Archive for One Night Only

Daily Notes, Featuring a Perfect NERD

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: St. Louis at Detroit, 19:05 ET (MLB.TV Free Game)
2. The College World Series: Still Happening
3. Today’s Complete MLB Schedule

Featured Game: St. Louis at Detroit, 19:05 ET
The Significance of This Game
This — so far as the author can tell — is the first game of the season to register a perfect NERD score of 10.

What Is NERD, For Those Who Don’t Know
NERD represents an attempt to measure the likely interest a player or team or game might have to the baseball nerd (which is probably you, by virtue of the fact that you’re reading this).

Links That Exist on the Internet
Click here for more information on Pitcher and Team NERD scores and here for how Game NERD Scores are calculated.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 28th


Look at all of these unemployed babies.

Boston (9) at Baltimore (2) | 19:05 ET
New York AL (10) at Tampa Bay (7) | 19:10 ET
Philadelphia (3) at Atlanta (5) | 19:10 ET
St. Louis (3) at Houston (4) | 20:05 ET
On Why There’re Four Games Here
Everyone, even tiny babies, knows why there are four games here: because each of these games includes a team tied, on the last day of the season, for the Wild Card in their respective league.

On How Such a Thing Happened
Everyone wrote to their senator and asked for it, probably.

On How Such a Thing Will End
Copious butt-slapping, win or lose.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 27th


NERD and Frankenstein’s monster have about 0.5 things in common.

New York AL (10) at Tampa Bay (8) | 19:10 ET
NERD v. Nerd
NERD — i.e. the numbers you see here designed to express in one figure the watchability of a team or player or game for the baseballing nerd — is totally trying to embarrass its creator today.

How It’s Doing That
By giving the Yankees-Rays and Red Sox-Orioles contests Game Scores of 9 and 7, respectively, while they (i.e. those games) very clearly feel like some of those most interesting games of the season.

Why That’s Happening, In Reality
The reason why that’s happening — the thing with the lower-than-expected scores — is because Boston’s playoff odds remain at about 63%. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s are only about 37%. (All per Cool Standings.)

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 26th


An example of a famous Russian astronaut, or cosmonaut.

St. Louis (3) at Houston (4) | 20:05 ET
Brass Tacks
What with Atlanta’s loss on Sunday and St. Louis’s victory, the Cardinals now find themselves a single game behind the Braves in the NL Wild Card Race.

In Terms of Percentages
In terms of percentages, that gives the Cardinals a 36.6% chance of making the postseason; the Braves, 63.4% (per Cool Standings).

Meet Some Astros!
Here are some Astros: Brian Bogusevic (173 PA, 118 wRC+, 1.8 WAR), J.D. Martinez (219 PA, 106 wRC+, 1.6 WAR), Jimmy Paredes (172 PA, 93 wRC+, 0.6 WAR).

Meet Some Astronauts!
Here are some current astronauts: Serena M. Auñón, Jeanette J. Epps, Jack D. Fischer.

Some Other Terms for Astronaut
Here are some other terms for astronaut: cosmonaut (a Russian space traveler), taikonaut (a Chinese space traveler), sexynaut (an Italian space traveler).

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Astros Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 25th


The sort of scissors utilized by both starters in today’s featured game.

Los Angeles NL (5) at San Diego (6) | 16:05 ET
Playoffs Schmayoffs
There are a couple games today — the Boston-New York ones, the Cardinal one — that have playoff implications, but the present author is like, “Talk to the hand, you games.”

Why the Author Is Saying That
Because his knowledge of popular slang is current up to only about 15 years ago.

Why Else the Author Is Saying That
Because none of the underdogs at this point has better than a 16% chance of making the playoffs — and this game probably represents that last time we’ll see Clayton Kershaw this season.

Something You Probably Know About Clayton Kershaw
Here’s the season line for Clayton Kershaw, Cy Young Candidate: 226.0 IP, 27.3% K, 6.0% BB, 43.4% GB, 2.65 SIERA, 2.82 xFIP, 73 xFIP-.

Something You Mayn’t Know About Kershaw’s Opponent
Kershaw’s opponent, Cory Luebke, has been almost as brilliant as Kershaw on a per-batter basis: 133.2 IP, 28.1% K, 7.6% BB, 38.9% GB, 2.67 SIERA, 2.97 xFIP, 77 xFIP-.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Dodgers Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 24th


A Red Sox fan asks the big questions.

Boston (9) at New York AL (10) | 16:10 ET
Regarding Something Bill James Said
Bill James has said — somewhere, at some point in time — something to the effect of “We’re frequently interested in things that other people find interesting.”

An Example of What James Means by That
Murder cases — like how people like murder cases.

On the Relevance of That Statement to This Game
Despite the fact that, as of this morning, the Red Sox have something like a 95% chance of making the playoffs, a great portion of New Englanders are wringing their hands anxiously regarding the Sox and their fate.

An Example of Said Handwringing
A Boston Globe photo slideshow entitled “Who’s to Blame?”

Another Example of That Handwringing
This video debate over whether the Sox are dirty and doggy enough.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Red Sox Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 23rd


The Pixies’ 1987 ode to the Allen Craig/Matt Holliday situation.

Chicago NL (4) at St. Louis (3) | 20:15 ET
Obligatory Playoff-Race Note
The Cardinals of St. Louis are currently 2.0 games behind the Braves of Atlanta with six games remaining, giving them (i.e. the Cards) about a 24% chance of making the playoffs, per Cool Standings.

Something You May Know
Something you may know is that, with Matt Holliday (hand) currently out, that Allen Craig has been playing regularly in his (i.e. Holliday’s) absence.

Something You May Not Know
Craig, who’s hitting .312/.359/.529 (.347 BABIP), 150 wRC+ in 207 plate apperances this season, actually has a better rest-of-season ZiPS projection than Holliday.

Something You May Not Know, Part II
Here are those lines, specifically.

Craig: .286/.333/.571 (.300 BABIP), .387 wOBA

Holliday: .300/.364/.500 (.333 BABIP), .376 wOBA

One Caveat Regarding Those Projections
One caveat (of the probably many extant caveats) regarding those projections is that Craig has been protected from righties a little bit. Only two-thirds of the pitchers he’s faced are righties; for an everyday player, that figure would probably be above 80%.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Cubs Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 22nd


Georg Cantor (a) discovered multiple infinities and (b) went insane.

Tampa Bay (7) at New York AL (10) | 19:05 ET
A Note Regarding Your Taste
If your taste, reader, is for the baseball game with the most immediate of playoff consequences, then tonight’s contest between New York NL and St. Louis (below) ought to be your preference.

Why That Is
Why that is, is because owing to yet another Cardinal victory and another Brave loss last night, the former sits only 1.5 games behind the latter for the NL Wild Card.

What That Means in Terms of Percentages
In terms of percentages — again, per Cool Standings — St. Louis now has just under a 35% chance of making the postseason; Atlanta, a 64% chance.

As for This Game
As for this game, it offers a team (i.e. the Rays) with less of a playoff chance (4.5%), but with the added draw of left-hander Matt Moore‘s first major-league start.

Matt Moore’s Minor-League Line
Here’s Matt Moore’s line between Double- and Triple-A this season: 155.0 IP, ∞ K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9.

A Note a Matt Moore’s Line
Just looking at it now, it appears as though Matt Moore struck out infinity batters this season. Hadn’t realized that.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Rays Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 21st


Almost certainly a metaphor.

New York NL (4) at St. Louis (3) | 20:15 ET
What the Deal Is
The deal with this game is that, after winning last night — but also letting the Braves win, too — that the Cardinals are 2.5 games back in the NL Wild Card race.

What That Means to Cool Standings
What that whole thing means to Cool Standings is that the Cardinals have about an 18% chance of making the playoffs.

The Cardinals’ Playoff Chances, A Brief History Of
Looking over the internet records, one finds that St. Louis’s odds of making the playoffs are the highest they’ve been since August 15th, when they (i.e. the playoff odds) were 20%.

The Cardinals’ Playoff Chances in Context
To get a sense of how good the Cardinals’ chances are, consider that the Rays’ — who everyone’s freaking about — consider that their chances of making the postseason are less than 9%.

Other Things People Are Freaking About
All of the things, all of the time.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Mets Television.

Two Other Games
Tampa Bay (7) at New York AL (10) | 13:05 ET
In which AL East titans clash and, just as with the real Titans, are gruesomely slayed by the Olympic gods — i.e. Must-See TV.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Rays Television.

Tampa Bay (7) at New York AL (10) | 19:05 ET
In which the second verse is the same as the first.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Rays Television.

Also Playing
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.8.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 20th


Topical, science-y.

Tampa Bay (7) at New York AL (10) | 19:05 ET
A Fact Regarding the Tampa Bay Rays
Entering play Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays are a mere two games behind Boston in the AL Wild Card race.

A Second Fact Regarding the Tampa Bays Rays
Entering play Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays have an 8.9% chance of making the playoffs, per Cool Standings.

In Terms of Yankee Pitching
In terms of Yankee pitching, Ivan Nova (151.1 IP, 102 xFIP-) is pitching for the Yankees.

Regarding Ivan Nova
Per the data from Baseball Info Solutions, Nova’s changeup usage is down from 2010 (10.6% to 4.6%), but his slider usage is up (2.1% to 11.2%).

Regarding Ivan Nova, Part II
Per the data from Pitch F/x, Nova’s changeup usage is only slightly down (9.9% to 7.9 %), but his slider (0.0% to 2.9%) and cutter (0.0% to 2.6%) usage has increased.

Carson Cistulli’s Guess
Carson Cistulli’s guess is that Pitch F/x is classifying Nova’s new slider as sometimes a slider and, other times, a cutter.

Carson Cistulli’s Second Guess
Carson Cistulli’s second guess is frequently (a) directed at his own self and (b) debilitating.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Rays Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 19th


Only one budget travel author can help the Cardinals now.

St. Louis (3) at Philadelphia (3) | 19:05 ET
A Thing the Author Didn’t Know
A thing the author didn’t know is how the Cardinals have played their way into Wild Card contention.

Regarding Said Contention
After their defeat Sunday night of Philadelphia — and Atlanta’s loss to the Mets — St. Louis is three games behind Atlanta in the NL Wild Card race, giving them an 8.1% chance of winning same Wild Card berth.

Regarding Said Contention, Part II
The Cardinals’ current chances at the Wild Card are the highest they’ve been since August 17th.

If Rick Steves Wrote a Book for the Cardinals
If noted travel author Rick Steves wrote a book to help the Cardinals, it’d be called Major League Playoffs Through the Back Door.

If an Adult-Film Actress Wrote a Book for the Cardinals
If an adult-film actress wrote a book to help the Cardinals, it’d have a title pretty similar to Rick Steves’ book.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Phillies Radio.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 18th


Mike Trout or Matt Wieters: which is more of a street-wise Hercules, you think?

Tampa Bay (7) at Boston (9) | 13:35 ET
Playoff Race Status Update
Even with Tampa Bay’s victory last night, Cool Standings still gives the Red Sox a 94.1% chance of making the playoffs; Tampa Bay, just 5.4%.

Regarding This Game, Specifically
With David Price (210.1 IP, 3.02 SIERA) facing Tim Wakefield (145.2, 4.49), Tampa Bay likely has the better chance of winning.

Regarding This Game, Odds of Victory
The money line for this game is currently set at about -135 for Tampa Bay and +125 for Boston.

Regarding This Game, Odds of Victory, Part II
That suggests about a 56.5% chance of winning for Tampa Bay; about 43.5% for Boston.

Playoff Race Speculation, Beginning with the Words “In Conclusion”
In conclusion, Tampa Bay has about a 57% chance of entering the week behind only two games in the Wild Card race.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Red Sox Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 17th


Hey, Strasnuts, wouldn’t it be hilarious if you walked someone someday?

Florida (7) at Washington (5) | 19:05 ET
Regarding a Thing the Author Has Done
Once again, the author has seen fit to assign a NERD score of greater than 10 to Mr. Stephen Strasburg for the purposes of giving Strasburg’s game the evening’s highest overall game score.

On What Authority the Author Did That
This authority, mostly:

On What Other Authority He Did It
That, especially with the Red Sox’ victory over the Rays last night, Strasburg’s start probably really does represent the most interesting game this evening.

Strasburg’s Numbers So Far
Strasburg has done this through his first two starts: 8.0 IP, 27.6% K, 0.0% BB, 33.3% GB, 2.14 SIERA, 2.26 xFIP, 59 xFIP-.

A Brief Note on the Nationals Broadcast Team
From my brief experience of listening to him, I feel confident saying that colorman F.P. Santangelo is above average.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Nationals Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 16th


You know what just got you know what.

Tampa Bay (7) at Boston (9) | 19:10 ET
Brass Tacks
With Tampa Bay’s 9-2 victory yesternight, the Rays are now only three games behind the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card.

Brass Tacks, Vol II
Per Cool Standings, Boston’s and Tampa Bay’s playoff odds are 88.7% and 8.2%, respectively.

Brass Tacks, Vol III
Per our mortal enemies, Boston and Tampa Bay’s playoff odds are 94.5% and 4.4%, respectively.

A Note on Tonight’s Pitchers
You should consider filing tonight’s pitching matchup under Best Case Scenario, in terms of how it features something like each team’s staff ace in James Shields (226.1 IP, 78 xFIP-) and Josh Beckett (173.2 IP, 89 xFIP-).

A Note on Tonight’s Pitchers, Vol II
That is, unless you include the other pitchers who are something like each team’s staff ace in David Price (210.1 IP, 80 xFIP-) and Jon Lester (176.0, 88 xFIP-).

A Note on a Relevant Internet Meme
If you don’t mind seeing the word sh-t over and over on your computer screen, you might consider bathing your eyes and mind in this particular Google image search.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Red Sox Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 15th


Jeremy Hellickson: already angry at you.

Tampa Bay (7) at Boston (10) | 19:10 ET
Brass Tacks
In terms of why this game is interesting, it’s because these two teams begin a four-game series today with one team (the Rays) exactly four games behind the other (the Red Sox) in the AL Wild Card race.

A Note Regarding Jeremy Hellickson
Jeremy Hellickson, who’s starting tonight for Tampa Bay, entered the season as one of the game’s most interesting prospects, thanks to his command and excellent changeup.

A Second Note Regarding Jeremy Hellickson
Hellickson’s season has maybe been a bit disappointing in light of his pedigree. Line: 170.1 IP, 15.6% K, 8.5% BB, 33.8% GB, 4.48 SIERA, 4.57 xFIP, 114 xFIP-.

A Third Note Regarding Jeremy Hellickson
Hellickson has faced 56 total batters over the last two games and struck out only three of them.

A Fourth Note Regarding Jeremy Hellickson
The author would mention none of this to Hellickson himself, owing to how the latter appears to be constantly annoyed and is almost definitely carrying a shiv of some description.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Red Sox Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 14th


Peacocks actually can fly; they’re just really shy about it.

Washington (6) at New York NL (4) | 19:10 ET
What the Big Deal Is
The big deal in this game is how Bradley Peacock is making his first major-league start for the Nationals.

On Account of Why That’s a Deal, Big or Otherwise
Bradley Peacock’s first major-league start is a pretty big deal owing to his excellent minor-league numbers — or, at least his excellent Double-A numbers.

Regarding the Aforementioned Numbers
Here are Peacock’s minor-league numbers from 2011:

At Double-A: 98.2 IP, 11.77 K/9, 2.10 BB/9, 0.36 HR/9, 1.87 FIP

At Triple-A: 48.0 IP, 9.00 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9, 4.18 FIP

On Account of Why Peacock’s Debut Is a Deal, Part II
Bradley Peacock’s first major-league start is also a pretty big deal because it allows one to ejaculate “Let the peacock fly!”

Regarding That Comment, What’s Funny About It
That comment is pretty funny, on account of peacocks can’t actually fly.

Regarding That Comment, What’s Funny About It, Part II
That comment is also pretty funny, on account of the word ejaculate is in it.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Nationals Television, maybe?

Two Other Games
Los Angeles AL (5) at Oakland (1) | 15:35 ET
Tonight in Oakland, the Angels persist in forcing us to imagine that there’s a playoff race in the AL West.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Angels Radio?

Arizona (9) at Los Angeles NL (4) | 20:10 ET
Observe as Arizona continues its attempt to “win all the games.” They face Clayton Kershaw.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Dodgers Television.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 13th


Matt Wieters, and at least eight other people, play(s) for the Baltimore team.

Toronto (6) at Boston (10) | 19:10 ET
Regarding the Situation Here
The situation here is that, with Tampa Bay’s 5-2 victory over Baltimore on Monday night, the Red Sox are now only three games ahead of the Rays in the wild-card race — a fact which, much like a bee or a cell phone near a pair of speakers, is creating buzz.

Regarding the Situation Here, Part II
Another part of the situation here is that elder statesman — and actual elder — Tim Wakefield has made seven fruitless starts in pursuit of his 200th win.

Regarding the Situation Here, Part III
Some more of the situation is that WAR leaders — and probably AL MVP frontrunners — Jacoby Ellsbury (8.2) and Jose Bautista (7.8) are both playing in this game.

Regarding the Situation Here, Part IV
The last part of the situation is how Brett Lawrie — slashing .304/.383/.647 (188 wRC+), with a totally sustainable .316 BABIP over the last month — and Brandon Morrow are playing in this game, too.

Regarding Parts No. II and III, Above
Those aren’t actually so compelling for the author.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Red Sox Television.

Two Other Games
Tampa Bay (7) at Baltimore (2) | 19:05 ET
David Price of the Wild Card-contending Tampa Bay Rays will pitch against Matt Wieters and whomever else on the Orioles can get away for three hours.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Rays Television.

Los Angeles Americans (5) at Oakland (1) | 22:05 ET
As mentioned in yesterday’s rapture-inducing edition of the Leaderboards of Pleasure, Jerome Williams (pitching tonight) leads all pitchers with 20-plus innings as a starter in swinging-strike percentage, at 14.9%.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Hummina Hummina?

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 12th


Juliet isn’t totally stoked about today’s slate of games.

Los Angeles Americans (5) at Oakland (1) | 22:05 ET
A Jeopardy Answer for Today’s Game
Jai Miller, Anthony Recker, and Michael Taylor.

A Relevant Jeopardy Question, Option No. 1
Who are three players with fewer than 100 career plate appearances combined?

A Relevant Jeopardy Question, Option No. 2
Who are three players who started for Oakland on Sunday?

Regarding Those Players, Their Triple-A Stats This Year
Miller: 475 PA, .276/.368/.588 (.401 BABIP), 11.4% BB, 37.7% K.
Recker: 412 PA, .287/.388/.501 (.328 BABIP), 13.6% BB, 19.7% K.
Taylor: 400 PA, .272/.360/.456 (.310 BABIP), 11.5% BB, 20.0% K.

Regarding Jai Miller, His Strikeout Rate
I’m no expert, but I’ll suggest he consider low-ifying it.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Ladies Choice.

Also Playing
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.3.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 11th


Yeah, that’s Trout right there. I bench him just to eff with people.

New York Americans (10) at Los Angeles Americans (5) | 15:35 ET
A Thing
Provided I’m reading his BR game log correctly, it appears as though the Angels are 11-1 in games that Mike Trout has started since his (i.e. Trout’s) August 19th recall — over which time the team, as a whole, is 13-6 (making them 2-5 in games Trout has not started).

Obvious Question
Is that stat predictive in any way?

Rational Answer
No, obviously not.

Follow-Up Question
But do you, Carson Cistulli, still kinda feel like it’s a predictive stat?

Follow-Up Answer
Yes, of course I do.

Final, Important Note
With their win last night — and a Ranger loss — the Angels are only 1.5 games back in the AL West.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Angels Radio.

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One Night Only: Game Previews for September 10th


John Locke: not a Pirate.

Florida (8) at Pittsburgh (5) | 19:05 ET
Boom, Debut
Though you probably already wrote about it in your diary and everything, allow me to inform you that left-hander Jeff Locke, 23, makes his major-league debut tonight for Pittsburgh.

Regarding Locke’s Numbers
Here are Jeff Locke’s numbers this season between Double- and Triple-A: 153.1 IP, 8.2 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9.

Regarding Some Other of Locke’s Numbers
Per StatCorner, Locke’s ground-ball numbers appear to’ve hovered in the 45-50% area in the minors.

Regarding Locke’s Relationship to the Philosopher of a Similar Name
On the subject of Locke’s relationship to the 17th c. philosopher John, FanGraphs hasn’t been able to establish any relation between the two, although it should be noted that the former (i.e. Jeff) is fluent on the subject of epistemology.

Regarding How Long It Took to Craft That Fourth Section
Embarrassing minutes.

Regarding How the Yankee-Angel Game Tonight Is Way More Meaningful
Please go blerg yourself.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Pirates Television. (Or Radio, is it, that’s better?)

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