01 July 2009

Game 78 Unfair Loss Shares

I have often wondered how unfair loss shares should be distributed if a team is shut down by a perfect game. Who gets the blame on the losing side, when every hitter is 0-3?

The Dodgers were not run out 27 straight, but Marquis came very close. Close enough for the same questions to hold. Well, Loney and Castro had hits, so they are safe. And then? And then we come right up to one of the many weaknesses of the unfair shares. There is something very inflexible about having to award three, exactly three, indivisibly three, every game. How much simpler and fairer it would be to just give everyone on the offense a third of an unfair loss share, or better yet, to just give none at all. Marquis was just too good. You can't blame the Dodgers. Well, I don't. I was ready to blame them in the fifth inning, ready to write about how the offense had become a grim and woeful thing, a misshapen beast with dysfunctional limbs. By the eighth inning I realized it was all about Marquis that night. He made the Dodgers irrelevant.

It is bootless to lament the injustice of the unfair loss shares. They are as they are, and if this game makes clear the limitations of this device, then so be it. Let no thing hide from the light of truth. Here, the margin of decision is laughably thin. Furcal and Pierre are damned for having the misfortune of batting four fruitless times against Marquis, while the rest are saved because they never got that fourth chance to chop an easy grounder out. And for the last, I choose Billingsley. His performance was not bad, but again he let the opposing team get to him with a big inning full of many baserunners, if a two run inning can be called a big inning, and it can, when faced against such a performance of Marquis'. Down one, the Dodgers had hope, even if it would ultimately prove false, but down three, against His Efficiency, they had none. In short, Billingsley gets an unfair loss share because the opposing pitcher was so good.

Unfair Win Shares ( Rockies )

Marquis -- 3

Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Pierre -- 1
Furcal -- 1
Billingsley -- 1


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