Nationals Review

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Run Distribution and the Nationals

Over at The Hardball Times, Dave Studeman has been looking at the effects of run distribution on a team's record versus their expected record based on runs scored and runs allowed (the Pythagorean record). The best case of this this year is our Nationals who sit a whopping 14 games over .500 despite having allowed more runs than they've scored. As previously pointed out here and on other Nats blogs, a lot of this is due to the bullpen torching by Joe Horgan and Antonio Osuna early in the season. Here are the raw numbers, as of Tuesday night's game.

RunsTimes Scored

The above linked article (which you should probably read first if you're going to continue with this post) points out the expected winning percentage for each number of runs scored, and that the most important runs are numbers 2 through 5. The Nats exceed the expected winning percentage at every run value except for 4 runs, where they have a .400 winning percentage versus an expected winning percentage of .471.
The Nats have a perfect record when they score 6 runs or more, and are a stagerring 10-2 when they score 5 runs.

Some of this is probably due to the "pitching to the score" that Livan Hernandez and Chad Cordero have demonstrated so well. Per the THT article, adding up the offensive expected winning percentage only comes to 34 wins, 11 short of the actual number. This confirms what Nats fans have known for a while: the rest of the season is going to rely heavily on the pitching.

I'm going to keep tracking this, and will post periodically on these numbers.

(And no, I can't figure out how to get rid of that giant space. Sorry.)


  • That space is a fun blogger quirk, which I also discovered the first time I used a table...

    You can do one of two things. Either turn off the option in your blog settings to "Convert line breaks," which tends to mess things up.

    The other option is to take out all line returns in your table code, which looks nasty behind the scenes, but at least solves the immediate problem.

    By Blogger Gray, at 7:19 PM  

  • It's definitely something to do with the pitching. The Nats distribution of runs scored is actually not too bad. (unlike the White Sox who have that weird spike).

    But the distribution of runs allowed is crazy. (It was before the break I was looking at this so the data is as of game 77) Then a sharp peak. Something like 19% of games they've given up 2 runs, 24% of the time they've given up 3 runs. Then it plummets down again, by the only about 5% of the time have they given up 5 runs. Maybe you'd expect to see a lower ERA than the team has, but 1) there have been a slightly higher percetage of blowouts. 2) there have been a slightly lower percentage of shutouts and one-run games.

    Basically our pitching staff has a "hidden" greatness.

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