Sorry for the lack of content, I’ve been a little busy the last couple of days. In the mean time, this is kind of entertaining:
For several innings of tonight’s game vs. the Florida Marlins at Nationals Park, Nationals players Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman sported uniforms with the word “Nationals” misspelled (the “o” was missing, making it “Natinals”). Both players switched jerseys mid-game after the error was noticed.
Nick Swisher came in and pitched the last frame of the Yankees’ blowout loss tonight. Let’s just say that in spite of way better results than Wang had tonight, this is not going to be how Swisher gets an every-day starting job. Pitch f/x says Swisher threw 21 changeups and one fastball. I’m pretty sure they were all supposed to be fastballs. And yet, he did manage to strike someone out. Gabe Kapler managed to strike out waving at what was literally Swisher’s only pitch that missed a bat. I sort of hope that was charity, but I think Gabe might get to resume his managerial career soon.
As promised, here’s the graph of 2009 Opening Day pitchers’ 2008 and 2009 WPAs, which means almost nothing.
Bradley doesn’t have a hit yet. He’s 0/9 as a Cub. And yet, somehow, he was productive in this series. Tonight especially, where he reached base four times without a hit. In fact, even though he doesn’t have a hit, Bradley’s OBP is .357 (4 walks and one HBP in 14 PA). That would have been eighth among Cubs regulars last year. Which doesn’t sound impressive except he’s done that without a single hit.
What’s more, Bradley has seen a ton of pitches. In fact, by my count, in 14 plate appearances, he’s seen 77 pitches. I’m not sure, when keeping pitch/PA stats, if you count partial at-bats (Bradley was on base when Theriot ended an inning getting thrown out stealing). But regardless, he’s seen 17% of the pitches opposing teams have thrown, in only 11.7% of the team’s plate appearances.
Derrek Lee, now in wine form!
Muskat has the news that Charity Wines has a Derrek Lee, uh, vintage, this year. That’s a hell of a picture of Derrek. My only question is, will it be as good as Mike Ditka’s Cabernet? Maybe a blind taste test is in order.
Just a quick graph that means absolutely nothing. I was wondering about last year’s performances for this year’s opening day starters. I decided to use Win Probability Added, from Fangraphs, to measure their performance over the 2008 season. It doesn’t really mean anything, because one’s performance the previous season isn’t necessarily the reason they’re named the opening day starter. Ken Macha in Milwaukee wanted to give it to Suppan so his best pitcher isn’t feeling quite the same pressure, he says. And Carlos Zambrano got it as a kind of lifetime achievement award even though Dempster had a better year last year.
Obviously, a player’s WPA over the course of last season doesn’t correlate with one start this season. Sabathia was at +4.74 last year, for example, but was -.284 today. And Cliff Lee, last year’s leader at +5.96, was -.261 today. Zambrano, meanwhile, was +.5 total last year, and put up 40% of that today, with a .196. So one game’s WPA doesn’t mean anything, but it’s still interesting to look at. I may try to superimpose everyone’s single-game results on this graph tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy:
Milton Bradley was out of the lineup again today, presumably with the flu. Some commenters over at Bleed Cubbie Blue have questioned whether Bradley is actually sick. This one stood out to me, though. Poster “Chanman25” asks, “Who gets the flu in Arizona,” after lamenting that Adam Dunn is performing well in the World Baseball Classic.
If only we had some sort of way to map flu incidence. Oh! Wait! We do! Here’s the current Google Flu Trends map:
The top half is the national trend. Bottom half is, of course, a state-by-state map. Who gets the flu in Arizona? About the same amount of people as in the rest of the country right now.
Hey, you can’t expect actual baseball analysis every day.