A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fun With Game Scores

There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to look into the mirror and admit something. As hard as it may be to face the truth sometimes, it needs to happen. For Tom, he needs to look in the mirror and admit he has lost a little something...or maybe a lotta something.

I know I am getting ahead of myself here since there is a lot of baseball to be played, but 'tis my nature. When the playoffs hit, I cannot help but think a certain pitcher with some porcelain veneers will be toeing the rubbing in game #1. That means he is the guy most likely to start more playoff games than any other Met. Those are not odds I'm prepared to take.

I'm a proponent of putting your best foot forward as obvious as that seems. When you are running in a race, you would be ill advised to start off sitting down, facing backwards, or parcheesi. But if Glavine starts because he is the 'ace' of the staff, that could spell bad news for the Mets.

For one, if there is a game #5 in the NLDS, the least effective Met pitcher would be trying to keep the Mets season going. I know there are legions of fans out there that would say they trust him in the playoffs, but I just point back the 'no such thing as clutch hitting' theory. Is it possible that someone actually pitches better than they are normally capable of just because it is the playoffs?

I would tend to think that anyone who has outstanding stats (or conversely for guys who struggled like Bonds had in the playoffs early on) are subject to sample size. While I think people can shrink in big games, others simply pitch to their ability. Is there any logical reason that Jeff Suppan is post-season beast? I do not think he rises to the occasion per se, but he goes out and has confidence and pitches to his ability. He only has 54 innings and his nice stats are probably just a result of sample size more than anything.

I would prefer not basing the game #1 starter on the false notion of rising to the occasion or past successes. I think Maine or Perez showed they can handle the pressure of the playoffs and if Mets want their best chance of winning, Maine and Perez should be heading the playoff rotation and they should be followed by The Duque and Glavine. By setting it up that way, you can ensure your three best starters are getting the first three starts of the first two series.

You simply cannot be worried about bruised egos and you simply cannot be living in the past. Maine and Perez have been outstanding for the Mets this year whereas Glavine seems like he is running on fumes. For some proof of the gap between their performances, let us look at the current Mets five starter's games scores. Game scores are a good way to slap a number on the overall effectiveness of a pitcher whereas a quality start is a yes or no thing. This gives you more depth.
           # of GSc over 50       % of GSc over 50
John Maine 13 65%
Tom Glavine 10 45%
Oliver Perez 13 76%
Jorge Sosa 7 54%
The Duque 11 65%
A quality start is a score of 50 or above. Glavine has put up a non-quality start in more than half of his starts. Oliver Perez has gone from Mr. Inconsistent to just being the pantheon of consistency. Also, a stunning twelve of Maine's starts have been over 60 and eleven of The Duque's have been over 60. More than half of their starts have been flat out gems. In the playoffs, pitching wins out most of the time and the Mets best shot for a shut down game does not involve Glavine. I'm not giving up on Glavine and would not mind him starting in the playoffs and believe he should, but he should get less starts than the rest. Lately when he pitches I would rather be waxing the hair from around my nipples than watch him.

* * *

  • Milledge got hit for hot-dogging and Willie gave him what appeared to be a stern talking to for a hustle play...what a surprise! Was Lastings supposed to shun Reyes when he came out to celebrate yesterday? It took a perfect throw to get Milledge or else he would have been safe and it was a perfect throw. Sucks, but hardly a punishable offense. I wonder if he is going to get hit tomorrow for that fancy handshake with Paul LoDuca by the mound after the game.

    Lastings has a bad reputation already and I'm not quite sure what he can do. He brushed himself off after getting hit for the second time in two games and ran to first with no looks or anything and that is what he needed to do. I guess the Pirates took more offense than they should have but again, they could always show him up by...you know...winning.

    "I like to use the word colorful," Milledge said. "It's kind of like if you've got two TVs, and one's in color and the other one's in black-and-white, which one do you choose? Both are kind of the same thing, but the other one is kind of more appealing to the eye."

    Overall though, Willie is not against Milledge and giving him reminders is not a bad thing. Hopefully he just keeps proving that he can be a spark for this team much in the way Pence and Braun have sparked their respective teams. I am by no means suggesting he will put up crazy numbers like them, but he can make a difference.

  • Why is Lee Mazzilli orange?

  • If Beltran is injured, he needs to rest. Pulled muscles are nothing to screw around with and pushing it can make it much worse. Rest Beltran and let Milledge roam center for a few days against these weaker teams so he can be ready for the Brewers and the Cubs.

  • I like the sound of Ted's jib. Milledge's stock is hotter than the 2003 version of Kelly Clarkson, but Omar would probably have to be bowled over at this point to move him.

  • I don't think Minaya is really counting on Pedro as much him just giving obvious answers to the media's questions. However, I am starting to get a bit leery of his return. I wasn't really counting on him to start the season and I let myself get mixed up in the hype and started thinking he would be back.

  • No need to rush Alou. As with Beltran, why rush him back and risk further injury for the dregs of the NL and with Milledge providing some firepower?

  • Adam Bostick had a nice start for the Zephyrs.

  • Caleb Stewart and the Double-A for lifer Brett Harper each went 2 for 4 with a homer in the B-Mets win over Altoona.

  • Nick Carr went five innings and gave up three hits, one earned run, three runs overall, and one walk while striking out nine for the Cyclones.


  • I know I have not been playing nice with Tom Glavine, but it is great to see him get win #299. If he does not win #300 on the road, I will dust off my Glavine jersey and head out to the stadium to support him and watch him go for 300.

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  • 22 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Willie certainly didn't give Lastings a "stern talking to"; come 'on. They both laughed/smiled during the conversation. In fact I'm not even sure it was criticism - my immediate take was it was a pat on the back / nice hustle kid type of conversation. Maybe we'll find out tomorrow...

    Did anyone hear Eddie C's postgame interview with LM after yesterday's game? Basically they talked about how big of a supporter of LM Willie has been, and how much he believes in him and how much that's meant to LM. I'm not sure why everyone is intent on painting this as some soured relationship.

    Finally, anyone seen Bobby Cox down in Atlanta recently? Wasn't it a week ago that this site was saying "that's why we love Bobby Cox...wants to win and will play a promising rookie over a long-time vet." Of course Cox has started our favorite Julio Franco 6 out of 7 games! Meanwhile, very promising Salty has been relegated to backup catcher (3 games in same time span). Willie got killed for pinch hitting him every other game. Heck, Franco has 25 AB's in a WEEK - Willie gave him 100 in 3+ MONTHS. I'm pretty sure someone from this site would have been in the upper deck with a sniper's rifle aimed at Willie if he had used Franco like that.

    Of course, I do have to admit, my new favorite guilty pleasure is watching Franco ground into double plays to kill Braves rallies. I highly recommend taking this up as a hobby if one baseball game a night isn't enough for you.

    12:55 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    I have a little more confidence in Glavine during a playoff series than most BUT with that said, I'd rather have Maine or El Duque start a series.
    I think regardless of what happens, this is Glavine's last year. Atleast as a Met.

    I <3 Lastings Milledge!

    Omar might be trying to be slick by being positive about Pedro so he doesn't get jerked for the deadline.

    Deep down inside and I'll feel a little dirrty about it but I kinda hope Glavine gets no decisions on the road and come back home for win #300. I want to be there damnit! I want to witness history LIVE damnit!

    1:51 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Of course Cox has started our favorite Julio Franco 6 out of 7 games!

    The thing is Cox's other option is Scott Thorman. Salty isn't a natural 1st baseman. So the one missing out is really Scott Thorman and he's just as sucky as Franco is. Only Thorman doesn't have the excuse of age for his suckiness.

    1:53 AM

     
    Anonymous Ken said...

    I guess the Pirates took more offense than they should have but again, they could always show him up by...you know...winning.

    "That's gold Jerry, gold."

    9:03 AM

     
    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    When I told my wife that Moises would be on the DL a few more days, because he got hurt again, her reply was 'why doesn't he pee all over himself?'

    9:24 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well…I didn’t mention that Willie seems to be on his side now and a reminder is not big deal so I was not exactly talking negatively of the situation, but I was not the only one who mused that was the scenario as Maz had made reference to it as well.

    I was watching the SNY postgame and was mesmerized by the orangeness that is Lee Mazzilli. Next to watching Franco in a Brave uniform hit into double plays, that is my favorite thing to watch.

    In my defense…Cox has done it in the past. He is not afraid of young guys and letting them go….As for starting Franco, maybe he hypnotizes them….that is all I could think of.

    RE: Salty…I thought the big lug couldn’t play 1st? He is a big liability like Piazza or not? Making the switch mid-year is rough. And yes…I would have done something. I actually made a comment to my friend prior to the trade I was mulling murder so Franco was ‘no longer an option’.

    Benny…I think Glavine is hanging it up for good. If you heard him on the post game…he sounds like he is burnt. He is struggling and cannot really pinpoint it. He will probably bow out gracefully….that is unless someone gives him a one year $12mm contract….

    I still agree with the slickness angle and Omar is never going to say he’s baked, but I am not getting the warm and fuzzies about him.

    When I told my wife that Moises would be on the DL a few more days, because he got hurt again, her reply was 'why doesn't he pee all over himself?'?
    She’s a gem Sidd…she’s a gem.

    9:35 AM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    trade? -- i figured franco got cut. who did we get for him. still trying to get caught up.

    i can't entirely agree with your premise that guys stepping it up is a myth, and glavine's been good post season, but i will never never be a fan of his. anyway i still think pedro will be game one starter.

    did you guys see this?

    http://www.break.com/index/lohan-pulls-a-hasselhoff.html

    11:06 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Franco did get cut.

    I don't buy that guys play better than they are capable of. It's more of a function of sample size. Give Glavine 210 innings, I suspect his numbers would look like his career averages. Some guys have some bad games and get ridiculed for not being able to cut it (i.e. Barry) and some guys are post season heroes.

    We all know Barry can hit and he proved he could. Conversely, Suppan's #'s simply wouldn't hold up give more innings. I do think guys can crack under the pressure for sure. I guess we talking about clutch for me we are just talking about a players ability to continue to perform at their highest level and not choke....

    Clutch = myth
    Choke = reality

    Nice clip!

    11:18 AM

     
    Anonymous gbaked said...

    Being able to play to your highest level during times of heighten stress is just what being clutch is.

    The ability to not fizzle out... the ability to not choke.

    There is no way that you could argue hitting a baseball in the 2nd inning of a game in mid July against the Pirates is the same as hitting a baseball in the 9th inning against the braves in late September. They are different situations with different levels of stress. A clutch player can ignore his surroundings and play to his ability in the latter situation. he doesnt get caught in the moment and plays the game the same way he has played it his entire life.

    A choking player hears the crowd, thinks too much, changes his swing...

    ---

    That video sucked... its not her and i can find non-blurred boobs of girls just as unattractive in 30 seconds on the net.

    11:52 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    I was watching the SNY postgame and was mesmerized by the orangeness that is Lee Mazzilli.

    You should go to Long Island there are tons of orange mutants there.

    I will defend Glavine but only because I was there live last season when he just raped the Dodgers and then in the next round made the Cardinals look like his bitches. I dunno maybe he is clutch? Maybe it was the cold weather? Maybe its because he knows what he gotta do and just says fuck it and steps up like El Duque does?
    But I saw it, the man was just gold last year in October and to be honest I'm expecting similar results this season.

    12:08 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Being able to play to your highest level during times of heighten stress is just what being clutch is.

    Precisely…The idea someone plays above their ability is preposterous, which is the basis of the argument.

    Glavine was money in the playoffs. I’m not saying don’t pitch him, but face realities that Perez and Maine are you go to guys and should be starting as many games as possible. They have the ability (outside of umps calls) to shut down the opponent. I do not have that same faith on Tommy G….

    Legions of orange people? Let me go get some fake tanner so I can blend in and truly observe their ways.

    12:14 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    alright, i'll agree guys don't play above their abilities. and i agree that tightening under stress is clutch. so, consensus.

    i just lingered at lunch and missed ollie's first 5 dominant endings. pirates must really like that nady move...

    what do you mean that wasn't her? the internet said it was.

    1:27 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Fuck...the game is on!

    1:34 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    doh. i should have knocked on wood. apologies.

    1:44 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I wish I didn't look at the score....who screwed up? Only one earned run...

    1:46 PM

     
    Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

    Looking at the box score, Perez seems just a little wonky today. The Pittsburgh management is definitely snickering right now.

    1:51 PM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    texeira is a fa next fall

    so is delgado

    texiera won a gold glove

    delgado hasnt

    but boras lingers

    2:22 PM

     
    Anonymous gbaked said...

    However, being in that high stress situation may make some players better.

    See Oliver Perez... When the pressure is on he is money. Playoffs... must win games... he is gonna be awesome. But when its game 3 of a series against the pirates in the middle of the day on a wednesday... he fizzles out. He brings his game to a new level when the pressure is on.

    Its impossible to play above your ability. If you can play it, you are able. Very few people play to their max ability 100% of the time. Jordan is an example of someone who did. You cant expect every player to play to their max all the time... but a clutch player will focus and make sure when it is all on the line he is playing at his peak.

    3:30 PM

     
    Anonymous jake said...

    i'm not sure about the earned runs, was half paying attention, but i think perez blew a throw on sac bunt. that was the error, but the initial hits were bloops. it seemed like things just broke bad for no good reason when he had been dominating.

    gbaked -- i agree.

    4:10 PM

     
    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Joe Smith optioned to New Orleans. Interesting.

    8:38 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Pittsburgh management has not right to snicker….ever. With their propensity to give players away, serving as the Cubs farm system for a year, and not having a winning season since the mid 90’s doesn’t allow for them to anything but eat a big helping of self loathe.

    Tex = $20,000,000 per year. YIKES!

    The Smith optioned was wacky, but hard to disagree with the move. Let him rest his arm and brain.

    9:10 AM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    we gonna need somebody. i cant think of a good first basemen not under contract for or in our system.

    milledge is our #1 rbi since the break with 12

    4:12 PM

     

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