Written by Games Pergame
A low season run total doesn’t mean a team will miss the Playoffs. But does require them to be efficient in where they score those runs.
Late in Season 3, a few days before the end of the regular season, the Canada Moist Talkers were closing out a series hosted at their home stadium, the Gleek Arena, against the dominant Hades Tigers. The Tigers, who had been enjoying a nearly 20-win lead on the rest of the teams in the Evil League, had been essentially guaranteed a Postseason Birth since Day 84, when they shut down the Hellmouth Sunbeams in a 3-0 series at Sixth Circle Stadium.
The Moist Talkers, however, were in a diffefrent position. They had caught up to the Philly Pies on Day 90, with the Breckenridge Jazz Hands right on their tails. The three teams had been in a battle to ensure their spots in the Evil League Postseason. While the Moist Talkers had pulled ahead of the Pies, they had run into some trouble against the Tigers on the brink of securing their spot.
In Game 1, on Day 94, Dunlap Figueroa was a stone wall (as they had been all season), only allowing 3 batters on base and 1 run. The star-studded Tigers lineup, meanwhile, drove in 4 runs early against Moist Talkers veteran pitcher Ortiz Morse, then proceeded to add insult to injury and score 13 runs in the last third of the game.
Game 2, on Day 95, saw Mooney Doctor put up a solid defense, but the Tigers lineup took an early lead and carried it to victory, with Famous Owens pitching to a Moist Talkers lineup still having trouble and only able to score 1 run.
Game 3 of the series, on Day 96, was looking dire for the Moist Talkers. Their lead against the Pies in the standings had vanished, and the Jazz hands were still on their tail. They were fortunate enough to be facing Nagomi Meng, one of the Tiger’s weaker pitchers, but the Moist Talkers would need more than that to secure their playoff position. That’s when a recent recruit stepped up to the plate: PolkaDot Patterson, Maxed in the Season 1 Election and fresh off a trade from the Baltimore Crabs in the Season 2 Elections. Let’s see the linescore for the game:
Yep. The Moist Talkers played like a team hungry for the playoffs. This game secured the Moist Talker’s position in the Season 3 Evil League, where they would eventually lose to their seasonal rivals the Pies, but their performance over this series is a clue to something special. This Season for the Moist Talkers is #9 in our series of Top 10 Lowest Scoring Postseason-Eligible Seasons in Blaseball History (at time of writing, Seasons 1 to 12).
#9 – Season 3, Canada Moist Talkers
423 Runs, 53 Wins.
Evil League, 3rd Seed (Day 96, Second in League to Clinch, Eliminated in the Evil League Semi-Finals)
Here we see the Moist Talkers’ cumulative runs over the course of the season, plotted against that Season’s champs – the Hades Tigers. The Moist talkers drove in almost 200 fewer runs than the Tigers while still earning their place at a title run.
Let’s talk about efficiency. The Moist Talkers scored an average 4.27 Runs per Game, which is in the bottom half of the League that season and the lowest in the playoffs.
Now let’s flip that on its head and talk about those Runs per Win. In terms of efficiency, a lower number here is good – it means the team can build a Win Object with much fewer runs than their competition. The Moist Talkers built their Wins on an average 5.6 Runs, beating out the Miami Dale for third best in the entire League.
In this series, I’m assigning each game a Wasted Run count. Essentially, this is runs that don’t directly contribute to a win. Anything over the necessary margin of victory is wasted, and any runs scored in a loss are wasted. If you’re curious about my reasoning, please check out Part 1 of this series.
So how many Wasted Runs did the Moist Talkers score? Across their season, they wasted about 240 of the 423 runs they actually scored. This is the lowest in the ILB that season amongst teams that made the Playoffs, and the 6th lowest overall.
Let’s check that out by day.
On the good end, the Moist Talkers racked up 20 Optimal Games, or Games with a Wasted Runs score of 0 – which ties them with the Unlimited Tacos for most in the league. For the Tacos, 8 of those were wins, but the Moist Talkers were able to secure over half of their Optimal Games as wins. We can see those games hugging the bottom of the Wasted Runs chart.
Let’s drill in to that big dip – Between Days 64 and 68, the Moist Talkers scored EXACTLY as many runs as they needed to in a double series against the Seattle Garages (both hosted at the Gleek Arena and all 6 games won by the Moist Talkers) and continued the streak to the next series. The Moist Talkers won the first game of the series by exactly one point, won by extra points in the next two games, then won 3 consecutive games by exactly 1 point, and in their next game against the Tigers they recorded a scoreless loss, then an Optimal Win. This definitely isn’t some fluke – in half that double series, the Garages weren’t allowed to score, and across the 6 games three of the Moist Talkers rotation pitched not just Optimal Games but Optimal Wins. PolkaDot Patterson did it TWICE.
…and less impressive but still a part of the streak:
And they would come back and finish the streak with another Optimal Win:
But what about those spikes in the chart? Ironically, those tend to be blowouts, things we normally wouldn’t think of as bad. Their biggest offenders in this category were two games against the Dale in two separate series (Day 33 and Day 83), in which they posted double digit wins (10 to 4 and 11 to 6, respectively). Their biggest draw on Wasted Runs actually brings us back to the story of their playoff race and their eventual loss in the Evil League Semi-Finals. On Day 3, when they were 1 win, 1 loss against the Philly Pies (the team that would knock them out of the Postseason), they closed out that opening series of the season by trouncing the Pies, 13 to 4.
I guess karma would come back around in the end, huh?
This article was made possible with the wonderful tools created and maintained by the folks at the Society for Internet Blaseball Research – check out:
- Chronicler API – https://docs.sibr.dev/docs/apis/reference/Chronicler.v1.yaml
- Reblase – reblase.sibr.dev (Thanks @AReblase!)
- Blaseball Line Score Tool – linescore.sibr.dev
- Blaseball Reference – blaseball.reference.com
- And of course, the Blaseball Wiki – blaseball.wiki
-PART 1: THE SEASON 7 MEXICO CITY WILD WINGS
-PART 2: THE SEASON 3 CANADA MOIST TALKERS
-PART 3: COMING SOON
-PART 4: COMING SOON
-PART 5: COMING SOON
-PART 6: COMING SOON
-PART 7: COMING SOON
-PART 8: COMING SOON
-PART 9: COMING SOON
-PART 10: COMING SOON