Messing around with endpoints leads to misleading stuff, but there is a certain fun in stuff like this from today’s Wall Street Journal:
If the season ended today, Lincecum (above)—a two-time Cy Young Award winner—would have the worst adjusted ERA, 55, of any pitcher who has thrown at least 95 innings in a season since at least 1901.
And that is true. But the season doesn’t end today, of course, and I am fairly certain that — barring a season-ending injury being the cause of his struggles — Lincecum will improve as the season wears on and have his nightmare season end up, statistically speaking, appear to be merely horrific.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.