20 July 2009

Series Half Full

There is an ancient cliche that the way we describe liquid in a glass is a window into the soul. So stale is the cliche that glass-half-full has become synonymous with optimism, and glass-half empty with pessimism. The thought experiment of how to describe the contents of the half-something glass has been short-circuited, and we leap right into the conclusion.

Tonight Jason Schmidt pitches, after several decades on the disabled list. ( "Decades" should be understood in the same spirit that "ancient" was meant in the first paragraph. ) Regarding his start tonight, I think I am a glass one quarter full guy. By which I mean, I think he'll struggle, but I believe he'll do well. I cannot, alas, put it any plainer than that.

The just concluded series with the Astros was split, two games apiece. I will propose a new and very briefly stimulating psychological parlor game to replace the worn out glass-half-something game. How do prefer to take your four game splits, when they happen? Do you want to win two, then lose two, so that you have the certainty of breaking even early, and then gathering disappointment that breaking even is all you do late? Or the opposite, as the Dodgers did this past weekend, when to panicky fans such as myself it seemed after two losses that the sky was falling only to be saved by two wins late to salvage the split? What would these preferences tell you about a person? Maybe the win two, lose two person is afraid of failure, and the lose two, then win two person and addicted to dangerous living. The possibilities for dime-store psychology seem limitless. Which way would you pick to split the four game series?

Think about that, while I take care of the game 91 unfair shares from this past Saturday.

Game 91 Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Kershaw -- 2
Hudson -- 1

After Kershaw left the game the relief pitching was very shaky. I am sure there were things about his start that could be criticized, but that seems kind of foolish when you look at what all the Dodger relievers did in that game, and what the other Dodger starters have been doing since the break. Hudson benefits from a terrible play by Lee in left field that turned into a triple. Watching in the park I thought Lee could get to it, but at the very least he should have stopped it. Classic case of being caught in between.

Game 91 Unfair Loss Shares ( Astros )

Rodriguez -- 1
Hampton -- 2

I think very few in the park had any idea what happened when Hampton accidentally tossed the ball away in anger and Kemp came in to score. I didn't really have my eye on where the ball was at that point because, well, the play was over, right? Too busy cheering and soaking up the general good vibe in the park when suddenly Kemp just takes off for home. At first I thought he had lost his mind! So Hampton gets two well-deserved unfair loss shares and Ivan Rodriguez gets the last for striking out with the bases loaded and a very iffy and wild Broxton on the mound. It's harsh, but the game was on the line and he failed. What a relief that was when he did!

Back to the series split and how I'd like it to go if I had a choice. I think I'd like to win the middle two games. That way you get the feeling of coming back ( game 2 win ) and the feeling of being ahead ( after game 3 win ) all in the same series. The game 4 loss when the series could have been won will hurt but at least it's just an isolated defeat.

What does it mean that I would prefer that kind of four game series split? I have no idea.

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