Daily Notes, With Attention to Ben Sheets, His Start

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

1. Featured Game: New York NL at Atlanta, 13:35 ET (Free Game)
2. Another Notable Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: New York NL at Atlanta, 13:35 ET
Regarding the Year 2004, What the Reader Might’ve Forgotten About It
So far as the year 2004 is concerned, it’s possible that the reader — owing to an excess either of formative experiences in the interim or, alternatively, of fermented beverages in the interim — it’s possible that the reader has forgotten how Arizona left-hander Randy Johnson was the very best pitcher in baseball that season, with a league-best WAR (among pitchers, at least) of 9.9 and league-best SIERA (among qualified pitchers, at least) of 2.58.

Regarding 2004, What Else the Reader Has Forgotten About It
That a gallon of gas only cost a nickel, is probably one thing the reader has forgotten, and that a handshake agreement meant something, goddammit — unless one lacked hands, that is, in which case a more conventional written contract was an entirely reasonable substitute.

Regarding 2004, Another Thing the Reader Has Forgotten About It
The reader has almost definitely forgotten that pitchers Ben Sheets (8.0) and Johan Santana (7.7) finished second and third, respectively, among all pitchers according to WAR in 2004 — and also that Sheets (2.67) and Santana (2.77) finished second and third, respectively, among all qualified pitchers per SIERA in that same season.

Regarding Randy Johnson in 2012
Randy Johnson is decidedly retired in 2012 — has been retired since 2010, in fact.

Regarding Santana and Sheets in 2012
Johan Santana and Ben Sheets are active major leaguers in 2012 — are, in fact, the starting pitchers of this very featured game.

Johan Santana: Status Update
Johan Santana’s line so far this season: 102.2 IP, 23.5% K, 7.8% BB, 32.3% GB, 3.73 SIERA, 99 xFIP-, 1.6 WAR.

Ben Sheets: Status Update
Here’s Ben Sheets’ line so far this season: N/A.

Regarding Ben Sheets’s Line, Why It Looks Like That
Ben Sheets has no major-league stats, because has had made no major-league appearances this season — hasn’t, in fact, since 2010.

Ben Sheets: Status Update, Redux
Here’s Ben Sheets’ line so far this season at Double-A Mississippi: 10.2 IP, 8.44 K/9, 0.84 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 1.89 FIP.

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

Another Notable Games
Boston at Tampa Bay | 13:40 ET
Of all the games being played today, this one, appears to be most immediate in terms of postseason implications: per Cool Standings, the Red Sox and Rays have playoff odds of 24.3% and 21.8%, respectively.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Boston or 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 5.4.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Jered Weaver LAA 4 5 5 7 7 NYA Ivan Nova 13:05
Derek Lowe CLE 2 5 5 7 5 TOR Carlos Villanueva 13:07
Stephen Strasburg WAS 10 6 5 3 4 MIA Ricky Nolasco 13:10
Justin Verlander DET 9 5 7 1 5 BAL Miguel Gonzalez* 13:35
Johan Santana NYN 6 2 8 8 10 ATL Ben Sheets* 13:35
Josh Beckett BOS 6 5 8 4 8 TB James Shields 13:40
Chris Sale CHA 10 5 5 6 3 KC Luis Mendoza 14:10
Jarrod Parker OAK 4 4 4 3 4 MIN Brian Duensing* 14:10
A.J. Burnett PIT 7 5 5 7 5 MIL Yovani Gallardo 14:10
Trevor Cahill AZ 5 6 5 1 8 CHN Matt Garza 14:20
Cole Hamels PHI 9 5 4 10 2 COL Drew Pomeranz 15:10
Bud Norris HOU 6 4 5 4 7 SF Matt Cain 16:05
Jason Marquis SD 4 5 5 2 7 LAN Chad Billingsley 16:10
Matt Harrison TEX 6 9 4 3 4 SEA Hisashi Iwakuma* 16:10
Jake Westbrook STL 5 9 6 4 5 CIN Homer Bailey 20:00

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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22 Responses to “Daily Notes, With Attention to Ben Sheets, His Start”

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  1. ADC says:

    Also of note re: Johnson and Sheets in 2004, which I imagine many Braves fans will recall with a shudder, are the back-to-back games against Atlanta on May 16 and 18 (May 17 was an off day for ATL). On the 16th, Sheets struck out 18 in a CG 4-1 win for the Brew Crew. Then they were perfecto-ed by The Unit in the next game, wherein he K’d 13.

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  2. William says:

    While the radio broadcast might be better, I feel like if the tv broadcast is adequate then it fits better with the live television feed

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  3. jfree says:

    and exactly how is one supposed to write a contract (or sign a written contract) without hands?

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    • You are, indeed, asking the Tough Questions.

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    • Anon21 says:

      The boring legal answer: if you’re incapable of affixing your signature, someone else can do it for you at your direction.

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    • MikeS says:

      Write it with voice recognition software. Speak slowly and clearly.

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      • Bah! says:

        My preferred method is to put the pen between my teeth and sign the contract, regardless of my two-handedness.

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      • Ludwig von Koopa says:

        I was going to suggest a signet ring and wax seal, but again that would require limbs or a surrogate.

        Though it would class up the joint regardless.

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  4. thistakesgumption says:

    Colorado is a 10 for team?

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  5. jesse says:

    Some may have noticed that the article linka to johan Santa, a 2B in the royal system. Which makes me wonder 1. Why didn’t he play in 2011. 2. He’s 20 and in rookie ball, but he is posting a 177 wRC+ and 3. Why are we not more excited about Santa in July?

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  6. vivalajeter says:

    I’ve always liked Ben Sheets. He was one of my favorite pitchers for a few years. But I’m skeptical that he’ll be decent this year. He signed with Atlanta out of the blue, and was practically Major League ready at the time of the signing – needing just a small number of Minor League starts. If he’s throwing so well, I’d have to imagine we would’ve heard about it earlier and other teams would have placed a bid on him. We’ll see though.

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    • Anon21 says:

      You’re right that the low price the Braves paid for him bodes ill. But given how often teams hand out these minor league deals to former major leaguers, you’d have to figure they work out occasionally. Can’t think of a success story off the top of my head, though.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      I stand corrected, for one day at least. It’s surprising that a pretty big-named pitcher can work his way into major league shape and not get any press or any kind of bidding war. But maybe he wanted to pitch for Atlanta, and didn’t try out for other teams. Either way, that looks like a nice pick-up for them.

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      • ChuckO says:

        It will certainly be interesting how things play out with Sheets. He didn’t just have the customary TJ surgery. Two other tendons in his elbow were also torn up and had to be replaced. Sheets told the Atlanta paper that he had considered himself retired, but that the doctor who did the surgery encouraged him to try to pitch again. He seemed to feel that Sheets’s arm would be up to it after the surgery.

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  7. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Again, Dirk Hayhurst will be the Blue Jays color guy on radio today.

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  8. phoenix2042 says:

    how is weaver a 4? he’s incredibly exciting to watch for 2 reasons: 1) he tends to allow very few runs and 2) he tends to not post peripherals in line with those results. therefore, he is a study in “when one makes a deal with the luck dragon,” much like cain. it is fun to watch guys who consistently beat their peripherals and seeing if either this is the game it catches up with them or perhaps they can somehow sustain it.

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  9. Undocorkscrew says:

    6 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 BB, 5 K…….Sheets looked pretty outstanding today. Hitting the black consistently, fastball sitting at 91-93, curve had a lot of bite to it. Did not expect that…..

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  10. BoSoxFan says:

    Johan Santa, the worst possible player for automatic coding

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