Game 2010.065: Nationals at Tigers


  1. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Cy Hernandez is really awful (or has been in recent years anyway). Look for a low scoring gme.

  2. jason

    June 16, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Bases juiced, nobody out. Inge up.

  3. Rash

    June 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    This is a little dated but lets hope the Tigers can expose some of this.

  4. Rash

    June 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    This is a little dated but let’s hope the Tigers can expose some of this.

  5. Rash

    June 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Whoops, sorry for the double post. Stopped the first submit to fix a typo; apparently they both went through.

  6. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Leyland plays the “hot hand” with Laird at catcher, but plays by the book with Kelly rather than Raburn in CF. So much for RR’s 4-RBI game and the winning homer last night.

  7. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I can live with a .250 Inge. The question is can he keep it up.

    • Coleman

      June 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      I can live it up with a .250 Laird

      • Vince in MN

        June 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm

        The question is can he get it up (there).

  8. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    In my humble opinion, neither Mr. .246 Santiago nor Mr. .224 Kelly sould be swinging at the first pitch.

    • Mark in Chicago

      June 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      Sure they should. Why delay the inevitable?

      • Vince in MN

        June 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm

        I may be dating myself, but I was thinking of the “old” idea of actually giving your pitcher a chance to sit down for a minute before having to go out or the next inning.

  9. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Verlander very efficient tonight. Even with the Ks he has only thrown 68 pitches (49/19). He has “Complete Game” written all over him. So, I’m guessing Leyland pulls him after 7.

  10. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Cabrera Ks on the 65MPH roundhouse curve.

    • Vince in MN

      June 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      That’s slower than Bonine’s knuckleball.

      • ouchudied

        June 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm

        And Wakefield’s knuckle ball

  11. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Neither Kelly nor Santiago have any business swinging at a 1-0 pitch either.

  12. kathy

    June 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm


  13. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 16, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Boesch again!

  14. ouchudied

    June 16, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    That was a monster home run. First moon shot home run I’ve seen Boesch hit; seems like he usually lines the ball out

  15. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I’m just having a hard time believing Boesch is for real. I mean, Tiger rookies just don’t do this kind of stuff.

    • ouchudied

      June 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      haven’t seen the phrase “regression to the mean” thrown around here too much lately.

      • Mark in Chicago

        June 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm

        It will happen. Boesch is posting a robust .379 BABIP based on just a 14.5% line drive rate. Also, 15% of his fly balls are HR, which is well above the norm.

        In other words, enjoy it while it lasts (my fantasy team certainly is).

        • Vince in MN

          June 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm

          Please god, don’t let this be just another Chris Shelton moment.

          • Mark in Chicago

            June 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

            haha, it shouldn’t be THAT dramatic

            • Kevin in Dallas

              June 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm

              I’m with Mark, but it shouldn’t be too bad. .320 – .340 is def sustainable. AJax’s .500 BABIP, as we saw, was not.

        • Keith (Mr. X)

          June 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

          Boesch’s power won’t disappear. He can be a perennial 25+ HR / 90 RBI guy. I think he could have a Geoff Jenkins type career. In Jenkins 1st two full seasons (1999-2000) he sustained a .350 BABIP over 270 games. So I don’t put too much stock into those BABIP myths.

          Link to Jenkins-

          • Dan

            June 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

            Geoff Jenkins had a career .322 BABIP. I wouldn’t use the fact that he luckily strung together 2 good ones in a row as evidence of any magical skill that he had since the rest of his career was more in line with what you’d expect.

            If Albert Pujols has a career BABIP of .316, I have a hard time imagining Boesch significantly exceeding that. Is he going to hit the ball harder than Pujols?

            Ted Williams himself only had a BABIP of .328.

            Unless Boesch is going to start regularly beating out infield hits, he’ll struggle to keep his numbers in the stratosphere over the long haul.

            • Keith (Mr. X)

              June 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm

              BABIP is the most misunderstood stat in the book. It’s like a person with multiple personalities. Fly ball hitters almost always have lower BABIP’s than groundball hitters. Pujols is somewhere in the middle. He’s had a few seasons where his fly ball rate was down and he posted .340+ BABIP’s.
              IMO, the Saber community should only compare fly ball hitters to other fly ball hitters, ground ball hitters to other ground ball hitters, middle guys to middle guys. Then you need to factor in speed, power, K’s, and Walks also.

              • Mark in Chicago

                June 16, 2010 at 11:54 pm

                BABIP is directly related to line drive %, so hitters with a higher LD% can post a consistently higher BABIP, all else being equal (hitters also have more influence over their own BABIP than a pitcher does). Speed definitely matters too, a guy like Ichiro will have a higher than normal BABIP thanks to all the infield hits he gets. I believe the formula is LD% + .120, so Brennan’s 14.5 LD% translates to an expected BABIP of about .265 (.145+.120), so either he better start hitting some more line drives or that batting average is coming down.

                Incidentally, the league average LD% is about 18%, which is how you get to an “average” BABIP of about .300.

              • Keith (Mr. X)

                June 17, 2010 at 6:41 am

                Mark- That’s just an assumption too. Line-drives have extremely high BABIP’s themselves, but there are far more fly balls and ground balls that directly influence the stat. There is no addition (like that + .120 to the line-drive rate) formula that correctly translates BABIP 100% of the time. It may work most of the time. xBABIP works a little better, but that’s very temperamental also. IMO, there are a slew of problems. One is park factors and another is that we only have specialized batted ball data going back 8 years when they started tracking it in 2002. That’s just a couple of the problems.

                A fly ball at Comerica Park has much better chance of being a ball in play than at a smaller park. Boesch has hit about 10 fly balls at Comerica that could of been home runs elsewhere, but they ended up being long doubles, triples, or outs.

                IMO, other factors maybe how many fastballs and hanging pitches the hitter see’s. Someone like Austin Jackson might be seeing more premium pitches to hit because he’s well protected in the line-up (Damon, Ordonez, Cabrera). Someone like Boesch might be getting more premium pitches because pitchers haven’t figured out yet that he’ll swing at almost anything.

                @ Dan, when looking at a single player’s career BABIP’s, it probably should be broken up into several slices since every player goes through several phases in their career. For most players maybe we should chop it into the Beginning, the Middle, and the End. When tracking someone like Pudge Rodriquez who has had a long career maybe break it up into even more pieces. Still not enough batted ball data to track the veterans like Pudge though.

                a few players will have their career high’s in BABIP in their 1st few seasons. Bobby Abreu is another good example of this. He posted back to back BABIP’s in the .390’s during his first few full seasons that spanned 303 games.

              • Keith (Mr. X)

                June 17, 2010 at 10:22 am

                OK , try to explain Miguel Cabrera’s .345 lifetime BABIP. He’s played in 1100 games. That sample size is HUGE!!!!

                Hitting a baseball is nothing like flipping a coin. There is very little random variation. Luck usually levels out after a few weeks or months. Hitting is a skill, like a golfer hitting a golf ball or a tennis player hitting a tennis ball. A professional baseball hitter could hit a near perfect 1.000 if allowed to hit the ball off of a tee. The better the pitcher, the harder it is for the professionals to hit the ball how and where they want to.

                The defense from 9 fielders, whether gold glove professionals or scrubs, won’t cover much ground on hard hit balls. A well hit baseball travels over 110 MPH. Line-drives can be as fast as 130 MPH. The fastest baseball player only runs at about 20 MPH. The average human runs at only 14 MPH. Balls hit hard have a much better chance of being hits, whether it being a fly ball, line-drive, or ground ball.

                Hitting skills do have peaks and valleys. Pitchers may change how they pitch to a certain batter. Defensive shifts may become a factor. Most of all, injuries often plague hitters at some point in their career. BABIP doesn’t measure the overall hitting skills and that’s where most people get confused. It’s really a stupid stat to get hung up on.

            • Keith (Mr. X)

              June 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm

              For 270 games he was lucky? That’s plain stupid.

              • Dan

                June 17, 2010 at 7:57 am

                Let’s look at it this way.

                Say I have a coin and flip it 1000 times. In the end, it’ll probably be very close to 500 heads and 500 tails. There is a reasonable chance that for the first 100 times, it might be closer to 55-60 heads or tails compared to the other way.

                The smaller the sample size, the more likely there will be outliers one way or the other.

                In the setting of looking at an entire career, 270 games is a small sample size and when the overwhelming data from a career contradicts that smaller subset, it’s likely just random fluctuation and not a true skill.

              • Keith (Mr. X)

                June 17, 2010 at 10:23 am

                I post my reply above at 10:22 am.

              • Mark in Chicago

                June 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

                FYI, in response to your post at 10:22 AM, Cabrera also has a career 21.2% line drive rate, which is very high and would suggest his BABIP is somewhere in the area of .332 (so, not too far off). I did not say (nor did I mean to imply) that adding .120 to LD% automatically gives you the BABIP 100% of the time. It’s just an approximation for what you would EXPECT a hitter’s BABIP to be, based on how often he hits the ball hard. I believe this is entirely consistent with the point you are making: a hard hit ball has a better chance of being a base hit. Agree completely, and I think BABIP captures that pretty well if you consider that it’s directly related to how often a ball is hard hit.

      • Dr. Detroit

        June 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm

        Vince, you mean since Alan Trammel, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish, right? Yeah there is a whole generation that had to live thru the Randy Smith years, and the draft picks that are finally working there way out of the system. Ryan Raburn, take your bow! Boesch by the early returns, his make-up and hitting mechanics looks like the corner outfield bopper we needed to round out our line-up. Nice that we did not have to package prospects and the like to get Cory Hart or some other ho-hum player, instead.

        • Vince in MN

          June 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm

          Other than Higginson for a few years I can’t think of any impact position player since those heydays. Of course we shouldn’t be getting too giddy over Boesch just yet, but it is a good start.

          • Dr. Detroit

            June 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

            Take a look at this, Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick rocks)–please note the similar BABIPs.


            Boesch just might be this good–not.340 over the season good, because no one is, but from what I see a borderline all-star in any given year.

            • Vince in MN

              June 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

              A Ryan Braun look-a-like. Wouldn’t that be nice for a change.

  16. Stormin Norman $

    June 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    with a 5 run lead and a fairly effective bullpen, why bring out Verlander 104 pitches in the 8th? just asking.

    …come August and Sept, all those 120+ pitch games could come back to haunt Mr V and the tigers…

    • Kevin in Dallas

      June 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      He’s 27, and it didn’t affect him much last year. He’ll be fine.

  17. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Getting no help from Colorado again tonight – Twins up 2-0. The Rockies really seem kind of meh to me – typical middle of the road NL team I guess. Maybe tomorrow, with Jimenez vs. Liriano, which should be a good matchup. Maybe we’ll see if all the hype is warranted.

    • ouchudied

      June 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      Baker with 8 K thru four innings… poor effort by the Rockies

      • Vince in MN

        June 16, 2010 at 9:46 pm

        Nick Punto is 4 for 5 with a walk already in the series for crying out loud (all singles of course).

  18. Vince in MN

    June 16, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    1-2-3 for Gonzalez there. Doesn’t really tell us much under the circmstances, but I guess its good to get the debut out of the way.

  19. kathy

    June 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I could get real used to this. 9:30 pm and nothing to do. Game over, we won.

  20. BartInSydney

    June 17, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Hey Bilfer-

    Where are the extensive pre and post-game posts? Games start out here at 9AM and its the first site I go to and the last one I visit…what gives?


  21. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

    @ Dan- We were talking about how Boesch will do for the rest of this season, not his career. So a sample size of 2 seasons is 2x more than enough to prove the point that it is possible to sustain a high BABIP for the remainder of the season. It’s unlikely, but it is very possible.

    • Dan

      June 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      when predicting future performance, there is no difference between predicting the rest of the season vs predicting the rest of a career.

      Can he sustain a .390 BABIP the rest of the season? Sure! It would still be luck. He’s equally as likely to have a BABIP of .250 the rest of this season, of course that would also be luck (of the bad kind). A more accurate projection would take into account what he has already done this season and assume he will perform at whatever expected level you should have the rest of the season so that in the end, he will have done slightly better than you would think because he already has this extremely good streak out of the way.

      What we all want to know is what is his true “skill” level. Once you know that, you predict average luck (not bad or good) and you come up with a good prediction for how he will produce next week, next month, next year, and 5 years from now. The shorter the time frame, however, that you are predicting, the more volatile it will be and subject to random variation.

      Made up example for Boesch:

      He has a .390 BABIP so far this year (43 games). His average BABIP in his career will be about .320. If he plays another 86 games this year at that .320 rate, he will finish the season with a BABIP of around .340. It takes into account his hot start to the season and assumes merely average production (for him) the rest of the way that averages out to a better than average number at the end of the year. You wouldn’t predict he will finish the season at .390 because that would assume a continued hot streak for the duration of the season.

    • Dan

      June 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      as to this…

      “Hitting skills do have peaks and valleys. Pitchers may change how they pitch to a certain batter. Defensive shifts may become a factor. Most of all, injuries often plague hitters at some point in their career. BABIP doesn’t measure the overall hitting skills and that’s where most people get confused. It’s really a stupid stat to get hung up on.”

      BABIP actually isn’t measuring much of a skill at all. It’s almost identical from player to player and has slight variation (5% or less) based on how they hit the ball.

      What BABIP is useful for is determining to what degree a player’s current production (things like batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, etc) is due to a skill they have (hitting the ball hard, drawing walks, etc) and how much is due to random chance.

      If you have a player hitting .350/.450/.650 with a BABIP of .400, it’s unlikely they can sustain that pace. If however, they same hitting line results from a BABIP of only .320, they are far more likely to be able to sustain the overall pace.

  22. ouchudied

    June 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    For Boesch, Fangraphs gives the 15.4% line drive rate you guys are talking about.

    Baseball-references gives a 20% line drive rate for him.

    What gives?

    • Dan

      June 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      I’m too lazy to figure out why they are different, but LD% is a little bit unreliable because you are relying on humans to determine what a LD is and there is plenty of gray areas. Is a hard shot down the line that bounces once before reaching 3rd a LD or a ground ball? How about a deep shot to the wall that was sort of between a LD and a flyball?

      There is no perfect system for determining and with human choice there will be fluctuation. I’ll assume that BBR and fangraphs are using different systems for measuring it.

  23. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    “when predicting future performance, there is no difference between predicting the rest of the season vs predicting the rest of a career.”

    That’s completely false. Ever hear of a break-out season or a career year? I was predicting them and depending on them for fantasy baseball for about 12 years. Predicting them isn’t impossible. Most players DO have them. Some peaks may only last a few months, but some will last a few years or so. Every year the it’s someone new.

    • Dan

      June 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      you have a fundamental misunderstanding of statistics. I suggest reading some basic stats textbooks about the meanings of sample size and regression to the mean.

      I try to help people understand how stats apply to baseball for making predictions of future performance, but it obviously isn’t worth my time here.

      As for your fantasy basebalal predictions, congrats. I got bored with fantasy baseball and stopped playing because it was too easy playing against people that didn’t understand stats.

      I apologize for wasting your time.

      • Smith

        June 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm

        If you’re as great as you say you are, why aren’t you winning thousands of dollars a year playing in big money leagues? Or writing a book on how easy it is playing against (statistical) retards?

        Statistics in sports are not fool-proof, and can’t be counted on. There are too many variables, eg. Weather, Stadium, Injuries/ Physical Health, Mental Health, Contracts, etc. This isn’t an assembly line where we’re measuring CpK and PPM. There are just too many factors to make sound judgments based statistics alone.

        And yes there is a HUGE difference in predicting the rest of the season versus predicting the rest of a career for the same reasons I mentioned previously. Sample size and regression to mean? You’re talking probability. Take a multivariate distribution, such as batting average of a Major League Team. The guy with the highest average at the All Star break is more likely to bat worse, than he is to bat better over the second half of the season. It’s just probability. So yes, odds are Boesch will have a worse average when the season is over, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a .300 hitter over his career. But it also doesn’t mean he WILL either. Probability is a funky thing when you introduce variables.

        As Dr. Deming always said, “The most important things, cannot be measured.”

        • Keith (Mr. X)

          June 18, 2010 at 11:13 am

          I have played in the big money leagues and once knew most of high rollers in the fantasy circles. The competition in fantasy baseball these days is fierce and tremendous. Running fantasy teams for a living is very very time consuming and takes a large dollar investment, which is why I don’t do it anymore. I also have nothing else to prove to myself and it’s not much fun anymore. When watching baseball and running fantasy teams became more than a full-time job, that’s when it was time to quit.

          I’m a programmer and have been writing baseball sims and AI programs for many years. A few years ago, one of my programming buddies actually got a job working for a major league team for his stats analysis programs. That was once my goal, to get a job for a major league team, but I’ve moved on to bigger more important things. Now I work independently in the ecology field, and specialize in aquatic ecosystem models. I now have billions of years worth of data to play with and baseball is a just a fun little hobby again.

          Baseball career analysis is something I never really cared about. Guys with great career numbers always cost way to much to draft, to roster, or to trade for. I cared more about what the cheap readily available players could do Today, to end of the week, or for the rest of the month, or for the rest of the season. I’d be one of the 1st to go after pitchers like Estaban Loiasa, Bob Tewksberry, David Wells, or John Burkett when they were having career seasons. If I still played I would of been on board with Armando Galarraga in 2008 and Edwin Jackson last season. I’ve seen hundreds of players play well above their career norms and sustain an elite level for at least a full season. Like Kenny Rogers said, You got to know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em.

          I love dealing with prospects and rookies especialy. Boesch was very high on my radar last season. When I suggested that he could be ready for show this season, I got laughed at. Back when I was doing this stuff full-time I’d have prospects and rookies like Carlos Beltran, Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Derek Jeter, Nomar, ARod, David Wright, Ryan Howard, to name a few. I don’t back down from guys like Todd Hundley, Richard Hidalgo, or Fernando Tatis either. I won leagues by grabbing those one year wonders early. Amazingly, I somehow avoided Chris Shelton.

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        June 18, 2010 at 11:31 am

        You don’t need to apologize for wasting my time. You’re a good follower, which is something I’m not. I do things my own way.

  24. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    “If you have a player hitting .350/.450/.650 with a BABIP of .400, it’s unlikely they can sustain that pace. If however, they same hitting line results from a BABIP of only .320, they are far more likely to be able to sustain the overall pace.”

    Problem is I’ve only once seen a hitter with a .350 Batting Avg with just a .320 BABIP and that was Barry Bonds. His BABIP’s were usually on the low side because he was such a fly ball hitter.
    It’s much more common to see a .350 batting Average with BABIP’s of .380+. The average hitter has a .262 batting average and a .299 BABIP. That’s 37 point spread.
    Boesch has a .344 batting average and a .387 BABIP. That’s a 43 point spread. Even if luck was a factor, he isn’t getting any more luck than most hitters.

    • Dan

      June 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      see above…

      Using the gap between season long batting average and BABIP as some sort of constant is beyond insane and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what those things mean. And the inability to understand why a very high BABIP is a predictor of a future drop in performance is amusing.

      sorry for the rant

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        June 18, 2010 at 11:22 am

        The funny thing is that you think it’s amusing. You are just being too careful with your analysis, like an actuary or an insurance broker.

  25. Mith

    June 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I didn’t think it was possible for you to be any more annoying Mr.X, but your string of posts here has succeeded. Keep up the good work!