This edition of One Night Only proves incontrovertibly that beauty is truth; truth, beauty.
(NERD scores in parentheses.)
Arizona (9) at San Francisco (4) | 10:05pm ET
Diamondbacks: Undecided (10?)
Giants: Tim Lincecum (10)
205.1 IP, 9.64 K/9, 3.16 BB/9, .323 BABIP, 49.2% GB, 9.7% HR/FB, 3.24 xFIP, 5.0 WAR
• About a month ago, a kind reader noted — sorry, I forgot on which post exactly — but this kind reader noted that “undecided” starters ought to profile as average or better in terms of NERD. I don’t know what score I’d assigned an undecided starter in that particular case. Maybe it was a 3. I was thinking to myself “replacement level,” is why. (I was thinking some other things, too, but they’re all too disgusting to reprint here. Plus, I don’t have any soy sauce.) But more often than not, “undecided” means a minor league call-up. Generally, that means good times. And even if it doesn’t mean a minor league call-up, it means suspense — which, that’s a entire genre of film and literature, so it must be good.
• “But Cistulli,” maybe you’re saying, “I’m looking at Yahoo or whatever right now, and it very clearly states that [insert name] is pitching. How could you miss that?” Well, what you’re talking about there, friend, is “up-to-the-minute information.” That’s fine, I guess. But let me ask you a question: what’s so great about up-to-the-minute information, hm? All you’re really doing is being prejudiced against the past. That may be fine for you, but look: if there’s one thing Carson Cistulli isn’t it’s prejudiced.
• Madison Bumgarner was originally scheduled to start tonight’s game for San Francisco but, as R.J. Anderson discussed yesternight in these pages, has been switched with Lincecum so that the latter could start a hypothetical Game 163 on normal rest.
• Oh, yeah: the Giants are trying to make the postseason. They’re doing a pretty good job. Here are their odds, per Cool Standings: 87.1% (Division), 3.4% (Wild Card), 90.6% (Overall).
Pittsburgh (6) at St. Louis (3) | 1:40pm ET
Pirates: James McDonald (7)
58.0 IP, 8.38 K/9, 3.72 BB/9, .322 BABIP, 30.4% GB, 2.8% HR/FB, 4.17 xFIP, 1.6 WAR
Cardinals: P.J. Walters (15*)
23.0 IP, 7.04 K/9, 3.52 BB/9, .339 BABIP, 41.0% GB, 15.2% HR/FB, 4.66 xFIP, -0.2 WAR
• It appears as though P.J. Walters has already made a couple of starts at the major league level this season, but the most recent was on June 1st, so he’s still super fresh and super clean. Here are his numbers at Triple-A Memphis this season: 108.2 IP, 8.78 K/9, 2.48 BB/9, 0.99 HR/9, 3.73 FIP. Note that those numbers come out of the the Pacific Coast League, where a 4.79 ERA is league average. Also note that he was playing in a park (i.e. Memphis’s AutoZone park) that appears to suppress runs relative to those inflated levels*.
• Hey, America, the Pirates might be getting better. Yes, for the season, they possess one of the league’s worst offenses, but, over the course of the last month, they’re posting the seventh-highest (raw) wOBA (.319) in the NL. It willn’t surprise the reader to know that Andrew McCutchen has been the most valuable offender over that time, recording a .437 wOBA and 10.7 wRAA, the sixth-best figure over that time in the NL (behind Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday, Ryan Braun, and Joey Votto). The success of other players bodes well, though — players like Neil Walker (.396 wOBA, 7.2 wRAA, .313 BABIP) and Pedro Alvarez (.364, 3.9, .348).
One Other Game
Chicago Nationals (2) at San Diego (9), 10:05pm ET
• Watching the current iteration of the Cubs is like dividing happiness by zero. Enter at your own risk.
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.
pNERD = Pitcher NERD
tNERD = Team NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Estimated NERD
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