Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I have been so busy lately that I haven't even been able to post this week's box score. I'm going to keep this BM Report brief and to the point.

Whenever we seem to regain our footing, we slip again. We have definitely been on a downward spiral of late. Prairie Rose was the latest in the series of teams that have joined the "Beat the Movements Parade of Champions." We took one of four, once again and have slipped into third place. It is getting increasingly difficult to see the world through Prairie Rose colored glasses.

Last week, we had a subpar week, something I blamed on grease. This week, we bowled virtually identically, and grease was not an issue. Last week, we recorded a total 1,671 pins, and this week, we did exactly the same. Last week, we totaled 65 marks, and this week, we put up 65 marks. We recorded four more strikes this week than last and four fewer spares. For some reason, we just aren't clicking, and we need to get this ship turned around. Fast.

Since I can't seem to write a post without some stats, I will do a bit of analysis here. Specifically, I want to focus on the bowling of our leadoff man, the Hawkeye. My impression of Johnebob's bowling in the last several weeks is that it has been very consistent. He seems to regularly put up scores and averages in the 150 to 170 range, and in fact he has. Over the last eight weeks of bowling (since Jan. 12), he has put up averages within a very narrow range. On Feb. 9, he had his lowest average of this period with a 151.3, and on January 19, he topped out at 164.3. For eight weeks, his average scores have all fallen within this range as on Monday, when he rolled an average of 164. [On Jan. 5, he had his highest average of the BIA a 177.67]. What is interesting is that he seems to do this in a different way every week.

For example, on January 12th, he recorded only 7 strikes but got 15 spares. On the 16th of February, he put up 16 strikes but only three spares. In fact, when you look at his numbers of strikes and spares over this time period, they seem to fluctuate inversely:

Over the last eight weeks, when John gets a lot of strikes, he doesn't get many spares. When his spare ball is accurate, his strike ball is not. There is one obvious explanation for this pattern: if you get a lot of strikes, you have fewer opportunities to pick up spares. Thus, we might expect such an inverse relationship to exist. For example, if you get 30 strikes in a three game series, you won't have many spare chances (6 at most). But that's not what's going on here. Pickup percentage should be independent of the number of spare opportunities you have, and if you look at Johnebob's pickup percentage vs. number of strikes for the last eight weeks, they are very strongly and negatively correlated (r=-0.8).

Over the last two months or so, it really looks like John only has had one ball. When his strike ball is on, he struggles with spares. When he is picking up spares like mad, he struggles with strikes. What is very interesting about this is that no matter what is going on, he seems to find a way to put up an average in a very consistent range while doing it very inconsistent ways. Of course, when Johnebob puts it all together, he is a force to be reckoned with, even more so than he has been of late.

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