Understanding "Joebermetrics"

Joe Zenzola
July 25, 2018 - 7:58 pm

© Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports

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I've come to the conclusion that every game in a 162-game season is important.

Yes, common logic in baseball is that every team will likely win 60 games and lose 60 games; the other 42 games are the most significant.

After the Brewers were eliminated from postseason contention in the 161st game in 2017, it was amazing how many games you could look back on say to yourself, "the Brewers should have won that game" or "they failed to close the door on this team back on this day"...There's nothing more frustrating as a fan to watch a game that the Crew is kicking butt in, and then they blow the lead and eventually lose.

Those are the kind of games that you MUST win. If you can't consistently close the door on your opponents, why should you deserve a playoff berth? 

Let me introduce you to "Joebermetrics" a.k.a. the "Should have won, Should have lost Tracker"

This spreadsheet logs games that fall into situations where the Brewers are in a position to win, but instead lose that game in the end. This also examines the opposite - where it was the clear the Brewers would lose the game, but instead pulled off a come-from-behind victory. 

Last season, when the Brewers won the division in the 163rd game of the season, Milwaukee finished +4 in WAER (wins above expected results); they won 16 games they should have lost, while losing 12 games they should have won. The positive number of four wins above expected results is a good mark for the Brewers.

How does a game fit the Joebermetrics formula? It must fall into one of these two categories...

#1

The Brewers must rally from four runs or more at any point in the game. For example, if the Brewers trail 6-2 in the 4th inning and later take the lead and win the game, it will be charted as such.

The Brewers must blow a four run or more lead at any point in the game. For example, if the Brewers led 8-1 in the 3rd, and later give up the lead and then lose that game, it will also be charted as such.

In this first category, I feel it's appropriate for the minimum lead/deficit to be four runs. When watching a game, that margin usually tells me where the outcome of the game is leaning towards. If you don't agree with that specific margin, I respect that. A one, two, or three run lead/deficit in the early goings of a game can easily be made up in either situation.

#2

The Brewers must rally from any lead after the 7th inning or beyond. For example, if the Brewers trail 3-1 in the 8th inning and later take the lead and win the game, it will be charted as such.

The Brewers must blow any lead after the 7th inning or beyond. For example, if the Brewers lead 4-3 in the 9th inning and then give up the lead and lose the game, it will be charted as such.

As we all know, when you're in the last third of a baseball game, it's up to the back-end of your bullpen to lock things down. Typically, bullpens are successful in doing so. Holds and saves are important statistics for any reliever. That's why I believe that if the Brewers have a lead into the 7th or later, they're expected to win that game. If they trail in the 7th or later, I think it's harder to rally because you only have nine outs to give.

New clause: If the Brewers, regardless of how the previous eight innings went, blow a lead or walk it off in the 9th when trailing, that will be charted as such. 

Make sense? Click the link below to see the full log from the 2019 season! Some of these crazy outcomes will refresh your memory!