GOG 2009 #36

The A's showed a lot of life in the last series, taking three out of four and dropping the Rangers to 4.5 games back in the AL West, or 2 games back in the wild card race. This series will not be nearly as relevant to the postseason. The Royals had a strong start to the season, boosted by an otherworldy demonstration of pitching from Zach Greinke, and vindicating all the bandwagoneers (myself included) who were predicting them to be a much improved team. Since sometime near the end of May, however, they have returned to their old losing ways, and then some. Over the last couple of months, the Royals have been even worse than the Nationals.

As everyone has been noting lately, Oakland has lately been playing a much more aggressive style of baseball than we have seen since maybe the early nineties. The Kansas City defence is among the worst in baseball (see question 10). If the A's can take advantage of mistakes, take the extra base on line drives to the gap, and beat out slow ground balls, then we could see them scoring a lot of runs, even if they struggle to make contact with Greinke's slider of doom.


GOG #36 :: The Throne Room Is A Basement (31 points possible)

Three game series @ Kansas City Royals -- August 7-9

UPDATE -- answers, courtesy of doctorK, are added below in bold

  1. Series outcome [3 points] 2-1 Oakland
  2. The A's have to face Zach Greinke this time. Predict IP/ER/K for the best pitcher in the AL [2 points each] 7 IP, 3 ER, 5 K
  3. Brian Bannister, already known for his strong grasp of sabremetrics, has been studying up on PitchFx, judging from an interview he did with Tom Tango (a good summary of the interview is here). This year Bannister has been making an effort to increase his ground ball rate, by using his fastball less, throwing a ton of cutters, and switching his grip on the changeup to give it more sink. His groundball/flyball ratio jumped from around 1 to 1.5 and he is having his best year so far. How many groundball outs does Bannister record against the A's? [3 points] 6 groundball outs for Bannister
  4. Does Giambi play in the series? Do the A's add any non-Giambi players to their roster during the series? [+1 for each right, -1 for each wrong] Giambi does not play, but the A's do add Mortensen and Cunningham (and maybe Jay Marshall, now that Mortensen has been sent back down?)
  5. With two HR in the series against Texas, Kurt Suzuki is up to 8 HR on the season, surpassing his total for 2008. He passed his career high for doubles two weeks ago in the series at New York. This all adds up to a slugging percentage that is 39 points higher than last year, despite a nearly identical batting average. Unfortunately, this has been accompanied by a drop in his walk rate and OBP. Predict Suzuki's AB/BB/XBH for the series [2 points each] 12 AB, 0 BB, 2 XBH
  6. Former Royals shortstop Tona Pena Jr was so awful with the bat that they traded for Yuniesky Betancourt from the Mariners and are converting Pena into a pitcher. Unfortunately, Betancourt has not helped much. His batting line since coming to Kansas City is .159/.181/.290 (good for an OPS+ of 23!). He has 5 extra-base hits and 2 walks in 74 plate appearances. Will Yuni manage to earn a free pass off of A's pitchers this series? [+1 point if right, -1 if wrong] Yuni does not draw a walk. Easiest question ever (right, Angry Sean?)
  7. Which Oakland reliever logs the most innings in the series? [3 points] the answer is Edgar Gonzalez with 3.1 IP in relief of Mortensen, but no one picked the long man
  8. Over his last three starts, Gio Gonzalez is striking hitters out at a rate of 10.1 K/9. Impressively, he has done this against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers. How many strikeouts does Gio pick up against the Royals decidedly less intimidating lineup? [3 points] Gio's start got bumped back, so for the second GOG in a row I have a question about a pitcher who didn't pitch
  9. Moneyball draftee Mark Teahen has been having a solid year at the plate and has contributed on defense at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and right field. How many defensive positions does he play in this series? [3 points] Teahen played two positions -- RF and 1B
  10. According to UZR, the Royals suffer from the second worst defence in baseball (only the Red Sox are worse). The Athletics have been slightly above average and the difference between the Oakland and Kansas City defences has been nearly 40 runs so far this season! In this series, which team converts ball in play into outs at a higher rate? (Calculated as (total outs made - K - CS) / (PA - HR - K - BB)) [+1 if right, -1 if wrong] doctorK tells me that the Royals won in this category, .718 to .642. Don't doubt the man, he'ss a physicist.

Game one starts up at 5:10 pacific, so make sure you get your entries in on time.


Here is another high scoring GOG, like GOG #34, but with a crazy bi-modal distribution that points out the fallacy of the following gaussian statistics (ok, mode is not a gaussian statistic).

Overall scoring statistics

  • mean = 10.3333 points
  • standard deviation = 3.46410 points
  • mode = 8 or 15 points


Your Scores

Wow, a four way tie for first place! Congratulations to zaniac75, GoAs, micdog2001, and A'sfaninNC.

The race for best total score is tightening up again, with zaniac75 close behind nevermoor. Also, GoAs and micdog2001 are both new members of the 200 points club.

nameplace (this GOG)score (this GOG)# of GOGsplace (all GOG)score (all GOG)place (by AVG)score by AVG
zaniac751153422745 0.243
GoAs1529820613 0.211
micdog20011530721112 0.211
A'sfaninNC152942286 0.239
Angry Sean514321616331 0.153
Blicks14182411420 0.190
JLeverenz712241316911 0.215
train8081032919024 0.180
colin9935522619 0.196
nevermoor93412784 0.248
swatnick11822101881 0.259
streetfan8341416732 0.148
muffinpryde8321217627 0.166
Rated-R Superstar830621210 0.217
doctorK157361118630 0.156
adragon7251813228 0.162
harenshair715191263 0.249
oblique185291416725 0.173
Mantecan As FanDNP--1951N/E 0.024
SoCal As FanDNP--14309318 0.200
NateHSTDNP--15251128 0.225
DCinWCDNP--16318429 0.158
mikeADNP--3132327 0.227
ZeroIndulgenceDNP--192311523 0.183
gigglingoneDNP--16221179 0.225
KimberlyDNP--202112521 0.190
vegAN ryANDNP--45127N/E 0.185
diehardoaklandfan22DNP--162710615 0.202
Walton711DNP--1789N/E 0.214
travdog6DNP--2951N/E 0.013
BooneeDNP--35619N/E 0.174
RayJEddDNP--12281042 0.252
A'sBowlingLeagueDNP--25619N/E 0.244
elephantbaseballDNP--191912617 0.200
brian.onlyDNP--46914N/E 0.096
robertmelvinDNP--64241N/E 0.188
OaktownPowerDNP--162611016 0.201
roscoeDNP--291716126 0.168
FlashfireDNP--1876N/E 0.143
designatedforassignmentDNP--36716N/E 0.145
tresselfanDNP--4847N/E 0.046
KMoAsFanDNP--45520N/E 0.137
Gallagher's WatermelonsDNP--17410N/E 0.238
GreenOctober69DNP--1818N/E 0.190
SLOtownDNP--103660N/E 0.174
baseballnut020DNP--94051N/E 0.173
MaineAthleticDNP--12327322 0.187
j_rich36DNP--1847N/E 0.167
scutaroknowsthewayDNP--1923N/E 0.071
FormerHuntsvilleStarDNP--93371N/E 0.247
jay_senseiDNP--64144N/E 0.227
easyraiderDNP--13299414 0.209
Athletix ManDNP--93759N/E 0.199
Athletics fan and runnerDNP--65127N/E 0.133
Holy Toledo!DNP--1923N/E 0.083
NicoDNP--17410N/E 0.278
JLaffDNP--1914N/E 0.111
WaddellCansecoDNP--55028N/E 0.164
crb29DNP--113470N/E 0.196
eastcoasta'sfanDNP--45423N/E 0.161
OaktownflavDNP--36217N/E 0.156
Future EdDNP--64241N/E 0.197
JediLeroyDNP--1818N/E 0.222
DalesmanDNP--2876N/E 0.083
nateh37DNP--74439N/E 0.174
anomaly_katDNP--35918N/E 0.173
sprtsnwynDNP--26217N/E 0.250
VORP is too nerdyDNP--44632N/E 0.234
asyouwish33DNP--1818N/E 0.250
jeffroDNP--45918N/E 0.150
CutthemulletDNP--35324N/E 0.238
stabbin_mcadamsDNP--17410N/E 0.312
jasontheaDNP--44830N/E 0.219
fruitattackDNP--114731N/E 0.086
Helloooo 1stDNP--64534N/E 0.165
King RichardDNP--27113N/E 0.203
jplDNP--83955N/E 0.222
baseballgirlDNP--17410N/E 0.286
whiteshoes40DNP--18356833 0.116
walkoff baltimore chopDNP--1847N/E 0.200
spiffyjwcDNP--27113N/E 0.194
samljmDNP--1789N/E 0.265
pam5981DNP--73759N/E 0.276
Gaijin_SukettoDNP--16914N/E 0.424
toskDNP--54929N/E 0.179
mikevDNP--16217N/E 0.515
stranahanahanDNP--36815N/E 0.152
Leopold BloomDNP--1951N/E 0.029
ElQuesoCapitanDNP--35918N/E 0.194
TrainmanDNP--2923N/E 0.049
OptimistPrimeDNP--1895N/E 0.179
dtownmbrownDNP--36217N/E 0.167
chillicothe20DNP--1789N/E 0.265
ChadGodDNP--17113N/E 0.382
SamYamDNP--35619N/E 0.186
JLopezDNP--3895N/E 0.051
robbo650DNP--46217N/E 0.132
Steve in NapaDNP--1951N/E 0.032
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