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  1. Ironic, no? Last year, a lot of people claimed Verlander won the MVP because of the narrative. Now, he’s going to be fighting it like hell.

    All comes down to what the hitters do early against Parker. If he comes out and strikes out a few batters in the first inning, he could get some serious confidence and match zeroes with Verlander. Last night, the Tigers had Griffin on the ropes in the 4th inning and let him off by way of the GIDP. They simply cannot afford that again because if Oakland is able to set up their bullpen like they did in Game 3, the Tigers’ chances will be very slim.

    I don’t see Parker dominating the lineup with relative ease like Anderson did but I also think that the A’s are going to work the pitch count of Verlander up quickly. Their collective approach at the plate thus far in this series has been very good, IMO, despite their scant run production.

    Comment by Bryan Bars — October 11, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

  2. “the Narrative”, is that like “the Situation” only literate?

    Comment by GregH — October 11, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  3. 2 runs in 8+ innings (before Valverde)- “not terrible”
    3 runs in 11.1 innings – “amazing”

    Speaking of narratives…

    “Awful HR luck”… basically a difference of a little more than 2 HR’s in postseason play. Of course it’s much easier to put up a % and make it look huge; is that really awful luck though or a case where rate stats can be very misleading.

    “Any starter that has worked against postseason lineups and postseason rest”
    A) Are the beds different in the postseason? Because other than that how is postseason rest an issue? Has he been working on 3 days rest a lot? 4 days? 5days?
    B) If you are suggesting the postseason lineups are better, than you should not also be chalking up a BABIP increase and HR/FB ratios simply to luck. Pick a side.

    I like the article but for one that is talking about narratives you sure did manage to mix a few in there yourself.

    Comment by Joe — October 11, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  4. Two HR’s in postseason play can make a huge difference. Ask Raul Ibanez.

    Comment by Jim — October 11, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  5. yes the bullpen thing was actually a reference to my narrative that the Detroit bullpen was terrible, so they were not terrible in that they were really good and I’ve been denigrating them.

    I think two homers could have turned a couple of his losses into wins actually.

    he’s started on three-days rest once, and in such a small sample that means something to me.

    as for b) it’s an interesting point, but I’m not sure I have to choose. Yes postseason lineups are better, because postseason teams are better. But you could still expect average BABIP and HR/FB luck, imo.

    as for your overall point, maybe I should have hit harder: Verlander is going up against the narratives I provided, as well as the straw man narrative (he’s bad in the postseason) that others might provide. That was the basic structure of the piece in my mind.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — October 11, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  6. You missed my point… an *absolute* difference of ~2 (maybe 2.5?) HR’s is not “awful luck”. If you are then going to argue hat he’s facing better lineups the 2 “extra” HR’s seems even less like awful luck.

    BAIP of .315 also falls into this category. Verlander has had about 130 balls in play in his postseason career. The difference between a BABIP of .315 and .295? 2.5 hits – good luck/bad luck, or pretty much non-issue? (I’m too lazy to look at batted ball profile and xBABIP)

    It’s the problem of using rate stats over small samples. Things that look like large gaps aren’t really. I think people get the small sample size caveat but don’t realize how truly small the absolute differences are on some of these rate stats; and even with the small sample size caveat still continue to use things like BABIP or HR/FB rates to explain why the small sample variance is there.

    Comment by Joe — October 11, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  7. I would say that the Yankees and Rangers from last year were hands down better offensively than your average team. And 06, it was his rookie year. That’s not to excuse verlander for average performances in the playoffs.

    But you don’t need to dive too deep into the numbers to realize that this is indeed a very small sample size, and you can’t really tell too much about it. as the article points out, the JV of the last 4 years is leaps and bounds different than the JV of 2006. Hell, I’d say the JV of the last two years is quite different than before.
    That being said, I’m still nervous as hell, and if its the 8th inning and we are using the bullpen, I’ll be drinking.

    Comment by Kevin — October 11, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  8. I’d probably compare that 15+% HR/FB to his career number (7.9%) and that .315 BABIP to his career number (.284), in which case I would say, yes, he’s had bad luck in a small sample, even if the absolute difference isn’t huge, even though it’s been against tougher competition than usual. I mean, take five runs on three home runs away from his line and he’s got a four ERA and it’s hard to make him look like a postseason dog. Take five runs AND four hits away, since HR are not BIP, and yeah, now his ERA is probably under four.

    If we’re arguing about awful vs bad, you see bad, I see a HR/fB rate that’s double, even in a small sample, and even with a smaller absolute difference (yes I understand that part, please don’t write it up again with different words), and I still see awful.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — October 11, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  9. This interaction is stupid. :*(

    Comment by Colin — October 11, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

  10. 30 pack is locked and loaded for inevitable Tigers bullpen meltdown

    Comment by wrinklebump — October 11, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  11. I think this game is largely going to be determined by which pitcher is allowed more called strikes 12″ outside the strike zone.

    Comment by Northhampstonstead — October 11, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  12. Fortunately for Verlander, Narrative is completely exhausted after last night.

    Comment by Tim — October 11, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

  13. completely different strikes zones tonight flipping between the BAL-NY and OAK-DET games

    Comment by Jeff — October 12, 2012 @ 12:31 am

  14. Yeah, can’t see anyone talking about “JV struggles in the playoffs” after the number he just put up in this series.

    Comment by Kevin — October 12, 2012 @ 1:41 am

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed this interchange. This is what comments are for.

    Comment by Baltar — October 12, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  16. I read the first few paragraphs and had the same thoughts as you.

    2 in 8+ and 3 in 11+ are basically the same. One has been amazing, the other ‘not bad’.

    But that’s already been addressed.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 12, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  17. If he comes out and strikes out a few batters in the first inning, he could get some serious confidence and match zeroes with Verlander.

    So, if he pitches well, he’ll have confidence that he can keep it up.

    But, how did he pitch well early on to begin with?

    Any pitcher can pitch well for an entire game, many have done it.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 12, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

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