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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Go Team!

In an attempt to bring this statistical debate to a close as the Phils begin, both sides are right. And the arguments are compatible with each other.

The "anti-randomness" crowd is right that if you take any given player, the probability that his RISP splits being that bad due to pure randomness is exceedingly small. The "pro-randomness" crowd is right that in a league with several hundred ballplayers, the odds that one player has such terrible RISP splits due to pure randomness is quite high.

The difference in the arguments is in the conditioning. The bottom line (my take) is that it is likely that someone in MLB has such terrible RISP splits due to pure randomness (because of ballplayer population size). It's just unfortunate that that ballplayer may well happen to be Werth.

A chance to go up 3 games tonight! (Or, 5-6 games ahead in the standings had we kept Nelson Figueroa... or 10-15 games in the standing if Jayson Werth could just focus with RISP.)

Prediction of Werth's night: 4 for 4, 4 Grand Slams, 16 RBIs.

Given that Roy Halladay is about to make a start on the road, I think it's pertinent to point out something he's doing that may go unnoticed, but it's very impressive, nonetheless.

I believe he has pitched at least 6 innings in 53 consecutive road starts. This is the longest streak since Walter Johnson (yes, Walter Johnson) went 82 straight road starts of at least 6 innings.

Pretty phenomenal.

Big Ryno will be swinging for the fences to protect from 2 outs RISP for Werth.

Buddy: it's OK, but you didn't get it, either. No matter how many plate appearances happen through all of baseball and all of history, there's still a very, VERY small chance that Werth's RISP woes are due solely to luck.

Reasonable people look at these numbers and say, "there's probably something else at work here."

Actually, the odds that one player has such splits due to pure randomness are quite low, with a frequency of roughly one every 5-10 years.

Key question: What was Walter Johnson's average with RISP? (as a hitter)

Howard's using this series to pad his walk stats.

And man do I hope Werth figured it out!!!!

Since b_a_p is late to the party ...

This game situation is way too favorable for the Phillies. If they don't manage to blow it outright, they'll at least struggle mightily.

Wild guess about this .290-hitting, .885 OPS hitter: he makes an out here. I hope to be wrong.

Poster Buddy Ryan in 2008 more succinctly described what I was trying to say.

Really weak swing there to make it 2-2.

G-Town: Sosa is absolutely awful & he hasn't started a game in like 3 years. So I was, of course, thinking he'll throw 8 shutout innings tonight.


Werth is MONEY with RISP...good work Jayson.

Want to be the first to say it...

I told you so.


I had a feeling that would happen.

Baseball is a funny game.

****I told you so.****

In my defense, I did predict a 4-4 night for Jayson.

Wow, I've made 2 wrong predictions in the last 30 seconds. Where are Iceman and clout to point this out to all the Beerleaguers who might have missed it?

NEPP: Was it a weak swing? He was clearly looking fastball at 2-1 and was surprised by an off-speed pitch. He was way out in front of it, but it wasn't really that weak.

5-Tool player...Jayson Werth!

Does this mean sifl is gonna buy a lot of lottery tickets now?

I predicted 4 RBI for Jayson. 1 down, 3 to go.

Jayson gets a hit with RISP, now he's stealing second. What's next, is he going to buy the team?

The Phillies should pay me for my player-specific criticisms. They pay both short & long term dividends.

As I was saying ...


sifl better buy some lottery tickets

Good thing Ibanez is taking his cues from Jayson tonight.

Regression to mean!

~ Clout

Good job of the Phillies to plate 3 runs in the first inning with 2 outs.

And it was all possible because Jayson WENT THE OTHER WAY WITH THE HIT!

Sosa seems a bit rattled.

That was absolutely freaking hilarious. What are the chances the Beerleaguer reverse jinx is just random noise?

***That was absolutely freaking hilarious. What are the chances the Beerleaguer reverse jinx is just random noise?****

0.05% by my calculation.


No, I understand the underlying statistical analysis perfectly fine.

The point is that conditional on any player being given, it is rare for the split to be due to randomness only. Even though I reject the independence assumption here, for the sake of the argument I'll take the .006% estimate of how likely this is.

But, for a population of 1000 ballplayers, the probability that a player has this split is three orders of magnitude higher (here the independence assumption is more valid).

I love how you can hear both Marlins fans cheering in the background.

1 AB may be a small sample size, but it just seems to me that Carlos Ruiz can't get it done anymore with 2 outs and RISP.

Har har :)

Hopefully it's the sort of hit that clears his mind up there. We do need a productive (in all situations) Werth in the lineup.

BTW, why does T-Mac call every outfield fly ball "pretty well hit"?

Great start to this game - Halladay vs their bullpen, gotta be 3 games up when this is over.

Drabek was a bit shaky in the first inning of his start in Balt, but settled down to strike out a couple (great curve).

Anyone else concerned about Halladay's ball/strike ratio?

50% strikes won't get it done.

Now that Werth has gotten a hit with RISP (actually his 2nd within the last few games), maybe we can put this issue to rest & start in on another rousing debate on whether Hallady's recent problems are a result of overuse.

Jeez - Halladay's WHIP is approaching infinity in this game.

I think Halladay's recent problems can be attributed to the fact that he's not C____ L___

I think Halladay just broke Hanley Ramirez.

I wonder what tonight's actual attendance is...4K, 5K?


Which independence assumption?

There are only about 100 players each season who will accumulate 125+ ABs with RISP. If we're talking about a 1/1400 situation, you could expect a frequency of once in somewhere between 5 and 15 years.

Occam's razor says to look for the more likely explanation.

Did anyone see the "crowd" at Turner Field today?

Beyond pathetic. I guess the Braves fans have figured out that the Phillies will probably win this division, and they've jumped ship.

The "official" attendance in Atlanta was 19,237. I dont even think it was half that.

Fatalotti, I was watching on of the SD-SF games this past weekend (either Thursday or Friday night), and the attendance was 25K. Ridiculous, especially when these teams get built ballparks.

I just read that Carlos Marmol has a K/9 rate of 15.7. If that guy had any semblance of consistent control, he'd be in the conversation for the best closer in the game.

Werth with a couple more of them and we're all systems go

Halladay's issues with bunting may be more troubling than Werth's issues with RISP.

It's easily cost us 3-4 games this year.

fatti: haha hell yea dude, that was incredible. I know Hanley is a lazy bastard, but that was even of long pause for him to stand back up after falling to one knee on that swing.

Werth used Occam's Razor to shave his beard at the beginning of the season. He's had a 50' radius bubble of null-logic surrounding him ever since.

All attempts to rationalize, anything, in regards to him this season are doomed to fail.


I heard Occam's Razor gives the smoothest shave around.

Anybody verify that?

I laughed really hard when JW got that hit, my fiance looked at me like I was insane. Then I explained to her the day long debate, and she confirmed I am actually insane. She considers the majority of you insane as well, if that helps. I wouldn't make too much of it though.

SIFL (or any others if they're still playing along ... I'm looking for a diversion from writing up a presentation)

There are two assumptions of independence being made. The first is a within-player independence assumption. It is invoked by the "anti-randomness" crowd. The assumption is that the outcome of one draw from Werth's RISP at bats is statistically independent from the outcome of another draw from Werth's RISP at bats. This assumption is used to calculate the probability of Werth's performance being due to randomness (about .006% or so). The assumption is violated whenever a player's RISP ABs are statistically linked, like for example if he was hurt for a period of more than one at bat, or he faced the same pitcher.

Quite clearly, it is the wrong assumption to make. The question is, how wrong is it? Without doing the numbers (since affiliated random variables are generally a pain to work with), I suspect that even a small amount of correlation between RISP ABs changes the probability that randomness alone is the explanation to something like 5%. Off the top of my head (I do have some statistics experience so these guesses aren't purely BS), I think that with a plausible amount of correlation between RISP ABs within a given player, 10% isn't out of the question for the probability those numbers are due to randomness.

The other independence assumption is between players. This holds that draws from one player's RISP ABs is statistically independent from draws from another player's RISP ABs. This assumption is also wrong, but the effect is much less damning.

Let me know if that helps.

Ishmael, she deemed us insane based on the contents and length of one debate?

Talk about your small sample sizes...

I just took a look at I never knew Schadenfreude could be so entertaining.

Fatalotti - That made me laugh hard as well, but I'm 0-1 with FISP (fiance's in scoring position) and I don't want to ruin my stats any more than they are, so I'm keeping it to myself.

My proposal. Oswalt needs to have a clinic on bunting. Location: Scottsdale AZ for a week in January. Beer, golf, and the art of the sacrifice bunt.

Ishmael, I'll give you the same advice I gave Jayson Werth:

Go the other way.

I'm not sure how that'll help you, it worked wonders for the bearded one.

Apologies, JW, I didn't mean to make my comment non-family oriented, but I see how it can be read that way. Don't ban me, bro.
/stopping while ahead

Other than Uggla's single, all weak swings so far tonight. Very encouraging.

Roy Halladay, 2 innings, 30 pitches, 24 strikes, SIX balls.

God, I like the way this team looks these days...

BAP: A wrong prediction by you is not news. We will comment when one of your predictions comes out right.

Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board for sifl.

Got that one.


"I heard Occam's Razor gives the smoothest shave around."

Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Great thing to use if you don't mind a little scruffy look...

I think Utley's found his power stroke again.

"I just took a look at I never knew Schadenfreude could be so entertaining."

I always knew it could be. :-)

Still the latest article by the commentator when the Braves are still in first place in the WC is quite entertaining.

wait wtf did that hit?

clout: I correctly predicted that you would show up to comment on my incorrect predictions.

padddin those walk stats.

I've been to Vermont Lake Monsters (SS A) games with larger crowds than this game.

am i the only one who thinks howard just looks bored tonight?

Howard ought to steal 2nd here just to put to the test whether Werth's RISP problems are over.

Buddy, I get what you're saying. I agree. My only addendum to that is if you are going to say that someone is getting that monumentally unlucky, you have to exhaust all other options first to explain it. Not just say, "Well, his BABIP is low, he's unlucky," when there are other things that can explain low BABIP besides luck.

That's all.

Hope Ryan steals here so we can continue testing Werth's hitting with RISP

wait wait wait, Werth with a RISP hit, but an out with a man on 1st?!

He's gotta be reading beerleaguer, no other explanation.

I thought Jayson was good with a runner on 1B...WTF?

"Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board for sifl.'

I know I myself always like to change my well reasoned, logical opinions based on a sample size of 1. :-)

It started in July, TMac.

Since July 22nd, 37-15.

Occam's Razor only gives the closest shave if you can eliminate all the competitor's products as giving a worse shave.

Missed Utley's HR. Tripped on laptop cord, sent computer flying to the right, and my iPhone, plugged in and streaming the game audio, flying to the left.

Both hit the same hardwood floor. Sony computer didn't even engage the hard drive crash protection. But the phone shut off. Stupid Apple products.


I feel a little bad for the inexperienced starters when the D is not behind them.

BAP, you beat me to it.


What are the odds of a DP ball here? 98%

Does Valdez have a strong chance of hitting into a DP here or are his DP stats just random statistical noise?

BAP: Wrong again! I showed up to explain why I didn't correct your errors. Go back and re-read my post.

Valdez is swinging at crap

If Jayson Werth gets a hit with RISP in an empty stadium (like the one he's in tonight) does it make any statistical noise?


Glad he swung at that crap

Random statistical noise. Or maybe it's that hit which is the random statistical noise. I'm confused.

Why are they changing pitchers with Halladay up?

Someone needs to re-explain to Exxon how a double play is supposed to work. That looked way too much like a RBI single.

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