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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pickoff Moves, Post-Lunchtime Edition

OT: Wet, And Late

Getting in late today on a lazy, steamy Sunday. Hope you all enjoyed the thunder and lightning show this morning. We got a fantastic hour-long rainstorm here that got the grass all soaky wet. Let's hope the clouds stick around for a while.

Chone Figgins, Hero: Angels 4, Royals 3

My initial and emotional inclination was to award the Panther of the Game to Reggie Willits for his clutch RBI single that plated Chone Figgins in the top of the 10th. The Rev's intuition was to hand the award to Scot Shields for his two scoreless innings, and by God, it's a good choice. But looking dispassionately at the win probability data, Chone Figgins actually noses out both of them. Here, let's take a look at that graph:

WPA graph of 2006-07-22 Angels @ Royals

WPA graph courtesy of Dave Appelman and fangraphs.com.

Figgy's crucial walk and two subsequent stolen bases turned this game around. Scoring runs is underrated, says Bill James; here's a game to show why.

Otherwise: I may yet start a Kelvim Escobar To The Pen Marching And Chowder Society; I'm not sure how much mediocrity like this I can stand. If all he can get is a quality start against the third-worst offense in the league, I shudder to think what he'll do against the Yankees and White Sox.

ESPN BoxRecap

What'd I Tell You? Cardinals 6, Dodgers 1

I don't like saying "I told you so", but ... Aaron Sele is not a good pitcher in the second half. And, yeah, the offense is hurting. Is it too early to get a look at LaRoche on the big club? How about Loney?

ESPN BoxRecap

Kelvim has the 15th best ERA in the AL. He had the 9th best in 2004, and had a 3.02 ERA in 2005. He allowed three earned runs in seven innings yesterday, a quality start. I think it's self-evident that he should stay in the rotation as long as he's not injured.
As long as he doesn't suck in the rotation, Matt. If he can post more games like his June 19 outing against the Giants and fewer like his disastrous June 25 game against the Diamondbacks in which he gave up eight earned runs, then, great. But he's been pitching hurt, and he's said himself that the pain gets really bad around 100 pitches.
In his last 8 starts, he's given up more than 3 earned runs exactly once. He has a 2.70 ERA in July. I guess I have a different idea about what constitutes sucking.
Sneaky! He's also had at least one less start in which to make a determination of sucky/non-sucky. Whatever, your point's well-taken.

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