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Game 29 Open Thread: May 4, 2006

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carpenter pettitte
3-1, 1.80 1-4, 5.25

read all about it:

a couple of interesting items in dave studeman's 10 things i didn't know last week feature. first, scroll down to item #3 (slugged "Fangraphs is now tracking WPA") and we find that, among his many amazing achievements in april, albert pujols blew away both leagues in win probability added, or WPA. (if you don't know what WPA is, read this.) studes' chart merely quantifies something we already knew -- viz., that the pu amassed not just a lot of hits last month, but a lot of important hits. he added nearly 70 percent more win probability than any other player in the majors; he was nearly twice as impactful as his nearest competitors. pretty incredible.

carpenter ranked 3d on the list, by the way, which also quantifies something we already knew: remove carp and pujols from the team and the cardinals don't have much going for them. by the numbers presented here, carp and pujols together were 10 games above average. since the cardinals as a group were 4 games above average in april (ie, they had 4 wins more than a .500 team would have), that means the aggregate contribution of the other 23 players was minus 6 games. replace carp and pujols with league-average players, and these cards would have had a 7-19 month . . . . . .

just what we all wanted to hear.

the other thing to note from studes' list is that david eckstein, a great clutch hitter last season (he hit about .375 w RISP), is among baseball's worst clutch performers so far in 2006. (see item #2, slugged "Lance Berkman has been the best clutch hitter.") he hasn't been as bad as encarnacion, who ranks third from the bottom, but it's still a wide swing. makes you wonder if opponents might be pitching eckstein a little finer in those situations now that he doesn't have walker or edmonds coming up behind him. . . . .

dayn perry says pujols may be the best hitter ever.

here's an interesting little read at baseball analysts about the voting for the 1979 nl mvp award, which ended in a dead heat between keith hernandez and pops stargell. per this article, the tie may very well have been illegit --- read to find out why.

also at baseball analysts, bryan smith has more glowing words about colby rasmus: "Colby could be showing better patience and contact skills, but everything else -- including baserunning -- has been sensational. Much better prospect than his numbers indicate at this point."

finally, the date has been set for kerry wood's return to the chicago rotation: may 17. mark prior is expected back "a few weeks" after wood; wade miller purports to be shooting for an early-june return.