Reading through the Padre blogs and message boards I certainly get a sense that many fans are in ‘panic mode.’ Now I’m not exactly sure what that is, but for these purposes, let’s assume it means that, based on the first 20 games, your expectation of the Padres final record has dramatically changed. Something like that. So, are you panicked?
Frankly, I am not. I’m honestly not sure what you can tell in 20 games, and that’s why I’m not all that concerned. I expected them to win around 85 games — now, if I had to guess, I’d say maybe 83 or 84. And if you do the math, that’s simply .525 ball (an 85 win team) from here on out.
If there is an area of concern to me, it’s how badly they have been outscored (surely, I’m not alone in this concern). The Padres have scored 65 and allowed 92. By Pythagenpat, that’s .348% baseball through the first 20 games. That’s certainly terrible, and at this point of the year, I think it resembles bad performance over leveraging the pen or anything like that (but, as usual, I’m not really sure). But the question is … Is 20 games of bad performance (or any kind of performance, really) predictive of future performance. I’m not sure of the answer, but at this point I think preseason projections would be weighted more heavily, especially if nothing catastrophic has happened (like losing a star player to injury).
The Tigers pythagenpat record so far? ~.330%. The Indians and Yankees have been outscored in ’08. How about the ’07 standings about 20 games into the year? Take a look. The Rockies had been outscored by 22 and sat in last place. We know how that turned out … The Cubs and Yankees sat in last place, despite mediocre RS/RA numbers. The Dodgers were +30 in run differential and sitting in first in the N.L West. They were outscored by 22 the rest of the way and finished in 4th.
Being a Padres blog and ‘covering’ the team on a semi-daily basis, it’s tough to say, “we need more games to see how good or bad we are … and even at 162, we won’t really have enough.” That probably isn’t what anybody is looking for, although it is part of the reason why I stay away from the day-by-day analysis for the most part. Anyway, I’m not saying 20 games doesn’t matter. Over the long haul, I’m sure a .350% pythagorean record through 20 games is not exactly a good sign. At the same time, I don’t think it’s enough games to severely alter my preseason thoughts.
If they end up playing .450 ball, well, then I was wrong. For now I’m stickin’ with the Pads … at least as a competitive, 82-86 win team. How about you? Are ya in panic mode yet?