Monday, April 13, 2009

My Worst Fears Confirmed

Remember a week ago when I warned the bullpen could become a concern this year? Remember when I said the combination of starters with high pitch counts mixed with a bullpen primed for a regression could spell disaster?

It might have only been one game, but outings like yesterday's could haunt the Jays all season long. Brandon League will NOT be this bad going forward. He'll probably lose his "prime right handed set up guy" job to Jason Frasor's fosh, but he'll get to work out the kinks at the big league level. If I knew about such things, I'd be inclined to believe League's problems are a combination of mechanical and mental. Whatever the source, he forgot how to locate his pitches. That's bad. Moderately effective Shawn Camp couldn't find the plate either, and hasn't all week. That's not as bad, but it still isn't' good. The Jays pen has already allowed 16 walks. That sucks. The staff ERA is up around 4.75; a figure made worse by their (very early, of course) bloated FIP, currently hovering near 6.

Obviously getting hysterical about a 5-2 team isn't worth the effort (PLAYOFFS!), but the starters are going to continue to place the bullpen in tough situations. Just throw strikes people, it's really that simple.

Weekend Mechanical Goats/Simulated Hero-Figures

You'll be shocked to learn that Saturday's win came courtesy of real life Simulated Hero-Figure Roy Halladay. Aaron Hill's bases loaded single in the second inning matched Jason Frasor's strike out of Victor Martinez in the 9th in the race to become the game's biggest play.

The sweep didn't pan out and we have Marco Scutaro to blame? If the robots tell me so, it much be true. I suppose his strike out with runners on second and third with one out in the seventh inning of a one-run ballgame will do that. I can't stay mad at Scutaro as he's playing so far above his replacement-level head right now. This is all house money anyway.


  1. I never thought I'd see the day that I am more at ease to see Jason Frasor pitching than Brandon League. I know it was just a rough weekend, hopefully League comes back down to earth.

  2. I think the goat needs some music to take away from its severity. Much like the shrimp at WoW.

  3. Not only was Downs' BABIP .264 last year but his LD% was 11%. The league average is 19%! We better be prepared to tell Scott Downs to fuck off on some days, which is just a scary thought.

    Jon Hale says he's not that worried about Carlson because Ks are generally stable but his BABIP was .235! Eventually batters will just sit on his slider.

    Looking at those projected FIPs, it's really not that bad though because you have to assume the D will make them look better again, right? RIGHT?! Please? With the D, the ERA should be around 3.5-3.7 which would still have been top 10 last year easily. Sometimes us Jays fans need to realize just how crappy other teams are.

    Now Drew/Lloyd/Reverend (I don't even know who's who anymore), I have a research topic for you because I'm too lazy to do it myself. I've noticed that teams that have crappy bullpens tend to underperform their Pythag W-L and they rarely outperform. The same goes for teams with great D, and the Jays had both last year.

    It looks like the Rays, Angels, Reds, Yankees, Brewers, A's, Astros all outperformed their Pythag W-L because of top bullpens and/or met their Pythag W-L because of great bullpens despite crappy offenses (A's, Astros, Reds).

    Notice who is missing above? Somehow the Jays managed to have a the best bullpen, one of the best defenses, and still underperformed their Pythag even though teams with worse offenses didn't. Just shows how ridiculously unlucky the Jays are.

    So the question is, other than the baseball gods hating the Blue Jays, is there a direct correlation between having a great bullpen or defense and outperforming your Pythag and vice-versa? And if so, hasn't JP basically been the pioneer of the next frontier of Moneyball and should be given a Nobel Prize?

    It would make sense to me that defense and good bullpens directly influence the Pythag W-L more than offense because they can directly affect late, close games or high leverage situations whereas offense is spread throughout the game.

  4. Scoot has been fucking phenomenal. I will not stand by and have you say that about him. We won the series. That's what matters. And Scoot was a big part of both series wins. If you're going to shit on the 'pen seven games in, show Scoot some love seven games in. More love than "he's playing so far above his replacement-level head right now."

  5. That's a good idea SP, I'll look into it. One thing I do know, one run games impact your Pythag and they're basically luck. The Rangers had a great record in 1 run games (29-18) but still only won 79 total (while barely outpacing their pythag).

  6. Drew, I was just looking stuff up and it turns out it's actually pretty established that there's correlation between good bullpens and outperforming the Pythag.


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