One Night Only: Hot Game Previews for May 3rd

By definition, every shot of William Howard Taft is a wide-angle shot.

This edition of One Night Only contains:

1. Expanded previews for two games: San Francisco at New York (NL) and Colorado at Atlanta.

2. Smaller, but still entirely luminous, reports on three more games: Milwaukee at Atlanta, Florida at St. Louis, and Cleveland at Oakland.

3. Pitcher and Team NERD scores for every one of tonight’s games regardless of race, creed, color, gender, or if it involves the Astros.

San Francisco (3) at New York Nationals (2) | 19:10 ET
Starting Pitchers
Giants: Ryan Vogelsong (N/A)
Start on 4/28: 5.2 IP, 24 TBF, 8 K, 2 BB, 7 GB on 14 batted-balls (50.0 GB%)

Mets: R.A. Dickey (7)
33.0 IP, 6.00 K/9, 4.09 BB/9, .321 BABIP, 49.5 GB%, 6.1% HR/FB, 4.27 xFIP, 112 xFIP

• To get a sense of the Ryan Vogelsong Journey, observe this: there are two full years between updates on his RotoWire player page.
• That’s mostly because he spent 2007-09 playing with the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
• Returning to associated baseball last season, however, Vogelsong had 110 strikeouts in 95.1 innings.
• Now he’s posted only excellent numbers this season in 20.2 IP between Triple-A and the majors.
• Conclusion: let’s just all sit around and watch the hell out of Ryan Vogelsong.

If I Had My Druthers
• We could seriously all sit around in one big room and watch this game with Ryan Vogelsong in it.
• Except Steve, I mean.
• Frigging Steve.

Colorado (9) at Arizona (10) | 21:40 ET
Starting Pitchers
Rockies: Jorge de la Rosa (7)
31.0 IP, 8.42 K/9, 2.90 BB/9, .224 BABIP, 43.2 GB%, 3.1% HR/FB, 3.38 xFIP, 89 xFIP-

Diamondbacks: Joe Saunders (2)
27.1 IP, 5.93 K/9, 4.61 BB/9, .365 BABIP, 38.6 GB%, 12.1% HR/FB, 4.61 xFIP, 121 xFIP-

Some Notes on the Uses of the Minus Stats
• Over the last four seasons (starting with 2008), Jorge de la Rosa has posted these xFIPs: 4.01, 3.71, 3.65, and 3.38.
• Now here are his xFIP-s (pronounced “Ex-Fip Minuses”) over that same span: 93, 87, 91, 89.
• This is instructive: looking merely at the raw numbers, one would assume that de la Rosa has improved constantly.
• Yet, because the run environment of the league as a whole has decreased, it’s actually the case that de la Rosa has been basically the same pitcher relative to the rest of the league.
• This concludes my report on FanGraphs’ Minus Stats.

If I Had My Druthers
• I could’ve done reports in school on FanGraphs’ stats.
• Instead of on dumb things like Nevada and William Howard Taft, I mean.
• Theory: adult life is the slow and purposeful forgetting of all things William Howard Taft.

Three Other Games
Milwaukee (8) at Atlanta (4) | 19:10 ET
• Until Jason Heyward is allowed to take every at-bat for the Braves, baseball will remain imperfect.

Florida (6) at St. Louis (8) | 20:15 ET
• With the recent DL-ing of Donnie Murphy, now manager Edwin Rodriguez almost definitely will play Scott Cousins or the recently promoted Bryan Petersen in left — i.e. players who are more interesting than Emilio Bonifacio.

Cleveland (10) at Oakland (4) | 22:05 ET
• How many NERD points ought a game in Oakland be penalized for their stadium, which we might say is not altogether pleasing to look at?

Also Playing
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.

pNERD = Pitcher NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD of 5 (or 10 for debuts)

We hoped you liked reading One Night Only: Hot Game Previews for May 3rd 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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The game with the highest NERD score today is one in which Joe Saunders is pitching? That can’t possibly be right!