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Baseball Analysis   John Korsgaard / The Players


By John Korsgaard

"Some seasons are so fantastic that you have to come up with unorthodox... maybe even zany comparisons to see them beyond the math."

Those are the words I used a few weeks ago to talk about some of the literally INCOMPARABLE things Barry Bonds did this year.

My vote for next most unprecedented performance (after Barry) may be the Schilling-Johnson tandem. In the face of dire predictions from many (myself included) that twenty game winners were near extinction, we have Randy's 24-5 and Curt's 23-7. The real question when you look closer is how the heck did they lose that many games? Consider:

Randy and Curt

2001...506.3 innings...528 baserunners...665 whiffs.

2002...519.3 innings...519 baserunners...650 whiffs.

I'm here to tell you what you already knew. 1047 baserunners in 1025 innings…but 268 MORE strikeouts than baserunners will get you to their two season paired record of 90-24…OR BETTER…

Schilling Johnson 2002 47-12

Other Diamondback starters 25-36

How does that compare with some other strong 1-2 punches {comparison of the two guys with the most starts to the rest of the staff} this year?

Maddux-Glavine 34-17

Others 37-28 but, of course, that includes Millwood

Oswalt-Miller 34-13

Other Astro starters 28-39

Zito-Hudson 38-14

Others 37-27 but, of course, that includes Mulder

Lowe-Martinez 41-12

others 37-35

You didn't expect this one

Halladay-Walker 29-12

others 32-43

Well, Curt and Randy are also USA Today' Sports Weekly's choice for starters #1 and #2. That 25 man team is chosen in an interesting fashion {which makes a point I always try to make}. Unlike fans and other polls, they pick a right fielder for right field, a back up catcher for back up catcher, real live utility men for their get the idea. They chose Eric Gagne as their closer, edging out Smoltzie. Whatever you may think of that, their set up men are Dotel and Romero, RATHER THAN the next two best closers. See?


Schilling Johnson 2002 47-12

3-4-5 USA Today allstars 51-22

Gagne, by the way has another hard to fathom stat. In 82 innings he had 98 strikeouts....more than he had walks!!!! That's 82.3 16-114.

Now, try this for illsutration of Schilling's season. Multiply Gagne by three...

247 innings 48 walks 342 whiffs

Schilling 259 33 316


If you prefer, divide Curt's by 3 86.3 11 105

Gagne 82.3 16 114


Speaking of the USA Today feature. Here are their 8 position choices with some notes from ON DECK.


AOPS about 6 pts higher than AL leader Pudge


Helton was an 8 to Thome's 7 but that was based "games at" position. Thome a couple dozen AOPS higher than Todd


Soriano the other 8. Alfonso's AOPS would only have placed 5th in NL, behind Bellhorn, Vidro and Spivey. Jeff has been top of the heap with an eight 4 of  the last 5 years. Alfonso wil get his turns.

AROD...We hear more about him as the best and less about the big 3 or 4 all the time. Currently, he is earning that distinction.


On DECK says this is correct. AOPS has 89 others within 12 pts of order they are...Rolen, Ventura, Hinske, Koskie, Lowell, Blum, Alfonzo, Glaus and Perry.With Eric that is quite a class of 5-7 youngsters overall to make this a strong position throughout the decade.


An AOPS of over 270. AL leader G Anderson not at half of that!?!? In fact, being as 100 is league norm and only Giles at 185-190 was within 100, can it not be said that Barry is LITERALLY-BY-DEFINITION in another league of his own?


Larry Walker had a better AOPS before park adjustment. Ordonez, in the AL was 15 pts lower. Sammy ahead of MAgglio. Shawn and Bobby Abreu very close (to Magglio) in AOPS also. This all illustrates the margin Vladimir is the process of establishing for himself.

Center field Torii Hunter

I saved this for last becasue it is the only one ON DECK has a firm argument with.Torii was 2nd in the Al to Bernie, barely ahead of Beltran. bernie has an established track record of 5 consecutive 8s, six altogether. The NL contains 4 Cfs above Torii in AOPS and 2 above Bernie this year (Edmonds, Berkman). the other two behind Bernie but ahead of Torii are hardly non-established. Finley and Andruw Jones. This was a sentiment call and they wil argue leadership and clubhouse presence. No doubt Torii has a lot of that but Bernie, Lance and Chuck in particular are not minusses in those Intangibles.

The other question I have for the USA Today thing was a compliment a moment ago.their 4th starter [David Wells] had the 2nd most starts on his staff. Their 5th starter [Kyle Lohse} had the 2nd on his, only one behind the leader. What they are using is the idea Radke-Milton-MAys-Reed-Lohse. That was messed up by injuries this year. That may even be something in Ron Gardenhire's head.

But the Twins staff was Reed 32, Lohse 31, Milton 29, Radke 21, Mays 17. Kyle was 4th last year with 16 starts and moved to the 5th SLOT when they obtained Reed who ended with 12.

So, the IDEA of him being a fifth starter is hovering around out there somewhere. How far we want to go with generic ideas in place of actual results is the question that must be asked. Historically, the guy with the fifth most starts avearges less than 20.

For me the guy with the second most starts on a staff and 31 starts is not a fifth starter.

I don't buy Wells as a 4th starter either. Mussina 33, Wells 31, Clemens 29, Pettitte, Hernandez 22. I'd buy him as 3rd starter, the difference between 31 and 29 can be a sore thumb and a schedule irreguality. But he had nearly 40% more starts than the 4th most.


Another thing about 2002 is that it is the first World Series to feature TWO wild cards. We have now had 64 entrants into the post season since the switch to the three division/wild card format. Four of them have been wild cards and 2 of those have gone on to be World Champs, including what many of us consider to be the infamous case of the 1997 Marlins, the only team to ever be World Champs without ever being in first place in their history. Does someone out there know how to figure how often the wild card, presumably 4th of 4 in strength, should randomly emerge as #1 of 4. I know we have too small a sample as of yet but where is it trending???

I've just come into the computer room after seeing a 24 year old pitcher who never batted professionally before get a two strike hit to the opposite field on his birthday.

Of course, what do I expect from a club who has a pitcher with more career decisions in the post season than career innings in the regular season ?

Joe Buck's comment was almost lost in that amazement when he said: "No matter who the Angels send to the plate…". Which brings me to the 2002 ON DECK scores of the World Series entrants that you are enjoying this week:

Santiago 6

Molina 1

Snow 1

Spiezio 4

Kent 8

Kennedy 6

Aurilia 5

Eckstein 6

Bell 5

Glaus 6

Bonds 8

Anderson 8

Lofton 0 with the White Sox

Erstad 1

Sanders 3

Salmon 5

Giants 36

Angels 37

Everyone is surprised at the Angels clout…but ON DECK is not as surprised as many are.

Back to the World Series. Does anybody know if this is THE bloodline World Series? Anaheim has Spiezio and brothers catching. SF has Bonds, Bell, Nen, Worrell and Livan Hernandez.

And is there any precedent for pitching staffs that each have R. Ortiz AND F. Rodriguez ?

Next Week: Phillies ON DECK, I promise

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