Players of the Day: September 17th

I’m going to be honest with you, reader(s). I didn’t watch the Braves game yesterday. I kept up with the score on my phone until I saw the Gnats take the lead, then I tuned it out altogether. A mediocre season is one thing. I can handle the losses. But I don’t want to sit and watch the rival team take the division and put us below .500 in the same night, especially not on our own field. So instead, my roommate and I started what will be our main project for the rest of this year and some of next: restoring a 1978 Suzuki GS750. In the midst of scraping my hand, spilling oil on the ground, stripping out a bolt, and taking sips of my beer in between cussing at the old wiring harness, the problems of this Braves season seemed to just melt away. Will I watch the rest of the games? Of course I will. My heart just couldn’t take the one last night. Fortunately, a lot of other good baseballing did take place, so let’s have a look at that.

RAW PERFORMANCE PLAYER OF THE DAY

Remember yesterday when I mentioned that the upper bound for game scores is typically around 100, and that only the greatest of games are able to achieve it? Well a certain Cubs pitcher came damn close yesterday while facing the Reds. Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the 8th before giving up the sole hit in his complete game shut out gem. Arrieta struck out 13 Reds batters with 110 pitches, walking only one. Clayton Kershaw’s 15 strikeout perfect game no-hitter and Madison Bumgarner’s 13 strikeout one-hitter have been the only games to best Arrieta’s 97 Game Score from last night. This was also the 17th highest Game Score for any start going back to 2000, but the statistic isn’t adjusted for the run environment at the time, so it’s really best to only compare within a given season. Either way, it was outstanding performance worthy of the highest praise. What is the highest praise, you ask? POTD, I answer.

"You see this ball? Ima kick ass with this ball today."

“You see this ball? Ima kick ass with this ball today.”

CONTEXTUAL PLAYER OF THE DAY

JD Martinez was so close to winning this award. All Joe Nathan had to do was to keep the Twins- the freaking Twins!!!- from scoring in the bottom of the 9th, and JD’s go-ahead 3 run homer would have given the Tigers the win. Instead, ole Joe continued his downward spiral by allowing the Minnesota club to rally for two runs. I guess I could give the award to Kurt Suzuki, who drove in the tying run against the Tigers, or maybe Aaron Hicks, who finally hit the walk-off single, but I think the blame for that should fall more on Joe than them. Instead, I’m giving the award to one of my absolute favorite players in the game today: Carlos Gomez. I guess as a Braves fan I’m supposed to dislike the guy and think he’s some sort of arrogant prick ruining the game blah blah blah.. but look, the kid is absurdly talented, hits big home runs, steals bases, and makes diving catches in centerfield with the intensity of almost no other player. He’s the definition of exciting to watch, and that’s just what he was in the 12th inning in the Brewers game against Cardinals. Gomez stole both second and third base against the demigod known as Yadier Molina (tongue firmly in cheek here) before finally scoring the winning run on another Gomez’s, Hector in this case, bloop single. It was also Hector’s first career RBI, so I guess I could just give this award to one “Mr. Gomez” and let you decide which of the two deserves it more. Either way, it was some great baseballing from some great baseballers, and it takes home our honors.

Gomez

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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