25 April 2009

Someone Had To Win: Game 17 Unfair Win Shares

The Dodgers had 20 batters reach safely last night, and only scored 6 runs. Matt Kemp by himself left 9 runners on base. It was a frustrating offensive game.

But you know what? The Rockies blew some chances too. They had 19 batters reach safely, and scored just 5 runs. 19 base runners. That's a lot. Nine of them came on base hits, and that's acceptable from the Dodger pitching staff in Coors field. It's the other ten who were the problem, who normally would sink a visiting team in Coors. Eight walks, one hit batter, one error by James Lon --- er, by Hudson. That's way too many free passes of one sort or the other.

One of the walks was given up by Jon Broxton, his first of the year. Maybe he was tired, though you wouldn't have known he was tired by his fastball speed. And he got the two strikeouts when he really needed them. That's amazing, really. It's a one run lead in Coors field, and Broxton had a long outing the previous night ( with a flight in between ) and the defense let him down on the first batter, and still he shut the door. I don't think I could have been too upset with Broxton if he had blown the save, or even given up the loss. I was preparing myself for that when there were two on in the ninth. Broxton would have been shielded from an unfair loss share --- those were slated for Kuo and Kemp if the worst happened. But Broxton is something special.

I still think Kuo is a good pitcher. I'm not sure what to make of his eighth inning last night. It is Coors field after all. I guess it's clear he's still not quite right. I'd still rather see Kuo than Mota or Ohman in most cases. But --- I think if it's a matter of getting Kuo confident again he probably shouldn't pitch in Coors field again unless they have no other choice. But can it really just be a confidence issue?

Stults and Belisario saved Troncoso for tonight's game, when he will likely be needed in long relief of McDonald. That's some fine work from Stults and Belisario, the hidden benefit of their 3 runs allowed over 7 innings. Belisario especially was the surprise hero of last night's game, keeping the Dodgers tied when their offense went to sleep in the middle-late innings. That's worthy of an unfair win share. He carried the Dodgers before the Ausmus-sparked resurgence in the late innings. Ausmus would not get an unfair win share just for his go-ahead hit, but since he also started the eighth inning rally I can't deny him. ( Ausmus getting an unfair win share seals the fate of Street and Corpas, because whenever Brad Ausmus somehow gets an unfair win share the pitchers repsonsible must be punished. )

There are several candidates for the third Dodger unfair win share. Manny had a very good game, and Ethier was maybe a shade better. Loney was great with the bat, but his whiff on Furcal's throw eliminates him. I really can't decide between Ethier and Broxton. I guess it has to be Broxton, since what he did was so impressive when you look at the context.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Ausmus -- 1
Belisario -- 1
Broxton -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Rockies )

Stewart -- 1
Street -- 1
Corpas -- 1

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