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Sunday, September 23, 2001

Clutch Hits - O.K. Kan, the Mets still have a chance

Kanchan Mattoo wrote, “I would LOVE it if you would repost the Bobby still believes the Mets have a chance thread from August 31st. At that time people were mocking him for it, and I think we should be able to look back and say, wow, they really do have a chance.”

Unbelievably, Bobby V. was right. The Mets did still have a chance.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2001 at 08:36 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark

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   1. Mark Donelson Posted: September 23, 2001 at 09:15 PM (#72833)
Well, they did till today's game, anyway. The Mets have been playing with their fans like the Sox usually do...
   2. RichRifkin Posted: September 24, 2001 at 08:05 AM (#72835)
If the Mets make the playoffs - still unlikely - I am quite sure they will be the first team in baseball history to do so while scoring the fewest runs of any team in major league baseball. Granted, Shea works against the Mets' hitters. But this has been a really offensive offensive club.

In the old days - when 8 teams in each league played for 1 post-season berth - the odds of the club that scored the fewest runs of the 16 teams then in baseball making it to the World Series must have been very, very high. To my knowledge, it never once occurred.

But in today's game - despite the fact that there are now 30 teams - the odds against the lowest run-scoring team making the playoffs don't seem quite so impossible. Maybe they are around 100:1 -- that is, it should happen once every 100 years or so. But to do it, the lowest-scoring team would have to play in a severe pitcher's park and play in a really bad divsion. The 2001 Mets are close to fitting that bill - but I would not describe the 2001 NL East as "really bad"; nor would I say Shea is an "extreme" pitcher's park, but I haven't looked at the current numbers.
   3. Robert Dudek Posted: September 24, 2001 at 09:49 AM (#72836)
I calculate my own park factors.

These calculations account for the unbalanced schedule by counting up inning played in each road park. Interleague play is also accounted for. For anyone interested in the details I'll be happy to provide them.

These figures include games through Sunday, September 23.

Note that these numbers should be applied directly to the team runs scored totals - what they do is they put runs scored into a park neutral context. This is not the same as measuring the effect that a particular park has on a player's stats. You may also use them to adjust a player's overall XR or RC totals or per gmae rates.

National League:

Colorado 1.1544
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 24, 2001 at 12:27 PM (#72837)
I know he had a thousand saves in a row before yesterday, but Orioles' fans still know: It's the curse of Armando Benitez.
   5. Robert Dudek Posted: September 24, 2001 at 12:51 PM (#72838)
The lesson here is: when you overwork your closer you're taking a big risk. The stakes were high and the risk was justified in this case.

But when you overwork your closer, you'd better have the guts to pull him when trouble starts brewing. Valentine was too slow to respond. There seems to be an unwritten rule that when you bring in your closer, you leave him in the game until the game is over or the lead is blown - NO MATTER WHAT. Valentine's failure to adapt (i.e. inflexibility) and react to the fact that Benitez just didn't have it last night contributed mightily to that loss.

I was listening to the game and as soon as the tying run reached base I was saying to myself, Valentine has got to bring somebody else in. But he stayed with Benitez for 2 more batters and both singled. The game was tied before Franco came in.

Okay so Benitez' ego might get bruised a bit. Too bad. Team goals always come before individual pride.
   6. Colin Posted: September 24, 2001 at 02:51 PM (#72840)
The winning all their games is a lot to ask, but a sweep of Atlanta is certainly not out of the question, not given their putrid hitting of late. Ugh.

And while I think the Phils have a good chance, it's not like they've played that much better than Atlanta of late, either. The Mets are the only team of the three that has played like a division leader for the last two months.

That said, yesterday's Braves victory shows just how fragile the Mets' chances are. The difference between taking two of three and a sweep is huge at this time of the season for them.
   7. Colin Posted: September 24, 2001 at 06:21 PM (#72842)
I was wondering if Chris was going to show up :-)

And just for you, Chris, in the previous thread on this somewhere, I grudgingly acknowledged that at that point, I thought the Mets had a chance. And that was before the recent super-hot streak. Sigh.
   8. jimd Posted: September 26, 2001 at 02:14 AM (#72843)
Figuring some actual numbers here. Ignoring the Mets for the moment, and assuming that all games are 50/50 propositions, here's the probabilities of the outcomes given the results of the Braves-Phillies showdown.

If the winner takes two-out-of-three, it has a 1-game lead with 9 other games to be played (6 before and 3 after). It will keep that lead 59% of the time, wind up in a tie 17%, and fall behind 24% of the time. Because the playoff game is also 50/50, it will win the division 68% of the time (with just that 1 game lead).

If the winner sweeps, it has a 3-game lead with 9 to play. It will keep that lead 88% of the time, get tied 7%, and fall behind 5% of the time. The 3 game lead translates to winning the division 92% of the time.

The division winner figures to win this amount of games:
   9. Big Ed Posted: September 28, 2001 at 01:02 AM (#72844)
Sure, the Mets still had a chance, but that doen't make Bobby V. a genius or a prophet or anything like that. The White Sox still had a chance, and Manuel was saying the same things as Valentine. Ditto Tom Kelly in Minnesota, Don Baylor on the North Side, and I am sure whoever is managing the Angels (I am just drawing a total blank here) said the same thing too. And look at Duquette and Kerrigan saying the same things in Boston, and getting ripped for them because it might mean Pedro could get hurt. They are saying they still have a chance, and the press and public tells them to just shut up. So canonizing Valentine because his team happened to win a bunch of games is a bit much.

The bigger surprise would be if a manager said when his team was 8 back w/ 25 to play, "Oh, we're just playing out the string here."

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