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Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh, 16 May 2006

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Harang, Maholm (MLB.com)

7:05 PM, FSNP, KDKA

Aaron Harang (5-1, 4.02)  vs. Paul Maholm (1-4, 5.03). Harang is the Reds' best pitcher, which in this case means he'd be a legit #2 starter on a good team. He faced the Pirates once this year already, on April 8, when he happened to draw the Bucs in the one week all year in which they could hit anything. Harang allowed five runs in 6 2/3 despite striking out ten and walking none.

Box Score: This one's delayed. Jeromy Burnitz is batting fifth again, because you just have to go R-L-R. I'm sure Burnitz's handedness is really going to cause the opposing manager sleepless nights.

...And we're underway, an hour late.

-P- Here's a good article by the Stats Geek disproving yet again the idea that Craig Wilson only produces when it doesn't matter. Actually, the article is an exploration of a new tool called FanGraphs that's becoming pretty trendy among bloggers. These graphs are certainly cool toys and you can learn a lot from them, but there's also a danger in seeing a low WPA from someone with good stats and assuming that the WPA represents a hitter's skill level, and not his OPS or whatever. Except in extremely limited circumstances, getting a hit at an opportune time is not a skill. The Stats Geek seems to recognize this, pointing out that Freddy Sanchez's low WPA is likely to rise if he continues to hit as well as he has.

(Over at Primer, Vlad reminds us that Sanchez has largely flopped as a pinch-hitter - he's 2 for 13 on the year. Pinch-hit at-bats often come in high-leverage situations. That's probably why his WPA is so low.)