Swishingly hot

Nick Swisher has been merry in the month of May. Over the last three days, Ozzie Guillen‘s favorite player has gone 8-for-12 with a double and two home runs. Bill James Online says he’s the third-hottest batter in the majors, with a temperature of 104 degrees. But the two hottest batters (Alfonso Soriano and Andre Ethier) didn’t play yesterday so Swisher gets top billing today.

The other hot batter of note is one of the biggest surprises of the early season, Detroit’s Austin Jackson. Jackson has a fever of 102, going 6-for-10 in his last two games with two doubles and a triple (he also went 5-for-5 last Friday, though all of his hits were singles). His batting average is a season-high .377.

Our featured game graph is the Reds/Mets game, won by the Reds on a Laynce Nix home run in the 11th. As you can see, neither team established much of a lead. In fact, neither team managed much of a threat in the late innings, when the Leverage Index never rose up to five. Nix’s solo homer with one out broke the game without any mounting tension. Of course, Reds’ fans aren’t complaining. (By the way, my latest issue of Baseball America, Jim Callis predicts that the Reds will win the division in 2013 “with ease.”)

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One of the casualties of our decision to drop stats in favor of Fangraphs was our team page, which included summary stats and graphics for each team. That page actually didn’t get a lot of traffic, but it was my favorite part of the site. I learned a lot putting it together each morning.

So I decided to recreate that stuff. First of all, I’ve put together a standings table in the same format we had last year. Here it is:

Standings as 5/4/2010
American League East          RS     RA  PWINS  DIFF Close
TBR        18      7  .720   147     80     19    -1  7-4
NYY        17      8  .680   140     90     18    -1  5-6
TOR        14     13  .519   127    116     15    -1  5-9
BOS        12     14  .462   131    142     12     0  9-8
BAL         7     19  .269    91    133      9    -2  5-9
American League Central
MIN        17      9  .654   140     99     17     0  7-3
DET        16     11  .593   132    126     14     2  8-6
CHW        11     15  .423   107    130     11     0  7-9
CLE        10     15  .400    86    121      9     1  5-4
KCR        10     16  .385   104    137     10     0  7-8
American League West
TEX        14     12  .538   115    105     14     0  7-7
OAK        13     14  .481   115    115     14    -1  6-5
LAA        12     15  .444   110    147     10     2  8-6
SEA        11     14  .440    86     90     12    -1  7-9

National League East         RS     RA  PWINS  DIFF
PHI        14     11  .560   139    110     15    -1  5-5
NYM        14     12  .538   112     97     15    -1  3-6
WSN        13     12  .520   104    124     10     3  8-3
FLA        13     12  .520   123    114     13     0  6-6
ATL        11     14  .440   102    105     12    -1  4-7
National League Central
STL        18      8  .692   123     79     18     0  8-6
CHC        13     13  .500   129    117     14    -1  5-8
CIN        13     13  .500   112    140     10     3  10-5
PIT        10     15  .400    86    175      5     5  7-1
MIL        10     15  .400   128    138     12    -2  5-5
HOU         8     17  .320    73    125      7     1  5-5
National League West
SDP        16     10  .615   117     84     17    -1  5-4
SFG        14     10  .583   108     70     16    -2  2-7
COL        13     13  .500   131    104     16    -3  4-7
ARI        12     14  .462   153    156     13    -1  6-5
LAD        11     14  .440   131    133     12    -1  4-7

Check out the Pirates, who have the second-worst record in the National League at 10-15. The thing is, they’re 7-1 in close games (those decided by one or two runs), which means that they are a full five games ahead of the record we would project based on runs scored and allowed. Their “luck” has doubled their win total!

How have they done it? Well, their hitting and bullpen have both been clutch. Their otherwise mediocre offense has the fourth-best league OPS in “late and close” situations and their bullpen, which has the second-worst ERA in the majors, has an above-average WPA of 0.98.

Guess what? It won’t last.

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Comments

  1. ClubMedSux said...

    For what it’s worth, I really liked those spark graphs (or whatever they were called) that you used to post with the standings.  They just had up or down ticks to represent the last ten games and close games were in red.  Nice simple visual to see who was hot and who wasn’t.

  2. InnocentBystander said...

    “Swishingly”? But would you, as John Sterling does, say he is Swishilicious?

    …and I agree. I liked the daily recap and miss it. Liked the way standings were presented and liked the top minor league performances as well.

  3. Dave Studeman said...

    We’re working on the sparklines.  Hopefully we can get them running again.  And the minor league report is doable.  I’ll post that tomorrow.

    I don’t know if I can post THT Live like we used to every morning—I’ve got too much else in my life these days—but I’ll do it intermittently, at least.

  4. Detroit Michael said...

    I loved the old team page.  There were team fielding statistics that I didn’t find anywhere else.  As a matter of fact, I once asked whether the year-end versions of old team pages could be kept on-line.

  5. Dave Studeman said...

    Well, we bought those stats from BIS.  Unfortunately, not enough people looked at them to justify the expense.

    Most of the stats from the old team pages are available in each THT Annual.

  6. ecp said...

    I liked the minor league report too, but found it to be…well…not representative of the actual best performances of the day, but more a sampling of some of the good-to-best performances.  Sometimes what were the actual top performances were omitted.

    I also vote for the sparklines.

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