Daily Notes: Regarding Yu Darvish’s Start Tonight, Mostly

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

1. Featured Game: Chicago AL at Texas, 20:05 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Chicago AL at Texas, 20:05 ET
Regarding This Game, What Makes It Notable
In terms of what makes this game notable, that’s largely due to how Texas right-hander Yu Darvish is starting it for Texas.

Regarding This Game, What’d Make It Even More Notable
What’d make this game even more notable is if Texas right-hander Yu Darvish were somehow starting it for Chicago, instead.

Regarding Yu Darvish, What Makes Him Notable
When you talk about a pitcher, you’re talking about someone whose objective is to prevent runs. And when you talk about a pitcher’s ability to prevent runs, you’re generally talking about his ability to record strikeouts and induce ground balls while also limiting walks. Darvish has done those things to such a degree (39.8% K, 8.1% BB, 59.0% GB) as we would expect him to concede fewer than two earned runs for every nine innings.

Regarding Yu Darvish, One of His Skills
One of Yu Darvish’s main skills is his ability to throw five pitches simultaneously, as this entirely unaltered animated GIF file demonstrates:


A Poor Joke One Might Make with Regard to That Animated GIF
If someone were to make a poor and suggestive joke with regard to that GIF, it would resemble something like this: “That’s not the only thing Yu Darvish can do five times at once.”

Regarding That Joke, One’s Immediate Response
Here’s the response one is likely to have immediately after making such a joke:


Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our crowdsourcing project from the 2011-2012 offseason, FanGraphs readers prefer Texas Radio (link).

Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
Pittsburgh at Milwaukee | 20:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
As of Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates had won 15 games, while their collective WAR total as a club would suggest 12.3 wins — the largest such difference among the league’s 30 teams. As of Tuesday morning, following their 10-4 loss to Milwaukee, Pittsburgh’s WAR win total actually declined to 11.8 — which is to say, their performance in that game was somehow worth negative wins.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Milwaukee Radio.

Tampa Bay at Kansas City | 20:10 ET
Here’s a fact that may or may not appeal to the reader: by weighted batter age, the Royals have been the youngest team (26.9) in the major leagues this season. Now here’s a second, related fact: as of Monday, the Royals had given a total of just 29 plate appearances to batters in their age-30 season or higher this year. The remaining 799 belonged to players in their age-29 season or lower.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
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 5.1.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Philip Humber HOU 3 7 5 6 5 NYA Hiroki Kuroda 19:05
Roy Halladay PHI 5 2 5 9 5 CLE Zach McAllister 19:05
Jon Lester BOS 6 9 5 4 2 TOR Brandon Morrow 19:07
Vance Worley MIN 4 3 6 5 8 DET Justin Verlander 19:08
Jeremy Hefner NYN 0 9 3 0 4 MIA Kevin Slowey 19:10
Gio Gonzalez WAS 6 4 6 9 5 ATL Tim Hudson 19:10
Jose Quintana CHA 6 2 7 4 10 TEX Yu Darvish 20:05
Edinson Volquez SD 3 3 4 3 6 CHN Edwin Jackson 20:05
James McDonald PIT 0 7 3 4 5 MIL Marco Estrada 20:10
Alex Cobb TB 6 8 7 7 7 KC James Shields 20:10
Bronson Arroyo CIN 4 6 5 2 6 STL Jaime Garcia 20:15
Mad. Bumgarner SF 9 6 6 4 4 AZ Trevor Cahill 21:40
Garrett Richards LAA 10 3 6 7 2 OAK Jarrod Parker 22:05
Jason Hammel BAL 0 7 3 4 5 SEA Brandon Maurer 22:10
Jorge de la Rosa COL 4 7 5 2 7 LAN Hyun-Jin Ryu 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

Print This Post

Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

14 Responses to “Daily Notes: Regarding Yu Darvish’s Start Tonight, Mostly”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. phoenix2042 says:

    Houston is a 7 NERD as a team. That seems high. Maybe for someone who is really into prospects/ no-name young players, that’s fine. But I feel like the majority of fans, even intelligent fangraphs ones, find a horrible team full of meh players losing every night kind of boring. At least with the Jays, you get to watch high-price, big-name guys lose heartbreakingly over and over again!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MDL says:

      It does seem odd, doesn’t it? But looking at the Team NERD formula reveals that the Astros score highly in the categories about relative cheapness and youthfulness. Plus their biggest detractor, their bullpen score, is weighted less than most other categories. These factors come together to produce a somehow-above-average NERD score.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • FanGraphs Supporting Member

      The Astros’ offense, to its credit, has actually been slightly above average (102 wRC+) to this point. Their mediocrity thus far is almost wholly due to the pitching (135 ERA-).

      What that means for NERD — i.e. the most important consideration — is that, while the team will continue to score well for the time being, they will be complemented by little in the way of even average starting pitchers. Thus, many of their games will be of below-average watchability, despite the accomplishment of the field players thus far.

      In conclusion: science!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Terence says:
        FanGraphs Supporting Member

        This version of the Astros is much more enjoyable to watch than the last several iterations.But most of Houston lacks the ability to know that, and the rest of the country lacks the desire.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Science? Pouring math-flapdoodle, overloading big words and concocting grand-sounding acronyms on a simplistic and intuitive ranking does not confer the weightiness required of science. Little differs you from some mountebank selling quacksalve by babbling about the physics of pustule consciousness or a beautician talking about action liposomes.

        If you consulted science, you would know that every game featuring Michael Nelson Trout earned the highest score possible in any watchability score.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Izzy Hechkoff says:

      And the Mets are a 9 NERD.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jake says:

      It’s OK, the Marlins are a 0.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. l1ay says:

    I got sad seeing the great Halladay at a measly 5 Pitcher NERD, then I got even sadder when I saw Parker’s 2.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Steve says:

    I had something snarky to say about Royals ABs re: Francouer, then I saw he’s only 29. Holy crap, he could continue to post +1/-1 seasons for another 5 years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Visionary1 says:

    Garret Richards a 10 out of 10? Take a cab home, NERD, you’re too drunk to drive.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Hey you Darvish, can Yu do this: http://i.imgur.com/ksoKY4E.gif ?

    You know what Cobb would, say? You don’t? I do: “The great American game should be an unrelenting war of nerves.” What a jingoist.

    Vote -1 Vote +1