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Saturday, September 10, 2005

More Sox

Cyril Morong he gave me permission to share a few more factoids related to his article on the White Sox and their offense.

I had remarked to him that I thought his stats on the number of low scoring games was very intriguing but mentioned that Dave Studeman had pointed out earlier this season that a team that consistently scores 4 or more runs and gets good pitching is going to win big time and that's just what the Sox had been doing through the end of June.

Cyril was then kind enough to share that:

"Through 131 games, last year the Sox had 83 games with 4 or more runs. This year it is 85. But last year, in the best 85 games, the Sox averaged 7.29 runs a game. This year, in the best 85 games, the Sox are averaging 6.22 runs a game. Last year, their 46 lowest games, the Sox averaged 1.65 runs a game. This year it is 1.72. So this year, when they have a low scoring game, they are only slightly better than last year. But they are much lower in high scoring games."

So it would seem that their run scoring distribution pattern has evened out a bit which helps to explain their 38-32 record since June 23rd. On June 20th they stood at 20-8 in one-run games and since have gone 10-8. Early on they played a tremendous number of one-run games and won them at a .714 clip. Both the frequency of the one-run games and the high winning percentage are tell-tale signs of good fortune rather than simply smart baseball.

They also remain six games ahead of their pythagorean record when they were five games ahead on June 20th. In other words, in the first 71 games of the season they won five more games that would have been expected and in the 70 games since they've essentially won the number of games you would expect given how many runs they've scored and how many they've given up.

Did they just get dumber or could it be that in the all too human need to identify a pattern of causation, the media latched onto an "explanation" that in the end was simply a ghost?

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