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.

We hoped you liked reading Daily Notes, With Attention to Ben Sheets, His Start by Carson Cistulli!

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

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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.

Chanal Goya
Chanal Goya

This is most excellent. Nicely done.

Robert J. Baumann

I had very good seats for that game in Milwaukee. Was a fine day on my end. :)