NERD Game Scores: Brandon McCarthy Returns

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.


Most Highly Rated Game
Colorado at Los Angeles NL | 16:10 ET
Gray (76.1 IP, 82 xFIP-) vs. McCarthy (Season Debut)
Brandon McCarthy produced excellent fielding-independent numbers during his first four starts for the Dodgers, creating considerable optimism for his fifth one. Today marks the occasion of that fifth start — nearly a year and a half removed from his most recent appearance. The reason for the delay? Not, as one probably assumes, a grant-funded sabbatical to perform research abroad. No, rather: a procedure to reconstruct his UCL and the laborious rehabilitation which follows it. He’s touched 93 mph during his rehab starts according to J.P. Hoornstra of Inside SoCal — which, that probably places his average fastball velocity at something a bit, but not significantly, lower than what he was exhibiting before the injury.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Los Angeles NL Television.

Two Other Brief Notes
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features the same Colorado and Los Angeles clubs cited above and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.

Broadcaster Rankings
Recently, the present author facilitated a crowdsourcing effort to reproduce the broadcaster rankings which appeared on this site roughly four years ago. The results from that effort are published here in one easily digestible post.

Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete and very sortable table for all of today’s games. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from and also the rest of the internet. Note that calculations both for team and game NERD scores feature adjustment for postseason odds that increases as season progresses. Read more about those adjustments here and here.

NERD Scores for July 03, 2016
Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time
Corey Kluber CLE 8 8 6 6 4 TOR J.A. Happ 13:07
Jon Lester CHN 6 7 7 6 10 NYN Noah Syndergaard 13:10
Mike Pelfrey DET 1 5 5 6 8 TB Chris Archer 13:10
John Lamb CIN 3 3 6 7 10 WAS Stephen Strasburg 13:35
Yordano Ventura KC 5 4 5 2 8 PHI Vincent Velasquez 13:35
Matt Shoemaker LAA 8 3 5 7 3 BOS Sean O’Sullivan 13:35
Jose Quintana CHA 5 4 5 6 6 HOU Collin McHugh 14:10
Cole Hamels TEX 6 5 5 5 3 MIN Kyle Gibson 14:10
Chase Anderson MIL 3 4 5 6 6 STL Michael Wacha 14:15
Francisco Liriano PIT 4 4 5 4 7 OAK Daniel Mengden 16:05
Ubaldo Jimenez BAL 4 8 5 5 3 SEA Hisashi Iwakuma 16:10
Jon Gray COL 10 4 8 7 9 LAN Brandon McCarthy* 16:10
Albert Suarez SF 4 6 6 6 8 AZ Robbie Ray 16:10
Chad Green* NYA 10 4 5 5 2 SD Andrew Cashner 16:40
Adam Conley MIA 4 5 4 2 4 ATL Matt Wisler 20:05
SP denotes pitcher NERD score.
TM denotes team score.
GM denotes overall game score.
Highlighted portion denotes game of the day.

* = Fewer than 10 IP, NERD at discretion of clueless author.

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Anna Karina
Anna Karina

2013 was Jose Quintana’s first full season of major league ball. Since that call-up, Quintana has been good for 16.4 fWAR, tied for sixth highest total among all starting pitchers.

NERD score 5? My Aunt Fanny. Ax grinding here ceases, but some people who should know better can no longer plead ignorance. This corpse is a warning.


Quintana has had two ugly starts in the past month (or 3, depending on your definition of ugly). His starts are intriguing, in that you’re not sure if you’re going to get early-2016/late-2015 high-nerd-score Quintana, or the more recent craptacular one, but I can completely understand not rating him highly unless gambling with bags that can contain gold or feces are your thing.