Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The Cubs got their first home win today, at the Reds' expense. No miraculous comebacks this time. The Reds didn't score a single run. Tomorrow's the rubber game, with former Yankee Ted Lilly on the mound for the Cubbies and the much-maligned Lohse pitching for the Reds.
The Yankees lost a heartbreaker in the 11th inning last night. Given the west coast start time, I couldn't stay up late enough to watch the whole game. What a disappointment to wake up this morning and see how it ended. Bruney got the loss, giving up a triple, a hit batsman, a walk, then a single. And A-Rod is taking some heat for not sliding in the 8th; it could have been the go-ahead run if he avoided the tag.
JinAZ posted a fascinating Reds spring training review earlier this week. It's fun even if you're not the stat-head type. He has a knack for making those dry numbers accessible.
For example, he plots power vs. OBP, which makes it clear which players did well, and why. Bubba was slightly above average power-wise, and slightly below average on OBP. On the walks vs. strikeouts plot, he's below average in strikeouts and about average in walks.
But perhaps the most interesting is the BABIP graph. BABIP, batting average on balls in play, is largely due to luck. Not all, but mostly. Bubba was apparently rather unlucky in spring training (while Hamilton was extremely lucky). You would expect, in a longer season, for it to even out. (JinAZ suggests BABIP might be a way to compensate for small sample sizes, since it lets you see how much luck factored into a players' numbers.)
The Bats play tonight at 7:15. Homer Bailey starts. The lineup has been posted, and Bubba is once again in the two-hole and playing right field.
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