Players of the Day: September 3rd

Today, I’m introducing a new, daily post in which I recognize the players who had the greatest performance of the day before. Since we spreadsheet jockeys don’t have the time nor the inclination to actually watch a baseballing match, this will provide us with just enough of a recap to say something interesting at the water cooler.

“Did you see Jason Heyward last night? That guy really knows how to put some points on the boards, huh?” *sips coffee* *walks away*

I’ll be providing a Raw Performance Player of the Day (POTD), as well as a Contextual Player of the Day. I’ll use the great sabermetrics given to me by Fangraphs to provide me with candidates, but the actual winners will be determined by my own criterion, which may or may not be arbitrary and/or sometimes biased. For Raw Performance POTD, I’m simply considering who had the most impressive all-around performance, regardless of whether it was in a close game or a blow out. If a guy hits four homeruns in a game that his team loses 20 to 4, he’ll take home the crown. However, for the Contextual Player of the Day, the overall impact of the play both on the game and- since we’re so close to the end of the year- the team’s playoff chances will be considered. For example, if a guy goes 0 for 4 before hitting a walk off single in the bottom of the 12th to put his team at the top of their division, he’ll likely take home the honors. In short, narrative matters for the Contextual POTD but not for the Raw Performance POTD. So anyway, without further ado, here are the September 3, 2014

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RAW PERFORMANCE PLAYER OF THE DAY

This award absolutely has to go to Danny Salazar. As many of you know, I studied Mechanical Engineering. In studying said major, I was required to learn a lot about the physics of moving objects. During my senior year, I did a project in which I studied the dynamics of a baseball in flight. It is because of my being equipped with said knowledge that I am a fanatic, in the classical sense, of said pitcher, Danny Salazar. Why does any of this verbose intro matter, you may be asking? It doesn’t. It’s just a cumbersome way to set up saying that Danny Salazar’s changeup breaks physics.

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It was with this changeup that Danny struck out Nick Castellanos to finish off his first complete game and his first complete game shutout. Danny struck out 9 total tigers across those 9 innings while allowing 8 hits and nary a walk. Congratulations, Danny. You are the first Braves General Store POTD.

CONTEXTUAL PLAYER OF THE DAY

If you look simply at Win Percentage Added (a statistic that calculates exactly what it says it calculates), Justin Turner was the Braves General Store’s Player of the Day Sponsored by Norton’s Chevrolet Dealership and Bait Shop. However, it was via a Reach on Error that Justin Turner increased the Dodgers chances of winning so drastically. He hit a fly ball to right, and Jayson Werth dropped it, which allowed the Dodgers to tie the game. In a case such as this, though, some of that WPA credit should be going to a certain Nationals right fielder for making said error. Not only that, but the Dodgers didn’t even go on to win that game, so regardless of its impact on his team’s chances, they still lost. If you still want to argue that regardless of how it happened, Justin Turner had the play of the game, then allow me to pose this simple question: what do chicks dig?

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http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_09_03_sfnmlb_colmlb_1&mode=video&content_id=35920905&tcid=vpp_copy_35920905

That’s right, chicks dig the long ball. In the 5th inning of the Rockies and Giants baseballing contest, Nolan Arenado launched a 3 run dinger that put the Rockies ahead, where they would stay for the remainder of the game. It should be noted that Corey Dickerson also launched two home runs in this game, but provided the context of how it happened- putting the Rockies in the lead- Arenado’s blast was the cooler play. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that any loss for the Giants is a win for the Braves as we hunt down the highly lauded one game playoff series to get into October.

CONTEXTUAL PLAYER OF THE DAY CONSIDERING AN EVEN BROADER CONTEXT

If you follow baseball at all, you know that Tommy John surgeries have been a big issue as of late. It’s difficult to come back from one of these surgeries, and it’s even more difficult to come back from two. But that’s exactly what Arizona’s Daniel Hudson did, as he pitched a perfect 8th inning in last night’s game against the Padres. He got Abraham Almonte to ground out to short, followed by a strangely caught liner from Yangervis Solarte, and finished via Alexi Amarista groundout to 2nd. When I checked my phone this morning, I saw this tweet:

Congratulations on your return to the big stage, Hudson! The General Store wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

Stephen came up with the idea for this blog shortly after graduating from Tech. Realizing that life is ephemeral, he decided to put (metaphorical) pen to paper and catalogue his thoughts. His thoughts are series of numbers and spreadsheets, casually categorized as “research,” and said research is usually conducted on the margins of what is both relevant and socially acceptable.

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