...Gallardo has pitched very wel out of the bullpen.
Bill James Online started in 2007. One of the first of his 600 essays in that time was called "End Game." It was late May 2007, and the Yankees were already -14 games out with a 21-29 record; James' son asked him if they were dead. He used that as a jumping-off point and started his public essay,
How do you know when a team is virtually eliminated? There is a point in a pennant race at which a team has not been technically eliminated, but they’re just not going to win. They’re not dead, they’re as good as dead. Twenty games out in late August. . .you’re not theoretically eliminated, because in theory you could go 40-0 in the closing weeks and the first-place team could go 10-30 and you could beat them by ten games, but it ain’t going to happen. There is a point of no return. What is that point?
I think we all use this phrase sometimes, “virtually eliminated”, but what specifically does it mean? Let’s say that a team is 17 games behind on July 28. Have they been virtually eliminated, or not?
The Mariners are "playing" dead even if they aren't actually dead. What formula / points system / fuzzy logic did James use to represent a mirror you could hold under a team's nose? He noodled around and came up with this one:
A baseball team is virtually eliminated if the number of games they are behind, squared, is greater than four times their number of games remaining.
He said that to the best of his knowledge, no team ever won a pennant after being "effectively dead" by his mirror-method. For example, he used the Real and Hypothetical perils of the Miracle Braves to illustrate the "precision" of his formula:
The 1914 Boston Braves, the Miracle Braves, were in last place on July 5. They were 26-40, 15 games out, but rallied to win. 15 squared is 225. The Braves had 88 games left; 88 times 4 is 352. So the Braves were 64% eliminated (225/352) at their worst point, but came back to win. They would have been over the virtual elimination line if they had dropped another 3 ½ back.
The 1969 Mets were 51% dead, being 10 games behind the red-hot Cubbies on August 14, and also being behind the Cardinals. Of course they later became the subject of several books.
The 1951 Giants, the Bobby Thomson home run team, were 96% dead when 13 out on August 11. "One more half-game out, it was time to send flowers." That doesn't sound much different from the 1995 M's ...
That 2007 Yankee team, by the way, got hot enough to finish 94-68 and take the Wild Card. I believe -- am not sure -- they don't count as having "lived" since they didn't quite catch Boston. That was the Yankee team for which Robinson Cano had his first full All-Star season. They had Jeter and ARod on the infield also, with Posada behind the plate. Their rotation was unremarkable but Wang threw an avalanche of ground balls and of course they had a closer.
Doing the math for the 2017 Mariners? Let's run them vis-a-vis a hypothetical machine rabbit that greyhounds used to chase. KC in the Wild Card 2 slot is on pace for 85 wins, just a hair under. They're 44-40 right now.
So the M's are 4.5 back; squared is 20.25. They've got 77 games remaining, four times that being 308. So 20/308 is, um, 6% dead. You aren't really in fire sale mode when four back in July, LOL. (Also the Yankees in WC1 have played cruddy and are only 0.5 games up on KC.)
What the M's need is to start playing good. I know you don't want to hear this, you're too disGUSTed to hear it, but probably the M's have plenty of time LEFT to start playing good. Thing is, they gotta, at some point. It was the 2015 Rangers who waited until they were 47-and-52, July 29, before they decided to get rolling.
BASEBALL PROSPECTUS, Dept.
By the way, Divish says that Guy Art Dough will probably replace Gaviglio after the ASB. Gaviglio has probably served his purpose - honorably - in the Mainframe's view, but an actual boost to the M's rotation might be slightly preferable to HWMNBN.
K-Pax Friday and then Andrew Moore the day after. Felix going into the break.