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Houston Astros blog by a long time fan. Go Astros.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Luck Doesn't Exist

The Astros are off tonight so I've decided to surf around to see if anyone else was on tonight. The cubs are on WGN and they are getting killed by Cincinnati, 9-0. ESPN has Milwaukee vs Chicago. The score is tied at 4, Victor Santos vs Matt Morris. I'm not sure who I want to win this game. Part of me says you have to root against st. Louis. But the other part of me is the part that is scared to death of the Brewers. You have been hearing about all these young guys for three years and now you look at the roster and they are all playing in the big leagues. You look in the league leaders and see names like Carlos Lee and Brady Clark. You look at the standings and see this big fat bucket of league leaders and young phenoms are only 4.5 games behind the Astros for a wildcard spot and it is pretty scary. Whatever though, someone has to lose. Also I see the Marlins lost the first half of a doubleheader to Colorado and are losing the second half. The Marlins have also suffered injuries to Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca so thy have a real opportunity to fall out of the race. Unfortunately, they are at a soft patch in their schedule, hosting the NL West's Diamondbacks and Giants in Florida.

Anyway, the real reason I started writing out a post was because of something I heard on ESPN. Jeff Brantley and Politically Correct Dude are announcing it and I heard something that I couldn't help but laugh at. Here is a dramatization of the conversation:

PCD: Everyone is a great player.
JB: Listen, the reason some pitchers don't get run support is because hitters only play their best for certain pitchers.

PCD: Really, are you sure?
JB: Look, as a former pitcher I know exactly how hitters think. A pitcher who deosn't complain and is positive on the mound will get more run support than a pitcher who complains about his offense.


PCD: Really? Are you sure it has nothing to do with luck?
JB: I don't believe in luck. Luck doesn't exist. Take Roger Clemens for example. In the begining of the season he was one of the biggest tough luck pitchers around. But he didn't complain and eventually his offense came around. Now his run support has changed dramatically for the better.
PCD: Interesting little theory you got there.

OK boneheads. Ever hear about a thing called offense? Perhaps that has something to do with run support. Looking at the Top 10 in run support lets see who's theory is correct.

Politically Correct Dude thinks it is luck.

Jeff Brantley thinks it is dependent on who the pitcher is, how much he complains, and his attitude on the mound.

My theory is the most shocking of all. Run support is dependent of offense. I know, I know, it is the most insane theory ever created, but bare with me.


1) Boomer Wells- 8.25
2) Matt Clement- 7.65
3) Chris Young- 7.54
4) Matt Morris- 7.36
5) Gustavo Chacin- 7.25
6) Jeff Francis- 7.07
7) Chan Ho Park- 6.87
8) Kenny Rogers- 6.82
9) Danny Haren- 6.50
10) Jon Garland- 6.47

OK so take a look at that list. Now lets see how it correlates with our three theories.

Politically Correct Dude thinks its luck. Well, yes it is lucky to be on the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Rangers because they have the best offenses. The Rockies have been known to score some runs too, so Francis is covered. the lucky pitcher is Jon Garland because he is on a team that doesn't score many runs. Another aspect to the luck theory is who a certain pitcher is going up against. If a pitcher is going up against strong pitchers over and over he is less likely to have high run support. That is luck, but as you can see most of the pitchers on this list play for offense oriented teams.

Jeff Brantley thinks it is dependent on who the pitcher is, how much he complains, and his attitude on the mound. Ha! I'm sure hitters love playing behind loudmouth Boomer Wells. I'm sure they like to hit for criminals like Kenny Rogers. I'm sure Chan Ho Park is doing a lot of bitching in moaning, in Korean that is. This list looks about as motivating as wheat bread and C-Span. Four rookies, a loudmouth, a criminal, and a guy who doesn't know a word of English, (although he probably knows the words ball, walk, control issues, overpaid, and demotion). The only thing the other three have in common is a goatee. In fact, 7 of these 10 pitchers sport goatees, so statistically, "Pitchers who sport goatees get more run support than pitchers who don't is a more valid theory than Jeff Brantley's. And if you think I'm about to do a Scott Elarton Goatee search, think again, this theory is being retired before it's birth.

And finally there is my crazy theory. You know the one about the offense. Notice that most of these players are on offense oriented teams, such as Texas, Boston, and Colorado. St. Louis might not be offense oriented but has the best offense in the National League. Actually, Politically Correct Dude and myself are both right. 5 pitchers are placed on a team with an offense. And it is up to luck to decide which pitcher will receive the most run support from that offense. Generally though the difference between the greatest and least run support is quite minimal. Usually the pitchers with the low run support have a bad offense and vice versa. That is logic at its best, no matter what Jeff Brantley says.

How about a couple of non-confrontational statical tidbits:


1) Chris Carpenter- 21
1) Roger Clemens- 21
3) Roy Oswalt- 20
4) Livan Hernandez- 19
5) Andy Pettitte- 18


1) Brett Myers- 4
2) Steve Kline- 3
2) Mark Redman- 3
2) Chris Capuano- 3
2) Wandy Rodriguez- 3

Someone probably needs to talk to old Wandy about that rule. The pitcher I would most like to see in an Astros uniform next season- Carlos Silva. He is relatively cheap and he throws strikes. He averages just 11.8 pitches per inning, lowest in the majors, so if he is getting outs you can really get a lot out of him. He hardly ever walks anyone. Has Tim Purpura acquired a single player yet?


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