Tuesday, October 10, 2006

1969-1975 births

Bit of a low time for starting pitchers, really - check your Lahman, but there are very few people other than Pedro that you'd want anchoring a playoff rotation.

Is this an explanation for the Yankees problems since Clemens and Wells left? Well, certainly this is the age group for likely free agent starters.

Monday, March 06, 2006

World Baseball Classic: Group A

Korea wins the group! I only got to watch the second game of each day (the three Japan games) live, but I've watched the two Korea games I missed on tape, and they are both good, solid fundamental baseball teams.

Both are a bit short on power - lots of homers in the group, but the Tokyo Dome has a pretty short porch. I didn't see one that wouldn't have died on the warning track in Petco Park (where the final will be played). I think they might have trouble a bit in Petco, but their second-phase groups is in Angel Stadium, Anaheim, which is only a marginal pitchers' park (and even less so for homers - does it have above-average foul territory, or something?) and shouldn't screw them up completely.

But they play lovely fundamental baseball: hitting the cut-off man, throwing to the right base, turning a nice double-play. For all that I know that small-ball is not as effective a tactic as the MSM think it is, it's still nice to see a well-executed sacrifice bunt, or a hit-and-run.

I think they're going to melt a few hearts in SoCal - they certainly do play pretty ball.

Why do the Braves lose in the postseason?

This post was transferred from my original blog

Well, that explanation is wrong. Take a look at the figures since the wildcard began:

Braves record against postseason teams in the regular season 1995-2003: 160-130 (0.552).

Braves post season record in the same period: 43-36 (0.544)

Sure, the Braves have a better record against teams that didn't make the postseason (0.625), but you'd expect them to have a better record against worse teams.

The interesting feature here is that the postseason record and the regulsr season record vs. postseason teams are essentially identical (eight points different is one game in 125).

Actually, the surprise for me was that the Braves post season record was nothing like as bad as I expected.

Atlanta Braves in the post-season

This posting was transferred from my original blog

So, they win 12 straight NL East pennants, and only win one ring. Not only that, look at the NLDS record - positively awful.

So why?

I'm not sure, but the stat I want to see is their regular-season record against playoff teams.

My suspicion is that they are what in cricket we'd call a "flat-track bully" - a team with a tremendous record against poor teams and then a (comparatively) poor record against the best. In the playoffs, they're playing top teams, so the poor part of the record kicks in.

OK, to get this properly, we need the following figures:

Atlanta vs. non-playoff teams
Atlanta vs. playoff teams (regular season)
Other playoff teams vs. playoff teams
Other playoff teams vs. non-playoff teams

But that's my guess. Anyone got the stats?