Bruce Bochy, Winning the Close Ones

From SABR member Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus on July 26:

When the Giants lost to Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw, 1-0 last Wednesday, it was an unusual occurrence for the defending champs. No, not getting blanked by Kershaw; he is a great pitcher, and that will happen. It’s unusual that the Giants lost a one-run game. Even after falling to Kershaw, they are 27-13 in such contests this year (all statistics are through games of July 24), which helps explain why the team is doing so well (59-43 vs. 53-49 Pythagorean record) despite a pedestrian run differential. Their record in one-run games is tops in the big leagues, besting Philadelphia’s 17-9.

Inspired by a recent SABR-L mailing list discussion about one-run games, I took a little walk through history. What the Giants are doing this year is good, but not historically great. Here are the top 10 single-season winning percentages in one-run games since 1901, when such records first become readily available, along with each team’s record in other games for context.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 26, 2011. Last Updated: July 26, 2011.