Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.

Fibbing with statistics

Posted by: Howard Sinker under Twins pitching Updated: May 26, 2014 - 9:29 AM

If you took the time to watch some of Sunday's San Francisco beatdown on the Twins, you probably heard the statistic that Ricky Nolasco was 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his six previous career starts at AT&T Park.

There were also a couple of mentions about how some of the Giants had really, really good success against Nolasco during their careers.

Small-sample size meets small-sample size.

So let's throw a third one into the mix that helps explain how SSS1 and SSS2 were both true.

In three starts against the Giants last season, one for Miami and two for the Dodgers, Nolasco gave up 24 hits and 6 walks in 12 2/3 innings. That's a 2.37 WHIP (walk 'n' hits per inning) and resulted in a 9.95 ERA.

In that context, against many of the same batters, Sunday's pummeling made much more sense. Now, Nolasco has an 11.95 ERA and a 2.30 WHIP against the Giants in their last four meet-ups.

Keep that in mind when the Giants and Twins meet in the World Series, OK?

And if people tell you that today's pitcher, Kevin Correia (whose 6.52 ERA this season is even higher than Nolasco's 6.12), gave up only one earned run to Texas in 15 innings last season, they're not lying.

We now resume our Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy and remember.

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