussing them.

1. Sean White pitching the 7th. Lou Piniella had Bobby Ayala. Mike Hargrove had Julio Mateo. John McLaren had Rick White. And it appears Don Wakamatsu has Sean White. It seems that, save for Bob Melvin, who simply had bad career timing, every Mariners manager in recent memory has a sentimental bullpen favorite that gains a lot more trust than he deserves, and inevitably that overrated reliever gets thrust into key situation after key situation (often when better options are available) only to go grease-fire on those high leverage situations and often blow the game.

Last year, Sean White was a functional two pitch reliever with a swaying sinker and a hot fastball. But this year his stuff has cooled off back to his crappy 2007 form, when the Mariners took a shot with him in the Rule 5 draft and he pitched so poorly even in mop up and long relief that the team DL'd him at the first wince of arm pain and never took him off until they had to.

In 2007, he only hit the zone 40-41% of the time, with a 90-91 mph heater and pedestrian secondary stuff. After toiling in the minors during 2008, he came out in 2009 with a few extra ticks on his heater (now 93-94) and a sinker with some bite, plus better control, hitting the zone nearly 48% of the time. He posted stronger numbers across the board in 2009 and gave Wak every indication that he had emerged as a strong groundball reliever.

But now in 2010 his heater has cooled back off to 91-92, his once promising sinker has lost its bite... when it actually does sink instead of hanging in the zone, and speaking of the latter he's once again only hitting the zone 41% of the time. But now hitters are making more contact on his pitches than they even did back in his crappy 2007. Go figure that the ChiSox ripped two line drives off him in the 7th, setting up Alex Rios' game tying double.

Wak wants to think that the 2010 Sean White is still the 2009 Sean White. But he's not. He's basically the 2007 Sean White, and I have just as little an idea as to why as you do. But I do know for certain that Wak's hurting the team as long as he doesn't realize that the Sean White he has now is barely a replacement level reliever, and should be 5th or 6th in line when it comes to his high leverage options... not 1st or 2nd in line... at least until Sean can get himself back to that 2009 form... if he can at all.

I humbly suggest looking at DL'ing Sean White. He's lost velocity and control. He was hurt before this spring. Maybe something's still wrong. And you have a golden chance to do so without hurting the team, with Cliff Lee coming back and needing to unload an arm to open up space for him anyway. Yes, Jesus Colome sucks too and should probably go as well. Send them both away then: You've got several guys missing bats in Tacoma, and one of them could serve as your back-end mop-up guy if you must carry 12 pitchers.

But if he's okay, Wak needs to be realistic instead of optimistic with Sean White, and use him in lower leverage situations until he shows real signs that he's one of the bullpen's best arms for tough situations.

2. Jack Wilson bangs up his thumb and suddenly the team's only option for SS was... Matt Tuiasosopo, a barely passable defensive infielder at 2B and 3B who struggles at shortstop (though granted he wasn't worse than so-so at the 6 today). Now, obviously going forward the team ought to look at calling up Jack Hannahan or Josh Wilson (who is currently Tacoma's hottest hitter) to come up and hold down shortstop until Jack's thumb heals. Wilson's hot AAA bat may be worth a test drive, but Hannahan might be a better option as he's slated to return to the team from an injury anyway.

But IMO Wak missed another opportunity when he inserted Tui at SS. Whether or not US Cellular Field is a bandbox, every run counts for these Mariners and they need to field the best defense possible. Once Jack was hurt and had to come out, Wak could have been a bit more creative than just putting Tui in Jack's position.

Chone Figgins at 2B is probably the best infielder in the lineup at this point. While his limited career experience at SS with the Angels wasn't terrific (about -0.5 UZR in 150.2 career innings), the guy at least had considerable experience at the spot and would have been better suited to fill in at SS than Tui, who could have slid over to the more comfortable 2B in Chone's place. Since the ChiSox had a lineup of eight right handed pull hitters, the M's were better off having their better defenders on the left side of the infield. Jose Lopez, who has been great at 3B so far, was fine there, and while not perfect, Chone would have been a more suitable fill-in for the SS position. Sure, he's not used to playing there and would be a bit rusty not having played there since 2006, but he should have enough cross-applicable fielding skill and enough sense memory to do a functional job for six frames... at least better than Tui.


Now, back to the numbers. I'd be remiss not to mention Jose Lopez posting arguably the best single game performance by a Mariner this season, not only hitting that grand slam but making several key plays in the field that saved nearly 3 runs in their own right. While Jose's power bat hasn't shown up until today, he's been a beast in the field for the M's all season long. It's like he's become a different player defensively, and not just because he switched positions. He's more aggressive to the ball and hustling now, without rushing into too many mistakes.

And I'd be remiss not to mention Ryan Rowland-Smith doing his part to facilitate a ChiSox win by pitching like absolute crap. Blah blah bandbox, blah blah flyball pitcher. He gave up enough line drives that even if he didn't get unlucky with a couple flyballs and even if they were playing this game in Safeco, he would have looked awful almost no matter what. He's got to mix it up and locate his stuff down in the zone: If he's going to miss with his pitches (and his swervy pitches miss a LOT), at least miss low.

The broken play that injured Jack's thumb cost the M's 0.678 runs, a huge break that eventually led to Paul Konerko's RBI single (off, go figure, a line drive against RRS). Tui later screwed up a play that added another 0.457 runs to the ChiSox's chances. While RRS and Sean White's poor pitching had a big hand in the loss, the M's also gave away over a run to the ChiSox through miscues.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Net Runs Special, 4-22-2010: Pirate Massacre (Milwaukee 20, Pittsburgh 0)

Box score courtesy of Baseball Reference

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
MILRandy Wolf 0.4260.306-0.3670.4870.0005.1318
MILGeorge Kottaras 0.5400.4460.0000.0940.0000.000
MILPrince Fielder 2.1931.8340.0000.3590.0000.000
MILRickie Weeks 1.3370.3820.0000.5830.3720.000
MILCasey McGehee 0.3610.1120.0000.2490.0000.000
MILAlcides Escobar -0.0250.0460.000-0.0710.0000.000
MILRyan Braun 4.2543.7680.0000.4580.0280.000
MILCarlos Gomez -0.912-0.6170.000-0.4380.1430.000
MILJim Edmonds 5.9863.2730.0002.7130.0000.000
MILMIL Luckbox1.6241.6240.0000.0000.0000.000
MILKen Macha0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
MILJody Gerut 0.9800.6600.0000.3200.0000.000
MILCraig Counsell 0.8930.8930.0000.0000.0000.000
MILJoe Inglett 0.1550.1550.0000.0000.0000.000
MILClaudio Vargas -0.390-0.237-0.1530.0000.0005.903
MILManny Parra 1.9321.0000.9320.0000.000-3.153
MILTrevor Hoffman -0.1800.000-0.1800.0000.0006.123

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBaseEXERAPitOuts
PITDaniel McCutchen -1.469-0.629-1.2400.4000.0007.4411
PITRyan Doumit -0.320-0.1490.000-0.1710.0000.000
PITGarrett Jones 0.8120.9510.000-0.2820.1430.000
PITAkinori Iwamura -1.708-0.4320.000-1.2760.0000.000
PITDelwyn Young -0.769-0.7690.0000.0000.0000.000
PITRonny Cedeno -0.152-0.2290.0000.0770.0000.000
PITLastings Milledge -0.762-0.3160.000-0.209-0.2370.000
PITAndrew McCutchen -2.536-0.8170.000-1.7190.0000.000
PITRyan Church -1.178-0.3930.000-0.7850.0000.000
PITPIT Luckbox0.1130.1130.0000.0000.0000.000
PITJohn Russell0.0000.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
PITArgenis Diaz-0.109-0.1090.0000.0000.0000.000
PITJohn Raynor 0.154-0.3400.0000.4940.0000.000
PITJason Jaramillo -0.610-0.6100.0000.0000.0000.000
PITDJ Carrasco-2.435-0.337-2.2700.1720.00023.563
PITJavier Lopez 0.5840.0000.4350.1490.0001.904
PITJoel Hanrahan -0.2730.000-0.2730.0000.0006.903
PITBrendan Donnelly 0.5540.0000.5540.0000.0000.003
PITOctavio Dotel -1.6080.000-1.6080.0000.00018.043

Pirates starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen actually threw a decent 1st inning, going strikeout, flyout, groundout. Of course, things went far, far downhill from there, and John Russell had seen enough two outs into the 4th. Of course, with DJ Carrasco in relief things would get much, much worse. Neither Pittsburgh nor Milwaukee had any idea exactly how much worse.

Even while trying to show mercy once the lead stretched to double digits, the Brewers couldn't help but force in more runs as the Pirates defense, pitching and the friendly confines of their home PNC Park allowed more bloodletting despite themselves. Milwaukee received over a run and a half of help thanks to Pirates miscues... not that they needed it.

The Pirates weren't all bad in this 20-0 massacre. Garrett Jones erased a so-so defensive effort with a decent day at the plate. But he was the only one who did much of anything against a Brewers pitching staff that honestly didn't have much of a day. Randy Wolf finished with an EXERA of 5.13, Claudio Vargas had an ugly inning of work (5.90) and so did Trevor Hoffman in a rust-rid mop up 9th (6.12).

Manny Parra, meanwhile, had himself a ball at the Pirates' expense. He watched a grounder go for a base hit to lead off the 8th (his only inning), then quietly went strikeout, strikeout, groundout to finish the frame. Then he came to bat with the sacks loaded in the top 9th and poked a grounder past Aki Iwamura at 2B to knock in yet another run. Parra's not known for his sympathy, so go figure he didn't get the memo to let off the gas as he piled up 1.932 NRuns in garbage time.

As you'd expect, several other Brewers piled up massive numbers. Jim Edmonds had a great day in RF, and unloaded at the plate, totalling up 5.986 NRuns, while Ryan Braun added 4.254 of his own thanks in large part to his 3 run bomb early in the rout. Prince Fielder added 2.193 NR and Rickie Weeks added over a run combined on the bases, at that plate and in the field.

The Pirates left over 4 runs on the table at the plate as, save for Garrett Jones, every other Pirate finished in the red at the plate as the team combined for -4.066 NRuns hitting, -3.150 NRuns fielding and -4.402 NRuns pitching. And that's with decent relief performances by Javier Lopez and a very upset Brendan Donnelly.

Today was an embarrassment. We should all be embarrassed to have major-league baseball uniforms on our back today. It was an atrocity. We set a record. We should all be embarrassed about it. That's how I feel.

You'll notice the above totals, plus Pirates miscues, only account for about 13 runs of damage. So where did the other 7 runs go?

PNC Park's walls and otufield seats swallowed up about 7 runs, whether from home runs or unreachable flyballs off the wall. Given how terrible the outfield defense was for the Pirates, I'm not sure it would have mattered if the walls were 500 feet back.

The Brewers blasted off on Pirates pitching all day, and for the Pirates it took a team effort of failure, everything from the hitting to the pitching to the fielding to the hometown park itself, to produce the 2010 season's biggest blowout to date.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-21-2010 (Seattle 4, Baltimore 1)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
BALKevin Millwood -3.1070.000-3.1070.0000.000
BALMatt Wieters -0.0200.1170.000-0.1370.000
BALGarrett Atkins 1.0260.1290.0000.8970.000
BALJustin Turner -2.411-0.6570.000-1.7540.000
BALTy Wigginton -2.134-1.3550.000-0.128-0.651
BALCesar Izturis 0.2490.1040.0000.1450.000
BALLou Montanez 3.101-0.0470.0003.1480.000
BALAdam Jones 0.777-0.8410.0001.6180.000
BALNick Markakis -0.3620.4170.000-0.7790.000
BALLuke Scott -1.085-1.0850.0000.0000.000
BALBAL Luckbox0.5410.5410.0000.0000.000
BALDave Trembley-0.1300.000-0.1300.0000.000
BALNolan Reimold -0.217-0.2170.0000.0000.000

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
SEAFelix Hernandez -0.4070.000-0.4830.0760.000
SEARob Johnson 0.7931.0960.000-0.4400.137
SEACasey Kotchman 0.7120.1460.0000.5660.000
SEAChone Figgins -0.888-0.4640.000-0.4240.000
SEAJose Lopez 0.585-0.4490.0001.0340.000
SEAJack Wilson 2.1692.7470.000-0.5780.000
SEAMatt Tuiasosopo 1.167-0.3650.0001.5320.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 0.567-0.9490.0001.5160.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki -0.248-0.9940.0000.7460.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.7850.7850.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAMike Sweeney-1.463-1.2460.0000.000-0.217

Expected ERAs based on today's performances:

Kevin Millwood: 7.45

Felix Hernandez: 4.66

Player of the Game: Jack Wilson (2.169 NRuns: 2.747 hitting, -0.578 fielding)
... wait, run that by me again?: Jack Wilson (2.169 NRuns: 2.747 hitting, -0.578 fielding)
... you sure those aren't backwards? (Yes, I'm sure)

Felix: (-0.407 NRuns: -0.483 pitching, 0.076 fielding)
Mariners defensive NRuns: 4.028

Orioles Player of the Game in Defeat: Lou Montanez (3.101 NRuns: -0.047 hitting, 3.148 fielding)

Goat: Kevin Millwood (-3.107 NRuns, all pitching)

They were pretty bad too:
Justin Turner (-2.411 NRuns: -0.657 hitting, -1.754 fielding)
Ty Wigginton (-2.134 NRuns: -1.355 hitting, -0.128 fielding, -0.651 running)

Both team's DHs, Mike Sweeney and Luke Scott: -2.548 NRuns


The collective MVP of the Mariners in April, much like in 2009, has to be the defense, as Felix extended an okay outing to the wire with the help of excellent fielding. Jose Lopez, Matt Tuiasosopo (making a spot start in LF) and Franklin Gutierrez each saved more than a run in the field, while Ichiro and Casey Kotchman also made significant contributions.

One caveat: Three of Felix's six liners came during his 4th trip through the Baltimore Orioles' lineup, and most pitchers tend to get hit hard after three times through the lineup as 1) they fatigue and 2) hitters have seen them three times and have enough sense memory to catch up to their stuff during a 4th plate appearance.

Felix's third trip through the Orioles ended in coincidence with the end of the 7th inning, as Cesar Izturis flew out to center. Had his night ended there, his Expected ERA would have been a lot better at 3.72. Still not dominant, but then again Felix had only 4 of his 6 K's at that point and had given up three line drives. That's still a good outing given the average Expected ERA in Safeco Field is 4.21. Remember: Expected ERA assumes a league average defense and is based on an average run value for every ball in play. Given Felix was facing a crappy Baltimore lineup and had a great Mariners defense behind him, that he allowed only one run makes sense.

Though the game still ended in a Mariners victory and a CG for Felix, his last two frames are an example of why it's best to pull a starting pitcher after he's faced the full lineup three times. He allowed three line drives and a flyball to two groundballs and two K's in those final two frames. The Expected ERA from those two frames? 9.16. Good thing the Orioles were out of gas and the M's defense is still very good. Even though he had the game in control, Felix became a bit more beatable once the hitters got to see him a 4th time. I don't think fatigue was much of a factor until the 9th inning, but the Orioles seeing him a 4th time was probably a big factor.

(One note: 2009 and 2010 data shows that the 3rd and 4th times through the order produce similar numbers. But note that many lesser pitchers don't frequently see the lineup three full times, let alone a 4th time. They usually get part way through the 3rd trip before getting the hook. It's usually the hosses, the top pitchers in a staff, that get to see a lineup a 4th time. That the average numbers of these strong pitchers, on average, are on par with the 3rd trip through the order for every starter in the league, indicates what the combination of wear and in-game observation does to diminish the ace's chances in turn #4. Look at the pitch count stats to see how the wear affects pitchers.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-20-2010 (Seattle 3, Baltimore 1)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
BALDavid Hernandez -4.3180.000-4.3180.0000.000
BALMatt Wieters 0.2520.3590.000-0.1070.000
BALGarrett Atkins -0.870-1.0150.0000.1450.000
BALJulio Lugo 0.272-0.4640.0000.7360.000
BALTy Wigginton 2.0130.5030.0001.5100.000
BALCesar Izturis 0.059-0.7100.0000.7690.000
BALLuke Scott -1.586-0.9860.000-0.6000.000
BALAdam Jones -0.146-0.8120.0000.6660.000
BALNick Markakis 1.218-0.9230.0002.1410.000
BALNolan Reimold 0.2860.2860.0000.0000.000
BALBAL Luckbox0.2170.2170.0000.0000.000
BALDave Trembley0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
BALWill Ohman 0.4490.0000.4490.0000.000
BALMatt Albers 0.0030.000-0.1420.1450.000

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
SEAJason Vargas 0.7910.0000.7910.0000.000
SEAAdam Moore -0.074-0.0740.0000.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman -1.244-1.2440.0000.0000.000
SEAChone Figgins -0.458-0.2930.0000.469-0.634
SEAJose Lopez -0.738-0.4750.0000.171-0.434
SEAJack Wilson 1.0640.6620.0000.4020.000
SEAMilton Bradley 1.0001.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 1.723-0.2430.0001.9660.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 0.4970.1250.0000.2650.107
SEAKen Griffey Jr0.2370.2370.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.8290.8290.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAEric Byrnes -0.581-0.6030.0000.0220.000
SEAMark Lowe -0.1830.000-0.1830.0000.000
SEADavid Aardsma 0.2350.0000.2350.0000.000

Expected ERAs based on today's performances:

David Hernandez: 9.90
Will Ohman: 0.00
Matt Albers: 5.40

Jason Vargas: 3.27
Mark Lowe: 5.74
David Aardsma: 2.25

Player of the Game: Franklin Gutierrez (1.723 NRuns: -0.243 hitting, 1.966 fielding)
Rest of defense: 1.329 NRuns
Mariners Baserunning: -0.961 NRuns
Sometimes he can hit too: Jack Wilson (1.064 NRuns: 0.662 hitting, 0.402 fielding)
This all came with one swing of the bat: Milton Bradley (1.000 NRuns, all hitting)

Goat: David Hernandez (-4.318 NRuns)
Way better than yesterday: Ty Wigginton (2.013 NRuns: 0.503 hitting, 1.510 fielding)

Not quite a Bonderman, but pretty bad, was David Hernandez's performance. Though he did manage 6 1/3 innings, he had a lot of luck (some of which was the Mariners innovative ability to make outs) and defense to help him overcome a slew of line drives (he had five in the final 2.1 innings alone). David Hernandez has some good stuff. And as of right now, just like last year, he's not a very good pitcher. If he pitched another day like he pitched today, he probably doesn't get out of the 4th inning. It's too bad he has to learn in the bigs on a bad team, but he's got a lot of learning to do if he's going to harness his talent and become a good pitcher.

On the flip side, Jason Vargas is making a strong case to stay in the rotation not just when Cliff Lee returns at the end of the month, but also when Erik Bedard returns in a month or two. While Doug Fister has tiptoed to some fine performances, a look at his BIP stats shows that he's more beatable than meets the eye. The surprising candidate to get the bump to the pen (or Tacoma) is Ian Snell, only surprising because at season's start he wasn't more than a dark horse candidate to get voted off rotation island, but has done some work towards pitching himself off the rotation. Vargas has pitched well, and Fister has managed some nice looking performances. Snell hasn't done much of either, and while he's had some extenuating circumstances around his first few starts (illness and a death in the family), his performance has left a lot to be desired and at this point he's the top candidate to get bumped when Cliff Lee returns.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-19-2010 (Seattle 8, Baltimore 2)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
BALBrad Bergesen -2.9610.000-2.9610.0000.000
BALMatt Wieters -0.314-0.3140.0000.0000.000
BALLuke Scott 0.5590.4140.0000.1450.000
BALJulio Lugo 0.880-0.4340.0001.3140.000
BALTy Wigginton 0.0161.0690.000-1.0530.000
BALCesar Izturis -1.377-0.6450.000-0.7320.000
BALLou Montanez 0.233-0.6620.0000.8950.000
BALAdam Jones 0.734-0.6740.0001.4080.000
BALNick Markakis -0.856-0.3740.000-0.4820.000
BALNolan Reimold -0.925-0.4910.0000.000-0.434
BALBAL Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
BALDave Trembley0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
BALJason Berken -0.5950.000-0.5950.0000.000
BALKam Mickolio -0.1730.000-0.1730.0000.000

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
SEADoug Fister -0.8590.000-1.1560.2970.000
SEARob Johnson -1.093-1.0930.0000.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman 2.5722.5720.0000.0000.000
SEAChone Figgins 0.825-0.5930.0001.4180.000
SEAJose Lopez -1.358-0.9630.0000.086-0.481
SEAJack Wilson 0.9620.6700.0000.1550.137
SEAMilton Bradley 2.2880.3440.0001.9440.000
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 2.1372.1370.0000.0000.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki 1.2470.4770.0000.7700.000
SEAKen Griffey Jr-0.8740.1290.0000.000-1.003
SEASEA Luckbox1.3901.3900.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEAEric Byrnes 0.2370.2370.0000.0000.000
SEABrandon League 0.1380.0000.1380.0000.000
SEAShawn Kelley -0.1550.000-0.1550.0000.000

Expected ERAs based on today's pitching performances:

Brad Bergesen: 13.48
Jason Berken: 5.70
Kam Mickolio: 5.66

Doug Fister: 5.59
Brandon League: 3.06
Shawn Kelley: 5.51

Player of the Game: Casey Kotchman (2.572 NRuns, all hitting)
Key Contributor #2: Milton Bradley (2.288 NRuns, 0.344 hitting, 1.944 fielding)
Key Contributor #3: Franklin Gutierrez (2.137 NRuns, all hitting)
Seattle's good luck: 1.390 NRuns
This guy had a no hitter entering the 7th? Doug Fister (-0.859 NRuns, -1.156 pitching, 0.297 fielding)

This guy sure didn't: Brad Bergesen (-2.961 NRuns, all pitching)

Doug Fister overcame a shaky 1st inning to retire something like 16 consecutive batters to take a no-no into the 7th before Nick Markakis strung a grounder into center to lead off the 7th, and then back to back liners later in the frame killed the shutout. Aside from that poor last inning, Doug's Net Runs total sunk with the help of the bad 1st frame and three line drives during the game. Many of the strikeouts and pop outs Doug collected were with the bases empty and 1 or 2 outs, which minimized their positive RE value and their ability to cancel out the costly line drives. Entering that 7th inning his expected ERA based on his performance in the first six frames was an underwhelming 4.70, and the hits allowed in the 7th didn't help.

While his defense helped him out a lot (Chone Figgins made a couple of impressive plays), surprisingly the team's two best fielders at their respective positions, Franklin Gutierrez in CF and Casey Kotchman at 1B, did not play a part. Franklin did not catch a single ball today, and Kotchman did not field anything other than pop ups, relays and putout throws. The defensive studs that did most of the heavy defensive lifting? Chone Figgins, of course... and Milton Bradley in LF. Granted, Bradley has help from Safeco's infamous seaside air and flyball killing jetstream in from LF. But for a guy who was considered a weakness defensively in LF, Milton Bradley has been a consistently solid fielder in left who has gotten to virtually every ball he can, and it shows in his Net Runs total.

Brad Bergesen's expected ERA looks like the price of a lovely sit-down breakfast.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Seattle Mariners Net Runs for 4-18-2010 (Detroit 4, Seattle 2)

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
DETMax Scherzer -0.6010.000-0.6770.0760.000
DETAlex Avila -0.1840.0800.0000.217-0.481
DETMiguel Cabrera 2.5791.7450.0000.8340.000
DETScott Sizemore 0.051-0.0200.0000.0710.000
DETBrandon Inge 0.3930.6860.000-0.2930.000
DETRamon Santiago -1.792-1.8730.0000.0810.000
DETJohnny Damon 1.3221.4660.000-0.2810.137
DETAustin Jackson 2.5431.1780.0000.8880.477
DETMagglio Ordoñez -0.262-2.0330.0001.7710.000
DETDET Luckbox0.4330.4330.0000.0000.000
DETJim Leyland0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
DETPhil Coke 0.0710.0000.0710.0000.000
DETRyan Perry 0.1590.0000.1590.0000.000
DETJose Valverde -0.4690.000-0.4690.0000.000
DETDon Kelly 0.8290.0000.0000.8290.000

TeamPlayerNet RunsHitPitchDefBase
SEAIan Snell -1.4880.000-1.4880.0000.000
SEAAdam Moore -0.434-0.4340.0000.0000.000
SEACasey Kotchman 1.5951.6670.0000.762-0.834
SEAChone Figgins 0.792-0.2230.0001.232-0.217
SEAJose Lopez -0.033-1.3190.0001.2860.000
SEAJack Wilson 0.4460.0810.0000.3650.000
SEAEric Byrnes 1.5120.6530.0000.998-0.139
SEAFranklin Gutierrez 0.051-1.0660.0001.1170.000
SEAIchiro Suzuki -0.9520.6350.000-1.153-0.434
SEAKen Griffey Jr-0.309-0.3090.0000.0000.000
SEASEA Luckbox0.0000.0000.0000.0000.000
SEADon Wakamatsu-0.494-0.220-0.2740.0000.000
SEAKanekoa Texeira 0.3900.0000.2450.1450.000
SEASean White 0.2790.0000.2790.0000.000
SEAJesus Colome-0.2760.000-0.7780.5020.000
SEAShawn Kelley -0.1360.000-0.1360.0000.000
SEAMilton Bradley -0.217-0.2170.0000.0000.000

Expected ERAs for today's pitching performances:

Max Scherzer: 5.15
Phil Coke: 3.32
Ryan Perry: 3.22
Jose Valverde: 8.13

Ian Snell: 6.70
Kanekoa Texeira: 2.17
Sean White: 1.89
Jesus Colome: 10.70
Shawn Kelley: 5.35

Player of the Game: Miguel Cabrera (2.579 NRuns: 1.745 hitting, 0.834 fielding)
Damn Close, Though: Austin Jackson (2.543 NRuns: 1.178 hitting, 0.888 fielding, 0.477 running)
Definitely not player of the game: Ramon Santiago (-1.792 NRuns: -1.873 hitting, 0.081 fielding)

Top Mariner: Casey Kotchman (1.595 NRuns: 1.667 hitting, 0.762 fielding, -0.834 running)
If you saw the game you won't believe this: Eric Byrnes (1.512 NRuns: 0.653 hitting, 0.998 fielding, -0.139 running)

Goat: Ian Snell (-1.488 NRuns, all pitching)
Actual goat: Mariners Baserunning (-1.624 NRuns)


A couple of topics worth discussion:

The big Net Runs surprise is that the visually worst of the Mariners' gaffes, Eric Byrnes getting caught red handed at home plate, was actually not that damaging. The key meltdown moment of that play, once Casey Kotchman roped that single to right... was Casey Kotchman getting caught in the rundown that set up Byrnes' disaster gaffe. Kotchman's decision to turn at 1st and go cost the Mariners 0.834 expected runs, and that's if Byrnes stayed put and Kotchman was tagged out. There's no mistake that, given the choice, you'd rather have Byrnes at 3rd with two outs than have Kotchman at 1st with two outs. But in making the ill-advised decision to try and sneak home during the rundown, Byrnes cost his team a relatively mere 0.139 expected runs.

Run Expectancy with Kotchman at bat (Men on 2nd and 3rd with one out): 1.327 ExpRuns

Run Expectancy after Kotchman singled (Runner on 3rd scores, runners at 1st and 3rd, 1 out): 1.190 ExpRuns plus the actual run

Run Expectancy if Kotchman was run down and Byrnes stayed at 3rd (Man on 3rd, two out): 0.356 ExpRuns

Run Expectancy after Byrnes tackled Alex Avila for the 2nd out: 0.217 ExpRuns

Don't get me wrong: Byrnes made a damaging mistake (perhaps had Byrnes timed his takeoff better he might have had a shot at scoring instead of getting thrown out by 5 feet, but really the smart move would have been to stay at 3rd). But by turning for 2nd with the ball about 130 feet away in RF and Magglio Ordoñez throwing back to the infield, Kotchman's mistake was far, far more damaging. Byrnes will get the vitriol and the pub for getting nailed at home, but Kotchman deserves some lightning for taking a good scoring opportunity against a challenging Max Scherzer and helping flush it down the toilet with nonsensical aggression.


Right on time with Brett Miller's recent piece questioning Wak's bullpen usage with Mark Lowe, Wak made a strange decision to burn four relievers after Ian Snell's poor five inning performance, instead of extending one or two of them over a couple innings.

Part of this was Wak's own doing: By not using three of the four relievers he burned today (Texeira, Colome and Kelley) over the last few days, Wak was compelled to turn the final four frames into a bullpen relay of back end guys who needed to shake off some rust, raising the risk that he'd send in an arm that would get hit and let him down. Sure enough, Jesus Colome walked the leadoff guy, got ripped for a couple of line drives and allowed Detroit to extend the lead to 4-2 in a game where runs were at a premium thanks to Scherzer and an effective Detroit bullpen. Had he stuck with the more effective Kanekoa Texeira or Sean White for an extra inning, this might have been averted.

Wak has shown a curious aversion to extending his more durable middle relievers, while showing too much reliance in the middle innings on Mark Lowe and Brandon League, short relievers better served getting a final out in the 7th, working the 8th to set up Aardsma, or locking down the 9th to set up a bottom 9th rally. Instead, Wak won't use his more durable arms for more than an inning, and often avoids going to them altogether when he otherwise could.