Monday, October 18, 2010

Playoff Talk

The Week That Was
Yeah there was no week that was. I am still angry with Rox, therefore they get no love from me. And to think the Giants are still playing. Rox were 20-21 against playoff teams this year (including Twins). I think we belonged...nuff said

Texas Rangers
I am a huge fan of Nolan Ryan. The man was pitching. Sure statistically he doesn't fall into the category of the game's best but for his longetivity and his power to strikeout opposing batters made him a sight to see. He owned a 9.5 strikeout per 9 innings pitched for a career. Led the league in strikeouts 11 times and the last season he did this was when he was 43!

In the New York Times Magazine (10/3/10 edition), there is a nice article about him taking over the Rangers. In the article, it mentions that he is trying to fashion the Rangers' pitchers into his own image. Increasing the innings pitched and balls thrown per game. So in 773 starts, Ryan pitched an average of almost 7 innings a game. Pitch counts weren't used for his whole career (data only available from 1988 on) but from the time he was 41 until he retired at 46, he pitched 161 games averaging 6.2 innings and 108 pitches thrown. The graph below shows pretty clearly that when you went to Nolan's game you got your money's worth seeing him pitched; and to think these games were in the twilight of his career (41 - 46)!

So yeah Nolan liked to labor. So do the new look Rangers follow this pattern? Hard to say at this point. Without looking too closely I did track down on baseball-reference the number of times a pitcher in the big leagues threw more than 101+ pitches and then compared this to the overall number of starts. The graph below shows this along with the Rangers last ten years.

The grey dots represent the MLB. So for instance in 2010, 4860 games were started and of those 2243 games had a pitcher go 101+ pitches. In this same year, the Rangers went 87 starts with 101+ innings. Since 2008 the Rangers have shown an increase in the number of pitches thrown but their trend is also seen with MLB as a whole so maybe everyone is trying to emulate the Express?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rox Talk - Week 26

The Week That Was
A 0-7 week against the Dodgers and Cardinals. The Rox finish at 83-79. Nine games back from division winners San Francisco in third place and eight games behind in the Wild Card chase. A record of 52-29 at home and 31-50 on the road, the Rox outscored its opponents 770-717 (expected wins is 86 versus historical wins at 77). Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.07 (>1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Really no comment. I think how this team finished is an embarrassment to the organization. To be in it with 2 weeks to go and then finish 1-13 is a smack in the face for anyone who is a fan. I really don't care what the team thinks but you go out and play to win everyday. To quit, give up, and lose 13 of 14 just shows to me this team isn't ready to move to the next level. To have the expectation to win the division and then to finish 9 back is pathetic. I hope this team is embarrassed and that it leaves an awful taste in their mouth over the next 6 months. Let it fester so that come April 2011 this team plays with some heart.

The Season That Was
Top 10 Gut Feelings on Why Rox Underperformed (no particular order)
1. Road vs Home splits
2. Random injuries throughout the season
3. Inconsistent outtings from the bullpen
4. Starting Pitchers stamina
5. Todd Helton, Clint Barmes, Dexter Fowler, Ian Stewart, insert Left Fielder's Name
6. No right hand bat
7. Entire Team Effort
8. Padres
9. Inability to beat bad teams
10. All Star Break

Top 10 Surprises in 2010
1. CarGo, Mora, Giambi, Belisle, Chacin
2. Dynamic Duo of CarGo/Tulo
3. U-Ball ascent to potential staff ace
4. Ability to beat the top tier teams
5. First No-Hitter
6. All Star Game Starter
7. Some National attention
8. Playoffs are an expectation rather than a dream
9. Winning record against NL West
10. Perhaps its the fastball most affected by altitude rather than the breaking pitches.