Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Busy Body

Jadwin lobby, Day 2. It's still not finished.

That's okay. As TB said yesterday, it's going to look great when it's done.

One thing TigerBlog forgot yesterday was to tell you the leading scorer for Princeton in the first game played in Jadwin. He does this a lot. He asks a questions, figures he'll wait a few paragraphs to give the answer and then forgets all about it.

The answer was Chris Thomforde. How many of you got that?

What else can TB tay to you today?

Oh, the Yankees traded for Sonny Gray. If you've seen the movie "Donnie Brasco," then you know who Sonny Black and Sonny Red were.

TigerBlog can tell you that, with one week left in the Major League Lacrosse regular season, Denver and Ohio have clinched home games in the semifinals and Florida has also clinched a playoff spot.

There are four other teams who are either 7-6 or 6-7. 

He's paid much closer attention to the Major League Lacrosse than Major League Baseball. There was a time when TB would know where every team was in the standings, where he'd watch a lot of baseball over the course of a season. Now? He roots for Tom McCarthy, the TV voice of the Phillies, and any Princeton players who happen to be playing.

He does know that the Astros, Dodgers and Nationals are having big years. And that the Yankees have done surprisingly well. And that the Mets - Barlow's team, by the way - aren't.

He also knows that Princeton has two alums on Major League Baseball rosters and 10 alums playing professional baseball this summer. You can get information on all of them right HERE.

Princeton has had a great run in producing professional baseball talent. Among the most recent group of Major Leaguers were former Princeton two-sport athletes Will Venable and Chris Young, who were both dominant basketball players as undergrads.

Young's long career in the Majors appears to have ended, though he does have the distinction of owning a World Series ring, which he won with the Kansas City Royals in 2015.

The two Princeton alums on Major League rosters now are Danny Barnes, who is with Blue Jays (though he's on the disabled list at the moment) and Matt Bowman with the Cardinals. The Blue Jays, by the way, lead Major League Baseball in attendance.

Bowman? He also leads the Majors in something - appearances by a pitcher.

In fact, Bowman has been in 54 games, or two more than half of the 106 that the Cards have played so far. He is 2-4 with one save, but those numbers hardly describe his worth.

With the way baseball is played these days, a team needs arms like Bowman's. It's already Aug. 2. Erwin Santana of the Twins has the most complete games in the Majors. Any guesses how many he has?


Go back 10 years, and the league high was seven complete games. Go back 30 years, and the league high was 18 games.

In other words, starters don't go deep in games, and bullpens need a lot of depth.

It's also interesting that going back 30 years, the back end guy in the bullpen didn't only pitch in save situations. The top seven closers that year combined for 237 saves, but they also combined to finish 399 games. In other words, they'd pitch a lot in non-save situations.

This year, the top seven closers currently have combined for 192 saves. They also have combined to finish 262 games. In other words, closers are much less likely to get into non-save situations today.

It is, by the way, the dopiest thing in all of sports, pitching a closer only in save situations. There is nothing else in all of sports that TigerBlog can think of where strategy is dictated solely by stat keeping rules. So many games are lost in the sixth and seventh while presumably your best short reliever sits in the bullpen, waiting for the ninth inning to get there.

On the other hand, it works out well for Bowman, and he's a Princeton guy.

He pitched again last night, going two-thirds of an inning, in the eighth, of a 3-2 loss to the Brewers. It was an odd game, as Milwaukee scored three times in the first and then was shut out the rest of the way.

Bowman, by the way, was never a first-team All-Ivy League selection at Princeton. He was, in 2011, a second-team selection - as a shortstop. 

No comments: