Braves-Giants Game 2 & 3: Blind Luck

Unlike the Yankees and Phillies, who have swept their opponents and are on their way to the Championship Series (again – congrats!) the Giants are 2-1 against the Braves and need one more.  I should be somewhat happy (at least we’re ahead) but I’m not.  Let’s recap:

GAME 1 – Giants score the only run of the game because an error by the umpire let’s Posey stay in scoring position when he should have been out.
GAME 2 – Start off really strong (for the Giants) with a 4 run lead by the 2nd only to lose it in the end by a failed bullpen lead by Romo.
GAME 3 – Giants again score first, thanks to an error by Brooks Conrad, only to lose the lead towards the end because of Romo again, only this time they come back and take the lead again because of another error by Brooks Conrad.  
To me it feels like we’re back in April.  Starting pitching is ridiculously awesome, the bullpen (*coughROMOcough*) keeps giving it up, players are stranded on base over and over (how many bases loaded scenarios did they waste this weekend?) and every game is decided by one lucky or unlucky run.  
When they went into this, I was living off the high of winning the NL West, and truthfully didn’t care if they got any farther.  Why be selfish right?  Well now I want them to win.  Maybe not take everything, but I want them to beat the Braves.  I don’t want to get schooled by the Wild Card (sorry Twins!).  I want to make it to the Championship.  
More importantly, I want them to play better then they’ve been playing.  I know they’re better.  They need to dominate a game like I know they can.  I want to see 14-2 tonight.  I want to see hitting tonight. I want to see a win because they deserved it, not because they got lucky.  
Because luck isn’t going to beat Philadelphia.  
P.S.
Shave off your stupid beard, Romo.  It’s not working.

Features

Hey, another first for me.  I’m the featured blog this uh…day?  Week?  Arbitrary amount of time? Anyway, thanks to whomever picks that stuff, that’s awesome!  Oh the pressure…

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Weird to see myself called “Kaiser The Great” on the front page.  I guess it never occurred to me to change my display name to my actual name.  Done!  Nice to meet you, everybody.
The leaders list for September came also came out.  I’m always curious who makes up the Top 50 fan blogs.  So I cataloged a couple stats:
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I thought there’d be more females represented on the pie, but maybe that’s just me who happens to be reading mostly female written blogs.  Still a pretty good number considering sports are a “male thing” stereotypically. 

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No shocker that the Yankee blogs reign, but not really by much.  Giants come in third behind Phillies and general MLB content, so that’s cool. There’s only 20 teams on the list so 10 teams aren’t being represented, but I’m too lazy to figure out which ones.  I wish MLBlogs had a way a list of all blogs on their site, broken up by team/subject.  

Killing Time

I’ve got baseball on the brain, but at the same time I’m trying not to spend too much time and effort over analyzing every little thing about today’s game.  So instead I revisisited one of my favorite baseball sites, Flip Flop Fly Ball to see what latest and greatest graphs and charts were available to peruse.  And much to my delight, there was a bobblehead chart!  Check it.    

The first thing that came to my mind was which two teams gave away a bobblehead when the Giants were visiting.  Not an easy thing to figure out without researching every teams’ bobblehead activity, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.  (Like I said, this day is crawling way too slowly towards 7 PM!)   So using Flip Flop’s own key, I made my own chart:
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I found a few discrepancies in Flip Flop’s chart, but for the most part they’re the same, square-wise.  I added all the applicable teams though, so on the left side you can see what team was visiting during bobblehead day, and on the right you can see what teams gave away a bobblehead while being visiting. 
I would have assumed that most teams would decide to give away a bobblehead when they’re scheduled to play a bad team in an attempt to generate ticket sales.  The Phillies giving away a Roy Halladay bobblehead on the day they have to play the Pirates makes perfect sense.  (And photos of the sucker blew up all over Twitter, so obviously it worked!)  But then there’s the Dodgers giving away a bobblehead when the Giants came to play, and what would fill seats better than a Dodgers-Giants game?  
Note also that the Braves, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees are too cool for bobbleheads (or draw enough ticket sales without gimmicks) and the White Sox was the only team to give away a bobble when the Red Sox and Yankees came to town (not enough of a draw for Chicago, I guess).  
I wonder if there’s a bobblehead website…

How We Do 2010

With the real season coming up here quick, let’s take a moment to see what we look like in the grand scheme of things before we add another year of numbers.  (AKA, another excuse to make charts in Excel!) 

w-l2010part1.jpgFrom beginning of time to last season, the Giants rank #2 in the league for win percentage.  Not bad really.  The Yankees are the winner, of course, and it doesn’t look like they will be dethroned anytime soon.  Dodgers are catching up, but we still got a decent enough gap there.  (And just as an FYI, we rank #1 in total actual wins, but since not every
team started in the 1800s, that standing isn’t exactly a fair comparison.)

And since I was at it, here’s the rest of the league, for my imaginary readers whose team didn’t make the top 15:

w-l2010part2.jpgI’m betting Rays fans are hard core. 

Now about some head-to-head?  How do we compare to other teams on a face-to-face level? 

head-to-head-2010national.jpgGiants are still beating out everyone else in the National League.  They have more wins vs losses than each and every team, though it looks like the Dodgers are a few wins away from pushing that bar to the left.  But that’s what makes good rivalry, right?  Who wants to have a rivalry with a team that sucks?

head-to-head-2010american.jpgAmerican League is kicking our butts a bit harder.  Of course, we face them much less, which makes each loss much more powerful than the National League chart.  Looks like 6 out of 14 teams are beating us more than we’re beating them, including the A’s, which…sucky!  Still above average though.

All-in-all not a bad state of affairs.  Again though, this is over the Giants entire history, so I’m betting a lot of their momentum was built back in the day. Best make sure we keep things going so we can stay on top, eh?

Flip Flop Fly Ball

Craig Robinson’s Flip Flop Fly Ball site is my new favorite thing.  As self-described:

A love of baseball plus a love of infographics equals Flip Flop Fly
Ball
.

The thing is loaded with fun statistics in graphics form, and while I haven’t perused them all yet with equal scrutiny, here’s my current favorite (so far):

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CLICK FOR FULL SIZE

It’s crazy that the “best team” has only won the series three times since 1995, isn’t it?  (Since the Wild Card system has been in effect.)  I suppose that’s what playoffs are for, but so much for the reliability of stats, eh folks?  Also specifically interesting to the theme of this blog, the last time the Giants made it to the series was the only time that that two Wild Card teams went head to head.  (Giants lost of course – boo!) 

Oh, That Guy!

Apparently nobody was up for the 2009 NL MVP award except for Albert Pujols, who won it with unanimous votes.  Either that’s cool, or the National League needs more awesome people, I can’t decide which.  But anyway, congrats to another guy I’ve never heard of!

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Pujols is the current HR king with 47 home runs in 2009.  Good luck getting decent pitches next year, buddy! 

The AL MVP, Joe Mauer, is ranked #39 with 28 homers.  Seems like a big difference, but then I don’t think the MVP award is decided by home runs, or stats at all, for that matter. 

I wish I had a cool stat chart software thingee I could print neat graphs with. 

I Want My MVP

Get it?

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Anyways…

Congratulations to the 2009 AL MVP, Joe Mauer.  Never heard of you, but you seem nice, and I’ve never heard of hardly anyone at this point, so don’t be offended.  Lucky #7 indeed.

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I’ve heard of the term MVP before of course, but I didn’t realize there were official awards given out for it, let along three (or five, if you count each league).  But reading about it, guess who’s won the most?

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Aww yeah.  🙂  Seven wins, second closest having three, so a pretty nice lead.  Although maybe Bonds isn’t the best guy to brag with.  Even I’ve heard what he was about…

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Now guess which team has won the most MVP awards?

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Shocking.  At least the Giants tied for third with the A’s. (And beat the Dodgers!)

Now…who’s up for the NL MVP this year?