Better late than never NL graphsby Dave Studeman
December 09, 2012
Yesterday, we brought you the American League version of the Lost Graphs of the Hardball Times Annual. These are graphs that had been published in the THT Annual in the past (until this year and last year, come to think of it) and are featured at my Baseball Graphs site. They're intended to tell the story of the year in a few pictures.
So, yes, these are being posted a little late, but what the heck. Less relevant isn't less interesting, is it?
Here is how each NL team lined up in runs scored and allowed:
The Nationals were the only "true" .600 team in the majors last year (true, based on runs scored and allowed) and the only actual one, at that. The Reds and Giants were roughly equal in their true record and they both racked a good number of real wins too (seven for the Reds, six for the Giants). The Cardinals, were the bad-luck team in this mix, finishing second to only the Nats in run differential record but losing five wins from that projection in reality.
The Dodgers were our good-pitch, no-hit champs, while the Rockies were our good-hit, no-pitch champs. Ballparks no doubted abetted both causes. The Astros and Cubs were both sub-.400 teams in reality; finishing four games below their run differential was just adding insult to injury.
Let's next break up the offensive strengths of each team.
Wow. Losing Prince Fielder didn't stop the slugging machine up in Milwaukee. On the other end of the spectrum, not much was slugging in Los Angeles or San Francisco. The Cardinals were OBP champs by a good margin. And, yeah, Chicago and Houston had distressingly similar profiles.
Finally, pitching and fielding:
By the reckoning of DER and FIP, Washington was stellar in both pitching and fielding, the star of the defensive firmament. Colorado wasn't. Coors Field played some role here, but even if you make a reasonable adjustment for the ballpark, the Rockies simply didn't do the job stopping runs. Milwaukee: decent pitching, lousy fielding.
And the Cubs and Astros managed to separate themselves, but not by a lot (in a nutshell, the Astros pitched better and the Cubs fielded better).
I hope you enjoyed this brief graphical look back at the 2012 season, and that you'll support us by purchasing the Hardball Times Annual for yourself or for that special baseball fan you know. Makes a great Christmas present!
Dave was called a "national treasure" by Rob Neyer. Seriously. Comments about this article can be sent to him through the miracle of e-mail.