So, I've got nothing. Well, except, did you know that Moneyball comes out in less than a month? Have you seen the trailer? Will Brad-Pitt-As-Billy-Beane become the Robert Pattinson of baseball after the pre-teen girls flood the theaters? That would be so fun. Instead of throwing chairs, he could bite people.
Ahem. So the A's play at 4:05 tonight, since this is a four-game series. Yes, we have to suffer through baseball tomorrow, too. I know everyone says that even the worst baseball is better than no baseball, but I kind of feel like those people weren't forced to recap back-to-back late August 2011 A's games.
So anyway. There was this article on Yahoo last week titled 25 things you didn't know about baseball, and I love it. It gives a lot of attention to FanGraphs.com, but it also has some gems about the A's (or former A's).
The hardest thrower in the game is a middle reliever, and it’s not Aroldis Chapman.
I know! I know! I know! I actually knew this answer, and even though I logically know it's true from the radar gun, I've seen Aroldis Chapman pitch twice in person, and I am absolutely blown away when he pitches. Take Jonathan Broxton, for example. He throws hard, and he looks like he throws hard, and I've seen him in person many times. But Chapman is just different. Yet Chapman isn't the hardest thrower in baseball. Who is? You know this; we had him!
The single best pitch in the major leagues this season is Dan Haren’s cutter.
Mark Teixeira is a choker.
Well, this year at least. Teixeira owns the second-worst FanGraphs’ "Clutch" score, calculated by comparing his Win Probability Added to a leverage-neutral version of the metric. It’s meant to separate performance in important situations from those who succeed in blowouts, and that’s Teixeira this season. Only Kurt Suzuki’s minus-2.49 is worst than Teixeira’s minus-2.18
I kind of feel like I instinctively knew that. Anyone smart want to comment on FanGraph's clutch-y metric? Personally, I'd like to comment on Kurt Suzuki's crappy .237 batting average and .681 OPS. And it's not like I have high expectations; I'm an A's fan!
So anyway, there's your article fun for Wednesday. Do you use FanGraphs? How would you evaluate so-called clutch-hitting (and in this case, I'm willing to replace "clutch" with "high-leverage situations")? And is there any metric that can make Suzuki look like he's having a good season? On that note, why is he experiencing such a decline in performance? Is this who he is, or can we hope for better?
See you back at 4 for more A'S BASEBALL!