Tag Archives: Bruce Chen

2011 Game 90: Royals at Twins

The "second half" gets underway tonight in the best way possible, save for maybe the Hosers coming to town. Tonight, the Royals visit a team that's gotten some much-needed rest, as they've faced a total of one pitch since Sunday.

Bruce Chen 5-2, 60.2 IP, 3.26 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 4.37 xFIP, 0.7 WAR
Francisco Liriano 5-7, 83.2 IP, 5.06 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 4.26 xFIP, 0.6 WAR

You know, I expected Chen's basic numbers to look better than Liriano's, but even the advanced stats? Well, huh.

Chen's year has been a success (in Royals terms) mostly because his walks are way down and his homers are down. Standing in his way, though, is the fact that he is Bruce Chen and is a thoroughly mediocre-at-best starter. Still, he's a lefty, so...

Liriano, meanwhile, has crummy K/BB stats on the season, but they've been stumbling toward respectability since his pitch-to-contact nonsense. I'm predicting, not so New Guy-ally, I don't think, that he gets the "second half" started with a bang, leading to the Twins finishing no worse than .500.

So let's get healthy at long last and do this thing, eh?

2011 Game 25: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals

Scott Baker vs Bruce Chen.

Well that sucked. It does amuse me that the team most often picked to win the division is doing just as well as the Twins. I think only Detroit is doing roughly as expected, though the Royals are very quickly returning to their expected level.

This is an awful streak and it's magnified by starting the season with it. If only there was some way to look at streaks within previous, full seasons...

First, some notes about this season's streak to compare to previous miserable streaks. The Twins have scored 77 runs and given up 124 runs, which comes out to 3.2 scored versus 5.2 against.

In 2010, there was a period when the Twins didn't play particularly well in the middle of the season. Concerning, yes, but no hysterics about it. Taking a look at 2010, I note that from games 85 to 94, seven times were the Twins 9-15 over the previously played 24 games (e.g. games 62-85 the first time). They also were 8-16 once and 10-14 twice. During the 8-16 stretch, they scored 109 runs and gave up 131 runs. That's 4.5 runs/game and 5.5 runs/game respectively. In terms of wins it was worse, but the run differential is just shy of one run a game instead of two runs per games.

Let's try another year that also started poorly but ended up okay. Like 2006. Oh look! They also started 9-15 and hovered around 10-14 for quite a few consecutive 24 game stretches. That was a frustrating early 46 games. Anyway, they scored 96 runs and gave up 148 runs to start the season. And that's with a True Ace anchoring the staff. That's an even 4 runs/game scored and 6.2 runs/game given up. And it got worse! From games 3-26, those figures were 3.7 and 6.1 respectively.

Going earlier, I see in 2003, the Twins were as bad as 6-18 with similar run differentials to this season's differential. Games 72-95 for instance they were 7-17, scored 79 runs and gave up 137.

Now, I am not saying things are going to go just like 2006 and the Twins will have a historically great second half of the season or they finally put some pitcher into the rotation and he pitches quite all right. Instead, awful stretches happen during seasons that otherwise end well. Truthfully, I do not foresee any big changes like in 2003 or 2006 that will dramatically alter the team's true talent level. They could continue to suffer from injuries and finish worst in the division, it happens, but that's a worst case scenario even now and acting like it's fated to be is, well, stupid.