The difference between night and day

This season the Twins are:

3-11 in Day games and 21-14 in night games.

The team ERA is 4.81 in day games and 4.81 in night games, so the pitching t is not the problem.

However, the team is hitting .238/.323/.348 (.671 OPS) in day games and .291/.364/.471 (.834 OPS) in night games, which is a huge problem.

Here are how the different Twins' batters are faring during the day and night (today's game is not included) :

Mauer: 1.625 OPS day, 1.297 OPS night (not a problem)
Morneau: .885 OPS day, 1.154 OPS night (somewhat of a problem)
Casilla: .063 OPS day, .513 OPS night (huge problem)
Punto: .596 OPS day, .458 OPS night (not a day/night problem, but...)
Crede: .484 OPS day, .873 OPS night (big problem)
Young: .536 OPS day, .599 OPS night (problem)
Gomez: .687 OPS day, .580 OPS night (probably part of the solution)
Cuddyer: .755 OPS day, .933 OPS night (problem)
Kubel: .721 OPS day, .997 OPS night (problem)
Span: .526 OPS day, .933 OPS night (big problem)
Harris: .345 OPS day, .779 OPS night (huge problem)
Tolbert: .714 OPS day, .453 OPS night (probably part of the solution)
Buscher: .430 OPS day, .730 OPS night (huge problem)
Redmond: .356 OPS day, .823 OPS night (immense problem, esp since Gardy starts him in almost all day games after night games)
Morales: 1.434 OPS day, .570 OPS night (Part of the solution)

What can be done to fix this problem? These 3 quick fixes:

  1. Recall Morales and him have start instead of Redmond in all Day games after night games (there is a close to 1.100 OPS difference!)

  2. Start Gomez instead of Span in day games (there is a .161 OPS difference)

  3. Start Tolbert in day and Harris at night (+ about .350 OPS in day and + about .320 OPS at night)

But, is it a fluke? Let's look at the Gardenhire Twins' record in day vs. night games since 2002:

2009: day: 3-11, night 21-14
2008: day: 26-26, night: 62-49
2007: day: 29-26, night: 50-57
2006: day: 27-20, night: 69-46
2005: day: 25-25, night: 58-54
2004: day: 27-26, night: 65-44
2003: day: 26-24, night: 64-48
2002: day: 25-24, night: 69-43

So other that the unfortunate 2007 season, the Gardenhire Twins are not doing as well in day games as they do in night games. That is a problem that needs to be understood and addressed by the organization...


Juanie said...

Nice to see Punto has a better day OPS than Young, and Buscher and Redmond have better night OPSs than Young. I'm thinking Gardy's dream OF of Cuddy, Gomez, and Span may not be such a bad idea...

Anonymous said...

It might be worth it to compare the Twins' night/day performances to the pitchers faced. It's pretty early in the season and it could drastically alter the results.

As a first-order approximation you could just do (TwinsPlayerOPS/StartingPitcherOPSAgainst)*AB*PA for each game (using the Twins player's OPS from that specific game only), add them up, then divide by total AB * total PA

I want to do this, but you know, work and all.

thrylos98 said...


I am fairly sure that Cuddyer's and Young's performances are not sustainable and will change the other way...


that might be an interesting exercise. However, I have 2 reservations:

a. It is not just this season. As I have indicated, it has happened every season (other than 2007) with Gardenhire at the helm

b. It would be a circular argument:

Do the pitchers who the Twins faced during day games appear better, because the Twins' hitters are bad during day games


Are the Twins' hitters worse during day games because they face better pitchers?

So we probably need to find another way of normalizing

how about:

Twins' hitters OPS that game
OPP OPS of opposing pitcher, excluding that game?