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When The Going Gets Tough

Posted by Steve Lombardi on May 29, 2009

This is not via Play Index, but, rather from one of the fun Baseball-Reference.com toys that can be found in the Frivolities section of the site.  It's from the Team Game Log Reports - an area which is a series of tools that slice and dice game-by-game results from 1901 to the present in a wide variety of ways.  The tool used here was Situational Reports For Teams' Wins and Losses - which is a form that will create a report showing the won-loss record and the number of runs scored and allowed in various situations.

I was curious about how teams did when playing someone with a winning percentage of .600+ during the 5 year period prior to this season.  So, I set the controls for "From 2004 To 2008 and Greater Than or Equal to a .600 Opponent's Season W-L%" and this is what I got:

Rk    Tm  G  W  L W-L%  RS  RA pythW-L%
1    ANA 28 15 13 .536 146 120     .589
2    CHC 41 21 20 .512 177 176     .503
3    PHI 25 12 13 .480 128 125     .511
4    HOU 51 24 27 .471 210 229     .460
5    TEX 49 23 26 .469 255 269     .476
6    SFG 22 10 12 .455  89  99     .451
7    CHW 29 13 16 .448 135 137     .493
8    BOS 38 17 21 .447 182 218     .418
9    MON 21  9 12 .429  67  89     .373
10   MIN 38 16 22 .421 138 150     .462
11   MIL 49 20 29 .408 201 251     .400
12   FLA 20  8 12 .400  69  94     .362
13   STL 15  6  9 .400  62  66     .471
14   NYY 38 15 23 .395 179 198     .454
15   NYM 28 11 17 .393 121 150     .403
16   OAK 49 19 30 .388 243 258     .473
17   BAL 58 22 36 .379 310 332     .469
18   SDP 29 11 18 .379 120 154     .388
19   ATL 24  9 15 .375  96 132     .358
20   CLE 41 15 26 .366 189 190     .498
21   LAD 35 12 23 .343 128 160     .399
22   CIN 50 17 33 .340 221 287     .383
23   TOR 59 20 39 .339 233 310     .372
24   TBD 59 20 39 .339 246 344     .351
25   ARI 25  8 17 .320  97 136     .350
26   DET 42 13 29 .310 146 209     .342
27   SEA 49 15 34 .306 207 261     .396
28   COL 29  8 21 .276 126 185     .331
29   KCR 41 11 30 .268 169 220     .382
30   PIT 51 13 38 .255 192 318     .284

It's pretty hard to play .500-ball, or better, when facing a team with a winning percentage of .600+, huh? Well, at least, over the last five years, overall, many teams have not been able to do it.

What I find interesting here is that, from 2004 through 2008, teams like the Angels and Cubs have broken-even when they have played tough teams whereas other teams who have posted many wins over the last 5 years, like the Yankees and Mets, have not be able to win as much as they lose when facing stronger teams.

Aren't New Yorkers supposed to be tough? (I say this...joking...in case anyone thinks I'm dissing New York. As a native New Yorker, I don't mean to offend anyone from the area too.)

This entry was posted on Friday, May 29th, 2009 at 7:19 pm and is filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “When The Going Gets Tough”

  1. [...] to this report over at SOTD, when the Yankees - over the last 5 years prior to this season - face a strong opponent, they have [...]

  2. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Steve,

    VERY interesting and a good indication of the manager of the team(s). Would suggest eliminating games where less than 20 games were played in the season. Afterall, what does it mean to play a team 6 - 4? Are they a good team? A win against a team w a 60-40 record means more a win against a 6 - 4 team. Also, perhaps look at the final record of the team to determine who was playing a .600 team?