Winning With Smoke and Mirrors

Wednesday’s 12-0 loss at Lehigh Valley provided the latest evidence that the PawSox are extremely fortunate to be 3 games over .500 and only 5 games out of first place.


Here is an incredible stat.  So far this season, Pawtucket has scored a league-worst 278 runs while allowing 333.  That means the PawSox have been outscored by 55 runs this year and have still managed to go 43-40 through 83 games.


I don’t claim to be Bill James, but the odds of having a winning record while being outscored by more than half a run per game have to be staggering.  I spent about an hour searching online for a “Pythagorean winning percentage calculator” that would allow me to plug in runs scored and run allowed and find out what the PawSox record should be, but came up empty.  Fortunately, after I originally posted this entry, I received a timely response from


The Pythagorean winning percentage for 278 runs score and 333 runs allowed is 42%. That would come out to 35 wins and 48 losses over 83 games. So the PawSox currently have 8 more wins than they are expected to have at this point.


Tremendous.  Thanks for the info!


Lately, the PawSox have stayed above water thanks largely to Clay Buchholz and a great bullpen, but sooner or later, the team is going to have to score some runs to remain in contention for a playoff berth.


As we approach the all-star break, there is not a single player on the team who is hitting within 15 points of his career batting average.  As the old saying goes, the back of the baseball card doesn’t lie – a few of Pawtucket’s good hitters are bound to have better second halves.


* * * * *


Is there anything better than finding a crumpled-up $20 bill in one of your pockets that you completely forgot about?


Actually, there is – getting a paycheck for a job you didn’t even realize you performed.


That happened to Travis Denker recently.



(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


The PawSox second baseman received a pretty sizable check for appearing in a TV commercial for Kraft foods.  That came as quite a surprise since Travis has no relationship with the company (other than liking their macaroni and cheese) and has done no acting.


Travis’s folks e-mailed to say that they have learned the following about his commercial.


“It will begin airing on Friday 7/10 nationally. It’s a Kraft singles commercial, some kinda promo for minor league ball I believe. The Ad agency said it can be viewed on Kraft’s website beginning on Friday as well.” 


It must be an ad for Kraft’s Tuesday Night Tickets promotion where you can buy a ticket and get one free with a Kraft singles wrapper.


kraft_singles resize.jpg 


Maybe Kraft went with Travis thinking they were using actor Richard Grieco.


* * * * *


Kris Johnson had a rough outing on Wednesday allowing 5 runs (4 ER) in 3 IP, but since the PawSox were shutout on 3 hits, his chances of getting a win weren’t exactly great regardless of how well he pitched.


That’s nothing new for KJ.  It was the third time the PawSox have failed to score in one of his outings, and Pawtucket has scored 2-or-fewer runs in 11 of his 15 starts. 


* * * * *  


Did you read the news that Lenny Dykstra has filed for bankruptcy?


PawSox manager Ron Johnson is not among the people who claim that Dykstra bilked him out of large sums of money, but RJ does have a connection to the former Mets and Phillies star – Dykstra’s dad was RJ’s Pop Warner football coach.


Johnson and Dykstra both attended Garden Grove High School in Southern California which is also the Alma mater of actor and comedian Steve Martin.


According to the PawSox skipper, Martin was a cheerleader at Garden Grove and showed his comedic chops at an early age when he got his hands on an enormous bra and waved it around at sporting events while yelling “Support our team!”


That’s also where Martin tried to popularize the cheer, “Die you gravy-sucking pigs!”


* * * * *


There’s one really cool thing about the late night bus ride back home from Allentown. PA.  It’s seeing the New York City skyline at 1:33 in the morning. 


One that that wasn’t cool was the overnight construction going on in New Jersey.  It added two hours to the trip, and the team didn’t arrive at McCoy until sometime after 5 am.


The movie selections on the bus were Valkyrie and Young Guns, but I opted to read instead.  Can you blame me?


* * * * *


It will be good to be home on Thursday night as the PawSox play the first of eight straight home games (4 before the all-star break and 4 after it).


Billy Traber – who once threw a one-hitter against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium – will make his first start of the year for the PawSox after 27 relief outings.


I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and  And tune in early – we’re planning on running a new edition of “At Bat With Nat.”



  1. blahblahblah4

    The Pythagorean winning percentage for 278 runs score and 333 runs allowed is 42%. That would come out to 35 wins and 48 losses over 83 games. So the PawSox currently have 8 more wins than they are expected to have at this point. Pretty crazy.Currently the Red Sox are +2 wins than they should be. The Reds and Mariners lead the league at +4, the Nationals are at -7, they should have 31 wins instead of 24.

  2. denkerfan

    Ha, That is pretty cool for Travis! going to have to check it out on Friday.

    Need to get a Denker Autographed kraft wrapper now 🙂

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