Friday, July 13, 2007
The Cardinals are no match for the Phillies tonight:
Runs Scored Differential:
St. Louis: -64
The Cardinals are out-performing their Pythagorean win-loss record by four games, i.e., they’ve been a little lucky and their record ought to be 36-49, instead of 40-45. For being a bad team, they are 18-14 in games decided by two or fewer runs. The Phillies ought to be 43-45, a difference of one game. Only the Nats have been out-scored by more runs: -108.
Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
ERA – Earned Run Average: (Earned Runs * 9) / IP = ERA
FIP – Fielding Independent Pitching: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K / IP) + League Factor Evaluates a pitching by how he would have done with an average defense behind him by keeping track of things that a pitcher can control (walks, strikeouts, home runs allowed) as opposed to things he cannot (hits allowed, runs allowed).
Slugging Percentage (SLG): Total Bases / At-Bats = Slugging Percentage. Power at the plate.
Runs Created (RC): A stat originally created by Bill James to measure a player’s total contribution to his team’s lineup. Here is the formula: [(H + BB + HBP - CS - GIDP) times ((S * 1.125) + (D * 1.69) + (T * 3.02) + (HR * 3.73) + (.29 * (BB + HBP – IBB)) + (.492 * (SB + SF + SH)) – (.04 * K))] divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SH+ SF).
RC/27: Runs Created per 27 outs, essentially what a team of 9 of this player would score in a hypothetical game.
The Cardinals have been carried in the past by Albert Pujols and he seems human this season. Sure, I’d be thrilled if I had 61 Runs Created (7.7 RC/27), sixteen home runs and fifty-two RBIs, but this is a major let-down from the last several years:
The rest of the Cardinals lineup is a mish-mash. Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen look tired and worn down. Once part of a deadly “Big Three”, now Pujols is finding himself in a one-man show. Edmonds hasn’t played much and is has a slugging percentage of just .394. That’s over two hundred and fifty points off his 2004 season. Rolen has a slugging percentage of just .380. Together Rolen and Edmonds have combined for eleven home runs. No surprise then that the Cardinals are really, really struggling to score.
The biggest surprise to me is how objectively terrible the Cardinals are in terms of pitching. The Cards 4.72 ERA is a half run higher than the league average. The Cardinals Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is better: 4.54, but they are thirteenth in the league. That’s right. The only teams worse are the Houston Astros, the Nats and the Phillies. The Phillies have a banged up pitching staff. What’s the Cardinals excuse? Simply put, their pitchers are bad. Adam Wainwright is a flop as a starter, going a respectable 7-7, but with a 4.66 ERA (4.48 FIP). He’s gotten just 59 strikeouts and has allowed an atrocious 40 walks in a little over 102 innings pitched. Same thing with Braden Looper (6-7, 4.72 ERA), who has gotten 43 K’s to 32 walks. Really, the Cards sole pitcher of note is set-up man Ryan Franklin, who has a nice 1.23 ERA.
Is tonight 10,000? I doubt it. For one thing, the Phillies are sending Jamie Moyer to the mound against Kip Wells, the Cardinals shaky (3-11, 5.92 ERA) hurler who has stunned Cardinals fans with his terrible play. For another, there is a strong incentive amongst the Phillies not to be the guy tagged with #10,000. There is no way that Jamie Moyer is going to let himself be that guy.
Poor Adam Eaton, Saturday Night’s starter, might just be the losing pitcher for #10,000, if I had to guess.
I am off for a few days of vacation. I’ll be back on Wednesday or Thursday.
IMHO, the Phillies should have re-signed Mitch Williams and brought him out to finish all 3 of the Phillies-Cardinals games. Regardless of the huge leads, the Phillies had in the first tow games, there would have been a chance that Mitch could still have lost them. Since the Phillies management crew have been turning their cheek on loss # 10,000 so vehemntly that their heads are spinning a la Linda Blair's Excorsist gig, it would have been godd having somebody. and I'm referring to Mr. Williams here, who would have been proud of being the pitcher of record for #10,000.