Life’s Sweetest Reward

The season is extremely young, and we shouldn’t place too much faith into three weeks of stats, but have you noticed that the Padres are beating their Pythagorean? Yeah, they’ve scored 49 runs and allowed 57, which is more indicative of a 6-9 record than the Pads’ actual 8-7 mark.

Again, it’s early and we don’t want to read much (if anything) into this just yet. Something worth watching, though.

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In retrospect, maybe leaving Cla Meredith out for a second inning of work wasn’t such a great idea. Wouldn’t that have been a good time for Heath Bell?

On the other hand, once the floodgates had opened, might as well get the obligatory Glendon Rusch appearance out of the way. Too bad he didn’t give up a few more runs; then Wil Ledezma could have gotten some work, too.

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I was looking for evidence to support the notion that Meredith shouldn’t have started the ninth, but couldn’t find any splits along those lines. I did find something else interesting, though. Sean has added leverage splits over at Baseball-Reference. Here’s Meredith in 2007:

Cla Meredith’s Leverage Splits for 2007
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
Hi 98 .364 .408 .523
Med 81 .205 .225 .269
Lo 163 .303 .344 .368

Meredith got torched in high-leverage situations last year, which isn’t necessarily something you like to see out of your “seventh-inning guy” (you also don’t necessarily like to see someone anointed the “seventh-inning guy,” but that’s a different battle). For comparison, here’s what Bell’s numbers looked like in ’07:

Heath Bell’s Leverage Splits for 2007
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
Hi 164 .199 .263 .295
Med 92 .182 .308 .234
Lo 107 .167 .206 .186

We would expect Bell’s individual splits to be better than Meredith’s because, well, Bell had a much better year. Interestingly, both pitchers had similar numbers in medium-leverage situations.

Like love itself, these ways of breaking out stats are exciting and new. Also like love, we’re not quite sure what we’ve gotten ourselves into until we’ve had a chance to… um, play around a little? (This metaphor blows, like a…)

I’m stopping now. You know, before it floats back to me.