October 30, 2006
THE WAY THEY LOST:
Shocktoberfest (Nate Silver, October 28, 2006, Sports Illustrated)
I've just watched the Detroit Tigers play 44 innings of terrible baseball. They couldn't hit, they couldn't field, they couldn't run the bases, and all the pine tar in the world isn't going to buy you a championship when you can't do any of those things.Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2006 2:56 PM
I don't think it was bad luck. I think this team wasn't in the right frame of mind to play winning baseball.
You want numbers? I'll give you numbers.
During the regular season, Tigers pitchers had a respectable .939 fielding percentage. During the World Series, Tigers pitchers made five errors in 17 chances. The odds of that happening based on chance alone are 355-to-1 against.
During the regular season, Detroit's leadoff hitters got on base 33 percent of the time. During the World Series, their leadoff men reached base five times in 44 plate appearances. The odds of that happening based on chance alone are 843-to-1 against.
In other words, it wasn't that the Tigers lost. It was the way in which they lost.