If this game wasn't just the worst thing ever, I don't think I know what is. Here's a numbered-list summary of the events.
- John Maine was terrible.
- John Lannan pitched the Nationals' first complete game of the season.
- The Mets sent just three batters more than the minimum to the plate.
That's it. Any other details I gave you would be superfluous. There's nothing about this game worth repeating here. Nobody on the Mets did anything particularly interesting. I guess Fernando Nieve struck out two in two scoreless innings. There, are you happy? You got something out of me.
Instead of dwelling on this shipwreck of a game, I'd like to be a little more positive about things. That can't really happen within the context of any discussion about this game, so instead I'll point out that the new ESPN.com boxscores are pretty great. They've included starting pitcher game scores for a number of years now, but just recently they added a few new bells and whistles that really help distinguish them from everyone else's generic boxes.
First, they've ditched the player 'LOB' column, which was mostly useless. They've replaced it with a '#P' column, which indicates the total number of pitches seen by that batter across his plate appearances. This is great. Now we know that Luis Castillo saw 21 pitches in his four times up. We also know that Omir Santos saw seven pitches in his three times to the plate.
ESPN has also added a column to the player boxes; to the right of the 'AVG' column is a new 'OBP' one, so you can easily tell each player's on-base percentage for the season.
Lastly, they've enhanced the pitcher sub-box (the information beneath the pitcher line score) to include first pitch strikes as a ratio to total batters faced, but they've also added complete strike breakdowns. Now we know how many strikes were called strikes, swinging strikes, foul balls, and in-play strikes. This is awesome, frankly. ESPN's baseball coverage -- both on teevee and the internets -- takes a lot of abuse, much of it from this community, almost all of it entirely deserved. The one thing ESPN.com has done well over the years is provide solid sortable stats -- both for individual players and for teams -- and now they've improved an already solid boxscore. So, a tip of the cap to the four-letter: they may get a whole lot of things wrong, but they got this one right.
P.S. This might be the worst swag contest I've ever seen. Check out the link below; a total of 40 points were earned by 31 participants.
Big winners: Omir Santos, +3.9% WPA, Luis Castillo, +2.8% WPA
Big losers: John Maine, -26.5% WPA, Emil Brown, -11.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Santos single in third, +3.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Dunn two-run homerun in first, -14.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -25.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: -24.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Adam Dunn
Nice job by JADDENHOPKINS; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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