On the eve of the season’s start I discussed how a week of the baseball season is equivalent to a mile in a marathon. The first couple of miles are always about trying to get settled. You’ve had a long season of preparations. The cannon goes off and the nervous energy is on hyper-drive. The third and fourth miles are where rhythm comes in to play. There is finally enough space around to dictate your own pace without being trampled. And make no mistake; the second pair of miles is all about establishing the pace. No one runs a marathon without a target time. Minutes lost at the beginning are dearly won back on the back end. Most times those minutes simply stay lost. So these miles are all about getting on that pace that will bring the time home.
All About Pace
TalkNats asked for readers to submit their predictions for total Nationals wins this year. The numbers reflect an optimistic outlook. There were 31 sets of predictions in the sample. There was a high of 103 and a low of 83. The median was 94. It was also the most popular number with 6 submissions. Throwing out the highest ten percent and the lowest the Standard Deviation was 4 wins. The One-Sigma control band then is 98 wins on the top of the band and 90 wins on the bottom. These are significant numbers in terms of playoff ramifications.
Including 2010 the last 7 years have produced 42 Division Champions. The median number of wins among them is 95. Only one team has won 98 games but failed to win the Division. That was Pittsburgh in 2015. Conversely, some 13 teams have won 90 or more games but failed to win the Division. Only 4 teams, including that unlucky Pittsburgh squad have won 94 or more games and failed to win the Division. So, 94 wins is wonderfully close to the 95 Confidence Factor that statisticians so dearly love. Win 90 and it could be dicey should a challenger arise. Win 98 and the odds of winning the Division are prohibitive.
So, how are they doing? Let’s take a look.
That’s a good-looking blue line for wins. We’ll pull it out every month and take a look. A 9-1 heater will boost the pace line every time.
Is it time to start talking about a different baseball for play in Denver? “Arena Baseball” as FP Santangelo called it was fun. But, it didn’t really look like baseball. What Free Agent pitcher would ever sign up for that as a home field? Oh, and that team can hit. They will make their presence known to the Giants and Dodgers. It could be an interesting race out West.
The Nats left town just in front of a foot of snow that came in on Friday. Timing is everything.
No matter how well the Nationals do this year there will be a slight twinge of sadness throughout. Adam Eaton was the ball player that lit up the joint with infectious enthusiasm. Now we have to hope for a full recovery. Every race has hills that suck the life out of the legs. The Nats hit one early this year.