Monday, June 27, 2005

50-24: Not about us

I have read a few -- not many, but a few -- comments about how inept the White Sox were on Sunday. It's not about the White Sox. Mark Prior was unbelievably good, and this is not something new, he's done it before a few times. I read complaints about how the Sox tried to hit everything out of the park, and how they should have gone the other way. Let me say this: contrary to what every baseball broadcaster tells you, opposite field hitting is not a guarantee of success. When the other team plays you to hit the other way, you're going to make outs. Prior took away the pull hitting by his approach and the Cubs played defense to take away the other way. Game over.

Other quick remarks:
  • Cheat, who complains only mildly about the ineptness of the offense, also sensibly points out that "SmartBall" is a PR ploy.
  • Prior was brilliant, but you have to wonder if he'll make it through the season with a manager who treats him so cavalierly; that and his abominable luck seems to always get to him.
  • Yet another slightly bizarre effort to analyze the White Sox offense manages to get in the bizarre digs about the White Sox pitching being "non-normative". The Sox defense is better, which is reflected in their DER, but that can't explain a 1.3-run drop is runs scored against. So, it must be luck. Hello! Hello! You can't really predict pitching. Pitchers learn new pitches. Pitchers adjust to situations. Batters hit differently in close games than in blowouts. You can predict hitting reasonably well, but pitching may simply never be predictable. What will Garland's ERA be in 2006? I have no idea -- and neither do you, and neither, I suspect, does anybody -- not close enough to be truly useful. You won't read that a lot of places because a lot of people are trying to make money convincing you that they can indeed predict pitcher performance.
  • Why, exactly, doesn't A. J. Pierzynski get as much credit as I think is due? Maybe that 1.3 runs has something to do with getting two new catchers in the game? Is it a possibility at least?

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