The Braves are close to being toast - but don't buy into the whole "since going 17-7" thing that makes them look like a bad team. They aren't. They just aren't good. If you look at their schedule a more accurate breakdown would probably read : 17-7 / 1-8 / 40-33 / 3-12. They spent the majority of the season playing like a high 80s win team. Makes more sense right based on what you think of them, or at least is does to me.
So here to end the week just a random assortment of pitcher facts/ thoughts.
So what IS the playoff rotation? With 40+ games to go it's a tough call. The rotation based on stats/results would probably go something like Fister, ZNN, Roark, Stras, Gio. I'd say Gio in the 5th spot is the most obvious slotting and thus would be the first guy out but he's the only lefty and everything about Matt Williams tells me he'll want to mix a lefty in there. So do you take out Strasburg then? Oh god, I'm already having nightmares about the media play that would get. Roark? That can't be justified in anyway other than "veteran status". What do I think? Well hopefully the Nats catch Milwuakee so you can push Gio out and it makes sense. Otherwise, how about this - don't move anyone to the pen. You don't have to. You have 5 good arms. Just a thought.
Don't think positioning matters? Here is what has happened to the BA associated with line drives since 2009 (in the NL). .728 -> .727 -> .718 -> .716 -> .665 -> .654. Meanwhile the isoSLG (slugging taking out the singles) has gone up so guys aren't hitting it softer, teams are just getting better at putting defenders in the right spot.
Roark : The opposing team has hit Roark better in DC. Better average, higher slugging, gotten on base more. They've struck out a lot less, walked more, better BABIP. Yet his ERA is almost a run better in DC. A little bit can be associated with actually more power away when they hit the ball (better isoSLG) but almost a run? Quirky.
Fister : Speaking of BA associated with LDs, Fister's is .586, that's why things like FIP, xFIP, fWAR don't love the guy. He's getting A LOT of hits where they is, as opposed to where they ain't.
Gio : This 2012 nugget still amazes me. Against the pitcher in 57 PAs Gio got 41 strikeouts. 41! For comparison Strasburg might lead the league in K's this year, he has gotten 23K in 56 PAs. Kerhsaw has 14 in 31. (when you're Kershaw good you don't face the P a lot)
OK as for this year - he's not getting lefties out. They are actually hitting him better than righties. Seem strange? It shouldn't. Lefties hit Gio better in 2012 and 2011 too.
ZNN :Remember that amazing "no-walk" run the Nats pitcher's had? For ZNN it's back. In his past six starts he's struck out 34 guys and walked 1. He actually has gotten hit so it's not like he's dominating out there, but he's certainly got his control in order.
Stras : We went over a lot of his splits that were menaingful the other day. One that probably isn't but who knows? His OPS against goes WAY down on pitches 51-75. .518 for these, .733 for next best group of 25. Need time to warm up? Need arm to get tired to stop overthrowing? Need arm to get tired to change approach? I can come up with literally dozens of ideas that I have no clue if it's really happening or not!