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infohawk
08-22-2005, 03:47 PM
Although the Twins handed it to the Sox during the last series, I like our chances to reverse the trend of second-half losses to these guys.

Up until a week ago the Twins offense was sputtering badly, primarily because of the personnel they have. Prognosticators were making references to the Twins being full of light-hitting guys called up from Rochester. About a week ago the Twins started scoring some runs and racking up wins. This performance begs the question as to what is real, the Twins who struggled to score runs for much of the season or the Twins who have been going on a mini-tear (no pun intended)? I think that their hitting of late is more of an abberation than a credible trend. Over the last 7 games, several Twins have been hitting significantly higher than their career numbers. Check it out:

Career .AVG Last 7 Games
Ford .288 .364
Mauer .307 .478
Punto .243 .310
LeCroy .266 .409
Abernathy .248 .364
Stewart .301 .400

More than anything, this differential suggest that the Twins have faced some pretty bad pitching. Of course, it's also possible they are going through a period of hot-hitting. Although the Sox were swept by them, two of those games were eminantly winnable (blown save and extra-inning game). Unfortunately for us, the Twins caught the Sox during our slump.

In a sense, the Twins have been have been the bizarro Sox over the past week or so. While many of our hitters have been performing well below their career numbers over the past week, many Twins hitters have been performing significantly above their career numbers. Just as we are bound to see our averages rise and return to normal, the Twins players mentioned above are bound to see their averages drop to their norms.

Santana will be tough to beat, but I think that throwing Garcia, Buerhle and Garland at the Twins bodes well for us in this series. If we are not completely out of our offensive slump, keep in mind that the Sox will have a healthy Scott Podsednik for all remaining games with the Twins.

ma-gaga
08-22-2005, 04:30 PM
This performance begs the question as to what is real, the Twins who struggled to score runs for much of the season or the Twins who have been going on a mini-tear (no pun intended)?


You cherry-picked some interesting stats/players/timeline.

Batting Average isn't really a good indicator of offensive efficiency. OPS is a little better, but I know people don't like that one as much as BA.

What about the other 5 players getting regular at-bats? Morneau, Jones, Tiffee, Ryan, Rodriguez??!? What do their last 7 days AVG vs Career numbers look like??

The hitting's been streaky all year. If you take the batting averages out a month, including the hot streak, most of the players are "hitting" around their career norms.

Career .AVG Last MONTH
Ford .288 .284
Mauer .307 .309
Punto .243 .221
LeCroy .266 .250
Abernathy .248 .364
Stewart .301 .284
Morneau .251 .231
Jones .281 .186
Tiffee .233 .257
Ryan .252 .079 (why is this guy allowed to wear a uniform?!?)
Rodriguez .259 .156

So, where does their "true level" lie? The hot or the cold?

Besides, the Twins strength lies in their pitching. Ignore the hitters, it's all about putting up 5 runs against them.

:gulp:

infohawk
08-22-2005, 07:34 PM
You cherry-picked some interesting stats/players/timeline.
So, where does their "true level" lie? The hot or the cold?

Besides, the Twins strength lies in their pitching. Ignore the hitters, it's all about putting up 5 runs against them.

What I noticed was that the Twins had been scoring more consistently since the first game of the last series against the Sox. Beginning on the 15th of August, the Twins won 6 out of 7 games. Knowing that their pitching is almost always very solid, I looked at why they were winning so many games compared to the seeming free-fall they had been in during most of the second-half of the season. During the span where the Twins won 6 of 7 games, they averaged 6.1 runs per game. This is a significant increase over the 3.5 runs per game the Twins averaged from the All-Star break until the first game of the Sox series. I was curious as to who on their roster was doing the offensive damage, and I saw that several of their hitters batting averages were vastly inflated over their career norms. I chose to compare to career norms because that is usually a more stable indicator of expected performance.

I didn't mention .OBP or .OPS because many of the batting averages were SO inflated that they clearly showed the Twins were hitting very, very well. I did notice that some of the same players .OBP was much higher, meaning those players were taking a lot of walks. Knowing that the Twins are not usually patient at the plate, I concluded that some of the pitching they were facing might have been of poor quality.

ma-gaga
08-23-2005, 12:07 PM
During the span where the Twins won 6 of 7 games, they averaged 6.1 runs per game. This is a significant increase over the 3.5 runs per game

I agree with the rest of your post. Besides King Felix, Seattle has crappy pitching. But the W.Sox staff is pretty damn good, they've just gotten squeezed, and beaten in a 16 inning game that could have gone either way.

The Twins aren't a 6.1 runs per game team, however they AREN'T a 3.5 runs per game team either. I was hoping for a 4.8/4.9 year, but it's pretty obvious that they are going to end up around 4.4/4.5 team. So IMO, this "hot zone" is more of a 'regression to the mean', and less of an indication of which pitching staffs they've faced.

:cool: But truthfully, I'm biased. So, it's probably a combination of the two.

arbutron
08-23-2005, 03:48 PM
Hopefully we can cool off Lew Ford, who's been the driving force of their offense lately... And probably the most unknown AL Player of the Week winner all year!



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