Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Ramble 5/8: Brewers-D Backs, Robin Roberts & Lefty/Right Power Duos

Yaayy for some Saturday Baseball and it being late enough in the day for it to not be blacked out by Fox.

The time between my last post and now have seen the Brewers split with one LaTroy Hawkins induced loss and a victory over Arizona where the bullpen pitched 4 scoreless innings after Gallardo left due to a high pitch count. Another positive out of last nights game was Hoffman getting another fairly drama free save last night putting him at 2 for 2 for the month of May.

For the Brewers, the face their second starter who is making their second career start (Cesar Valdez) in the last three days. This led to trouble the other day as the Brewers looked lost against Joe Ely. So far it is looking like trouble again as the Brewers failed to capitalize on a 2nd and 3rd with Braun, Fielder and McGehee coming up and coming up empty. On the flip side, Arizona's bats are looking strong out of the gate with a 1-0 lead and on the cusp of adding some more runs.

As for the fantasy team, Things are looking pretty good right now with a 265-218.5 lead. Despite my pitchers having less starts this week.....holding on to win looks like something that could reasonably happen with Bucholz being pushed around for 5 runs in 5 innings......if the Twins push around Millwood some tonight the chances of going up to 4-1 should go up a bit more.

Randy Wolf may have won his last 6 starts in Arizona. However, the way this game is starting, winning 7 in a row is looking questionable. On the brighter side, Wolf was able to avoid complete disaster by inducing a DP with the bases load to limit the damage to 2 runs.

Steeped away from the computer for awhile...its nice to see the Brewers cut into the lead by making it a 2-1 game......time to see what else is going on around baseball.

Baseball lost another member of the Hall of Fame with the passing of Robin Roberts. While his career came and gone way before my time, the numbers show many areas that were impressive.
First of all, the number of innings he logged in (300+ in a six-year stretch).....he threw 20+ Complete Games in 8 different seasons.....and 305 in his career (plus he found time in there for 25 career saves).

If someone tried to give somebody that many innings these days, whoever was their manager would probably never hear the end of it and would be accused of ruining said pitcher at the earliest sign of injury. My take: if the pitchers could hold up for this many innings 50 years ago and the improvements in conditioning these days....why couldn't we get pitchers back to expecting to pitch all 9 every time out?

Another thing I've looked at for players announcing their retirement & when the Hall of Fame voting results come in is look at the similar players index for from Baseball-Reference and see if it gives us a clue to what other players may see Cooperstown's doors in future years:

In Robert's case, 4 of these said similar pitchers are not in the Hall of Fame (Jim Kaat, Tommy John, Bert Blyleven and Jack Quinn). Taking a look at these players backgrounds the one thing that sticks out is Roberts lead in Complete Games at 305 (none of the other pitchers have more than 243).

Looking at career Wins (not the best measurement but it tends to sway more than enough voters) everyone except Quinn won between 283 and 287 games). ERA is also very close (3.29 to 3.41) as is ERA+ (108 to 118). Taking a closer look the thing that got Roberts into the Hall of Fame but not these four other pitchers was Roberts was more dominant at his peak than his statistical neighbors. He finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting 5 times between 1950 and 1955 while the other pitchers combined for only one.....considering that its tougher for pitchers to get MVP votes than shows the overall number similarites do indicate that Kaat, Blyleven and John should get a chance to get into Cooperstown at some point down the road.

During my look at these pitchers, the Brewers had themselves a nice 3rd inning to take a 5-2 Randy Wolf a much better chance to run his in-Arizona winning streak to 7 games.

The Brewers managed to avoid their struggles against pitchers with <2>

So i've been watching the Arizona feed for the game on MLB Network and their broadcast team has been heavily discussing Righty/Lefty power-hitting duos discussing various ones within the last few decades and heavily promoting their fan text poll of the best righty/lefty power duo in the game today with the choices being (Fielder/Braun, Werth/Howard, Longoria/Pena & Zimmerman/Dunn). They had been heavily urging viewers to vote Zimmerman/Dunn until Braun went deep and they told viewers it was ok to vote Fielder/Braun. But that is besides the point....with it being 11-2 in the 5th, I decided to take a closer look to see how these duos stack up.

My Rankings:

4- Zimmerman/Dunn

Zimmerman is a good hitter but I wouldn't put him in the elite category. Adam Dunn, the 3TO here himself and the only player amongst these duos with other 300 career Home Runs....willing to overlook the strikeouts, still there are better options here.

3- Longoria/Pena

Carlos Pena bounced around the bigs for several years before settling in at Tampa. He has a couple Top 10 MVP finishes and led the league in homers last year. Longoria hasn't led the league in anything nor finished in the top 10 in MVP voting but the way he is progressing, it is only a matter of time before he does so.


Werth (like Pena) took a few years to get into the right situation and has rewarded the Phillies with a couple of 30-Homer plus seasons. Ryan Howard was rewarded with that $125 million contract as he already has 4 Top 10 MVP finishes and has led the NL in homers twice and RBIs three times.


Alright, this could be the result of homerism but the numbers do back up Braun and Fielder being the best duo. This is the only duo where both players have OPS+ totals of 140 or above (Braun 143+ & Fielder 140+) the only other player amongst the duos over 140 is Howard. They've combined to only lead in Homers and RBIs once (Fielder 07/Fielder 09) but they've already combined for 3 Top 10 MVP Finishes. If we were going on an individual basis, Howard would have a good case to get in the top-2 but having Jayson Werth as the other half of the duo doesn't help.

My decision to continue watching the game while the outcome is not in question is rewarded as it allowed me to watch Jody Gerut successfully hit for the cycle......pushing the Brewers run total up to 17.........third time the Crew have busted out 17 runs in a game.....first Brewers cycle since 2004 and the 291st in MLB History.'s been fun...the Brewers got a nice victory in Arizona.....saw a little bit of history....more than a little bit of hitting....till next time


  1. Victory is yours, Ryan. Your pick of the Spurs making the third round flopped, but otherwise, your bracket is stellar. Good job, sir.

  2. Victory is indeed to make NBA playoff brackets trendy

  3. But your champion pick, the Lebrons, flopped ingloriously. How do you explain your failure of foresight?

  4. In retrospect, not the best pick.....I think he was too distracted about how much he was looking forward to playing for the Bulls

  5. I think he's off to New York, following BS's logic that his main motivation is to "amaze." Speaking of Sports Guy, I was lol when I came across the the Onion's "Strongside/Weakside" for Bill Russell, one of Russell's weaksides was "If he never played basketball, a little more likely Bill Simmons would have never become famous." HAHA

    Big night tonight: 5pm draft lottery, 5:30 Celtics, 9 Lost.

    10 days since your last column? What gives?

  6. Pretty Busy two-week stretch. A couple friends came up from SD to visit me...ended up taking a couple days off....been catching up on stuff since.....

    Ready for the Lost Finale?