I arrived at Wrigley Field in good time to start my stats work. I'm not sure whether Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster reads fangraphs and the other stat sites, but he knows what he sees. In fact, Demp was really onto something last night when it comes to Cubs closer Carlos Marmol.
"If you look at his strikeout numbers to innings pitched, hits to innings pitched...he'll go through a stretch every once in awhile where he walks some guys. But even if he walks somebody, he ends up striking other guys out," Demp said. "He's got a lot of confidence. He's got a good game plan out there. He's starting to get some command, which can make things really scary. He's starting to get that fastball down and away, and he's got as good a slider as I've ever seen and as anybody in the league has right now."
Marmol is even better than that. In fact, he's on record-pace better than that. Here's a doff of the chapeau to my stats buddy, Len Kasper, for pointing me to Joe Sheehan's piece in the Wall Street Journal about Marmol and his strikeouts-to-batters-faced, which is on major-league record pace.
Through last night's game, Marmol had faced 99 batters, striking out 46 of them. That means he has struck out 46.4 percent of the batters he's faced. For a whole season, that would be a major-league record. The existing mark was set in 2003 by Eric Gagne, who struck out 44.8 percent (137 of 306) of the batters he faced.
For the season, Marmol has pitched 23.2 innings, striking out 46 batters. That's 17.49 per 9 innings. His record is 1-0 with a 1.52 ERA, and he has his WHIP down to a tidy 1.14.
On the other side of the stats, Ryan Theriot is in a bad way. For the season, The Riot has a line of .297/.325/.330 for an OPS of .654. It's even worse in May, at .250/.267/.262 for an OPS of .529. Theriot has 1 walk and 9 strikeouts this month, that walk coming on May 1.
His isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average, measuring extra-basehit ability) is only .032. Last year, the ISO was .085 (thanks to his little power surge), and in 2008, it was .052. Theriot's weighted on-base (wOBA) is .300, and his wins above replacement player (WAR) currently sits at 0.1.
I brought the walks up to Lou in the pregame session and he seemed a little flummoxed, but it got him to thinking. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Theriot hitting eighth tomorrow. Lou’s done that in the past to get him out of slumps, usually with good results.
I suggested in yesterday’s paper that Castro should bat second. On his own, Lou brought up that the Cubs are 7-0 when that happens. As far as third base goes, Lou says Aramis Ramirez will take some flip drills tomorrow to see how the left hand is coming along. The swelling is down, according to Lou.
Kind of quiet in the minors yesterday. Casey Coleman pitched 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs for Iowa as he won to improve to 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA. At Daytona (A) Brooks Raley also went 6 innings getting a victory. He gave up 6 hits and 2 runs. Raley is 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA. At Peoria (A), Trey McNutt went to 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in a 2-0 win over Cedar Rapids. McNutt worked 5 innings, giving up 2 hits.
Let’s keep the rain away tonight. Enjoy.