PADRES 9, Brewers 0: Fun With Odds | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.


I’m not sure what I watched last night, but I’m pretty confident it wasn’t a major league baseball game. 13 singles, no extra base hits? Ground balls just finding hole after hole after hole? I’m not bitter or anything, but please. I thought Doug Davis actually pitched pretty well – there were only a couple hard hit balls, and a bunch of grounders that found their way through.

What really broke the game open was a 5 run 4th inning. Here’s the play log from that inning:

With runners on first and second, San Diego hitters recorded hits on three straight ground balls. Then, after a fielder’s choice, David Eckstein singled on a fly ball to center, scoring another run. The league batting average on ground balls is .236, and the league batting average on fly balls is .138. The odds of all four falling in for hits – with no knowledge of their trajectory – is .236*.236*.236*.138 = .00181, or .181%. Obviously, the hits managed to fall in because of their trajectories, but I’m more inclined to believe that that is luck as opposed to some sort of latent skill from the batters.

Then, we have the 5th inning, in which the Padres tacked on 4 more runs and chased Doug Davis. Here’s the play log from that inning:

Here we see seven straight singles, on a grounder, two line drives, and four fly balls. The batting average on line drives is substantially higher than on grounders or flies, at .724. So the odds of this sequence occuring is .236*.724*.724*.138*.138*.138*.138 = .0000449 = .00448%. 4 times out of 100000 for the 5th inning. 1 time out of 1000 for the 4th. This game was just the randomness of baseball at its finest, and I wouldn’t take too much out of it.


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