Dazzling, Dismal or Dubious

Like it or not…we all deal with numbers every day in our lives. Maybe more so in the sports world. We often cite this number or that number in sports discussions. Now, numbers are not the end all as stated by Toby Harrah (MLB Player) “Both bikinis & statistics show a lot, but not everything.” – Some numbers may be DAZZLING, some DISMAL or some DUBIOUS.
….It’s not easy to decide which Cardinal numbers “show the Most”. One particularly relevant one during this unbelievable stretch is about their defense. As the Cardinal pitchers began to continually pound the strike zone in early August, the Cards defense came into play. The dazzling display of defense by the Cards is shown by these numbers—the Defensive Efficiency Rating, which is the percentage of balls in play that a defense converts into outs, the Cardinals’ 2021 figure of .715 ranks 2nd only to that of the Dodgers in all of MLB. If you look at Outs Above Average, the Statcast defensive metric, then you’ll find the Cardinals lead all of baseball by a significant margin!
…It’s actually hovering between DUBIOUS and DISMAL for the MU Tigers. Going into Boston College with BC without their starting QB, one HAD TO EXPECT that BC would run the ball. However, again, MU struggled to stop the run game. Mysteriously, the BC Coaches utilized the pass game much more often and with far less success in the 2nd half. Nonetheless, BC scored points on 7 of its 10 possessions! For the 3rd time this season, the Tigers gave up 275+ rushing yards. In the last 2 decades, the only other year that MU allowed 275 yards in 3 individual games was 2016. MU went 4-8 that year! The next 3 opponents (Tennessee, N. Texas, Texas A&M) each rank in the top 50 in rushing yards per game…..so, we’ll see real soon if its’ a DUBIOUS or DISMAL defense.
….The Chicago White Sox had a season record of 88-68 after 156 games-20 games over .500 . Nicely done…or so it seems. Looking back, the White Sox were 56-36 after 92 games—that same 20 games over .500 . Soooo…the CWS’ stat really is very DUBIOUS…..are they a +20 .500 team? or a .500 team? On the other dazzling side, this is the 1st time in the long history of White Sox baseball (began in 1901)that they’ve made the post-season in back-back years!!! CWS lost their 1st round in 2020 to Oakland.
….How unbelievable is that 17 game win streak? It’s REALLY DAZZLING. To give you a different perspective, it took the Cardinals from May 30 to July 18, 40 games, to win just 16 games at an earlier point of 2021.
…..It’s a DISMAL outlook, from my perspective, for QB Tua Tagovailoa. He just seems to be “injury prone”..he seems to have a thin body structure to me which is more likely to lead him to the DL when tackled by these huge NFL athletes. Currently, he’s injured again after brief bouts with injuries @Bama…I mean, how does a QB get hurt @Alabama? How often does the QB get even touched @ Bama? Those younger NFL QB have to be durable during their early years when they don’t have the experience to avoid the rush of the “D”.
…another DAZZLING stat about the reborn ’21 Cards is their pitching. From the day the winning streak began (Sep 10), when the Cards ranked last in MLB in “walk rate @ 3.97 per 9 innings, there has been a dazzling transformation. Since that date, the Cards have permitted 3.11 walks/9inn—12th lowest in MLB. To put it another way, with those rates over the 16 games: @the 3.97 rate, it would be 63 walks in 16 games @ the 3.11 rate, it’d be 49 walks!…,,still too high for my taste 😊
….you may hate to hear it but..Sean McVay’s Rams are currently ranked #1 in an NFL poll and playing with lots of DAZZLE. This young coach (took over Rams @ 30 years of age in 2017) wanted a QB who could “stretch the field”. He acquired Matthew Stafford from the Lions. While Detroit didn’t win…Stafford could pass! He has over 46000 passing yards in his career and is able to throw the long, long pass that stretches the defense. Obviously, then…its easier to throw the short-medium length passes to open receivers with that deep threat. Classic example, last week his early 75 yd TD pass vs TB “backed off” those defensive backs
….It all sounds rather DUBIOUS to me that Tarasenko will survive the entire 21-22 season as a Blue. Throwing the medical staff under the bus in the press would not seem like a solid road to walk when you’re approaching them for all their expertise later in the year. Without question, he’ll get good treatment from them but all the “little extras” may be overlooked.
….on the DAZZLING….yet very quiet side—almost a secret…St Louis U Men’s Soccer team holds a 5-0-3 record and are ranked #16 in the National Polls. This week the Bills jumped up 8 notches! One has to wonder when they’ll make Page 3 of the Sports Section (forget about pages 1 or 2).
….Oklahoma is 4-0…to no one’s surprise but some may be thinking that the Sooners record is a bit DUBIOUS…OU has won 3 of their games by 5 or less points. Their only “blowout” was a 76-0 win over W.Carolina. All 4 games have been home games which plays a huge factor in tight games. Struggling big time against W.Virginia, with the score tied @ 13, the Mountaineer’s were moving the ball with less than 5 minutes remaining and had reached the OU 33 on a 2nd/12 situation. Already, it was probably close enough for a FG. But as QB Jarret Doege was looking to the sidelines for late audibles (horrible idea), the ball was snapped. It went all the way back to their own 46 yd line.(21 yd loss). After the punt, OU took over on their own 8 yard line with 3:39 left. A drive with a well-executed mixture of run & pass plays led to the Sooner converting a 30 yard FG to win the game. While the final drive was fine, there are still many questions about OU!
….Well…..I’ve reached my DAZZLING, DISMAL OR DUBIOUS finish line(depending on YOUR take! 😊 I’d love to read your dazzling comments. Put them directly on Facebook, or on http://www.bobryansportsblog.com or send to me directly via email or through Messenger (Facebook’s email). Thanks for your time & the read! Bob

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