Monday, June 05, 2006

Intuitive ERV

I heard an interesting interview on XM Radio this morning with Jamie Moyer of the Seattle Mariners, who pitched a 2-hit complete game shutout on Friday night. Here it is from memory:

Obviously you'd like to go out there and put 9 zeros on the board every night, but you can't do that. You give up a hit, then a run, then you have runners on 2nd and 3rd with less than 2 outs, and your trying to get that second out, and while you may let the runner on third score, you work hard to keep the runner on second from scoring.
(emphasis added). The expected run value with runners on second and third and 1 out is about 1.4 or 1.5, depending on which table you use. I like Moyer's quote because it shows he's developed a feel for when runs score over his 20+ years in the big leagues -- he knows, intuitively, that if only the runner on third scores, you've beaten the expectation by 0.4 runs. If the runner on second also scores, you lost by 0.6 runs. He also appears to have a good understanding of sunk costs -- runners on third with less than 2 outs usually score, so it may be better to focus on avoiding a big inning.

P.S. Wanna feel old? Buck Martinez on XM pointed out that the last time Moyer threw a 2-hit shutout, Ronald Reagan was President.


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