2011…Summer of the letdown?

Question. How complex must some phenomenon, X, be before nobody deems one specific revolution of the sun “the time of X”? I’m not referring to the UN or whoever dubbing something “the time of X” prior to the time, to promote knowledge of X. (2011 is for forests, it looks like–I Googled.) I’m not referring to the Chinese system, either. No, I’m thinking (on one end) of 2010’s “for pitchers! for no-hitters!” discussion.

I’ve posted on this subject before. I think it’s dumb to dub 2010 the property of such constructs, if it’s still 2010. It’ll just predispose you to squinting, bending numbers so you might point, going “ooh, see! More excellent pitching!” I don’t deny it, we witnessed excellent pitching in 2010. But the gun-jumping occurred too quickly.

I’m risking committing this error, now, for I wish to point out some events which feel linked to me. Possibly not. Possibly it’s just me seeing “oh, wow, how weird these twists were!” Or “this would be so upsetting, were I on the losing end.” Or “I should blog on this result, but is there something new to point out?” I put these off for some time (except the third, which only just occurred), but I do see some kind of trend.

June Twenty-fourth through Twenty-sixth. I get some of the criticisms. “Junior versus Senior Circuit competitions will not work. The schedule is not even. You will get weird results between divisions. Don’t do it.” So, I see the need to work on preserving even schedules for such encounters.

But, the U2 rock tour pushed NL Fish out of their preferred environment, up to the other corner of the country for one series. They hit second. The pitchers hit. Senior Circuit rules…inside some Junior Circuit field. The Fish lost two of three, the third in the tenth due to Steve Cishek’s wild pitch while they were letting someone go to first uncontested. (Someone once wrote this goofy list (bottom of 81) to prohibit the suggested move of just sending people to first without throwing. Now we see why it’s truly useful!) This hurt the Fish’ home record, ESPN’s website notes, for they were the home side. Kind of. Their 2011-long ticket-holders will go to 78 contests. This is not in itself weird (you could skip some contests due to inclemency, even in their legit home), but still feels like letdowns do.

Did things get less weird for the “hosts”‘ Senior Circuit encounters?

No. No they did not.

July Third. Hosting, truly this time, fellow West Divisioners, they lost in nine innings. The only run scored in the fifth inning, with the runner on to begin with from pitcher Doug Fister’s BB. How did this occur? Fister missed the strike zone with the count seeming full. The true numbers were 2-2, the score sign being off.

I’ve been to this field. I’ve kept score there. I’ve used the electronic signs to help me (I didn’t get in on time, so needed to copy down the first few results). I decided, with no field I’ve seen since then convincing me otherwise, it is the uncontested best field for keeping score in. Plenty of helpful things.

But then this occurred.

Letdown? I’m thinking.

July Twenty-Sixth (into the morning of the twenty-seventh). Pittsburgh loses in the nineteenth inning, definitely exceeding the Boston/New York thing I posted on recently. Nine, plus nine, plus one. The kind of scoreline worth discussing just for being long. However, we discuss it due to controversy over the winning run. Not some utter blunder like the non-full full count, but something which turned out to be wrong, or possibly right in the end? We’re not sure. Third big letdown, just from those I’d kept thinking of to possibly post on.

So is 2011 the summer of the “oh, come on?” result? Could be. But I could still be rushing into things. It’s possible I only remember these for their interesting occurrences. When records get broken or blowout wins occur, those become big news–very telling, in terms of wins or losses, versus these stupid flukes. But writing’s got much to do with the funny things to pick up on, thus remembering.

One more note. You might wonder how decided to write on these results, right now? Well, when I viewed someone’s comment on some other encounter, I went, “Ooh! This gives me the theme I need to combine this fourth contest with the preceding three, to write some epic blog post!” It turns out I misinterpreted their comment. So now I’m just left with these three. Letdown four, surprisingly enough! Possibly my thoughts on this new contest will show up in other posts. Possibly not.

Top Nine Win Probability Graphs

It’s a sad duty to pay a yearly homage to the Atlanta Braves, but their comeback win against the Phillies was pretty impressive. To see just how impressive it was, check out this graph. It shows the likelihood of a Braves victory plotted against how far along the game was. As you can see, the Phillies almost had it in the bag; they led by 3 with two outs in the ninth. However, Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer, Jason Heyward hit a solo homer to tie the game, and then Nate McLouth homered in the tenth inning to win.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. See that tiny uptick just to the left of the Heyward home run? That was Troy Glaus’ homer. It only increased the chance the Braves would win by 2.8 percent. Come on, 2.8 percent? It’s gotta have been a bigger deal than that!

In order to make up for the lack of information presented by the graph, I have created nine more graphs, that lack different information. Click and zoom for full size!Graphs

Atlanta 6, Washington 2

It’s a tiny crowd, 17,000 or so according to Atlanta’s Journal-Constitution. Possibly it is that many, but it’s a big stadium and it looks far from full. Washington’s first run is quick, a first-inning Adam Dunn RBI, but Josh Willingham grounds to third for two quick outs.

Atlanta’s first run is a solo shot, as is run #2. Nothing much occurs in innings 3 through 6–outs occur fairly quickly.

Now and again, sound blasts down on us for tomahawk chops. It is not as jarring as worry would put it, though it’s slightly odd to sit unmoving amidst such motion. Still, without knowing what it is, it just looks funny (and sounds too loud for this small of a crowd, but that’s okay)–a fan tradition, nothing wrong with that.

As is my standard, I’m scoring as I go, but without much room to do so. Scrunching up 1Bs and BBs, I track Nationals’ locations. A hit to shortstop–Paul Simon (that’s how his autograph looks, anyway) falls on his stomach failing to pick it up, and stays horizontal as Washington’s tying run rounds third.

But Atlanta’s third solo shot pulls it forward again, and its fourth is soon to occur. A walk, a hit, and Paul Simon is put on only to bring up a guy with two clouts so far that night. It’s a walk, to bring in Brian McCann. (Both RBI  guy Adam and McCann sport oddly many capitals–bring on McLouth!)

So it’s a 6-2 final, a quick night out. I wasn’t rooting for anybody, and couldn’t ask for anything too distinct from this.