29 May 2009

Game 49 Unfair Win Shares

It was another night at the minor league park for us, so I heard the last inning of the Dodger victory through a transistor radio pressed to my ear. Sam Lynn ballpark in Bakersfield is the kind of place where they will sometimes play goofy sound effects or stock sound clips to punctuate the action of the game. So it was that in the moment when Troncoso struck out phenom Fox with the bases loaded to preserve a 2-1 victory, I heard a chorus of Hallelujah. They were celebrating a tough strikeout in Sam Lynn, but I knew what the brief burst of joyous music was really for.

Torre has his relief pitchers bat this year more often than any other Dodger manager I can remember. I guess that's in part a product of having such a short bench. I don't think there's any Dodger reliever good enough that I would choose him pitching the ninth with a one run lead over the chance to extend the lead. That said, I would not support using a pinch hitter in that situation if it meant someone like Mota had to pitch. I'm okay with Troncoso pitching two innings last night, but he should have come in on a double switch to prevent him from coming to the plate.

There is a lot of unfairness in the unfair loss shares for the Cubs. And that's great! That's the way it is supposed to be. When you lose the world is your enemy, and the smallest flaws and mistakes may be magnified. Jake Fox had one hit and one strikeout, but the strikeout is all that's visible after the game. Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two out, one run down --- nothing you did before matters if you don't get it done there. Game's on the line and that's when you show the world that you are stuffed full of manly, clutch cliches. It turns out Fox's manly cliche meter is reading zero. He's not giving 110%, or putting a good swing on it, or taking what the pitcher gives him, or swinging a hot bat, or even picking up his teammates. Instead he dropped his teammates into a flaming pit of loserness. Or maybe Troncoso was just too good, but unfair loss shares aren't about what the other guy did. In the world of unfair loss shares you didn't get beaten, you were a loser. It's a cruel world.

Sadly I'm not quite as hard and ruthless and unfair as I should be, or I would also give an unfair loss share to Bobby Scales, the career minor leaguer making good in his first shot at the big leagues. Yeah, I should give one to him, the guy who hit a home run that accounted for the only Cub run. His strikeout preceding Fox's more than erases the good he did with the home run, doesn't it? His strikeout in some ways is even worse than Fox's, because all he had to do was hit a fly ball and the game is tied. But Troncoso was too good, he might complain, if he was here to defend himself, and then I would give him a second unfair loss share for being whiny and sassing back at me. I've almost talked myself into giving him one, after all, but I won't. Soriano and Theriot get the last two unfair loss shares for messing up the eighth inning for the Cubs, and they might also in their defense point to Troncoso being too good, but I don't want to hear about it. Whiners.

Troncoso was sure a bringer of doom, wasn't he? I'm almost tempted to give him two unfair win shares instead of Wolf.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Wolf -- 2
Troncoso -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Cubs )

Theriot -- 1
Fox -- 1
Soriano -- 1

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