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Gameday Thread, #153: 9/22 vs. Dodgers

Claudio Vargas, RHP (11-9, 4.96)
Derek Lowe, RHP (14-8, 3.69)

Having put a credible, but losing, effort together against the NL West leaders, we head up the coast to face the other team in the thick of the division race. The Dodgers wobbled badly against the Pirates, but righted the ship with a win last night, to keep one-half game behind the Padres. They're effectively swapping opponents with San Diego, so this will be a good test of their overall strengths in the last couple of weeks. However, the Dodgers get to avoid Webb, though face Batista and Hernandez instead.

The Republic pointed out this morning that a bunch of our players are hitting over .400 against Lowe. Given Melvin's penchant for using match-ups, even on the flimsiest of sample sizes, it'd seem likely that we will be seeing the following in the lineup tonight: Byrnes (8-for-14), Counsell (7-for-17), Gonzalez (9-for-22) and Hudson (8-for-20). I will simply point out that an actual .250 hitter has a credible chance - better than 10% - of getting 8 or more hits in 20 at-bats, purely by luck. Byrnes' performance is the only one which is statistically significant, with only about a 1% chance for a .250 hitter.

[You can play with the binomial calculator to test this. N = the number of at-bats, P = the batting average you're testing for, and make "Prob X is at least" the number of hits you're expecting. For example, on Counsell's figures, you input N = 17, P = .250, and you want "at least 7" hits. Hit compute, and hey, presto: a 10.71% chance of going 7-for-17 or better, if you're really only a .250 hitter. That's too high to be used as "proof" of anything much, or evidence on which to base lineup construction.]

Vargas goes for his 12th win, despite an ERA teetering precariously on the verge of five. I'm seriously in doubt that he'll be part of our plans for 2007, since there's no shortage of back of the rotation guys, who will play for less money, and have signficantly better upsides. Still, he's what we have at the moment, and we'll have to cope. Win; lose; I'm not really enormously bothered. Good performances from those who'll be here next year is all I want to see in this one. Except, as noted, I won't be seeing it, since the Marquee Theater beckons. Therefore, have fun, folks...