And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Phillies 2: I had been agitating for Jonathan Papelbon to pitch more. Specifically in tie games.  Well, he did here and gave up a game-losing three-run homer to Jordany Valdespin. I suppose we’ll let Cholly run the team from here on out.

Marlins 4, Astros 0: Carlos Zambrano with the three-hit shutout pushes his ERA to 1.98 on the year. Guy can still pitch a little.

Reds 6, Brewers 1: Since when does Brandon Bronson Arroyo strike out nine guys in six and two thirds? I may have written this and the Angels recap before I had any coffee.

Indians 8, White Sox 6; Indians 3, White Sox 2:  I’m beginning to think that, perfecto notwithstanding, Phil Humber is not all that good (2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). The second game ended in a bunch of rain. Which you play through when you’re already making up a rainout in a double header.

Angels 8, Twins 3: Alas, Jeff Jered Weaver did not pull a Johnny Vander Meer. But he could’ve. It’s the Twins we’re talking about here. He settled for one run on three hits in six innings, bringing his records to 5-0. And why I continue to write “Jeff Weaver” instead of Jered after all of these years is beyond me.

Cubs 5, Braves 1:  Bryan LaHair, Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto all homered off Braves pitching. Jeff Samardzija allowed only one homer, to Jason Heyward and was otherwise solid.  BTW: Samardzija hit Heyward with a pitch in the seventh. If that was intentional retaliation for the Heyward homer, it was bad, bad, bad. Then Eric O’Flaherty hit David Dejesus. If that was intentional it was bad, bad, bad too.  There: happy that I don’t simply think that Cole Hamels was in the wrong because he plays for the Phillies?

Red Sox 11, Royals 5: The Sox snap a five game losing streak behind two Will Middlebrooks home runs. Which is exactly how everyone imagined slumps would be busted in Boston this year.

Rangers 14, Orioles 3: Way to make me look bad with all of that “the O’s are getting great pitching” on the HBT Extra that will air later this morning but which was taped yesterday. Brandon Snyder homered and had six RBI.

Dodgers 9, Giants 1: Ted Lilly allowed one run on four hits and struck out six to run his record to 4-0.  L.A. scored five off the Giants pen in the eighth. I’d call the Giants pen a hot mess, but I don’t want to insult hot messes.

Mariners 3, Tigers 2: The wheels done fell off in the ninth for Detroit as Octavio Dotel — filling in for the unavailable Jose Valverde —  blew a 2-0 lead, wasting a great Doug Fister start. Dotel was all over the place, walking the first two hitters he faced, then throwing a wild pitch. Then a passed ball — which could have been ruled a wild pitch — scored a run. Then a double scored another. After Dotel was yanked a bunt and then a sac fly ended it.

Padres 3, Rockies 2: Yonder Alonso drove in two and Edinson Volquez got his first win. Let’s just give Cincinnati this victory, OK?  The Padres can have the Mat Latos win from Sunday.

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 6: Lance Lynn wins again after shutting out the Dbacks for five. If the season ended now he’s the NL Cy Young Award winner, right? God, I hope the season doesn’t end now. I like baseball.

Must-Click Link: Sherri Nichols, Sabermetic Pioneer

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If you are old enough and lame enough as I am, you may have lurked around on sabermetic message boards in the 1990s. If you did, you may have heard of Sherri Nichols, who back in the day, was a significant contributor to the advancement of statistical analysis, particularly defensive analysis.

While it’s probably better that not everyone is as old and nerdy as me, the downside of it is that most people haven’t heard of Nichols and know nothing about her contributions. That changes today with Ben Lindbergh’s excellent analysis of Nichols and her work over at The Ringer, which I recommend that you all read.

The short version: Nichols is the one who planted the seed about on-base percentage being valuable in the mind of Baseball Prospectus Founder Gary Huckabay, back in the late 80s. She’s also the one most responsible for the rise of zone-based defensive metrics in the 1990s, such as Defensive Average, which she created and which served as the basis for other such metrics going forward. She also played a critical role in the development of RetroSheet, which collected almost all extant box score and play-by-play information going back to the turn of the 20th century, thereby making so much of the information available at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs possible. A key contribution there: making the information free and available to everyone, rather than closing the underlying data off as proprietary and either charging for access or keeping it in-house like some recent data collectors have chosen to do. Ahem.

A larger takeaway than all of Nichols’ contributions is just how loathe the baseball community was to listen to a woman back then. I mean, yeah, they’re still loathe to listen to women now, as indicated by the small number of women who hold jobs in baseball operations departments, but back then it was even worse, as evidenced by Lindbergh’s stories and Nichols’ anecdotes.

A great read and a great history lesson.