Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Number crunchers

Man, that was a great game, huh? Remember? So damn fun. Plus it taught me my prime numbers (though to this day I'm not sure about 2). I once actually pissed myself midway through class because I didn't want to leave the computer lab during a particularly good run through the Factors level. I'd love to be able to tell you that was way back in third grade, but it was actually junior year of college. No, I'm just kidding. It was third grade. In my defense, I was really drunk.

But that's actually not the game to which this post refers.

Rather, this is where I take a look at the Orioles' team stats from last season, an analysis I should've  by rights conducted before devising my scheme, and either (a) begin to get really, really freaked out about the Punishment Plan or (b) thank my lucky stars things fell so righteously into place.

See, when I put the regimen together, I drew on only the roughest of estimates to conclude that the five negative events would average a total of about 12 per game. I figured O's hitters would get rung up about four times per game and ground into a double play maybe once; the pitchers would walk three guys or so and concede three or four extra base hits; and the fielders would boot a ball just about every other game. Hence the 12 exercises; your average Orioles ballgame would put me through my paces for one set of each.

So what do the numbers bear out? Using 2009 figures — and remember, most experts believe the club will be significantly improved this season — the Orioles averaged:

6.25 K/game
.808 GIDP

3.37 BB and 0.31 HBP
3.72 XBH

.555 E

Total average of negative events per game = 15.013

Not too shabby, huh? Plus, you've got to figure the pitching — benefiting from the addition of vet Kevin Millwood and the experience young bucks like Brian Matusz accreted last year — will hold opponents to fewer doubles and home runs this year; that's where the Orioles were godawful last season.

Comparing the Birds to the Yankees, 2009's World Series winners and thus the gold standard for the league, and limiting the comparison to the above statistical categories, Baltimore actually fared as well or better in every measurement except team fielding and extra base hits.

Problem is, they were much worse in terms of giving up the gapper: An eye-popping 9.5 percent of plate appearances against Baltimore hurlers resulted in a double, triple or home run. That's 604 XBH against. The Yankees? Only 7.7 percent, or 481 XBH against. Yes, the new Yankee Stadium's a better park for pitchers, but that's still a massive disparity.

Point being, let's take a cue from the Yanks and really get behind each other out there:


  1. and here i was thinking roger was the one who liked it in the butt

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