Thursday Rockpile: Role playing games

MLB.com national writer Doug Miller seems to see the Phillies victory yesterday as the natural order of the baseball universe restoring itself and putting everybody in their proper place:

But when Cole Hamels fires the first pitch at 2:37 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park, we'll have the exact scenario we could have expected from this first-round matchup: the World Series champions flexing their muscles at home and the scrappy, resilient Rockies steeling themselves for yet another comeback on Major League Baseball's big stage.

The Phillies over the course of the 162 game regular season were slightly better than the Rockies, a 92 win team if we go by their expected record from runs scored/allowed (which is probably a more accurate measure of team strength than the actual record) compared to the 90 win team that Colorado was. Two games in the 2009 season and a best of seven series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays eleven months ago is apparently what transforms the Phillies into some sort of heavyweight with a huge advantage over the pesky, inferior Rockies who will have to resiliently scrap their way into a series win (also read as fluke). This simply isn't true, and it won't be true even if the Phillies sweep the Rockies, just like it wasn't true that the Rockies were that superior a team to Philadelphia in 2007.

Do not read anything into the results of a short series. If you are seeing some sort of clear randomness beating advantage for one team over the other, you are missing something and need to look closer. Just hope your team comes out on top. 

Mark Kiszla tries to offer some advice to Jim Tracy in this regard, and whenever I find myself in agreement with what Kiszla says, I have to wonder what I'm doing wrong. Actually, I'm only in partial agreement. I really don't think that the Rockies lose power by replacing Brad Hawpe with Seth Smith, particularly if they're also replacing Garrett Atkins with Ian Stewart

Jim Armstrong writes about Ubaldo Jimenez. 

And just in case you missed it yesterday, Rick Reilly licked the capitol dome in Denver to fulfill a promise he made if the Rockies made the playoffs. I have no idea why people don't make outlandish promises like "finish a bowl of ice cream" or "visit Hawaii," but if licking domes is their thing, more power to them.

I'm going to abbreviate the post and end it here so there's a fresh thread on the front page. Feel free to add other links you've found this morning in the comments.

P.S. - Dex at Gaslamp Ball for many years warned us about the evil of Jayson Werth, I really wish we paid more attention to him and sent somebody to get rid of this guy while we had the chance.

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