Sunday, July 11, 2010
Perfect!!! Well, close enough...
Travis Wood toed the rubber on Saturday night against the pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies. The rest was almost history, as Wood flirted with perfection before Carlos Ruiz broke it up by opening up the 9th inning with a double. Despite the leadoff double, Wood settled back in to retire the next three hitters without any more damage.
When it was all said and done, Wood tossed 9 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0 hit batters, and only 1 hit allowed. Unfortunately, the Reds offense was up against Roy Halladay and couldn't scrap out a single run. Given that Wood pitches in the era of the pitch count, he wasn't allowed to work any deeper into the game and was denied the chance at the win.
Still, it was an undeniably brilliant performance. He kept the Phillies off-balance with his curveball and changeup, but also overpowered them with a fastball that routinely touched 93 and even 94 mph. Personally, I love the deadfish changeup that he threw on several occasions to righthanded hitters. He started it on the outside corner and let it fade down and away. He also flashed the cutter that chewed up a righthanded hitter or two by getting in on the hands.
On the day, he threw 109 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. Of those strikes, 6 were swings-and-misses, 27 were called, and 41 were the result of contact.
Overall, it was a fairly remarkable performance. In fact, I'm not entirely sure we appreciate how remarkable it was. It was one of the best pitching performances in the history of the organization. Just for fun, let's analyze it in terms of Game Score, which was developed by Bill James and is calculated as follows:
1. Start with 50 points.
2. Add 1 point for every out recorded.
3. Add 2 points for every inning completed after the 4th.
4. Add 1 point for each strikeout.
5. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.
6. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed.
7. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed.
8. Subtract 1 point for each walk allowed.
Travis Wood's near perfect-o was worth a robust 93 points in terms of Game Score. To give it some context and put the performance in the proper perspective, Wood's 93 Game Score tied him for the 18th best in Reds history. In the history of baseball's first professional organization, only 17 games have been better than Travis Wood's 3rd career start!
Here is the list:
1. Paul Derringer: 99
2. Harry Perkowski: 97
3. Dolf Loque: 96
4. Mario Soto: 95
5. Jim Maloney: 95
6. Jim Maloney: 95
7. Si Johnson: 95
8. Tom Browning: 94
9. Bruce Berenyi: 94
10. Jim Maloney: 94
11. Joe Nuxhall: 94
12. Dolf Luque: 94
13. Travis Wood: 93