06 May 2009

The Princes of the National League: Game 28 Unfair Win Shares

Max Scherzer loses again. He's got to be feeling Dodgerbit. He went six full innings, and knocked a hit and scored an run in an effort to help his own cause, but it wasn't enough. The Snakes just aren't good enough right now.

If the Snakes are ever going to challenge the Dodgers this season they will have to do a lot better offensively. Take Justin Upton, for example. He's turned things around after a horrible first few weeks, and now has an on base percentage of 0.356. That's fine, especially for a super-talented young player who just figures to get better. What's not fine is that it's the third best OPS on the team among players with at least 50 PA. 494 of the Snakes 994 plate appearances ( nearly half ) have gone to players with an OBP of less than 0.300. There are automatic outs up and down the Snake lineup.

You could say that the Snakes miss Orlando Hudson, and I'm sure they do, but second base is one spot where they haven't seen much of a drop-off. The new second baseman Felipe Lopez has been the Snakes' best position player, with Upton a close runner-up. The Snakes miss the production they used to get from their current players, and in some cases the production they thought they would get from their current players. Chad Tracy isn't anything like the hitter he was in 2005. Connor Jackson is having an even worse start to the season than Russell Martin. These guys combined to go 0-8 and leave 9 runners left on base. They get two of the unfair loss shares. Shortstop Wilson gets the other one mostly for his run-allowing error in the first inning.

The past few years I've often been a skeptic when it comes to the Snakes offense and how good it could really be, but I don't think they are this bad. Still, the gap between the Dodgers and Snakes offense is so wide, and the difference in the standings so steep that it's hard to imagine the Snakes overcoming the Dodgers this season. But, you know. It's baseball. The sport that brought us the Braves of 1914, and the Miracle Mets, and 1988, and the Rays of last year, so who knows? Maybe I should imagine harder.



Back to the Dodgers. What can be said? There they are, born to be kings, the princes of the National League.

Another day I might have visited the unfairness of Weaver getting an unfair win share for yesterday's five inning start and Stults getting nothing for his five and change inning start in game 27. Or asked why Broxton and Belisario should put an unfair loss share on the line ( if they had pitched poorly ) but have no real chance at an unfair win share because they pitched only one inning each. Or considered Hudson's 1-4 day at the bat and 2-3 day with the leather, and pondered if the good of that really outweighed the bad. Or wondered if Ethier was really worthy of an unfair win share after his really shaky defensive first inning. But not today.

Who wants to think about such minutae when the Dodgers are 20-8. I'd give the whole team unfair win shares if it was allowed.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Hudson -- 1
Weaver -- 1
Ethier -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Snakes )

Wilson -- 1
Tracy -- 1
Jackson -- 1

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