Before you comment, please read over the entire post.
I will first acknowledge that this is based on my own experiences and the data that I have gathered. That data largely refers to post game PCI analysis sheets, which is not a perfect tool, but is the best that is available to us in terms of being able to objectively analyse our own performance.
I will also acknowledge that the competition in ranked seasons has gotten tougher as the life-cycle of the game is nearing its end - this should result in closer games and probably leaves the window more open for the winner to be determined by RNG instead of user skill.
However, what transpired yesterday got me thinking again that there might be more to it than just randomness.
You can find my gamelogs from yesterday from the old site and you can look at what happened. I started off ranked 837. Proceeded to lose 4 games in a row - the last of which I quit after 2 innings as I no longer had any bullpen arms with energy and it did not make sense to attempt to make a comeback. I had dropped from 837 to 750 in four games. I then won two games in a row to get me back to 825.
I lost 7 - 8
I struck out 3 times to his 8. I will be able to post the PCI analysis sheets once I get home, but suffice to say that I had probably 3 times as many 15's as my opponent.
Here's how the game started
"Impact batting. Grove pitching. Suzuki reached first on a fielding error by Wagner on a deflected hit (E6) [Yes that is Honus]. Hornsby hit to left for a single [bloop]. Suzuki advances to 2nd. Yelich flied out to Griffey Jr. (F7). Hornsby was caught stealing. Suzuki reached 3rd. Guerrero struck out but reached first after it was dropped (WP) [how else?]. Fielder lined to center for a single. Suzuki scores. Guerrero scores.* Thomas homered to left (433 feet)[Hit chance 7 way outside the zone, I cannot explain how he went 433 ft on it]. Fielder scores. "
So you have two guys on base that shouldn't be on base from an error by Honus and a swinging strikeout that was dropped by Piazza (yes, Piazza sucks defensively, but the ball hit his [censored] chest and went into his armpit). Then he homers with Thomas with a 7 hit chance swing inside and over the zone 433 ft. Okay.
But okay, I lost a close game that IMO shouldn't even have been a close game based on the PCI analysis.
I give up 5 runs to get the game started, no gripes - my opponent hit well. I load the bases in the bottom of the first with no outs but then proceed to pop up and hit a good/squared into a hard double play, no runs scored [okay, surely this has to be rare at least].
In the third inning this happens:
"FUBAR batting. Feller walked. Wagner lined to right for a single. Feller advances to 2nd. Alomar lined out to Bobo (L6). Griffey Jr. grounded to center for a single (8-2). Feller out. [look at this closely, the ball went down the middle, but Feller decides not to run, but to walk to third base - doesn't make it there in time]. Wagner advances to 2nd. Mays flied out to Bellinger (F9) [at the fence, good times]."
"FUBAR batting. Bellinger grounded to center for a single. Bregman lined to right for a single. Bellinger advances to 2nd. Eckersley in bullpen. Hader in bullpen. Gehrig doubled to center. Bellinger scores. Bregman advances to 3rd. Rodriguez walked [again bases loaded no outs]. Jones pinch hit for Feller. Jones grounded into a double play (4-6-3 DP) [another good/squared into a double play, yay - now this must be freakishly unlucky right? No way this could happen for a third time?]. Rodriguez out. Bregman scores. Gehrig advances to 3rd. Wagner struck out chasing an inside fastball."
"FUBAR batting. Miller in bullpen. Alomar lined out to Mays (L8). Griffey Jr. walked. Mays lined to right for a single. Griffey Jr. advances to 2nd. Bellinger grounded to left for a single. Griffey Jr. advances to 3rd. Mays advances to 2nd. Bregman walked. Griffey Jr. scores. Gehrig walked. Mays scores. Eckersley pitching. Rodriguez flied out to Mays (F8). Ruth pinch hit for Wagner. Hader pitching. Ruth flied out to Mays (F8)[Mays robs Ruth's good/squared hit homer - I'm pretty much broken at this point]"
I load the bases again in the 6th but score no runs as I line out.
He demolishes me in the 9th for 5 runs as I bring in guys with half energy - anything hit "okay" is gone. Ahwell. I lose 12 - 5. Final PCI analysis shows that I have twice as many 15's but it is what it is.
I strike out more, he abuses me with high sinkers, not much to complain here. I lose 6-3.
Verlander gives 6 runs on some iffy contact in the 2nd inning, but ahwell, I was actually happy with how I was locating my pitches. I already know that I need a miracle as I really needed JV to go deep. I had no bullpen arms with any energy left.
Here's what happens:
"FUBAR batting. Bellinger doubled to center. Bregman hit to right for a single. Bellinger advances to 3rd. Gehrig lined to left for a single. Bellinger scores. Bregman advances to 2nd. Rodriguez grounded to right for a single. Bregman advances to 3rd. Gehrig advances to 2nd. Jones pinch hit for Verlander. Hendriks in bullpen. Miller in bullpen. Jones popped out on an infield fly rule to Ripken Jr. (P). Wagner grounded into a double play (6-4-3 DP)[my third good/squared into a double-play - I almost break my controller]. Rodriguez out." - Looking back at it even if I had cleared the bases with Wagner it probably wouldn't have mattered as I wouldn't have been able to pitch at all with my out-of-energy guys, but it didn't make it any less infuriating at the time.
Here's where things get interesting. I now play vs. someone with a better record than myself.
He now runs into several hard double-plays, I get on base on fielding errors, he gets 7 hits with no runs, I score 7 runs and he quits after the 6th. Hmm okay.
I'm now playing someone with a significantly better record, currently sitting at around 130 all time. The guy clearly knows what he's doing, but Kershaw somehow shuts him down. He has more 15's than I do, but it doesn't matter as he keeps lining out. I win 5-3.
Now what is my point?
I believe its more than just RNG - I think the game gives the lesser player (however that is evaluated) more breaks in order to keep games closer than what they should be. I believe that I've been the victim of this at times but I also believe that I have benefited from this as in my last game.
What do you think? Is it just random, or is there more to it?