Chicago Cubs 15, Atlanta 6 – MLB – Recap – Cubs at Braves – 07/21/2003

I hope you took the over… There’s something about Shane Reynolds, a miasma that every time he pitches settles on the bullpen. Maybe he’s just enough like a batting practice pitcher to get the other team in a groove. Anyway, he was responsible for six of the Cubs’ runs, but will certainly survive this as he has all his other shellackings. Trey Hodges, the top candidate — perhaps the only candidate — to take his spot, gave up four runs. Darren Holmes added two and Ray King three. The only pitcher to emerge unscathed was, of all people, Boom-Boom.

The key juncture of the game was the Braves’ fourth inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out and the 2-3-4 hitters up, but Giles struck out swinging at ball three, Sheffield popped up, and Chipper grounded out. The Braves led 5-4 at the time and could have poured it on; instead the Cubs came back the next inning and took over.

Javy had two homers, giving him three in the last two games, and seems back in a groove. After the fourth, the Braves offense more or less shut down, getting only one of those homers in the eighth… I really hate Shane Reynolds… The Mets actually beat the Phillies, who remain 9 1/2 out… Night game tonight, Maddux versus the Bishop.

7 thoughts on “Chicago Cubs 15, Atlanta 6”

  1. The bullpen implosion will surely draw attention from Cox away from Reynolds’ weekly poor outing. Sigh. But then, anything mildly negative will draw Bobby’s attention away from a bad outing by Shane. “Yeah, they got pretty lucky against Shane, but did you see that kid in the third row with the Celine Dion shirt? That was pretty bad. Shane wasn’t near as bad as that.”

  2. OK can somebody explain this “Bishop” joke to me? I suspect might have something to do with (a) my lack of reading science-fiction books as a kid or more likely (b) my laziness/unwillingness to fork over 10 bucks to see a big Hollywood explosionfest more than once or twice a year since I left Columbus GA, where there aren’t a lot of alternatives for underage folks besides getting drunk in your friend’s basement. Which you can do after the movies. Memories…

    So anyway, feel free to call me ignorant, but who is Bishop Mitre?

    And as far as Maddux, anybody read Tom Tippett’s new research about Defense Independent Pitching stats? It seems like Maddux is still striking guys out and not walking a lot of guys, but his HRs are way up (his fault) and hits are too (maybe maybe not his fault).

    Any thoughts out there?

  3. I also read Tippett’s article and was glad to see that what he found agreed with common sense. For those who haven’t kept up, a while back Voros McCracken did a study that had a conclusion of: “Pitchers can not control the result of balls in play that aren’t homeruns to any meaningful degree. It’s all luck, defense, and park effects.”

    When challanged, Voros eventually added caveats excluding knuckleballers, fly ball pitchers, etc. basically anything that didn’t agree with his “revolutionary” finding. People took notice of this theory because it allowed for a large simplification of the data when evaulating pitchers. You basically looked at strike out rate, walk rate, and home run rate and you were done. There was just one tiny flaw in the theory – It wasn’t actually correct.

    Tippett’s work shows that pitchers do indeed have the ability to influence whether balls in play turn into outs (and not just through their own defensive abilities). It’s not a strong effect, certainly not on the order of the effect a pitcher has on strike outs and walks, but an effect none the less.

    Getting back to Maddux, Greg was mentioned by Tippett individually. Maddux allowed less hits than you would expect pretty much every year from 1988 to 1998, showing that at his peak he had good enough stuff to turn more balls in play into outs than you would expect. In 1986-1987 and 1999 onward he’s allowed more hits on balls in play than you would expect. Those would be his early years when he didn’t have it together, and his late years when it was falling apart.

    A good study by Tippett indeed. I encourage everyone with an interest to read it.

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