Comments on: Bloops: A good SF Giants team got plenty of breaks, too This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Dave51 Thu, 04 Nov 2010 18:17:19 +0000 The Giants had the best ERA in the league for the season, and also pitched consistently at their highest levels during September and in the postseason. I won't argue that they also got breaks and that their World Series hitting was above the level they had demonstrated during the season and in the NLDS and NLCS, but isn't that the point? It's a pretty rare team that becomes champion by playing at its average level in the postseason. As Cheese said, you gotta lace 'em up. The games don't get played on paper.

As a Giants fan, you think I wouldn't like to have some of the players they faced during the postseason, like a bunch of Phillies, Josh Hamilton, etc? I''m sure that they will try to continue to improve the team duirng the offseason. But remember, when the Giants' front office was being roundly criticized for not bringing in a big bat, they stuck to their guns (or arms) and kept their young pitchers. For their efforts, they have received the ultimate reward.
If truly good pitching beats good hitting, the the Giants

By: Todd Thu, 04 Nov 2010 15:13:12 +0000 Steve, a team that wins 92 games isn't an elite team, IMO, no matter what kind of hot streak it goes on during the season. To be an elite team it would have to crack the 100 mark or come close to it and be good over a period of years. So, for example, while the '84 Tigers were a great team for a year, were they elite? Not in my view. They simply didn't sustain enough success for their great year in '84 to be considered any more than an aberration, although they did turn in one other really good year in '87.

In the case of the Giants, they got phenomenal pitching down the stretch, giving up just 2.3 runs per game in their last 44 according to an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. But their offense wasn't very good (adjusted OPS of 95) and they had to play well over their heads offensively during the postseason to win it all.

So I look at them as a good team (run differential of 114 is good but not great) with great pitching that got hot enough at the right time to win it all. The Phillies, IMO, were a much better team with a much better offense and front line pitching nearly as good. The interesting thing about the Phillies is that they have gotten better every year. This year they had their best team but didn't make it back to the World Series.

I think for the Giants to make it back to the postseason and be successful in it they are going to need to upgrade their offense significantly while, of course, holding on to their young pitchers. But I'm glad they won this year because 56 years is a long time to wait and the New York Giants franchise was one of the National League's best.

By: Steve Thu, 04 Nov 2010 08:06:58 +0000 Todd - I was curios as to your thoughts at how long a team has to play well (or "be hot") before they are considered a top team. The Giants were 51-30 after the half way point when Bumgarner and Posey really got going (61-34 overall) - Its not like they backed in to the playoffs and the caught fire in three weeks.

Its raises an interesting point - how long is enough to be considered elite and not lucky?

I feel like the Giants are being dismissed because they weren't good in 2008. Even last year without Posey, Bumgarner, Torrez (and the misnamed "rejects" Uribe, Burrell, etc.) they finished within 5 games of the might Phillies.

By: Todd Thu, 04 Nov 2010 06:27:58 +0000 Rich, those teams you mentioned had some luck but were good enough to win without a lot of it. They were clearly the best teams in baseball in the years they won and were very balanced. They also weren't "one-and-done" teams like the others I mentioned (with the exception of the Phillies who have continued to improve every year since 2007 - the other three teams have been invisible since their championships).

By: Rich Thu, 04 Nov 2010 05:16:47 +0000 @7 Why did you pick those particular teams? The 09, 07, and 04 Yankees and Red Sox weren't lucky?

By: Stu B Thu, 04 Nov 2010 02:43:52 +0000 It's sort of a truism, because the team that wins always gets a lot of breaks.

By: Cheese Thu, 04 Nov 2010 00:51:21 +0000 Luck is a part of life, but sometimes you gotta lace 'em up...and the giants certainly did.

By: Dan W Wed, 03 Nov 2010 23:48:53 +0000 I think this team got so many breaks it's mind boggling. I'm just glad as a life long Giants fan, it was awesome.

By: BSK Wed, 03 Nov 2010 19:43:20 +0000 JA-

No harm, no foul. I wasn't trying to have a "gotcha" moment. Rather, I was intriqued by the idea, and curious to see what data might exist on the subject.

I think the big question is (if it is true):
Do the odds of the team who is leading grow as a result of their lead?
Are the odds fixed and simply were higher from the get go?

If I knew one team lead another team 3-1 and knew nothing else about either team, I would assume that the leading team would win the series. Not only because it is easier to win 1 game in 3 than 3 games in 3. But, absent any other knowledge, I would guess that the team with the superior record was better. Kind of a chicken-and-egg situation. Interesting!

By: Todd Wed, 03 Nov 2010 18:46:30 +0000 Twisto, I would agree that San Francisco was a little better than Atlanta, which is why I said "pretty" evenly matched. Without Prado and Chipper, Atlanta's offense was comparable to Frisco's, while Frisco was a bit better in the pitching department. (But even the absence of those two could be chalked up to "luck" for Frisco, or "misfortune" for Atlanta.) And Frisco also had the home field advantage by virtue of winning its division. But the two teams were pretty closely matched, and it wasn't obvious that Frisco would run over the Braves.

I'm not saying that the Giants weren't a good team, just that they weren't good enough to win it all without a lot of breaks. Which they got, much like some other recent champions, including the '08 Phillies, '06 Cardinals, '05 White Sox and '03 Marlins.