12 April 2009

Game 7 Unfair Win Shares

If the beginning of the season was the World Series, the Dodgers would now have won, 4 games to 3. Start the parade!

Randy Wolf was the story of the game. For the average baseball fan, the headline of the game was the freaky fourth out run in the second inning, driven in by Randy Wolf's hard luck liner to Haren. For a Dodger fan with an eye on the big picture, the headline of the game was the preservation of the Dodger 'pen, made possible by Randy Wolf's strong seven innings. For a Snakes fan intent on early season revenge for the Dodgers surge at the expense of Webb and Haren late last season, the headline of the game was the Dodgers beating an ace again, behind Randy Wolf's one run allowed on two hits.

Wolf started out a little shaky, with three base runners allowed in the first two innings, but thereafter he settled in with five perfect innings as he couldn't miss with his curveball. My only pause over this performance is to wonder how often he'll have such wonderful control of his offspeed stuff, and if that's the only way he can pitch an effective game anymore. It doesn't seem as if his fastball could carry him at this point in his career. Perhaps that's looking for trouble where there shouldn't be any, though.

Wolf would likely be in line for two unfair win shares even if he didn't drive in the freaky fun run but that definitely puts him over the top in his case for the two-fer. Wolf is not the only one who gets a share for that play. The Dodgers only added that run because Torre knew the rules and appealed to the umpires, so he gets a managerial thumbs up in the form of a pointy-haired win share. This kind of share is named after the pointy-haired boss in the Dilbert comic strip, and though in this case it is a win share, it will usually be a loss share since managers are daft more often than not, just like Dilbert's boss.

The last unfair win share is the toughest to decide. The Dodger offense didn't really do much during the game, so perhaps it should be a clean sweep for the pitchers. Kuo has a strong case, because he came in with no outs and the tying run on first and preserved the lead, but the angst he caused on the way there tells against him. If I'm going to give an unfair win share to a set-up man I'd like to not fear for the lead at any point during the performance. Kuo blew it when he blew the two strike count to Lopez and allowed a single.

Broxton had a routine save, but it was only routine because Kemp made a nice catch in center field to secure the second out. Kemp was the real Dodger hero after Wolf took his bow, a late inning defensive replacement (!) who also drove in the insurance run with a double. The Bison gets an unlikely unfair win share after not even getting the start.

For the Snakes, Haren's performance was just too good for him to get an unfair loss share. Conor Jackson will get one for looking lost both at the plate ( 0-4 ) and in the field, Lopez will get a really unfair one for being understandably lazy and allowing his momentum to take him past second into a tag of Pierre that allowed Ethier to score the delayed run, and Chris Young gets one for ending the Snake threat in the eighth inning.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Wolf -- 2
Kemp -- 1

Pointy-Haired Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Torre -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Snakes )

Lopez -- 1
Young -- 1
Jackson -- 1

1 comment:

Griffster said...

I read that Torre was actually advised by the bench coach to make the appeal, so I guess that's the one time a bench coach is visibly helpful :-)

I also read a post-game interview with Wolf where he stated that his key to this game was indeed controlling his off-speed stuff, and that deviating from his game plan last start by not doing that was the reason he bombed. I take that to mean we'd better hope he can keep that curve on a tight lease more often than not! He really was dropping it in for strikes yesterday, it was beautiful to watch.