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we_won_we_won_by_one_run | April | 2009 Articles

2009 Archives

We Won! We Won! By One Run

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Winning games 1-0 is exciting and fun -- as we did last night (highlights here) -- but it's not a great thing to hang your hat on. Last night was the Braves' first 1-0 victory since 2005, when they had two: April 18 against the Astros and June 4 against the Pirates.

Since that last one-run victory on June 5, the Braves have played 608 games, 165 of which (27%) have been decided by one run. They are 302-306 since June 5, 2005, and 65-100 in one-run games -- so they're 31 games over .500 in games that were decided by more than one run.

Those aren't numbers that make you feel good about this team in close games. Those are numbers that make you think two things: we don't have a bullpen that can shut the door late, and we don't have an offense that can score insurance runs.

In "Late and Close" situations, defined by baseball-reference as "PA in the 7th or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck," we've been below league average this year and last: this year, we have a .718 OPS late and close while the major league average is .738, and last year we had a .714 OPS late and close while the ML average was .729. Keeping in mind those same splits, our pitchers have given up a .731 OPS late and close this year, and gave up a .742 OPS late and close last year.

In other words, we're a below average hitting team late and close, and right around an average pitching team. That's not a recipe for success.

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