Tuesday 20 September 2011

The importance of the loss as a pitching stat/my problem with WPA.

Okay, so, the Jays pretty much stole a win that was getting stolen from them.  Follow?  Me neither.  Basically, the Jays hit about a thousand line drives and were robbed on many occasions by some pretty good defense from the Angels' infielders.  This game probably should have been a 4-run or 5-run win for the Jays based solely on the amount of chances they had to score (1-for-11 RISP, 9 LOB).  Having said all that, the Angels pitching staff gave up 0 earned runs.

Erick Aybar made an error in the 10th, and then botched another taylor-made double play ball, which eventually led to Torii Hunter fucking the dog on the walkoff fielder's choice to 2nd base, allowing Mike Mccoy to score the winning run, giving Scott Downs the loss.  Downs' line of [1.1IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 ER, 1k] doesn't really portray just how effective he was yesterday, especially against a team who has a pretty complete scouting report on him, but an error and two fuckups (I'd have given Hunter a throwing error) not only gives Downs' a loss, but also earns him a -.140 WPA.

I don't really know exactly how WPA is calculated or calibrated, but I'm fairly certain that defense isn't taken in to account for it.  That seems fine for position players, but for a pitcher to go out there and do his job effectively, only to have his team take a crap or dump on the field seems pretty unfair to me.

This is obviously an extreme example, and for the most part, your guys with the highest WPA in a game will get the Zaunhead be the most valuable, but I'd be pretty shocked if anybody who watched that game, Scott Downs included, said anything at all similar to "Scott Downs just wasn't very good in last night's game," which is equivalent to saying that Downs' really hurt his teams chances of winning that game by 14%.

Speaking of Scott Downs, and I mentioned this earlier this season when the Angels were in town, I'd like to take a second and address every Jays fan that was at the game yesterday.  I don't give a fuck what Scott Downs does, don't you fucking dare boo him ever again.  This isn't Josh Beckett or Jered Weaver or Alex Rios or some other douche who takes too long or gets mad at hitters when they're successful against him or handcuffs hometeams with terrible contracts; this is Scott Downs.

Remember?  The guy who used to single-handedly make close Jays games bearable?  Remember when the other team would rally late in the game, and we'd be sitting there panicking?  Do you know who got brought in to the game to remedy that situuation?  Scott Downs did.  So he threw a pickoff attempt to first base-- it happens.  It's part of baseball.  Scott Downs was a class act the entire time he was in Toronto, he contributed more than half the team (from the bullpen, mind you), and blossomed in to one of the best relievers in baseball in front of our very eyes, and it was our team who didn't offer him the longterm contract that he deserved.  Stop being fucking idiots and appreciate the game.  Boo the people who deserve to be booed, cheer the people who deserve to be cheered, and shut your fucking mouths when you're too goddamn stupid to do anything else.


Settling down now...  Ricky Romero was excellent yesterday, as always.  He gets a Zaunhead, which he seems to do every single time he goes out to pitch.

We felt the wrath of Jhan John again yesterday, when Brett Lawrie was forced to bunt.  That's your second best hitter, John.  Don't do that anymore.  But shit, it worked, so I must be wrong here.  No but seriously, that was fucking stupid, especially since Jose Molina was given the chance to swing the bat immediately afterwards.  I had a talk about bunting with my dad the other night.  "It's good baseball" he said.  When asked to further explain what made it good baseball, he kind of shrugged.

Yunel Escobar is still out, which means that we're still getting a nice healthy dose of Mike Mccoy up top.  Escobar doesn't really have a timetable for a return, as he's still lacking range of motion in the left arm.

Brett Cecil has been cleared to start tonight.  He cut his finger on a blender for some reason last week.

Cecil was rumored to be making his final start of the season last week, which could very well make his start tonight is last.  If that happens, expect Kyle Drabek to fill in.  Gregor Chisolm wrote last night that Farrell believes Drabek will get a start before the end of the year, and that seems like the only logical spot to stick him in there, unless they just want to go with a 6-man rotation.

Within that same piece, Jonathan Diaz is expected to get a callup within the next couple days.  He was pretty good in spring training this year, if I remember correctly, which doesn't really mean much of anything, but whatever.  It says that Farrell isn't expecting anymore callups, but I read the other day that Moises Sierra told someone that he was expecting one this week, despite the contrary being said in this piece.  I think it was Dave Gershman who said that, but I don't remember.  Might take a while to find that tweet.

Edit-- That was fast.

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