Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

An astute statistical examination of the Washington bats, and then a list of them

When the substance warrants it, I'll always be keen to include some reader-based insight in the NJ. So, here's an e-mail (highlights below) from Mark Wolven, of Alexandria, Va.

Mark writes...

---

Here's a page from ESPN.com. If the page doesn't load correctly, go to MLB, then Teams, then select Stats under Nationals. Then on the right, where it says Splits, select Count 0-0.

This page shows the Nats batters and their results when putting the first pitch in play.

The Nats are batting only .250 with an OPS of .599. Their opponents are batting .365 with an impressive 1.013 OPS.

I have to think that this reflects one of two (or both) possible sources.

First, the Nats batters are at the plate without an executable plan. That is, they are swinging at pitches that they cannot hit. But the problem isn't simply swinging at the first pitch, it is swinging at the first pitch at the wrong time. An MLB level batter should only be swinging at the first pitch when it is the pitch that he anticipates in a very small location that he anticipates, or you don't swing at all.

Is the problem that Lenny Harris doesn't have these guys ready? Or is it that these guys are not experienced enough to recognize pitches at this level?

For comparison, here's some teams and their Batting Average and OPS:
Cubs - .391 - .982
Braves - .378 - .953
Marlins - .375 - 1.038
Padres - .325 - .820
Giants - .339 - .969

And you'd have to agree that the Padres and Giants are not offensive power houses, but an MLB batter has to have a plan and cannot just go up there and swing at anything. The Nats are in more trouble in this case when they actually make contact. At 0-1, the stats improve to .283 and .766.

---

Tonight's lineups

Washington
Lopez - 4
Guzman - 6
Boone - 5
Young - 3
Milledge - 8
Flores - 2
Pena - 7
Dukes - 9
Perez - 1

San Diego
Hairston - 8
Iguchi - 4
Giles - 9
Gonzalez - 3
Kouzmanoff - 5
Greene - 6
Huber - 7
Carlin - 2
Estes - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  May 28, 2008; 8:28 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Chat reminder
Next: Thoroughly bad-bad-bad pain

Comments

So Zim's out as expected. Let's whoop up on Estes, he hasn't done anything in the league since Zim was in Boone was in high school. Bob Boone, that is...

Posted by: CN | May 28, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I was on the 600 block of A Street, NE about 7 p.m. when two gentlemen who said they were working for the Nationals approached. They were canvassing homes on that block as part of a program called Nationals in the Neighborhood. They were offering discounted tickets for games to residents who live in proximity to the ballpark. Has anyone such as SoCH been approached about the discount package? Harlan, have you heard anything about it?

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 28, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's why that's wrong, at least one reason: You get the benefit of hindsight, and he doesn't. You get to cherrypick which things to take that benefit on, he doesn't. No one, not even you, knows what you would have done in his place, not even in hindsight.
_______________

@CE--Fair point--hindsight is 20-20, and to nitpick reasonable risks that didn't work out after the fact isn't fair.

However, I'm not nitpicking one move or another. I'm really trying to be as fair as possible, by looking at the longest possible long view, the overall result of all Bowden's moves cumulatively.

My assumption is that given 10-15 years or so a successful GM should be able to at some point field a team that basically wins more than it loses. Really, I'd set the bar higher than that, that in 14 years a successful GM should at least appear in, if not win a WS (14 years, that's 28 WS berths for 30 teams, right?), but I know some folks here think that's unfair for a GM toiling in Cincinnati with "only" the 6th highest payroll in baseball. (OK now there's a misleading, cherry-picked fact. But he did have that kind of money for 3 of his 10 years there, FWIW.)

So I think my basic point stands--in 14 years, I assume any GM will have some moves that work out and some that don't, but the overall bottom line for success HAS to be better than 1 playoff appearance in 14 years. The minimum standard HAS to be higher than Brett Tomko as your best SP ever. You have to expect that he'd be able to draft at least one single solitary starting MLB MI. How can the bar for success be so low? If this is ok, what could possibly be NOT ok?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

This Mark dude makes a good point BTW. Swinging at the first pitch is a choice that should only be made when you feel you have a pitch you can really drive. The numbers in that count should be way higher.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

OF Frank Diaz was promoted from Potomac to Columbus. He is replacing IF/OF Pokey Reese who played all of one game for the Clippers before going on the DL.

courtesy of Brian at NFA

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 28, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

@Leetee: apparently the Nationals do have subcontractors selling discount packages of tickets. The Smart Circle was one such promotion, selling packages of weeknight tickets and buy-one-get-one coupons around town.
FWIW.
I recommend checking with the Nats office before paying anyone.

Posted by: CE | May 28, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

So, your argument is based on "the preponderance of the evidence," which is a fair standard, I think. But one other thing: compared to what? I'm too lazy (and not motivated) to do the research, but it seems fair to compare him to contemporary GMs. What is his VORGM, so to speak?
Does longevity itself count for anything? I think it should, at least somewhat. Is it fair to pick on lack of middle infielders? Or do many GMs, even good ones, have a fielding position, be it catcher, corner outfielder, SS/2b, they just always seem to need? (Given: No good GM can't get good pitchers.)
Even leaving aside the Blind Pig Argument, unless he's demonstrably worst THAN other real-life GMs, and not just your (admittedly naive) expectation, you can't say you've proven anything.
FWIW, and for disclosure, I think he's probably in the 3rd quintile of GMs, more or less, but that's just my opinion.

********
So I think my basic point stands--in 14 years, I assume any GM will have some moves that work out and some that don't, but the overall bottom line for success HAS to be better than 1 playoff appearance in 14 years. The minimum standard HAS to be higher than Brett Tomko as your best SP ever. You have to expect that he'd be able to draft at least one single solitary starting MLB MI. How can the bar for success be so low? If this is ok, what could possibly be NOT ok?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 9:13 PM

Posted by: CE | May 28, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

NO WAY!

*******
OF Frank Diaz was promoted from Potomac to Columbus. He is replacing IF/OF Pokey Reese who played all of one game for the Clippers before going on the DL.

courtesy of Brian at NFA

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 28, 2008 9:34 PM

Posted by: WAY | May 28, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"demonstrably worse (with an E) than"

Posted by: ooops | May 28, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Paul Lo Duca subbing for Don Sutton again.

Posted by: BSG | May 28, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

leetee: I live on the Hill... they came to my door a few weeks ago.

Posted by: JennX | May 28, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

JennX

The sales guys were trying to get this guy to buy what they claimed were $300 worth of tix to 10 games for $40. Does that sound familiar? BTW - the potential customer railed about the cost of the stadium and all of the additional traffic in his neighborhood before slamming his door in their faces.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 28, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Decent catch by WMP. Three better catches by the Padres. All I want for Christmas (or in the draft, or in July) are competent players at SS, 2b and CF.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

We're about 10 feet short of being down 3-0. Opie looks perplexed. At least we've found a spot for Lo Puca since he's not getting the catching job back. I predict WMP hits one out tonight.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Someone watching on TV, what the heck is going on with the San Diego outfielders?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

So, my roommate the Yankee fan asked me to turn to the game earlier and we watched for an inning and two things shocked me:

1. The stadium was empty. Hardly anyone there. Where have all the Yankee fans gone? (this led to an argument about whether A-Rod would or would not diminish in the post-PED era and how much Yankees fans would appreciate that)

2. The mid-inning interview by the semi-qualified female reporter was of... the GEICO Caveman. In character. Talking about how he liked baseball. They tried to make jokes. He threw out the first pitch, too. She commented that he was wearing Markakis's number. That number is 15. As in 15% or more. He never mentioned GEICO, but the play-by-play guy, when they turned it back to him, fake laughed and said something about "oh those cavemen" and the cameraman zoomed in on the big GEICO sign. Then Jim Palmer yelled "wow, what a catch" and they flashed to an angle that showed the New York centerfielder tossing a ball back to the infield from the warning track.

As much as Angelos screws us over with MASN, he shoots his own baby that much worse.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Flores has learned the art of catching the behind the plate popup. I might buy his jersey.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@CE--"compared to what?"
_______

Compared to GMs who win more.

Billy Beane, Terry Ryan, John Hart, Bill Stoneman, Theo Epstein, Walt Jocketty, Brian Cashman, John Schuerholz, Kenny Williams, Dave Dombrowski, Ned Colletti,
Ed Wade, Dan O'Dowd, Josh Byrnes, Bob Melvin, Jim Hendry, Omar Minaya, Bill Bavasi, Kevin Towers, J.P. Riccardi...

I'm not saying all these guys are HOF GMs, but they've all won more than Bowden, most a LOT more. That's enough to push him well out of the 3rd quintile in his era.

Call me a capitalist bastard, but nothing succeeds but success.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

NO! STOP, BOB! DON'T!

I want to keep Flores around here for a long time. Do not taunt the jersey curse.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 28, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Estes = Rick Vaughn.

Posted by: mrm0to | May 28, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

go Jesus! Grand Slam!

Posted by: BSG | May 28, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I'll race you to that jersey

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Jesus Slams!!!!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Our "clutchest" hitter just hits a slam! I believe in Jesus.

Where's the grammar lady when we need her? Please help Paulie

Posted by: joNAThan | May 28, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lo Duca, please call your agent.

Posted by: CE | May 28, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Do it, Paul!

and I quote: "The way he's swinging, I might just stay up here..."

Posted by: mrm0to | May 28, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Flores!! Woo Hoo!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | May 28, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm serious people, the only good thing I can say about my Wilkerson shirt is that I bought it after watching him hit the first Nat granny.

Posted by: i hate walks | May 28, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Boy Shawn Estes is terrible.

Reminds me of this little remarked upon terrible deal that Bowden once made:

August 15, 2002: Shawn Estes traded by the New York Mets with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Pedro Feliciano, Elvin Andujar, Raul Gonzalez and Brady Clark.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

You won, 506!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jesus Flores, your new #5 hitter. Planet NJ, am I wrong? What if?

Also, is it me or is Lo Duca actually passable at this? Sure, his delivery needs work, but the substance is pretty good, especially since Holloday seems perfectly willing to put him on the spot every 90 seconds or so.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

You won, 506!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jesus Flores, your new #5 hitter. Planet NJ, am I wrong? What if?

Also, is it me or is Lo Duca actually passable at this? Sure, his delivery needs work, but the substance is pretty good, especially since Holloday seems perfectly willing to put him on the spot every 90 seconds or so.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 28, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

OK, you're a capitalist bastard.

And you can't count.

**************
[21 names out of 30 at any one time, nevermind all GMs over the past 14 or so years.] That's enough to push him well out of the 3rd quintile in his era.

Call me a capitalist bastard, but nothing succeeds but success.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 10:49 PM

Posted by: ce | May 28, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Mark from Alexandria, you were prophetic.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

and it' "Nothing succeeds LIKE success."

"Nothing succeeds BUT success" is the kind of perfectionist BS that makes people think of one as a bastard.

Posted by: me again | May 28, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, right now Jesus is by far the better pick up from the Mets organization and it did not take two every day players to get him. If they send him down or move him to backup when the Capt'n heals there is going to be a revolt in Nats Nation.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | May 28, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about anyone else here (and no disrespect to Bob Carpenter), but I am enjoying Holliday doing the play by play.

Posted by: TimDz | May 28, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

TimDz: I agree. I think if Bob were in the booth tonight, he would've called some of those deep fly ball outs that we've seen as home runs. AND HOW FAR IS THAT ONE GOING?

Posted by: BSG | May 28, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes I know the saying is "nothing succeeds like success." I was doing a little riff.

I've been called a perfectionist before, but there's such a yawning chasm between Bowden and perfection that one need not be a bastard to note it.

And why can't I count? A quintile of 30 is 6. The top 3 quintiles are the 18 best. My list has 20 of his recent contemporaries. I was an English major but I think I counted ok.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Can one of you Flores-lovers (and I am one too) remind me who it was that spent 6 mil on FA catchers on the belief that Flores wasn't ready to compete in the bigs?

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

That would be Jim "I like leather pants' Bowden. Add that to the list of suspect decisions.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | May 28, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Milledge got ALL of that one

Posted by: TimDz | May 28, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I will be honest. I also said he needed a year in the minor leagues to learn how to hit through slumps.

Turns out he needed to be promoted to the majors in order to learn how to hit through slumps. His numbers will regress as he is scouted better and those strikeouts will increase for a time. But his value added because of his rapport with pitchers and the defense make him a huge bonus.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I guess, there's baseball wisdom. And then there's what happens.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@506--you are forgiven for getting it wrong. You are not a paid professional talent evaluator, I assume.

I would have struck our facing Shawn Estes, but that doesn't mean it's ok for Felipe to do so.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 28, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

@506--you are forgiven for getting it wrong. You are not a paid professional talent evaluator, I assume.

-----

No, but if you find someone to volunteer to pay me to opine on baseball players all day, please let me know!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 28, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Sanches... not so hot again.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I get the drift of your point...some of your GM examples, though, I feel are a bit off.

Ed Wade was run out of Philly after 8 non playoff seasons and is in Houston only because of his past history with Tal Smith. Ricciardi's winning % is below 500...same with the esteemed Ryan, Dombrowski, Melvin, Towers and Bavasi (and Bowden). Hendry and Byrnes are just over 500.

Unless I'm counting wrong, looks like 7 of the 20 GM's mentioned have won WS titles over the last 20 or so years. If that was your criteria for a successful GM, then its easy to say Bowden isnt as good as those 7. But that 20 year period also includes GMs like DePodesta and Littlefield and Purpurra...guys currently unemployed...and also guys like Daniels and Freidman and Moore who have yet to have a winning record. Picking 20 perceived successful GMs without also using the unsuccessful GMs in the argument seems slanted.

I want a new GM. I want a GM with experience building a deep farm system and experience spending wisely on free agents. But the theory of Bowdens ineffectiveness relative to all other GMs is difficult to prove and requires a bit more than a list of names to be persuasive.

Also, I dont recall anyone on the NJ supporting Bowden...replies to your posts seem to debate your theories and evidence, not the fact the Bowden is the savior of Nats Nation. Just curious, why is it necessary to continue railing against him?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 29, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

sanches is here instead of schroder why?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 29, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

SoCH, responding from last post (was practicing with the band tonight, got home in time to see a 6-4 game)...

as far as the kearns/lopez trade goes, the people who i'm saying thought it was a trade in the nats favor at the time weren't limited to fans/reporters/talking heads. i remember seeing some comments from other GMs, too (even if they were "anonymous" GMs being quoted in reporters'/columnists' articles).

again, i repeat that i'm not a bowden apologist. i didn't want him resigned and i hope we find someone better, but i hate seeing what seems to me to be hindsight criticism. especially when there's plenty of legit stuff to bash him with.

Posted by: 231 | May 29, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

and, as you say, a large "body of work" with long-term results to point to.

Posted by: 231 | May 29, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

btw, did anyone know that paul depodesta (the padres GM) has a blog?

http://itmightbedangerous.blogspot.com/

Posted by: 231 | May 29, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Is Ayala really batting in this situation?

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | May 29, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Is Ayala really batting in this situation?

-----

Gutsy move, I like it. If it hadn't worked, Manny would have been called all sorts of nasty things. But it did, so he's clever.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Win!!!! Go Nats!!!! I like all the runs, we'll talk about the shaky reliever tomorrow.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

flores...for real

lo duca...ignoreable in the box, more than you could say for his patheticness at the plate and behind the plate.


please synch up the radio and tv broadcasts so i can listen to the real talent (charlie and dave) and watch what passes for a television broadcast

Posted by: love | May 29, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

natsinthevalley is right...why not schroder instead of sanches

its almost like we share the same genes or something

Posted by: love | May 29, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Odalis couldn't sleep last night with the pain from a hot tooth and had a root canal the morning before the game! Manny: "We've got another one scheduled for him in five days." Great at bats to load the bases, beautiful swing for a Grand Slam, and another for Blastings Thrilledge. 6 runs in that park is Major League, and there were sweet moments. Perez' pickoff of Iguchi; Willy Mo's saving catch; Manny's quick hook on Sanches and Luis coming up large; and the Wookie's awesome save. Sweet win. 23-31. See you at 3:30 for fun at the office.

Posted by: flynnie | May 29, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey. Love - It looks like you and me on the morning watch. Schroder is wilder than a March hare. He had his moments throwing devil's fire to close against the Rockies last year, and I thought he looked to be a closer. But he can't pound the zone, and Sanches has looked good until tonight.

Posted by: flynnie | May 29, 2008 2:32 AM | Report abuse

May the news of this victory gladden your hearts when you awake! Thanks for loving the Nats. Good night, everybody!

Posted by: flynnie | May 29, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

how in the world can you pitch well, into the seventh inning hours after a root canal?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Baseball is #3! And the gamer hasn't been up but 6 hours. Baseball fans are a wholesome, early morning, hard-working folk, which explains why the gamer is not in the top 10 by the evening. We've already read it.

Most Viewed Articles in Sports
1) Cycling's Drug Test

Rocked for decades by drug scandals, cycling has hit rock bottom and faces the choice of either coming clean and healing itself or continuing to self-destruct.
2) Celtics Are One Win From Trip To Finals

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen play with the brilliance of Celtics legends past in beating the Detroit Pistons, 106-102, to take a 3-2 series lead.
3) Flores Helps Nationals Slam Down a Victory

Catcher Jesus Flores hits his first career grand slam and the Nationals get a quality start out of Odalis Perez in a 6-4 win over San Diego.

Posted by: flynnie | May 29, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous:

Root canals are not what they used to be. They can be done in less than 30 minutes and are painless. Perez was beaten down by the pain he endured for hours prior to having the root canal done. I do empathize with that!

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | May 29, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

A toothy performance by OP last night. It would be nice to take 2 of 3 from the camouflauge Pads. Looks like the trip to Zona will be a tough one as I think we'll be facing 3 tough hombres on the hill. On another note, how does New York get another allstar game, besides this years game, before Washington does. I refer to the article that says the Mets will get the 2013 game at the not yet open Citi Field. Must be because its 'New friggin York'. So what is D.C. anyway...huh? I just don't get that decision.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 29, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

DC is an embarrassment to Bud Selig. It's a franchise he wanted to contract in a city he said didn't deserve baseball. Bud lost both those battles.

My dentist told me the other day that a root canal (I may need one) wouldn't hurt in my mouth, it would hurt in my wallet. Still, Perez is the man!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I've had a root canal before, and what a relief it was. The wallet is of no concern before the root canal, only after.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | May 29, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Jon D,

can we see about doing something to get the "Nationals Report" back into a sidebar for the gamer? For the first half of last season "By the Numbers" and "Quotable" and other things showed up as a sidebar online. Now it's a separate article that rarely formats correctly.

Thanks!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The "swinging at the first pitch numbers" are flawed, because obviously Felipe Lopez accounts for 95% of those ABs.

Posted by: Where is Bret Boone? | May 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"The Nats have a 4 run lead, and that's like have a 10 run lead with Perez pitching."

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Posted by: Paul LoDuca | May 29, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

In case anyone was wondering, the worst offender of the regular players on the first pitch numbers is Cristian Guzman.

Of the 259 plate appearances where the first pitch is put in play, Guzman has 41. Here are his numbers:

.200/.200/.300, 4 2B, 3 RBI

Since it was brought up, here is Felipe Lopez in the 27 first pitches he put into play:

.346/.370/.423, 2 2B, 1 RBI

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, not to nitpick, but your gamer as at least one error:

"Estes, making just his fourth start of the season, actually entered the fourth with no hits allowed."

Actually, Lopez led off the game with a single up the middle.

Posted by: e | May 29, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Ooh, how nice to wake up to a slice of salami and a win for the Nats. Sounds like old Blood and Guts did it again, fighting tooth and nail for a win.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 29, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Let us know about the root canal 506 - we'll tell Manny to pencil you in for a start that night.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 29, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Point of information: Lo Duca was signed as a free agent, there were no other players involved in the transaction. Church and Schneider were traded for Milledge.

*******
Seriously, right now Jesus is by far the better pick up from the Mets organization and it did not take two every day players to get him. If they send him down or move him to backup when the Capt'n heals there is going to be a revolt in Nats Nation.

Posted by: Nats Fan in KC | May 28, 2008 11:17 PM

Posted by: CE | May 29, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@ Steven - my apologies. I was thinking "quartile" while typing "quintile."
I hereby stipulate that you can count, and I can't proofread my own posts.

Posted by: CE | May 29, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

CE: There are three kinds of people in the world, my friend, those that can count and those that can't.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/02/jim-bowden-trad.html

Check the record. Bowden's record isn't HOF material but it's a damn sight far away from the LaMar, Bonifay, Allard Baird trifecta of suck.

And please, for the love of God, never mention the name Omar Minaya in ANY discussion of competent GM's. Unless you're happy that Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Chris Young and Jason Bay aren't Nationals right now.


Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | May 29, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

If you follow the link, you'd see that Felipe Lopez has 23 of the 228 data points.

It's not swinging at the first pitch of the game, it's putting the first pitch of your at bat in play. That is any at bat, in any inning that results in the end of your at bat - either by making an out or getting a hit. So, a swinging strike would not be included in the data set, nor would a strike looking, a foul ball, or taking a ball.

The point is, with no count on you as the batter, you only have to swing at "your pitch" - you can be looking for the curve or the fastball. If you get the pitch that you anticipate in a location that you anticipate, a Major Leaguer should be able to hit that ball very solidly. If you look at the numbers of other NL teams swinging at the first pitch, you see much better offensive performance than the Nats. And with more than 200 data points over 50+ games, the data is statistically significant.

*******************************
The "swinging at the first pitch numbers" are flawed, because obviously Felipe Lopez accounts for 95% of those ABs.

Posted by: Where is Bret Boone? | May 29, 2008 9:25 AM

Posted by: Mark, Alex., VA | May 29, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Then, of course, there's Alfonso Soriano, who on the first pitch over his career is .406/.416/.753 with 44 home runs in 595 plate appearances.

I would just add to Mark's clarification of first pitch in play that sacrifices, hit by pitch, and reach on error are all other possible outcomes that wouldn't count as at bats, but as plate appearances.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 29, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

All of this counting stuff is giving me a headache. Nobody said there would be math in here!

So OP had this to say about last night:

"I said, 'Let me get to the ballpark,' because I didn't feel good at all," Perez said. "When I came in, I took a pill, the pain went away and I was able to go out [on the mound]."

Can we get some of those pills for Shawn Hill?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 29, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"...trifecta of suck..."

That's funny. Me laugh.

Posted by: RyanDylan | May 29, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Point of contention here - root canals can be painful, even after the procedure has been completed.

Just ask my wife, who had one last week and fought through some pain for at least a day afterward.

(Of course, she didn't get the pill they gave to Perez.)

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 29, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Yes, there is a new post, but before we all go, I'd just like to add one thing to Mark's excellent exposition, that good hitters also know their limitations, and may take a pitch they recognize and expect, but know they don't personally handle well, at 0-0, just out of hope they'll get something better. And sometimes, good hitters take a pitch against a guy they haven't seen before, just to get a feel for what he throws.

Oh, and 506 -- ROE is an at-bat. but you know that.

Posted by: CE | May 29, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@231--the only real hindsight criticism I have of Bowden that really matters is that in hindsight he's lost a lot more games than he's won.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

So we want the GM who acquired those guys.
Would that be Kevin Malone?

********
And please, for the love of God, never mention the name Omar Minaya in ANY discussion of competent GM's. Unless you're happy that Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Chris Young and Jason Bay aren't Nationals right now.


Posted by: GRiP | May 29, 2008 10:05 AM

Posted by: CE, who's too lazy to look it up | May 29, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

So we want the GM who acquired those guys.
Would that be Kevin Malone?

********
And please, for the love of God, never mention the name Omar Minaya in ANY discussion of competent GM's. Unless you're happy that Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Chris Young and Jason Bay aren't Nationals right now.


Posted by: GRiP | May 29, 2008 10:05 AM

I could be wrong but wasn't John Hart running the Indians then? I can't be sure since he was wearing a mask when the Colon deal was made.

You could easily put Malone in any fecta of suck you like.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | May 29, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company