Quick numbers edition:
Biggest Contribution: Ryan Franklin, +33.9%
Biggest Suckfest: JJ Putz, -23.5%
Most Important Hit: Ichiro single, +18.1%
Most Important Pitch: Rodriguez groundout, +24.3%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +67.1%
Total Contribution by Hitters: +11.8%
Note: Jose Lopez ends up with a high rating because I had to give him "credit" for hitting a go-ahead homer in the seventh. It took a fantastic leaping catch by Craig Monroe to bring that one back. There's some obvious controversy surrounding this kind of thing that will be addressed during the offseason.
Something I've wanted to look at for quite a while is how Franklin's peripherals correlate to his success on a start-by-start basis. Strikeouts, walks, that sort of thing. To do so, I plugged in the numbers from every Major League start he's ever made an ran a linear regression:
Zero correlation. Anywhere. R squared values that low are totally meaningless. You can look to the right of the top graph and see that Franklin had good success in the six starts in which he posted his highest strikeout rates, but that's too small of a sample.
It's the kind of thing that makes you wonder if strikeouts are really that important for Franklin. Maybe he's one of those exceptions to DIPS theory, a guy who can increase his strikeouts when he needs to, but who actually has a modicum of control over balls in play. Maybe when Franklin's strikeouts are down, he's doing that deliberately, hitting his spots and getting hitters out more efficiently. Eh? Eh?
No dice. Franklin has no such unique ability - he's a replacement-level pitcher who only looks good when the guys behind him are having good days. Nice to know I just wasted an hour on that spreadsheet.
Rene Rivera in the Majors: .405/.421/.468
Rene Rivera in the minors: .264/.292/.372
Rene Rivera overall: .282/.308/.396
Hello, Toby Hall career path. Rivera's probably going to have a season or two where he's a passable cheap starting catcher, but don't believe the hype - he's not the best catcher in the system. He's light years behind Jeff Clement, and even Yorvit Torrealba probably represents Rivera's potential upside. Nice guy to have around? Sure. Good hitter? Not close.
George Sherrill Watch:
40 lefties faced
5 hits allowed
He's one of the top lefthanded relievers in baseball right now. The worst part is that we all knew it in March.
Moyer and Grilli, three and a half hours from now.