09 May 2009

Game 32 Unfair Win Shares

The only baseball game I saw today was a minor league game, between the Bakersfield Blaze and the Visalia Rawhide. The game featured a bizarre play in which it appeared the Blaze shortstop caught a line drive, only he trapped it, leading to two different run-downs, the result of which was two Rawhide runners standing on third base. The Blaze third baseman went to tag one of the runners, whereupon the umpire declared "safe!" The third baseman looked pretty mad at this call, and my wife is pretty sure the umpire at this point said, "tag the other guy". He did, and order was restored. I half expected him to try tagging the third base coach instead -- he was also right there, and wearing the road unform. But what would happen if that runner was never tagged? Surely the pitcher couldn't just make the next pitch with two runners on third, so why does the tag have to be made? It's all very strange.

Before the season the Dodgerama Superfluous-Computer simulated every game on the schedule and awarded unfair win shares to the best players in the simulations. For game 32 the Dodgers on the podium were supposed to be Manny, Furcal, and Kuroda, but it seems reality has developed a glitch and instead unlikely understudies Pierre, Castro, and Stults will take the unfair shares in reality.

I did hear the final outs of the game on the radio, and at the time I really thought that Kemp would get an unfair share, and Stults two. All I knew at that point ( with one out to go ) was that Stults had pitched beyond anything I could have expected and Kemp had been marvelous in the outfield. A guy has to get at least two shares for pitching a shutout, right?

Well, this is what makes blowout wins kind of hard to do unfair shares for. There are always plenty of players who excelled on one side, and plenty of players with terrible performances on the other side. Reading the play-by-play of the game it appears the Castro had the biggest hit of the game, the double that scored one and put him and Blake into scoring position. That hit was the key to that whole second inning. At least in the summary it seems that way. And Pierre was in the middle of both the first and second inning rallies, so he has to get one as well. Kemp is left begging, and Stults gets only one. That's probably the most unfair decision I've made so far this year.

I tagged Fred Lewis for the only non-Sanchez unfair loss share because he was 0-4 and from the post-game notes it seems like he had a rough day in the field.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Stults -- 1
Castro -- 1
Pierre -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Giants )

Sanchez -- 2
Lewis -- 1

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