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Will Jim Hendry’s [CENSORED] Work In The Playoffs?

In Moneyball, Michael Lewis quotes Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane as saying:
“My sh_t doesn't work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is f_cking luck.”
In Baseball Between The Numbers, the editors of Baseball Prospectus ask the question raised by Beane’s frank self-analysis: Why hasn't the guy’s sh---t worked? To get to the answer, BP identified 26 different measures of team quality—everything from things like regular season won-loss record, late-season W-L record, run differential, and team playoff experience to the more arcane Percent Of Runs Scored On Home Runs and Isolated Power—and after a lot of number-crunching and analysis, they concluded that three factors have “the most fundamental and direct relationship” to playoff success:

Game 160 Thread / Cubs @ Reds (1 of 3)

Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Carlos Zambrano vs. Bronson Arroyo Lineups:
Soriano LF Hopper CF
Kendall C Keppinger SS
Lee 1B Votto 1B
Floyd RF Phillips 2B
Ramirez 3B Encarnacion 3B
DeRosa 2B Valentin C
Jones CF Coats LF
Theriot SS Ellison RF
Zambrano P Arroyo P
The hopes of all Cubdom rest on the broad shoulders of Zambrano, who has pitched well in three of his last four starts. The clinker in that bunch, unfortunately, was a 5-2 loss to the Reds, who have already beaten Carlos four times this season. Zambrano's strikeout numbers are down significantly in '07; he's had particular trouble missing Cincinnati bats (just 11 K in 28 2/3 IP). Importantly, though, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey, and Josh Hamilton--combined 1.112 OPS against Zambrano this year--are all sitting this one out with injuries.

Game 154 Thread/Pirates @ Cubs (1 of 3)

Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Paul Maholm vs. Jason Marquis Lineups:
Morgan CF Soriano LF
McLouth LF DeRosa 2B
Sanchez 2B Lee 1B
LaRoche 1B Ramirez 3B
Nady RF Murton RF
Bautista 3B Soto C
Paulino C Monroe CF
Izturis SS Theriot SS
Maholm P Marquis P
Welcome, everyone, to Jeff Bennett Day at The Cub Reporter! In their 2007 annual, the Baseball Prospectus gang describes Pirates starter Paul Maholm as "a pitch-to-contact, ground-ball lefty." Sounds like Cub Kryptonite to me. The fact is, however, despite having lost to Maholm twice already this season, the Cubs have hit him hard--8 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings, including homers by Ramirez, Pagan, and a catcher who is now dead to us in a losing cause back on May 10th.

Game 153 Thread/Reds @ Cubs (3 of 3)

Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Tom Shearn vs. Ted Lilly Lineups:
N. Hopper CF A. Soriano LF
J. Keppinger SS R. Theriot SS
K. Griffey RF D. Lee 1B
B. Phillips 2B C. Floyd RF
A. Dunn LF A. Ramirez 3B
E. Encarnacion 3B M. DeRosa 2B
J. Votto 1B J. Jones CF
D. Ross C G. Soto C
T. Shearn P T. Lilly P
Time for the Cubbies to take a big bite out of that .00027 winning-percentage-point lead the Brewers have built in the National League Central. Lilly takes the mound on three days' rest following a well-pitched ND against the Cardinals. The lefty is 1-1 against the Reds this season, but in 18 IP, Lilly has allowed a mere 11 hits, striking out 24 and walking just 4. As for the Reds starter... When Rick Ankiel was implicated in baseball's ongoing HGH mess and went from being MLB's Feel-Good Story of 2007 to just another suspect, 30-year-old righthander Tom Shearn shot to the top of the Feel-Good list. In case you haven't heard them, the facts are these:

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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 2 hours 50 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 5 hours 36 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 5 hours 40 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 6 hours 25 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 11 hours 16 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 29 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 33 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 13 hours 51 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 21 hours 4 min ago view