An unusually good or poor record in one-run games can mask how much better or worse a team really is than it’s overall record, and while I’m not saying I think the Cubs weren’t as bad last year as their awful record suggests they were, this is one area the team can expect to improve in with just a little better luck.Nugent then continues, asserting the improved 2011 bullpen (we had the 2nd worst FIP in the NL) will help flip this one-run game record.
I also discovered this several months back, before Quade took over. At the time, the Cubs had a putrid one-run game record -- something like 8th worst all time. After Quade's arrival, the team went on a stretch of one-run game wins, helping to balance out their luck.
This leads to my suspicions of Mike Quade. As I mentioned in the comments on Rooftop View:
When Quade took over, the Cubs had one of the worst 1-run game records since 1885. During the final stretch of the season that luck balanced out and Quade was (likely wrongly) hailed as a hero.Furthermore, I'm not convinced an improved bullpen would actually translate into a better one-run game record. The 2007 Tampa Bay Devil Rays had one of the worst bullpens in modern history, yet they finished above .500 (at .503) in 1-run games.
The mere presence of a one-run game is the sign of a mediocre team. The best teams win in blowouts, the worst lose in blowouts. The rest approach .500 via 1-run games.
Let's hope the Cubs don't have too many 1-run games to worry about in 2011.