Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Pastime's season review

Ryan Armbrust posts his A's season review which is chock full of statistical goodies:

On the A's win/loss total and winning percentage:

Yes, I know the concept of “wasting runs” is ridiculous, but what I mean is
that when the A's scored, they usually just happened to score enough to win.
They had few blowout wins, and played most teams rather closely. No less than
107 of the games that the A's played were decided by 3 runs or less.

Adding to that effect was that the A's, when they did give up runs, gave up
a lot of them. They gave up more than six runs just 34 times this season, but in
those 34 games they gave up an average of 8.88 runs. They gave up 42% of their
runs in only 21% of the games. In the other 128 games they played, the A's only
allowed 3.32 runs per game.

Let's examine games that would be consider blowouts, where runs would be
“wasted”. There were 18 games that the A's lost by 6 runs or more, and 14 that
they won by 6 runs or more. Over those 32 games, Oakland scored 137 runs and
allowed 174. They went 14-18 in those “blowouts”, a reasonable record for having
a run differential of -37, over a run a game.

If, for argument's sake, you removed those games, Oakland's expected
winning percentage (with a new RS-RA of 634-553) would jump from .528 to .560,
much closer to the actual winning percentage of .574.

Of course, that all smacks of cherry-picking the stats, but I think it's
nevertheless interesting to dig into.

On Mark Ellis and Eric Chavez:

In 632 total chances, Mark Ellis only made two errors. That sets the record
for highest fielding percentage by a second baseman at .997, and should win
Ellis a well-deserved Gold Glove.

Eric Chavez developed tendonitis in both forearms, limiting him to his
worst statistical season at the plate since his rookie year, but he had perhaps
the best defensive season of his career. He made just 5 errors, fielded .987,
and turned 43 double plays. He led all third baseman in those categories, and
should be in line for a sixth consecutive Gold Glove.

I would also point out that the hobbled and injured Chavez still managed to post an OBP of 0.351 with a mediocre BA of only 0.241. He worked 84 walks, second highest of his career, and still managed to smack 22 HR with an OPS of 0.786 - only 8 points lower than in 2005, which still left him ranked 4th on the team leaving only Bradley, Swisher, and Thomas with higher OPS than Chavez. Not too shabby for the walking wounded.

On Huston Street

Some would say they were taken by surprise at Huston Street's mediocre
season. Well, mediocre by the expectations they placed on him after his stellar
2005 rookie campaign. They expected a closer who would put up sub-2.00 ERA
seasons with a 9.0+ K/9 rate and 40 saves a year for the next 20 years. Street
was just 22 years old this season. He had a decent year, 3.31 ERA and 37 saves.
Yes, he blew a few too many save opportunities, but he pitched extremely well
for a kid in his second full year in the majors. After all, he was pitching in
the College World Series only 30 months ago.

Thank you for pointing this out. A little tired of all the Street haters during the last month of the season and in the post-season, where he pitched just a little too much for my liking. This kid is only in the second season of his career and still managed 37 saves with a 3.31 ERA. Yeah, he blew a few and some of them were a bit nerve-wracking, but to expect a repeat of last year I think was just a bit too unrealistic. I think he did a fine job and is still learning to develop as a major league closer.

I've been busy, but will post my review later as well as grade all the players.


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