I’m not exactly sure when this happened, but just today I noticed that BallStat / BallScore is now available for free!  If you run Windows, it’s definitely worth checking out.  Roster files are updated daily here.

ballstat

http://www.ballstat.com

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten it to run well on my Mac using Wine.  Their website does claim that the program works using Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

Phils @ Yanks – Game 1

I’ll be watching with some Philadelphia die-hards who will be serving cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and italian ice…. mmm!

I also plan make an attempt at scoring the game, Reisner style. I’ll let you know how it goes.

phillies-755414

22 yankees

I’ve posted my Retrosheet Scorecard.

I created it using Microsoft Excel and VBA macros.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

boxscore

I’ve discussed the amount of information that you can extract from Retrosheet event files. Using this information, you can perform an almost unlimited amount of analysis on just about any game, player, team, or season in baseball history.

Something that is more difficult is to perform the same type of analysis on information from the current season. Since Retrosheet releases all of their data at once, at the end of each season, there are no event files to process.

For a long time, I looked for a tool that would help to convert a scorecard into a Retrosheet-formatted event file. Several years back, Heritage Software had a piece of freeware called Official Scorer. This program did a pretty nice job, but it wasn’t capable of handling pitch data, and it had problems with the program crashing at random times. There is/was a program from Diamond Ware called DWENTRY. I believe that this is the program used by Retrosheet to create their files, but I can’t find a copy of it anywhere.

So, after struggling to find exactly what I was looking for, I decided that I should try to build something myself. I’ve done a good amount of programming, but most of it has been web-based and I’m not nearly fluent enough in Java or C to create a full featured program, so I decided that using VBScript macros within a Microsoft Excel workbook would be my best option.

This workbook has been a work in progress for almost 3 years now… not that I’ve been working on it for 3 years… I’ve just slowly pieced it together and improved it when I’ve had time.

It’s not perfect, and nowhere near it. Ideally, this program would have the capability of:

a) looking like a scorecard and being used to score a game
b) creating a Retrosheet-formatted event file
c) importing a Retrosheet-formatted event file and populating the scorecard based on game data

Currently, it’s decent at completing tasks A and B. I know of several game caveats that cause the program to fail. I plan to use my scorecards from the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates to help identify (and fix, if possible) these shortcomings.

I will keep you posted on my progress, and eventually I will make the workbook available. Until then, you can click on “My Scoresheet” in the Files section on the right-hand side of this page to see a screenshot of the workbook. This printout is the scorecard that I use to score each and every Pirate game.

It’s officially baseball season!

Phillies @ Pirates – 1:05 P.M.

This was a nice game and a great start to the 2009 season for the Pirates.  Shelby Ford hit a 3-run home run in his first MLB outing.  The Pirates threw nine different pitchers in the game.  The “Mad Capper,” Matt Capps struggled in the second inning when he walked the bases loaded on 12 pitches.  Still, he escaped with a scoreless inning.  

I scored this game using FixedIt.  Here is the completed scorecard.  There are a lot of aspects of this program that I really enjoy, but other aspects can be frustrating.  I’ve found that you need to be very careful when entering substitutions, as it is very difficult to undo mistakes.

I plan to experiment with several different scoring methods throughout Spring Training, but I plan to stick with Project Scoresheet once the regular season begins.

Recently, when I’ve been scoring baseball games, I’ve preferred to use the Project Scoresheet notation.  Like just about any scoring system, Project Scoresheet has its pros and cons, but I like the way that score cards in this notation can be easily input and analyzed by a computer.  The tradeoff is that it can be difficult, at times, to look at the score card and get a quick idea of the current state of the game.  At first, the notation can be a bit difficult to learn, but once you get the hang of it, you can score games quite efficiently.

I won’t even try to do as good (or as thorough) of a job describing this scoring notation as Alex Reisner.  Check out his description of Project Scoresheet and example score card here.  Alex Reisner’s Introduction to Project Scoresheet Scoring (PDF)Alex Reisner’s Project Scoresheet score card (PDF). Also,  check out his website at http://alexreisner.com/baseball.  He has some pretty interesting scorecards and player performance graphs on there. 

To give a quick overview: a Project Scoresheet score card has three lines for each at-bat.  The top line is for anything that happened “before the play” (stolen bases, wild pitches, passed balls).  The middle line is for what happened during the play itself (single, double, strike out, ground out, etc.).  The bottom line is for the actions following the play (base runner advancements).

All on-field actions are abbreviated by short codes.

Single, Double, Triple, Home Run, Strikeout = S, D, T, HR, K

To code outs where the ball was put into play, you record the fielders who touched the ball.

A flyout to center = 8/F

A groundout to the shortstop = 63/G

Again, the main advantage to this type of scoring is that the score card can quickly be entered into a computer for analysis.  All of the game files at http://www.retrosheet.org use this notation.