Friday, August 19, 2011

Who is the Best Pitcher in the National League?

The Cy Young Award goes to the best pitcher in each league.  Usually every year there are multiple pitchers who have a great case to win this award.  This year is no exception.

Last year the award went to Roy Halladay and it was an easy choice.  The guy had great numbers and threw a no hitter AND a perfect game.  This year he is at it again making big league hitters look like frosh/soph baseball players.  His team, the Phillies, have the best record.  All signs pointing to him having another Cy Young trophy in his trophy case.

But in my book, if the season ended today, he would not be the winner.

Granted I am a Dodger homer, but here is my case that Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in the National League.

Baseball freaks love stats, so let's start there.
Roy Halladay: 15-5 record, 2.53 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 177 Ks in 184.2 innings pitched
Clayton Kershaw: 15-5 record, 2.60 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 199 Ks in 183.2 innings pitched

Roy has 7 complete games, CK has 4, but CK has 2 shutouts, Roy has 0.

Considering that Roy has a legitimate All-Star lineup behind him while the Dodgers feature mostly has-been, probably-won't-be, and never will-be players, it's astounding that Kershaw has 15 wins.

Kershaw, at the ripe age of 23, has a legit shot at the Cy Young Award this year...and probably the next 10 years (assuming he stays healthy).  If he continues his dominance since the All-Star break (6-1 record, 1.53 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 52 Ks in 53 innings), then I think he seals the deal.

Hopefully McCourt sells the Dodgers and the new owner locks up Kershaw.  If not, then I guess I will be rooting for him from afar as he dominates as a Yankee or Red Sox.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why Do I Need to Know Math???

I get this question ALL THE TIME from my students..."Why do we need to know math?" 

Here's what happened today to show why knowing some basic math would be helpful.

We bought an item that was priced $20 and marked 40% off.  The 40% would be taken off at the register.  

When we were checking out, the cashier ripped off the UPC code sticker to scan it due to the size of the item and the lack of having a handheld device.  As she was doing this she said, "Got to be careful that I don't..."  RIIIIIIIPPPPPPPP.  " that." 

She tried a couple different ways to scan it but it didn't work.

So she typed in the price, "$19.99".  I reminded her about the 40% discount.  She called for help. 

When helped arrived, they came to the conclusion that it should be marked down 40%.  Here's the conversation:

Helper:  "Go ahead and mark it off 40%."
Cashier: "Get a calculator, I don't know what 40% off is."
Brief Pause

Help: "...Just put $10."
Cashier: {after Helper left} "That's like half off."

Yep, yes it is.  If you know how much we should have paid, thank your math teacher.