Monday, July 27, 2009

Rox Talk - Week 16

The Week That Was
A 4-2 week against the D-Backs and Giants. The Roxs currently stand at 54-44. Eight games back from division leading Los Angeles in second place and two games ahead in the Wild Card. Currently 27-21 at home and 27-23 on the road, the Roxs have outscored its opponents 496-435 (expected wins is 55 versus historical wins at 45). On pace for 89 wins with 820 runs scored and 719 runs against.

Oops I took an extended All Star Break. Those first games after the Break seem kind of silly anyway. Our favorite Rox find themselves 10 games over .500 after Week 16. A mighty turn around continues. Sixty-four games remain. The bullpen continues to morph into something. Rox traded for Betancourt to serve as a set-up man now that Corpas is probably done for the season. Rox also brought up Chacin to serve as long relief or perhaps spell Hammel (?) for some starts down the stretch. We shall see, it was nice to see the Monforts spend some money to cover for some gaps in the team. With deadline a week away it will be interesting who decides to spend the money to ensure a possible playoff spot. No comment on the Holliday trade to the Cardinals. I knew Beane was just going to flip and trade Holliday but his showing up in St Louis could pose some issues down the road. Let's just ponder if our Rox and St Louis show up in a playoff round...who has more to gain or lose by facing off? Can you say Grudge match?

Corrigan's Corner
I prefer to listen to the Rox on radio. I have come to appreciate Jack Corrigan's commentary and play by play. He tends to throw out little nuggets that I tend to follow up on. See here for the big one. Anyway today's tidbit was the amount of RBIs the infield has and whether the Rox's led the league. The infield of Helton, Barmes, Tulo, and Stewart have 202 RBIs through 98 games. Pretty good number. The MLB leaders are the Phillies followed by the Ray and Yankees and then our Rox. Pretty good company. It would seem that having a good hitting infield leads to a playoff berth. Hopefully are team keeps up this trend. The data is from baseball reference and the data under each team by position. I believe the data is sorted by the most at bats by a position player. The data below is not by position for that team.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rox Talk - Week 14 or We're going to the Series

The Week That Was
A 5-2 week against the Nats and Braves. The Roxs currently stand at 47-41. Nine games back from division leading Los Angeles in third place and two games behind the Giants in the Wild Card. Currently 23-19 at home and 24-22 on the road, the Roxs have outscored its opponents 442-405 (expected wins is 48 versus historical wins at 41). On pace for 87 wins with 814 runs scored and 746 runs against.

Second time in the Rox's history that they have a winning record at the All Star break. A team that was left for dead (hey I admit I wasn't happy about it!) has come back with a vengeance. Respectability is once again mentioned with our Rox. The big question is what does the next 74 games hold? Can we continue playing well through July? Post All Star has been an achilles heel over the years with the July swoon causing the people of Colorado to look to the Broncos. The rest of July should give an indication if the Rox will stick around especially leading off with a four game series in San Diego and then later with a four game series against the Mets in late July. The three game home stint with the Giants could put us on top of the Wild Card standings. August (6 games with Giants and three with LA) and September (three with Giants) have always been good months for the Rox. And then lets not forget that we close out the year at Dodger Stadium with a three game series. So you think Lightning can strike twice in three years? Can you imagine strolling into Chavez Ravine on Oct 2 tied for first place? If you think I am crazy consider this...

World Series Part Deux - The Rematch
The title above indeed says I am drinking the Kool Aid but why not? The team has been playing well. Thirty-nine of the 74 games remaining are at home where the team has traditionally played 0.574 (that is 21 wins) and consider they are playing 0.522 on the road this year (another 18 wins) that gives them 86 wins.

Cool Standings gives the Rox a calculated win total of 87.6 and about a 36% chance to make the playoffs. Now granted the Dodgers have a calculated win total of 101 games. The real question over the last half of the season is whether the Dodgers are really that good (?), the Rox that good (?), who has been the streakier team, and whether we can expect the Dodgers to fall back to earth. Realistically I don't think the Dodgers are going to play 31 - 43 down the stretch but if the Rox can continue playing 0.690 baseball under Tracy that gives them another 51 wins and suddenly that Dodger lead doesn't feel so safe. Think Tracy wouldn't like sticking it to the Dodgers....

So the Dodgers have the best record in baseball...but what about the Beane Count? Yup those are our Rox sitting in behind the Sox. The Dodgers fall to 9th so who is the paper tiger now? Of course Arizona sits 8th and they stink so take all of this with a grain of salt ;-). What I think this shows is that perhaps the Dodgers have been lucky? This doesn't show in there runs scored/runs against but they have had a super bullpen so far this year. A 24 - 10 record with 302 innings pitched compared to our own bullpen 10 - 12 record with 245 innings pitched! Anything jump out at you? At this rate our "shaky (?)" bullpen will have pitched 80 innings less than LA...think this might mean something come many 2 inning relief appearances can Broxton throw?

What else are the Rox doing better than anyone else? How about baserunning....not a very sexy stat but it shows that maybe Hurdle's spring antics are finally coming to fruition. Taking the extra base, being aggressive on the basepaths, and making things happen can only help a team! Oh yeah and according to the Wall Street Journal, de la Rosa's slider is a bitch to hit...

And finally there has been plenty of newspaper talk here in Denver about obtaining the services of a crafty 32 year old righty from Toronto. If the Rox ownership had any (base)balls this is an absolute no brainer. You give the farm away to get this guy. Bring in the hometown hero to slay your opponents. I understand you build from within but this is why you have a potent farm make a trade for a superstar to get you over the hump. What was the biggest weakness in 2007 World Series against the Red Sox? Hmmm Game 1 starter...Jeff Francis versus Josh Beckett. Who you goin to take? 2009 World Series Part Deux...Doc Halladay versus Josh Beckett Game 1 starting in Boston. Think the Rox might have a better chance of stealing a game in Boston with that caliber of starter? PLEASE make it happen, this is aligning of the planets, this is the time to make something happen, put our team on the front page, make LA feel small, make the Giants quake, give our team a real chance. Prospects are a gamble...the team on the field now is making it happen...go the distance...get Halladay!

There my rant is done...Rox wins Series in 6!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rox Talk - Week 13

The Week That Was
A 2-4 week against the Dodgers and D-backs. The Roxs currently stand at 42-39. Nine and half games back from division leading Los Angeles in third place. Currently 18-17 at home and 24-22 on the road, the Roxs have outscored its opponents 407-376 (expected wins is 43 versus historical wins at 38). On pace for 84 wins with 814 runs scored and 752 runs against.

What a record setting June. The Rox finished 21 - 7 scoring 154 runs and only allowing 105. They were 8 - 1 at home and 13 and 6 on the road. The Rox are currently on pace for 42 road wins which would be their first winning road campaign ever and would eclipse their record setting 39 wins in 2007. A funny year with the Rox actually posting a better win percentage on the road. If this plays out and the Rox get a Wild Card slot their road winning success could play out well. To visually see June here is how it looked versus their history

Black and dotted lines are historical winning percentage both actual and Pythagorean. Hopefully we won't see the reverse in July!

Marquis the Great?
Jason Marquis' unbelievable start in LA on June 30 was one for the Rox record books. I have spent considerable research on Game Score (see posts here, here, and here). His game score of 86 moved him into the Top 5 all time Rox pitching efforts. The performance probably isn't enough to knock Kile's 10 inning performance but it comes in a close second especially with the 86 pitches!