Nationals Baseball: Playoff Day!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Playoff Day!

Not sure you heard. The Nats' playoffs start today. No time for new stuff. Ok some new stuff but mostly nonsense.

The final roster is set. I predicted this :
Stras, Gio, ZNN, Fister
Storen, Clippard, Stammen, Soriano, Barrett, Thorton, Roark, Blevins

Ramos, LaRoche, Cabrera, Desmond, Rendon, Werth, Span, Bryce
Frandsen, Hairston, Zimm, Lobaton, Espinosa

and I was almost 100% right. Schierholtz for Hairston. I don't like the roster. I'd rather see Det than Soriano. I'd rather see anyone than Schierholtz. Hairston, Souza, or Taylor. But for Soriano they weren't going to bite that bullet for the sake of a better last pitcher in the pen, and for Scheirholtz, they wanted a lefty bat on the bench regardless of if he was a good one or not. Fringes but fringes can matter in the playoffs.


I did a series of chats with Chris Needham and Basil Tsimpris. Newer Nats fans might know Chris from Twitter and Basil I suppose if you work with him or are related to him. Older Nats fans may remember them as the guys behind Capitol Punishment and Federal Baseball. Anyway I chatted with them and posted it to my extremely rarely used but hanging on to it because I do like the name so blog Nats of the Roundtable


JW is dying for a statistical analysis of this. It's not a stats problem though. It's economics. At it's simplest it a trade of ~$700 (roughly the going rate for 2 Diamond Club tickets on Stub Hub) vs the act, which is worth more to the man. But you can get much more complex, say trying to add in the negative cost of setting these things up, or the possibility of selling the tickets and getting what he wants cheaper than cost, or factoring the chances of him getting what he wants without any exchange of goods based on age, desire, and current sexual trends. Not to mention the flip side of analyzing the choice of the people receiving the tickets. What's it worth to them? Is this the going rate for their services? Can they barter up or barter the act down?  It's a rabbit hole, JW, with no definitive answers. Any final conclusion would be more variable than a year of defensive statistics.


Was Boz unlucky? I've thought about this alot. Boswell believed he should have seen a no-hitter before ZNN's gem by now and that he was a jinx of sorts.  Normally I'd just dismiss that, no-hitters are rare, but Boswell has seen a lot of baseball. Can we quanitfy exactly how unlucky he has been?

First - what's the odds of Boz seeing a no-hitter? Well first we have to get a handle on Boz's baseball time frame.  He defines himself thusly

"has covered baseball for 40 years, including a decade on the 100-plus-games-a-year beat, plus close to 20 years of attending games as a fan from the age of eight on up"

Rough guess (which is good enough) 8 + 18 (close to 20 but not) + 40 yrs = 66 years old.  Ok assuming this is his 66th year that would put his 8 year old year as 1956.  How many games and how many no-hitters have their been since 1956?

Games isn't straight forward (stupid expansions) but it's easy enough. Factoring season expansion, team expansion, a strike here or there - I get about 119,153 games. As for the no-hitters that's just a counting thing. 154 starting in 1956.  That puts a person's odds of seeing a no-hitter from 1956 to the end of 2014 at .00129 or 0.13%. That's about one every 773 games, assuming completely random distribution of these things.

Right now you should think - Boz is probably going to be unlucky because he's seen a lot more than 773 games but lets find out how unlucky.  We have to make guesses on the number of games Boz has seen. From 8 to 25, 18 seasons - let's say he saw... I don't know 20 games a year. That's a lot. Granted it could have been more but unless his parents had season tickets that's unlikely. Then he's on the 100+ games beat. Since he says 100+ and not "full-season" I'm going to assume he didn't go to enough where he felt he had to make that distinction. So instead of 162, let's say 120 a year for those 10 years. The remainder of time left, 30 years, we'll shift back down. He's a man of means and he loves baseball, and is covering it but he also has other jobs to do.  I'll say 60 games a year? Sound ok?

So we get (18*20)+(10*120)+(30*60) = 3,360 games.

Ok now that we have an estimate on his chances to see a no-hitter and the number of games he's seen we can simply take the chances he doesn't see a no-hitter (99.87%) to the power of the games he saw. For example if you saw 100 games the chances none of them would be no-hitters would be 99.87 to the 100th power or around 87.9%. Chances are pretty good at 100 games that you still wouldn't see a no-hitter. What about for Boz?

1.3%

Basically there was over a 98% chance that one of the games he would have seen by now would have been a no-hitter. He certainly was unlucky. And even if I was way off in the number of games he's seen it would still be true. If he saw 1000 fewer games than I estimated his chances of not seeing a no-hitter would only rise to 4.7%. Unlucky

For what it's worth. I have seen a no-hitter live. This one. I'm not quite at 3360 games yet, so I'm probably lucky. 

18 comments:

Kenny B. said...

This summer I found myself in Binghamton, NY, and stopped in for a Binghamton v. Eerie double header. I very nearly saw a no hitter from the Eerie pitcher. However, it was only seven innings. (Apparently in minor league double headers each game is only seven innings. LAME.) AND, there was technically one hit by the next-to-last Binghamton batter, though it *absolutely* should have been scored an error because the outfielder was there and should have caught it. The next guy got out.

So yeah, minor league 7-inning 1-hitter that was incorrectly scored, and I was still psyched to have seen it. Congrats to everyone who was there for Znn's no-no.

Jimmy said...

I was there almost didn't go do to a rotten hangover, thank god I bought the tickets in a drunken stupor the night before. I'll never forget it.

Bote Man said...

Who could forget that pair from the world-renowned YudaChat? That's where they achieved their original fame.

Froggy said...

Soriano over anyone? My question is when do you use him? Can't be when the game is on the line in the 9th. No way, no how.

Anywayz, I guess the good news is MW can reset his roster before the NLCS games, is that correct?

Rob Evans said...

I once threw a 1 hit shutout. That's the closet I've ever been to a no-hitter live...

of course that was in high school :-)

cass said...

I've never seen a no-hitter live - no idea how many hundreds of games I've been to, but perhaps not thousands.

Today would be a good day for my first. Er, I don't mean Peavy.

cass said...

And of course I remember Basil! You three were pretty much my favorite Nats bloggers back in the early days.

Harper said...

Froggy - yes.

KW said...

I would have kept Souza (not Hairston) over Soriano. I can't see them using Sori in any meaningful situation at this point. If it comes, it would be in the 12th inning or something, when they're desperate.

Carl said...

The ZNN game was my first no-hitter live, in about 250 games. Saw a few on TV, but never got particularly close before this one.

cass said...

Am I right in recalling the Braves never had a no-hitter in the late 80s and early-to-mid 90s? That's the team I grew up with. Seems odd given their pitching. Maybe I'm forgetting one.

BooyahSuckah! said...

Posted about it the other day, right after the thread died.

I got a last minute offer to go the game on Sunday. My buddy had an extra ticket, Section 110, about 3/4 of the way down the left-field line. My wife was out of town and I was single-parenting my three-and-a-half and one-and-a-half year old girls. Anyone who's had kids that age knows what a day in the city can be like, especially for a 1:05 game when they're absolutely, without a doubt not going to get their naps.

Thank goodness I went anyway.

The girls got their first cotton candy, dippin dots, and anything else they wanted. Dad got to jump up and down and scream like a maniac when Souza laid out like a champ. What a day.

I've probably only been to maybe 40-50 MLB games (not counting spring training, as I grew up in Florida). I just didn't like baseball as a teenager/young adult. Probably a combination of growing up in pre-Marlins/pre-Rays Florida without a team and my disillusionment over the strike seasons.

So I guess that makes me the anti-jinx. You're welcome.

Harper said...

cass - wrong! Merker in a combo (with Wohlers and Pena) and then by himself.

cass said...

Oh right, I forgot about that. Kent Merker. So many hazy memories. I wasn't at either game. I don't think I was going to as many by 1994. Went to a million of them as a kid in the 80s cause the tickets were cheap cause the Braves sucked. Also went to every playoff game in 1991 and 1992. Fun times. Can't believe how passionately I did the chop. Embarrassed about that now. Thankfully I am fully reformed. :)

Weird quirk - I've been to the latest game at both Atlanta stadiums. For the first, I was 5 years old. For the second, I was rooting for the Nats.

Chinatown Express said...

I had tickets to the no-no. But I sold-sold them. Now I'm sad-sad.

Imma get to the park a little early today. Stilt walkers! Face painting! Drum lines! $9 beers!

Zimmerman11 said...

I'm OK with Soriano making the roster, os long as we don't need to use him! Would rather see Det get the nod.

I love that we have to complain about the bench.

SF Bench:
Andrew Susac
Joaquin Arias
Matt Duffy
Gary Brown
Juan Perez

WAS Bench:
Zimmerman
Frandsen
Lobaton
Espinosa
Schierholtz

I got visions of Zim doin' the HR trot a la Kirk Gibson! Michael Morse scares the bejeezus outta me tho :(

Froggy said...

So, I had our tickets (sec130, 10 rows up) in my front pocket and when I pulled out my phone...horror, they fell out.

But some good Natarian had turned them in to ticket services by the time I got there.

Nats fans are the BEST!! It's a sign of good things I tell ya!

a m s said...

Looks like the risks of Ramos and Desmond were realized.

Desmond (0-4) saw 12 pitches in 4 ABs. Vomit-worthy, has he conspired with Espy to maintain a middle infield Achilles heel for Washington?

I'd rather see Lobaton at this stage than Ramos.

/reactionary outburst