fuck it this is impossible
Biggest Contribution: Jose Lopez, +23.0%
Biggest Suckfest: Sean Green, -34.9%
Most Important AB: Lopez double, +16.4%
Most Important Pitch: Pennington single, -19.0%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -13.4%
Total Contribution by Lineup: +55.4%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +8.0%
(What is this chart?)
This was one of those games where you hate to see one of the teams lose. Because they both deserve to lose. It's obviously great to see Clement heating up and generating more suitable results, but these are two godawful ballclubs. The instant Ellis and Cust came out we might as well have been watching something out of the PCL.
As far as Feierabend is concerned, I have both good and bad news. The good news is that he found his missing miles per hour and made the first legitimately effective Major League start of his career. While his pitch count climbed pretty quickly and knocked him out after five innings, he allowed only one line drive against eight groundballs and three pop flies, successfully avoiding solid contact against a bad but nevertheless AL lineup. Like RRS the night before, Feierabend put up another Washburn start for a non-Washburn price, the likes of which I'm always happy to get out of cheap arms. Affordable mediocrity has more value than people think it does, and that's Feierabend's ceiling skillset to a T. So I'm happy to see him make a start like this in which he's really throwing a solid changeup.
The bad news is that...well the bad news is that it turns out he may not have been missing any miles in his last start after all. Curious, I went back and checked out the PITCHf/x data for the other guys who pitched that day, and to a man their fastball velocities were a few ticks below their season averages (save for Bonser, who made a midseason switch to relief). So again it looks like we may have been dealing with a calibration error rather than a pitcher struggling to find his right stuff.
Why is this bad news? Because it takes away the obvious, immediate excuse. I was happy assuming that Feierabend got slapped around by the Twins because he wasn't throwing his usual stuff, but if he was, and PITCHf/x was wrong, then that explanation goes out the window and we're left with a guy who quite simply got torn to bits. That's way worse. I wasn't kidding the other day when I mentioned how much I'd love to get an explanation for why stuff like this might happen with PITCHf/x from time to time, because if these little calibration errors are real, then that makes it that much harder to both trust and analyze the data. For Feierabend, whether or not he was actually missing a few miles last week is pretty important. Therefore I would like to get to the bottom of this. I just don't know how.
What I do know is that Feierabend of all people doing this to the A's makes RRS' performance last night a little less impressive. It's never that much fun when you think you did something well and then someone worse than you comes along and does something similar. But for as much as this makes me and my undying love for RRS a little uneasy, Jarrod Washburn getting his ass beat tomorrow would make me feel a whole hell of a lot better. Come on, Oakland. Everybody's doing it. Join the party.