Reno 7, Round Rock 2

Round Rock is a little town just north of Austin Texas. The Round Rock Express plays there, AAA minor league baseball affiliate of the Texas Rangers. When I visited family in the area my brother took his son and me to a game on the evening of 25 May 2011.

The Express lost to the Reno Aces. An Austin American-Statesman after-action article blamed poor hitting ("Express bats cooled off as Reno rolls to win"). But the box score and my record of the game tell a rather different story. In the third inning, a Reno batter singles, steals a base, and then advances on a wild pitch before scoring. Another runner that same inning moves to second on a wild pitch but is eventually stranded. After a base on balls in the fourth inning, a Reno player steals a base before advancing to home on a double. The fifth inning sees a Reno player walk, steal a base, and then go to third on a wild pitch; he's tagged out at the plate when the Round Rock left fielder makes an excellent throw. In the ninth, versus a different pitcher, Reno scores its seventh run after a batter walks and then proceeds to second on a wild pitch.

Round Rock's pitchers gave up nine walks, produced four wild pitches, and suffered three stolen bases. Reno's had two walks, no wild pitches, and met with no stolen bases. So was it erratic pitching that cost Round Rock the game, not weak hitting? Round Rock batters got 9 hits; Reno had 10.

But then again, as Robin points out, a recent XKCD comic suggests that perhaps all sports commentary is just the result of building narratives around a weighted random process ...

(cf. RoundRockExpress (2004-06-04), ...) - ^z - 2011-06-03