Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
And your breath's as hard as kerosene.
You weren't your mama's only boy
But her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams.
Poncho was a bandit, boys
His horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel.
Poncho met his match you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
And nobody heard his dyin' words
Ah, but that's how the story goes.
All the Federals say
Could've had him any day
Only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose.
Lefty he can't sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Poncho bit down south
Ended up in Lefty's mouth.
-- Poncho and Lefty by Emmylou Harris
Statistical analysis and commentary from Conor Sen
One interesting statistic at the 50-game mark is the struggles of playoff contenders vs left-handed pitching. In 2004, here were the records of
playoff contenders vs LHP:
Tot: 187-106 (.638)
No problems at all. Now look at 2005:
Tot: 54-50 (.519)
vs RHP: 180-117 (.606)
Maybe this is another case of statistics lying, but there appears to be
something here. Because of this, teams that appear to be patsies may in
fact give contenders more trouble than their fans expect. Below is a
breakdown of AL teams featuring LHP starters with ERAs under 5:
BAL: 2 (Bedard, Chen)
BOS: 0 (a doughnut, the preferred food of a guy who could end up here)
CLE: 2 (Lee, Sabathia)
CWS: 1 (Buehrle)
DET: 2 (Robertson, Maroth -- plus Ledezma with a 6.75 ERA)
LAA: 1 (Washburn)
MIN: 1 (Santana)
NYY: 1 (Johnson)
OAK: 1 (Zito)
TBD: 2 (Kazmir, Hendrickson)
TEX: 1 (Rogers)
TOR: 1 (Chacin)
It's tough enough that teams have to deal with unequal scheduling due to
unbalanced division and interleague play, but if this RHP/LHP disparity
holds up, playoff spots may be determined by how much LHP a team faces due to rotation schedules. Ironically, the D-Rays, Indians and Tigers, who may all finish below .500, could give the Big Four in the AL East just as much trouble as they do when they play each other -- just ask the O's (1-5 vs Detroit) and Yanks (2-4 vs Tampa).