Sunday, July 27, 2003

All Things Must Pass

The Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 yesterday, and with it, BAP's winning streak came to an end. It was also an unusual day in that there were only two games that qualified as BAP games, which is a good thing, because it gives me a little time to focus on this one game that broke the streak.

Here are the main stats for the game:

OBP - LA .250, Ari .241
SLG - LA .182, Ari .259
BAP - LA .361, Ari .310

I have to say that games with real low scores - and 1-0 is as low as you can go - have worried me from the start. Almost by definition, a 1-0 game means that the two teams are either squandering opportunities, or not getting any opportunities at all. When this happens, any one small run of luck can throw the stats out of whack. To give an example, you can get a bunch of hits and only give up one, but if your hits are evenly divided over the course of the game and your opponents' hit is a homer, then you're screwed.

Well, something like this happened yesterday. The D-Backs put a single and a triple together in the fifth inning, and that was all they needed. Meanwhile, the Dodgers had 13 bases advanced, but couldn't get a run home. This is not a surprising performance for a team that expects Jeremy Burnitz and Rickey Henderson to save their offense, but still, it's so complete in it's ineptitude that it's worth taking a closer look at:

1st inning - With two out and a man on second, Paul Lo Duca strikes out.

6th inning - With two out and a man on second, Cesar Izturis strikes out.

7th inning - With the bases loaded and one out, guess what Dave Ross does? That's right, he strike out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Alex Cora decides to be original, and grounds out.

8th inning - With runners on first and second and one out, Shawn Green strikes out. Paul Lo Duca then walks. Up comes Jeremy Burnitz, who with the bases loaded and two out, fouls out.

BAP and OBP both missed this game, but SLG got it right. Do you want to know what is surprising me the most in all of the stats I'm keeping? It's how poorly OBP is doing. Over and over again we're seeing low scoring games where a homer or two win it, and OBP blows it. This brings up an important question:

IF OBP is consistently analyzing data from low-scoring games incorrectly, is the stat overrated?

I'm not sure what the answer to that is. But I do know that if I'm in a pitcher's duel, maybe now I want someone like Richie Sexson in my lineup, who can hit a ball out of anywhere, any day, even if he's not the top first basemen out there.

Sexson, by the way, is yesterday's only winner of the Paul DePodesta Medal of Honor, going 4 for 4 with a homer. The Brewers scored eight runs but lost, ending yet another streak, the winning streak of teams that have a PDMOH winner in their lineup. The record of those teams is now 9-1, and they are scoring 8.0 runs a game.

My two big streaks done in by the Dodgers' hitting and the Brewers' pitching. What can you do?

Comments? Counseling?


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