Thurm: Fun with day-game stats

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at Baseball Nation on September 1, 2012:

You know when you get an idea in your head about baseball? You’re sure a player has performed a certain way or your favorite team has a certain record in one-run games? And then you go to look at the statistics, and things are not exactly what you thought or how you remembered them? But you have to keep looking because the question is bugging you. You have to dig deeper. More at-bats. More seasons. And down the baseball-research rabbit hole you go.


It happened to me again yesterday. Although this time, it was a fellow Giants fan and Twitter friend who put the idea in my head. “The Giants are just terrible in day games,” he wrote. “I bet their day-game record is below .400 if you go all the way back to 2000.” Down the rabbit hole.

It turns out that ESPN has kept track of team records in day games and night games back to 2004. The Giants’ record in day games from the beginning of the 2004 season through today (when they lost a day game to the Cubs)? 237-255 or a .481 winning percentage. So above .400 for the last eight-plus, almost nine seasons. Perhaps that winning percentage would fall below .400 if I went back to 2000, but I doubt it, given that the Giants won the National League wild card in 2000 and 2002 and the National League West in 2003. But that rabbit hole is for another day.

Because once I knew the Giants’ record in day games back to 2004, I had to know the other 29 teams’ records in day games. Well, time isn’t limitless, so I went back as far as 2008. And then I wanted to know how each team’s record in day games compared to their overall records. And which team had the best day-game record since 2008. And which had the worst. And which team had the biggest differential between its overall record and its day game record? Because the information was there. So down the baseball-research rabbit hole I went.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 4, 2012. Last Updated: September 4, 2012.