27 May 2009

The Little Engine That Could: Game 47 Unfair Win Shares

Who is the most surprising Dodger of the early season? I guess it can't be Milton, with so many other candidates who have more playing time, but still, I was shocked to see him come into Coors Field and pitch well and get a win. I guess I shouldn't be, when every other bit role player who the Dodgers turn to seems to shine. Check out this list of Dodger reserve hitters by OPS:

Hoffmann -- 1.073
Castro -- 1.006
Pierre -- 0.996
Lorretta -- 0.842
Ausmus -- 0.781

These are all fairly small samples, especially Hoffmann, but all together it gives the Dodgers a huge offensive boost. I guess it can't last, since Pierre can only approach such a high OPS while batting near 0.400, and Castro is a known out-maker. But it also seems that there is a magic around the Dodgers this year, even persisting through the Manny ordeal. I bet even Daryle Ward would hit well for the Dodgers this season. ( Ward had an OPS of 0.403 for the Dodgers in 2003, about half of his career OPS. His OPS+ that year was 9! )

Maybe the exception to Dodger role players doing well is some of the relievers. And yet even there none of them save for Mota are truly hopeless. The best of the non-Broxton bunch may be Troncoso, and he had a very nice game yesterday. Pitching two scoreless innings in Coors Field is huge, even with a fairly big lead, because, you know, it's Coors. So I really want to give Troncoso an unfair win share. Doesn't it seem like two of the shares should go to pitchers when the Dodgers allow only one run in Coors anyway?

But I don't know where Troncoso squeezes in. I have to give one to Milton for his nice, if short, start. Blake has to get one for driving in three --- that was the biggest moment of the game. And the last one, I fear, will go to The Little Engine That Could.

If Pierre hadn't tripled to set up the fifth run and singled in the sixth and seventh runs then Troncoso would have been protecting a 3 run lead instead of ultimately a 6 run lead, and I think then he would surely get an unfair win share for his efforts. Of course, if the infield hadn't been playing in when Pierre came up in the eighth inning then his little slap bloop thing would have nestled gently into Quintanilla's glove instead of I-think-I-can-I-think-I-canning over the drawn-in infield for a cute-as-a-button little two run singlet. So yeah, Troncoso. You just lost an unfair win share to an anthropomorphic blue train.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Blake -- 1
Milton -- 1
Pierre -- 1

On the Rockies side, Fowler and Tulo left a lot of runners, and Cook didn't make the Dodgers leave their runners, so they get the loser shares.

Unfair Loss Shares ( Rockies )

Fowler -- 1
Tulowitzki -- 1
Cook -- 1

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