NERD Game Scores for Thursday, June 18, 2015

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet 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
Chicago NL at Cleveland | 19:10 ET
Hammel (80.0 IP, 82 xFIP-) vs. Salazar (68.2 IP, 70 xFIP-)
It’s a working theory of the author’s, substantiated less by empirical fact than by observation of his own dumb self, that the human mind isn’t particularly adept at integrating a pitcher’s newest, most relevant performances into its understanding of that same pitcher. With regard to this game, for example, an encounter between Jason Hammel and Danny Salazar clearly lacks the prestige of last night’s matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Felix Hernandez — because Hammel has produced mostly average seasons, for example, and Salazar, despite an arm composed wholly of dangerous and beautiful electric current, hasn’t produced a signature season yet. At this moment, however, all relevant information — strikeout rate and swinging-strike rate and velocity — all of it suggests that Hammel and Salazar are the equals of Bumgarner and Hernandez.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago Television.

Two Brief Notes
Continuously Looping Video: Horrible Swings Against Jason Hammel
On June 1, Jason Hammel recorded 11 strikeouts over 6.2 innings at Miami. What follows is a series of miserable swings from that game, all against Hammel’s slider.

Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Milwaukee at Kansas City, starts at 20:10 ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.

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 the calculations both for team and game NERD scores have changed recently to better integrate playoff odds into same. Read more about those changes here, if you’re the sort of person accustomed to making poor life decisions.

NERD Image 4

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Bud Norris BAL 3 6 2 0 0 PHI Sean O’Sullivan 13:05
Jaime Garcia STL 7 5 4 2 2 MIN Mike Pelfrey 13:10
Collin McHugh HOU 5 10 6 3 5 COL David Hale 15:10
Ian Kennedy SD 6 3 4 4 3 OAK Kend. Graveman 15:35
C.J. Wilson LAA 3 7 5 5 4 AZ Allen Webster* 15:40
Mat Latos MIA 6 5 6 7 6 NYA CC Sabathia 19;05
Chris Archer TB 10 5 6 6 3 WAS Doug Fister 19:05
Bartolo Colon NYN 6 6 7 8 8 TOR R.A. Dickey 19:07
Clay Buchholz BOS 7 4 5 2 6 ATL Shelby Miller 19:10
Jason Hammel CHN 8 6 8 8 10 CLE Danny Salazar 19:10
J’tin Verlander* DET 6 5 5 5 5 CIN Mike Leake 19:10
Jimmy Nelson MIL 6 3 4 7 1 KC Jeremy Guthrie 20:10
Gerrit Cole PIT 10 7 6 0 7 CHA Jeff Samardzija 20:10
Ry. Vogelsong SF 1 5 3 4 3 SEA Mi. Montgomery 22:10
Ant. Ranaudo* TEX 3 4 4 5 5 LAN Zack Greinke 22:10

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

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

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