Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An epic (saber-metric) showdown of backyard baseball, Game 6

By Mike Moritz

After the Game Five win by The Crookers, The Dickle-Doos became the one's with their back's to the wall. It was, in every way, a must win game. Being down 3-2 in the series, The Dickle-Doos needed a stellar pitching performance from Tim Dickincum in Game Six to slow down the Crooker bats that have recently gone bonkers. The Crookers were looking from a good start from Crook Canks

Dickincum posted a 8.43 ERA but had a 6.11 FIP, which was by far the best mark in the league. He had a 17.93 K/9, 2.31 BB/9 (best in the league) and a but a bad 41% ground ball rate. He was making just his first start in the series due to a stiff toe...? In 5.2 innings, Dickincum had just 1 punch out while walking 3 and giving up 2 homers and a total of 7 runs. Overall, a solid start but much less than what you would expect from Dickincum. Dickincum's main problem wasn't necessarily his ability-- or lack-there-of -- to get strike outs, but rather his inability to get me to whiff.

In all seriousness though, Simon tends to have the kind of curve ball that works at probably a 20% rate. When his curve ball falls within the confines of the strike zone, I can't hit it (albeit, it rarely is a pitch that is within the confines of the strike zone, he usually misses the back board entirely). But what ever it was, I reduced my (roughly (just guessing)) 8% SwStr% in the first five games to just 4% in Game Six. In other words, I whiffed at just ONE of Simon's pitches all game. I put 19 into play and fouled off 5. But because Simon was unable to get me to whiff at his pitches, it gave me much more lee-way and it forced him to throw more hittable pitches, making him a pitch-to-contact-pitcher.

And I took advantage of that mantra that I forced him to adopt.

  • After averaging a 22% line drive rate in the first five games of the series, I bumped that number up to 32% in Game Six. My fly ball rate was once again low, 26% and I had a 42% ground ball rate. I seemed to have gotten pretty lucky with my .632 BABIP, but it actually seems right considering my spike in the line drive department. 
  • While I had some rather decent batted ball rates, Simon really struggled to get that "big hit" all game. His 64% ground ball rate was really bad but his 14% fly ball rate was straight up terrible (sorry Simon). Simon got some neutral luck as his BABIP was .393 despite having a mere .167 average on ground balls. I was able to get him to ground into three double plays.
  • Me and Simon both had four homers each (even though Simon had 4 fly balls). He drew five walks while I only had three. Although Simon could not get me to whiff, he was still limiting the damage by not walking batters. Had he walked around the 8 or 9 that he usually does, then the game would have been a blow out.
  • Simon was able to make the game interesting in the top of the 7th inning. Holding on to an 11-4 lead, Simon quickly draws a HBP and then hits a two run homer. He then proceeded to put on his "wait until he throws a strike" act until the score was finally 11-10. With two outs and a 1-2 count on him, I drop a curve ball and he swings and makes contact, only to hit it into the ground for the game ending ground out. 
Final score: 11-10, Crookers win. We have won the series 4-2 and after what seemed to be a series taken by Simon after Game Three, I came back to win three straight games. 

If Simon was able to at least hit a couple more balls in the air, even if they line drives (which you would want all the time), he could have won considering how close the game was in the top of the 7th. But nonetheless, he didn't and ended up ending the game with a grounder, something that could have described the whole game for him.

That does it with this series. Perhaps Simon and I will start another series soon but now it's time for The Baseball Jungle to return to real baseball writing. I hope you enjoyed this edition of B.Y.B (Back Yard Baseball).

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