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Today's Lineups


Morgan - 8
Gonzalez - 6
Zimmerman - 5
Dunn - 3
Willingham - 7
Kearns - 9
Hernandez - 4
Nieves - 2
Detwiler - 1


Fowler - 8
Barmes - 4
Helton - 3
Atkins - 5
Tulowitzki - 6
Spilborghs - 9
Torrealba - 2
Gonzalez - 7
De La Rosa - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  July 8, 2009; 1:35 PM ET
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Next: He's Not Fast, But He's Not On The DL.


Hopefully i am the FIRST to say . . .GO NATS!!!

Posted by: jpt1002 | July 8, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I once heard a NL GM say that Bill James is like a law professor, and GMs are like trial lawyers. All the professors’ theories are nice, but you have to have a feel for the game to work in the trenches.

The fundamental issue here is that baseball stats are inherently flawed. Sometimes a batter scorches a ball and it’s an out. Sometimes he breaks his bat and gets a hit. The randomness of all that is the fog, and it’s why there is a limit to sabermetrics. I love Bill James though and am not surprised at his intellectual honesty here. He’s clearly admitting to the limits. The only way to see clear would be to completely change the way we measure offense in baseball. On this board before I have suggested that the best way to measure a player’s contribution would be to add up the number of bases he is responsible for and divide that by the number of outs he is responsible for. For instance a bases loaded double would be equivalent to 8 bases because the aggregate advancement of the four runners resulting from his AB is 8. The reason I say this is that fundamentally baseball is a game of advancing bases before three outs are made, period. Four bases equals a run. Three outs makes you start over.

The other more subjective way to do it would be to measure each at bat’s outcome by grading the “quality” of the at bat. For instance, different types of outs are positive or negative in different situations. A fly ball to LF with a runner on 2nd is worthless, but with a runner on 3rd is good. A ground ball to SS with the infield back and runner on 3rd is good; with runner on 1st and 3rd, it stinks. Also you could grade the quality of the contact made, so that a player rates more highly for a line drive out than a bloop hit. This is problematic though because it relies heavily on the official scorer’s judgment.


Posted by: db423 | July 8, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Anytime I see AK in the lineup I'm never optomistic.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 8, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

No Johnson?? Please tell me he's packing a bag right now.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 8, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

While I've enjoyed reading Bill James for years, all I can say is if he's so smart, why doesn't he leave the New England Evil Empire and all their wealth and Ivy League number-crunchers and come down here to advise and rescue this team? Answer: He wouldn't dare. Anyone can join the elite; it takes a special person to overcome the environment they're in and beat the elite.

Does anyone in baseball have the guts to come to Washington and try to work a miracle with this dreadful organization, in an area that has come to always expect the worst where baseball is concerned?

P.S. I'm glad Guzman is on the bench. If Acta had any guts, he would have done it after last night's play, but he was probably afraid the front office would vent at him because they are trying to push Guzman to the extra All-Star berth (he's in last place, and deservedly so).

Posted by: VPaterno | July 8, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Put Dukes back in RF and you have our new starting line-up post Johnson trade.

I might bat Dukes 2nd instead of Gonzalez, but we'll see...

I love the all defense no hit line-up though, hope Detwiler knows he needs a no-no to win

Posted by: estuartj | July 8, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to be the second to say, go NATS!!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 8, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice post, db423! I like your system! Game starts at 3, right? I echo you JPT w/the organic cheer, GoNats! By the way, I checked the Atlanta Journal Constitution blog on July 3 - 703 comments for their "We've arrived in the Nation's Capital for the 4th" entry. 703! I just checked it for their day game at Wrigley, and it's only 30 - another statistical mystery.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 8, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It seems like the Kearns play last night was a metaphor for his career--decent start followed by a sudden, inexplicable nosedive.

Re situational hitting, some telecasts (maybe Saturday Fox) are showing what percentage of the time a hitter gets the runner home from 3rd with less than two outs by whatever means. Does anyone know if these stats are available to see if there's consistency across the years as to who excels in these situations?

Posted by: slewis1 | July 8, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

And the Willie Harris play, or misplay, was a metaphor for the Nats season.

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 8, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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