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Grumblings on the Rakuten Eagles from 9/28/2009

by on Sep.28, 2009 @ 3:16 pm, under NPB

I'm not a huge Suguru Egawa fan, but on Sunday night's Super Urugusu he said he felt the Eagles had a chance at making it to the Climax Series in second place.  He threw up the following two tables:

Table 1

1st Nippon Ham Fighters 628 507
2nd Softbank Hawks 580 568
3rd Rakuten Eagles 543 562
4th Seibu Lions 629 570

Table 2

April 72 85
May 90 101
June 62 73
July 85 111
August 114 86
September 120 106

For table 1, Egawa notes that the Eagles are the only team in the top four that don't have more runs scored than runs allowed.  And then he says that the reason why the Eagles still managed to win games was because of their top three pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Satoshi Nagai.

For table 2, Egawa says that the Eagles are undergoing a change: the team has scored more than they have allowed in the two most recent months of the year.

But I think the September numbers can be a bit deceiving.  Especially if you consider 21 of the 120 runs scored to be from 2 games.  Throw in their 9-5 and 10-4 victories against the Chiba Lotte Marines on the 18th and 19th and suddenly the run differential isn't that big of a deal (subtract the totals from those four games and you get 80 RS vs 87 RA).

Let's take a look at some different numbers in the month of September.

...is 15-9 so far this month.

...is 4-2 in 1-run games; 1-0 in 2-run games; and 3-1 in 3-run games.

...scored 10+ runs in three games and 9 runs in two games.

...were shut-out twice.

...starters have a 4.19 ERA while the bullpen has a 5.31 ERA.

...are hitting .282 in the month of September (229-for-812).

...are hitting .287 at home (114-for-397) with 53 RS over 12 games.

...are hitting .277 away (115-for-415) with 67 RS over 12 games.

...offense is averaging 5 runs a game (120 RS in 24 G).

So while the offense has gotten better this month, the quality of pitching has dropped.

Starters CG Bullpen Offense
YTD 3.81 17 4.33 4.08 RPG
September 4.19 2 5.31 5.00 RPG

That doesn't really instill a whole lot of confidence in me, especially when we start talking about the post-season where good pitching tends to beat out good hitting.  But for the time being, the key question is:

If the Eagles pitching doesn't improve, can the offense continue to carry the ball club?  If so, for how much longer?

2 comments on “Grumblings on the Rakuten Eagles from 9/28/2009

  1. Squampton

    Unless I’m missing something, isn’t the easiest number to look at Games Remaining? Softbank has 6 while Rakuten has 11. If the Eagles can get a split in this week’s series then 2nd place is definitely within reach.

    The bullpen has been crap all year, but with a shortened playoff rotation they can throw a starter in the bullpen… and pray!

    I’ve also found a new home for my blog, please update the link :)


    1. Gen Post author

      Yeah, but looking at the games remaining is too easy and isn’t any fun. :p

      Link has been updated. Congrats on the new URL.

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