Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm baffled...

I'm not nearly as smart as a lot of people in regards to baseball stats, but this statement of opinion from a local beat reporter (who I actually have a ton of respect for) always always always grates on me:
So, no sympathy vote for Santana. He'll have to raise his win total have a legit Cy Young shot.
I mean, yeah, Cy Young voters look at win totals and all, but still, I'll never be able to figure out how a pitcher can substantially raise his win totals. Unless that pitcher hits like Albert Pujols, and manages, too, so that he can put himself into games where he's facing Jake Woods as opposed to Jake Peavy, the pitcher has absolutely no control over his win/loss total. Not even the ace-est of aces pitches very many shutouts these days, and a pitcher is considered pretty much HOF material if he only surrenders 1-2 runs in 6-7 innings every game. In the AL especially, pitchers have absolutely no control over the number of runs their offenses score. None. Zip. Nil. Nada. So, even if a pitcher throws 245 innings (35 starts at 7 innings a piece over an entire season) and has an ERA of 1.28 (1 run/game), he'd still have to have his team score over two runs a game for 57% of those games to reach twenty. Behind a VERY streaky, inconsistent offense (as the M's have shown all year), that can be a daunting task. Conversely, too, a pitcher who gives up 5 runs in 5-6 innings consistently can also win 20+ games if he's got an offense that scores 6 runs in those games.

I'm using extremes to make a point, sure. But it's still clear in my mind that a pitcher has very very, very, very little, if any at all, control over his win/loss record. Yeah, generally, a bad pitcher will pile up the losses, and a good pitcher will pile up the wins. But you can't tell if a pitcher's bad or good by those piles...

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At 11/21/2007 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're dead on here. people make way too much about how many wins a pitcher has. there are many other stats that better indicate their ability. hell, if you go on wins and losses alone Horacio looks ok.


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