Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yankees 9, Royals 7


Told you the graph would be interesting. I’m trying to figure out a way to get an innings value on the X-axis, but that would take a bit more work. And considering I started doing these all of two days ago, I think we can deal without an innings tracker for the moment.

It’s pointless to recap the game at this point, since you can just scroll down and read my live reactions from yesterday. My blood pressure resembled the trend line in the Win Expectancy graph, just in reverse. Nevertheless, I do have a few wrap-up thoughts – as well as the Win Expectancy table – after the [MORE] button.

[MORE]
PlayerWE
Jeter.555
Giambi.335
Matsui.117
Posada.078
Rivera.076
Myers.022
Proctor.016
Williams-.015
A-Rod-.024
Damon-.060
Cano-.118
Sheffield-.151
Sturtze-.202
Wang-.214


Herein lies the problem with the straight addition of Win Expectancy scores. For his eighth inning heroics, Jeter was credited with raising the Yankees expectancy of winning by 64 percent, and netted 56 percent for the game. At this point, Jeter could stroll to the plate batless and wouldn’t be in the negative for quite a while. Even a horrid game – like Sheffield’s on Friday night – will only debit you 27 percent. So Jeter could ground into every double play and go 0-10 over the next two games against the Royals and still break even. Is his contribution in the one win, albeit significant, really worth two train wrecks, possibly costing your team both games?

I’m recording WE stats in game-log style, so maybe over the course of the season I can come up with a more practical application. This is a truly remarkable statistic, helping understand who contributed what to a win. And it’s perfect for a guy like me, who isn’t very keen on predictive statistics; Win Expectancy tells you what did happen, not what should happen. Just like the Yankees should have beaten the snot out of the Royals yesterday. They did not.

Okay, bullet point time.


  • Bernie “Double Play Machine” Williams not only avoided a rally killing DP in the eighth, he showed great recognition on the off-speed pitch around the letters and placed it in shallow left to plate a run. Of course, I’m not 100 percent certain that it was an off-speed pitch, but I really don’t think Bernie would have been able to pull the ball had it been traveling circa 90 m.p.h.

  • Sturtze sucks. I was peeved when Cashman picked up his option, and I’m peeved that he can’t even retire a hitter on the worst team in baseball without yielding a home run. $1.5 million or no $1.5 million, he’d be the guy I’d oust once Small is ready to return.

  • Looks like Wang is still struggling with his mechanics. The easy explanation for his early inning success/late inning trouble conundrum is that hitters are getting used to him the second time around. Personally, I think he has ADD and should be prescribed to Adderall – a la Derek Lowe – right away. I’m only half-joking with this. It looks more like Wang is missing his spots and not getting the proper break on his sinker in later innings – more a sign of dwindled concentration on Wang’s part than familiarity on the batters’ parts.

  • Words uttered to my buddy Jon: “You know who sucks? Gary Sheffield.” Yes, I’m obviously jumping the gun here, and no, Gary Sheffield has not lost the ability to hit the ball. It’s just that he’s pissed his 2007 remains unexercised. Of course, playing like this won’t give Cashman reason to execute said option, meaning Sheffield will continue to mope his way to the plate. At least he’ll never have to worry about losing his spot in the batting order. Friggin’ Torre.

  • Mike Myers is a Godsend. We need to use DNA technology to clone him, half righties and half lefties. It would be the ultimate set-up bullpen.

  • Note to A-Rod: if you continue your failure to hit with men on base, people are going to begin pointing it out. You already have enough enemies; start knocking guys in so we don’t have to concede to their arguments.