Saturday, August 8, 2009

Baseball is weird

I believe it was last year when the Angels' wins over Seattle were virtually automatic. Although Seattle was out of contention early, and the Angels weren't really as good as their record implied, the domination of a divisional opponent makes for cool changes in the standings.

This year, the Angels are incapable of beating Texas, and that has artificially built up a race in the West. The Rangers are 8-1 against the Angels this season and 23-12 in the West, while the Halos have gone just 14-18 in the West. If the Angels win the division, it will be by inexplicably playing .650 ball everywhere but in their division. Without the futility against Texas, the race would already be over.

Take a look at Joe Saunders' velocity chart over at Fangraphs. His 2009 starts, particularly the later starts, have been marked by a distinct loss of velocity. I can't say I've ever noticed this, but because he's a lefty, Saunders isn't typically thought of as a power pitcher. But his average velocity was near 93 last season and is now much closer to 90, if even that. A shoulder injury makes sense, so I am forced to make this point again:

When you are hurt, and you are pitching ineffectively, and you don't tell anyone you're hurt, you're hurting the team. This might as well be baseball's Golden Rule.

Baseball players are idiots.

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