Opening Day for the Orioles was certainly fun. A win against a division rival. Adam Jones hitting rockets all over the park (he could have easily gone 4-5 or even 5-5 on the day). Chris Davis not only hitting a home run, but working back from an 0-2 count against a lefty (David Price, who’s an OK pitcher I guess) to draw a walk. Matt Wieters homering (and doubling), while also giving Price fits in a 13 pitch plate appearances that resulted in another walk. Just seeing Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts healthy and on the field (both had a pair of hits).
Earl Weaver-ball beating small ball was pretty sweet too, as the Rays played for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 6th with the sac bunt (they went up 3-2) before the O’s put a five-spot on the board in the next frame, punctuated by Davis’ three-run bomb (after an intentional walk to Wieters, no less). Continue reading “JASON HAMMEL’S COMMAND OFF IN O’S OPENING DAY WIN” »
Yesterday the Orioles held an event at Camden Yards with Bloomberg Sports to show off the Bloomberg Baseball Data Tool they’ve started using (you know, the one that makes those graphics we see on the broadcast showing that Brian Matusz throws 55% fastballs, 15% change-ups, etc.). I unfortunately forgot my notepad, so the recap is all from memory.
Dan Duquette* spoke briefly at the beginning, talking about the O’s using all the data available to improve the club (for example, with Buck Showalter employing the infield shift this year) and mentioning that part of the reason the O’s pulled their advanced scouts (who traditionally go to scout the clubs the team is about to play) is that the Bloomberg Tool provides them all kinds of data on those clubs (much of it things the scout wouldn’t even pick up).
* It was the first time I’ve seen Duquette in person and, though this sounds stupid, it seemed like he was an actor playing ‘Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette’. Maybe it’s the voice or the hair?
Next up was the head of Bloomberg Sports (who has also the guy who started SportsVision), whose name I don’t remember. He showed us the publically available Bloomberg Fantasy Baseball tool (which does stuff like suggest trades for you to make based on the strengths and weaknesses of your team as well as the other team) and, much more interestingly, the Pro tool used by Major League clubs (25 of 30, I believe).
Now that was neat. The interface seemed well built and relatively easy to use, though we mostly just looked at PitchFX data; what pitches Adam Jones has seen this year, the fastballs Jones has seen, the pitches he’s seen with 2 outs, the pitches he’s seen from Justin Verlander, etc. Pretty standard PitchFX stuff, but easy to chop up and it looked nice – clicking on a pitch that Jones hit for a home run brought up a video clip of it. There was also some cool looking pitch sequencing graphics. None of it was something that I couldn’t put together myself, but drop-down menus are just a bit easier to navigate than writing code to run against a PitchFX database and their graphics looked a touch better than what Excel would spit out. Those were only a couple tabs out of somewhere between 5 and 100 though, so there are surely more aspects to it. Continue reading “ORIOLES USING BLOOMBERG’S DATA PRESENTATION TOOL” »
Though they may be underdogs, the Baltimore Orioles are certainly capable of winning the World Series this year. Five reasons why:
“1. No. 1 — and, you could certainly argue numbers two through five as well — is the bullpen. The O’s went 73-0 when leading after the seventh inning. As relievers, Tommy Hunter is touching 100 mph and Brian Matusz has struck out 19 batters in 13 innings. Then there’s Troy Patton (2.43 ERA), Pedro Strop (2.44), Darren O’Day (2.28), and Jim Johnson (2.49, 51 saves) to finish things out. While it might not be the best bullpen ever — or even the best bullpen in the league this year — it may have been the most “effective” pen in history, as noted by its record-setting (record-obliterating, really) +14 Win Probability Added. Maybe 16 consecutive extra-inning wins and a 29-9 record in one-run games (the best since the 1800s) is partially a fluke, but having a quality bullpen certainly doesn’t hurt in keeping that going.
2. Buck Showalter. Aside from bullpen management that’s been so effective, Buck seems to just make all the right moves, putting guys in positions to succeed and making in-game decisions that seem to work even when they probably shouldn’t. Sac bunt? You get the run you need. Hit and run? Batted ball goes right to where the second baseman was. Bring in Chris Davis to pitch? Two shutout innings, a pair of strikeouts (including Adrian Gonzalez!), and a win. Judging managers is tricky, but it would be mighty hard to argue that Buck isn’t a net plus. Continue reading “THE ORIOLES CAN WIN THE WORLD SERIES” »