The 2022 Congressional Baseball Game Is A Toss-Up
the 2022 congressional baseball game is a toss up

The 2022 Congressional Baseball Game Is A Toss-Up

The 2022 Congressional Baseball Game Is A Toss-Up

Jul. 28, 2022, at 6:00 AM

President Biden Attends Congressional Baseball Game

Without Cedric Richmond to deal with, the Republicans won in 2021. But who has the edge this year?

Al Drago / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Think your office softball league is serious? Try the Congressional Baseball Game. Most summers since 1909, Democratic and Republican members of Congress have taken a break from legislating to play a friendly game of the national pastime, and through many ups and downs, it has slowly evolved into a huge event. Last year’s game, played under the lights at Nationals Park, attracted a reported 14,348 spectators and raised $1.2 million for charity.

Since 2009, the Democratic team has dominated with a 10-2 record, thanks largely to its Shohei Ohtani-esque two-way threat, former Rep. Cedric Richmond. According to statistics that I keep of the game, the former Morehouse College baseball player hit .654/.757/1.077 in his Congressional Baseball Game career — and went 8-0 with a 2.64 ERA on the mound. Richmond was truly in a league of his own; his 2.8 wins above replacement

Which I calculated myself using FanGraphs’s formula. Unfortunately, until sabermetricians start treating the Congressional Baseball Game as seriously as they do MLB contests, WAR for the Congressional Baseball Game does not include defense or baserunning (other than stolen bases).

“>33 over that span were seven times as many as any other player.

But Richmond is no longer on the Democratic roster, having resigned from Congress to work in President Biden’s White House — and the Congressional Baseball Game is suddenly a toss-up again. Last year’s contest, the first without Richmond since 2010, was a nail-biter for all seven innings and ended in a 13-12 Republican victory — the GOP’s first win since 2016. 

And this year’s game — which takes place on Thursday at Nationals Park — should be competitive, too. Several up-and-coming lawmakers have emerged to replace Richmond as the game’s star players, and they are a bipartisan crop. Of the 10 most valuable players on the 2022 rosters (according to total WAR since 2009), five are Democrats and five are Republicans.

The Congressional Baseball Game is evenly matched

Statistics for the 10 most valuable active players in the annual Congressional Baseball Game, since 2009

Jimmy PanettaD4.667.6921.2500.4
Greg SteubeR2.571.6251.0009.197.310.3
Anthony GonzalezR2.750.7501.3750.2
Adam SmithD7.500.593.5450.2
Kevin BradyR12.379.550.4480.2
Tom MalinowskiD2.600.714.8000.2
Jon OssoffD1.500.750.5003.503.650.1
Eric SwalwellD6.250.250.2500.1
Blake MooreR1.500.5001.2500.1
August PflugerR1.750.750.7500.007.400.1

*FanGraphs version. Does not include defense or baserunning other than stolen bases.

Source: Congressional Baseball Game box scores

Even with Richmond’s departure, the Democrats are left with several solid players. Veteran Rep. Adam Smith, who has played in the game on and off since 1997, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, a speedster with 10 career stolen bases, should both return to the lineup this year. But the anchor of that lineup — and the new holder of the title “best congressional baseball player” — is Democratic Rep. Jimmy Panetta. He’s produced 0.4 WAR in his four-game career thanks to a rare combination of power (two triples and one inside-the-park home run) and speed (five stolen bases). 

Sophomore Rep. Tom Malinowski has also been a valuable table-setter for Democrats: He’s gotten on base in five of his seven career plate appearances, and he’s legged out six stolen bases. Meanwhile, freshman Sen. Jon Ossoff is something of a poor man’s Richmond: In his Congressional Baseball Game debut last year, he went 1-for-2 at the plate and gave up just one run in two innings of relief on the mound. (In a league where the average ERA is 6.47, this qualifies as ace material.) Most impressively, he struck out three Republicans and walked none, making an excellent case to start this year’s game for Team Blue.

On the Republican side, for years there was really only one standout player: Ironman Rep. Kevin Brady, who has played in 24 consecutive congressional baseball games and hit a workmanlike .379/.550/.448 since 2009. (Sadly, with his decision not to run for reelection, the 2022 game will be his last.) But recently, he’s been joined by some exciting newcomers.

That list starts with Rep. Greg Steube, the GOP’s answer to Richmond. He’s been the Republican starting pitcher in the last two games, and while he hasn’t exactly been dominant (with a 9.19 ERA and a 1.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio), he has been a valuable innings-eater, throwing more than 100 pitches in each outing. And at the plate, he has been aces: He’s got four hits in seven at-bats, including what was likely the first over-the-fence home run in the Congressional Baseball Game since 1997.

Amazingly, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez is an even better hitter: The former NFL player is 6-for-8 in his two games, with two doubles and an inside-the-park home run. His .891 wOBA leads all active players with more than one plate appearance. Unfortunately for the GOP, though, this is also his last game: As one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump, he is retiring from Congress at year’s end.

Two freshman Republicans also impressed in last year’s game. Rep. Blake Moore went 2-for-4 with a single and an inside-the-park home run, while Rep. August Pfluger knocked three singles in his four at-bats. Pfluger, who played Division I baseball for the Air Force Academy, also pitched 1 ⅓ innings on the mound.

We won’t have to wait long to see which quintet leads its team to victory this year; if you’re not attending the game in person, you can watch it live on C-SPAN and Fox Sports 2 on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Eastern. 

Go to the source link

Check Also

統一獅大物宋文華首登板 外野失誤憾送勝利

統一獅大物宋文華首登板 外野失誤憾送勝利

來到九月後半,在下半季例行賽進行到一半後,季後賽競爭也是如火如荼,戰績獨走的樂天若今天能夠奪勝,接下來將有機會提早點亮魔術數字;統一在最近打擊加溫後,距離全年度第三的味全僅差一勝,也有機會在這禮拜逆轉排名。 在主戰先發胡智為確診後,統一選擇拉上今年選秀的新人宋文華來做先發,宋文華在小聯盟多以中繼出賽,K功了得,今年甚至短暫上過3A,出賽數不多但帳面成績不錯,唯一比較讓人失望的就是曾經的亮點-球速,這也是選秀輪次較後面的原因之一。本場先發就要面對中職火力最可怕的樂天,除了大家擔憂的球速外,宋文華能繳出怎樣的表現值得注意。 傷癒復出的翁瑋均,本季一軍第二次登板回到主場,昔日有主場賽揚的稱號,但對壽也是生涯最棘手的統一,面對統一拿下過五勝,但ERA及WHIP都是偏高的情況,其中在統一今天的打線中,超過半數球員面對翁瑋均對戰打擊率超過三成。雖然上一場出賽表現雖然不佳,若能注意球路進壘點,面對下半季打擊不是這麼出色的統一,有機會繳出不錯的結果。 統一大物宋文華看似還在習慣中職打者,在第一局球數稍微用多了些,雖然球速在140上下,但投滿三局力保不失,內容也有很大的進步空間,期待下次的表現。 四局上半,一出局後郭阜林靠著游擊手失誤上壘,隨後靠著林岱安的安打,以及林靖凱的短打先得一分,接著陳傑憲選到保送形成滿壘,兩出局後羅薩右外野安打送回兩分,四局上半統一率先得分,3:0領先。 下個半局樂天也還以顏色,面對統一第二任投手施子謙,一出局後郭永維因中外野手的失誤上壘後,靠著滾地球推進以及張閔勳的安打先追回一分,緊接著下一棒選到保送後,陳晨威的安打讓左外野發生失誤,一棒追平比數,成晉再補上三壘安打送回超前分,樂天一局就將比分追平甚至超前,4:3逆轉。 五局下半,面對統一第三任投手傅于剛,梁家榮一上場就敲出右外野陽春砲,5:3樂天再追加一分。 比賽後半段,樂天也啟用勝利方程式,未讓統一越過雷池一步,最終樂天就以5:3奪勝,有機會在明天就點亮魔術數字。 統一獅VS樂天桃猿 數據統計 1 2 3 4 5 …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.