06 April 2009

Opening Day Unfair Win Shares

Tomorrow will bring the Unfair Win Shares Manifesto. Today brings the first three unfair win shares awarded to Dodger players.

James Loney is a natural candidate for an unfair win share, since he drove in the runs that would put the Dodgers ahead for good. I am swayed against his case by his out at second on the throw to the plate. Runs against Peavy are hard to come by, in general, and outs must not be given away, especially with a dangerous hitter on deck who would be coming up with two runners on. Loney's out at second, while understandable, also matters. I would like for players ( such as Matt Kemp ) to not be buried for baserunning blunders, but I would also like for the all too common out at second on the throw home to not be forgiven so easily. Or maybe forgiven, but not forgotten. Not just shrugged off as if the RBIs are all that matter.

This is too harsh, though. I also remember how Ethier and Manny came up empty before Loney, and how Loney was the only reason the Dodgers even put up the two runs. His single changed the game early. Out at second or not, he has to get an unfair win share.

Kuroda gave up one run through 5.2 innings. That is a worthy effort, and an unfair win share seems indicated for him. To be sure Peavy was in many ways the better pitcher today --- Peavy pitched more innings, and totaled 8 strikeouts to Kuroda's 2. That Peavy gave up more runs is probably mostly a function of the much tougher lineup he faced. But all this is irrelevant since Peavy pitched for the losing team. I am not even sure if Peavy's sometimes nasty stuff and decent performance in terms of runs allowed can even save him from an unfair loss share --- that will come later, though.

Kuroda also benefited from the work of Cory Wade relieving him, and Kemp's diving catch in the field. Without Kemp's diving catch Kuroda is in trouble earlier in the sixth, with fewer than two outs, and at least one run likely scores. Without Wade's strong effort to close out Kouz to end the inning Kuroda might have given up two or three extra runs --- the Dodgers might have lost the game --- and Kuroda might be looking at an unfair loss share instead. It's just too close, his performance too ordinary. The game was saved when Wade got the comebacker. That's how it felt. So Wade gets the second unfair win share, and Kemp gets the third and last, for his great catch in center and his prodigious home run to center.

The losers must be recognized as well, but there isn't much reason to dwell too long on them. It isn't quite fair, but Peavy does get an unfair loss share. After all the runs were allowed on his watch, and he had that error and all. Wade's unfair win share comes at the expense of Kouzmanoff getting an unfair loss share. And I'm afraid Kouz is going to double up and take two unfair loss shares for the game, the second for going hitless in all his other at bats, and leaving two runners stranded in the eighth when he could have tied the game. You could make a case for Blanco but I guarantee you no Padre fan is complaining about him right now. It's all Kouz. If I was a Padre fan I might even feel like giving him all three unfair loss shares, but that would be a bit too unfair.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Loney -- 1
Kemp -- 1
Wade -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Padres )

Peavy -- 1
Kouzmanoff -- 2

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