Daily Notes: Sunday’s Notable Games

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

1. Featured Game: St. Louis at Houston, 14:05 ET (Free Game)
2. Other Notable Games
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: St. Louis at Houston, 14:05 ET
Regarding This Game, How Expensive It Is to Watch
This game costs zero dollars to watch, on account of it’s today’s MLB.TV Free Game (link).

Regarding Houston, Their Recent Success
After their 5-4 victory over St. Louis on Friday (box), Houston’s WAR winning percentage — i.e. an entirely infallible metric that no one should question — rose from .525 to .537.

Regarding Houston, Their Success on Saturday
On Saturday, Houston once again defeated St. Louis — this time by a score of 8-2 (box).

Regarding That Saturday Game, Houston’s Greatest Contributors
Regarding that Saturday game, Houston’s greatest contributor in terms of WPA was third baseman Chris Johnson (.341), largely on account of a first-inning grand slam he hit off Jaime Garcia. In terms of wOBA, the team’s single-game leader was center fielder Justin Maxwell (.804), on account of posting this line: 4 PA, 2 2B, 1 BB.

Regarding Today’s Starting Pitchers
Today’s starting pitchers are Adam Wainwright (26.2 IP, 77 xFIP-, -0.1 WAR) for St. Louis and J.A. Happ (29.1 IP, 97 xFIP-, 0.3 WAR) for Houston.

A Thing the Reader Might Not Know
A thing the reader might not know is that J.A. Happ’s strikeout rate through his first five starts is 24.0%, the 17th-best mark among the league’s 115 qualified pitchers as of Saturday and considerably higher than anything he’s posted before as a major-league pitcher.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers prefer Houston Television (link).

Other Notable Games
Arizona at New York NL | 13:10 ET
With his move to the National League this season, Arizona starter Trevor Cahill has been able to preserve, roughly speaking, his strikeout and walk rates from 2011 while raising his ground-ball rate about seven percentage points, to 63.7%.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL.

Philadelphia at Washington | 20:05 ET
This game features two of the National League’s more impressive pitchers (Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmermann) and two of its least successful offenses to date. Phildelphia is 26th in the majors with an 80 wRC+; Washington, 29th with a 75 wRC+.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: N/A (Game on ESPN).

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 5.3.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Dylan Axelrod* CHA 5 5 6 3 7 DET Rick Porcello 13:05
Yu Darvish TEX 6 9 4 5 0 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 13:05
Trevor Cahill AZ 6 6 7 2 10 NYN R.A. Dickey 13:10
Tommy Hunter BAL 2 5 3 5 2 BOS Clay Buchholz 13:35
Mat Latos CIN 4 3 4 2 6 PIT Charlie Morton 13:35
Tommy Milone OAK 5 3 5 7 4 TB Matt Moore 13:40
Adam Wainwright STL 9 10 8 8 6 HOU J.A. Happ 14:05
Phil Hughes NYA 4 6 5 9 4 KC Luke Hochevar 14:10
Aaron Harang LAN 6 6 5 2 4 CHN Travis Wood* 14:20
Brandon Beachy ATL 5 8 6 9 5 COL Juan Nicasio 15:10
Drew Hutchison* TOR 6 6 6 3 6 LAA Jerome Williams 15:35
Ricky Nolasco MIA 4 3 5 6 6 SD Joe Wieland 16:05
Shaun Marcum MIL 5 5 5 5 6 SF Matt Cain 16:05
Nick Blackburn MIN 4 2 3 3 1 SEA Hector Noesi 16:10
Cole Hamels PHI 9 2 7 0 9 WAS Jo. Zimmermann 20:05

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




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


7 Responses to “Daily Notes: Sunday’s Notable Games”

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  1. joser says:

    Listening to the Houston broadcast — the first time hearing these guys as far as I know, whoever they are — and I’m quite enjoying them. They aren’t awful homers, they are realistic about the Astros without being glum or faking enthusiasm, and they aren’t saying anything face-palmingly stupid. My favorite interaction:
    #1 “…any way you slice it” (pause) “Huh, ‘any way you slice it’ — that’s a funny expression. I wonder where that came from.”
    #2 “It came from slicing things.”

    And then the cameras zoomed in on Sig Mejdal sitting in a booth overlooking the game; the announcing team got into a very sensible discussion of SABR and stats, even acknowledging that the tension between scouts and stats was mostly over in progressive orgs (like the Astros) and that fans could enjoy the game with the stats or without.

    But the best part was that they mentioned Runs Created (with a shot of the Wikipedia page on topic, but hey, babysteps) and, even better, showed a shot of Mejdal’s computer screen and whatever proprietary application the Astros use (which appeared to combine PitchFX, spray charts, and some scouting data on the same screen). Jackpot!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • That sounds excellent. Basically all of it. I’d planned to watch the game in a little bit — on delay.

      Do you happen to remember approximately when the Majdal stuff was going on? Like, what inning?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • joser says:

        I was trying to remember, actually, to put in my post above. It was early — the second or third inning I’m pretty sure — but I had it on in the background while I was working on my computer and I don’t have a dog in the fight so I wasn’t paying super close attention to the game state when that came up.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Os Fan says:

    CHRIS DAVIS for the WIN!

    What’s his NERD?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Anonymous says:

      Batting: 0-7, 5K, 1 GIDP
      Pitching: 2 IP, 2 K (Salty and Gonzo), 1BB, 1 H, 0 ER
      Gets the win.

      I love baseball.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KS says:

      This is why baseball is the greatest game in the world… been watching since 1966, and after 46 years and I don’t know how many thousands of games, you can still see something you ain’t never seen before.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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