FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    Danny,I posted this on the realistic thread, but since Lackey's name is coming up on nearly every thread, including this one, here is a different angle approach; the team winning factor.

    In any given year from 2005 to 2008, Lackey was the Angel's # 2-4 starter, but over any 3 year stretch, he was pretty clearly the #2 starter for a team that was pretty darn good (winning 100 games one year). From 2005-2008, he was arguably their ace, since Colon and weaver did not pitch there or pitch well in all of those years. The Angels were a team that won due more to its pitching than its hitting. 

    The Angels were 93-57in his starts. That's a 62% winning percent. That percent is better than the team winning percent the Angels had during Lackey's tenure. Lackey had a lot to do with the Angel's success. He started over 30 games in all but 2 seasons after his rookie year, and even in those seasons, he started 27 and 24 times!

    Here's a look at Lackey's starts winning percent vs the team's each year since his rookie year in 2002 with emphasis on the 2005-2009 years (the years Theo hoped
     we'd get something similar to here):

    (Sidenote: I am not someone who thinks wins-losses are the way to judge a pitcher: it is way down on my list of pitcher skillset determonation, but for argumant sake, I am providing this data as an indication of how Lackey's pitching has effected his team's winning percent.)

    Year    Lackey     Angels
    2002  12-6   (.667)  .611 +.056
    2003  12-21 (.364)  .475  -.111
    2004  16-16 (.500)  .568   -068
    2005  22-11 (.667)  .586  +.081
    2006  19-14 (.576)  .549  +.027
    2007  23-10 (.697)  .580  +.117
    2008  15-9   (.625)  .617  +.008
    2009  14-13 (.519)  .599   -.008
    with Boston:
    2010  16-17 (.485)  .549  -.064
    2011   9-9    (.500)  .624 -.124

    It's almost a perfect bell curve since 2006. Only 2005 showed a blip in his career curve of getting better each year until peaking in 2007 and going back negative in 2009. Lackey was 30 years old in 2009. Maybe Theo should have seen the curve as being a sign that Lackey was not like some pitchers who peak from 30-32, but still remain plus side until 34-36 or beyond.

    As for the 26-27 team record when he starts, we can "dismiss" any responsibility on Lackey's part because... "wins are a team function"

    Funny. We all know pitching has a big part to do with winning, but does not stand alone. The fact that the Sox have had pretty good fielding teams in Lackey's short tenure here should not have caused the sub .500 record in his starts. The fact that the Sox have scored 6.02 runs per Lackey start in 2011 (it is 5.50 as a team avg.) and 5.15 (team avg. 5.05) in 2010 shows that lack of run support was probably not a big contributing factor to the sub .500 record. The team scored more for lackey than average in both seasons. To me, that leaves Lackey as the majority factor in the losing team record in his starts. His much higher in ERA and WHIP are the foundation stats to show his decline. The team record numbers just support my position, as do other lesser used stats and metrics..

    The fact is the Sox have won at a .601 rate when Lackey does not start (2010 + 2011), and they win at a .491 rate when he starts. Same defense. More runs scored when he pitches. Less wins. How is this any different from the VTek team winning percentages when he catches vs VMart/Salty team winning percentages position?

     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    To some extent I think that the thing about Fenway that makes it such a good hitters park is the lack of foul territory. It extends PAs.

    Just using last night as an example, in the 8th inning Youk hit a foul to the 3B side that is an out in most venues but is just a continuation of the AB. The result was a lead-off walk. On this occasion the Indians worked around it.

    The park contains a lot of HRs into RF and turns them into outs. The LF wall converts far more line drive HRs into singles or doubles than it converts fly ball outs into HRs. The RS went into great detail showing Schilling over Thanksgiving dinner in 2003 that the dimensions were not unfriendly to fly ball pitchers.

    The park extends ABs, has a great hitting background, the RS play more home night games than most teams negating shadows and the gaps are very double friendly. And the RS are built to exploit those factors too.

    It is a good place to hit but good pitchers who aren't intimidated by the place can do quite well there. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    Well said, katz.

    The foul ball territory area size is a big factor in a park dimensions' effect on hitting and pitching numbers.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]how funny, it is all relative, so if we all agree on that, what is the point of calling Fenway a "great distortion" and what is the point of arguing that Lackey is doing his job by winning 4 straight starts when in reality he pitched well enough to win 2 of those 4 starts. harness, open question and let's stop the teet for tat, is your point that pitching is predominant in winning games and that hitting is not? What is it? What is your point? If things are relative, and an ace is an ace, then how come a good hitting lineup isn't a good hitting lineup from one park to another. If the Sox played 81 games at Safeco Field, I agree that the averages would be lower, but in a combined 162-game season, my educated guess is Youkilis, Pedroia, AGON, Ellsbury, and Ortiz would all put up big numbers in homers, RBI, OPS with lower batting averages. They are good hitters and good hitters can hit in any park.
    Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]

    The wall at Fenway and less foul territory may indeed increase batting averages and hits but it also takes away home runs. Right field in Fenway also takes away many home runs from the likes of our lefthanded long ball hitters. A good question would be would this team hit more home runs if playing at other parks. Would its pitching staff do better at other ball parks? Our excellent defense this year and baserunning is not skewed by Fenway. 

    Has anyone critiqued the Yankees offense as being a worse juggernaut at home or away since their batting averages are much lower but they hit many home runs. That would be a more rewarding in-depth study to do than to belittle our "juggernaut".

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    The Yankees are built for that stadium. They are stacked with LH'd batter that pull the ball well. Since the WS will be the NL's homefield advantage, the Yanks might have a tough time if they make it that far. So will the Sox, especially without Papi in the line-up.

     Here's the runs scored and allowed numbers for home and away:

     Scored
             Home  Away
    Bos    322      277    +55
    NYY   327      260    +67
     Allowed
             Home  Away
    Bos    260      197    +63
    NYY   236      183     +53

    Differentials
    Bos   +62     +80
    NYY   +91    +77
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    I like all of these most recent posts. And I want to personally thank you, moon, for pointing out that Lackey most certainly was a top-of-the-line starter (No. 2 at least and the ace in 2007) for the Angels. I know I have a tendency to jump on harness over his "theories," but he often tends to backtrack on things after many of us show him evidence that just a blanket statement isn't always so.

    This Fenway Factor thread has not changed anyone's thoughts about Fenway and its influence. I think most of us already knew that Fenway produced high averages for the home team, always has. Ask Fred Lynn, Nomar, Wade Boggs, Bill Mueller, Manny Ramirez, Carney Lansford, Yaz, all batting champions at one time or another. But this thread's underlying intention has demeaned the Sox offense on the road. Harness will not give credit to the Sox road offense as having a major influence on the team's winning on the road.

    This is a very good 2011 team, obviously built to be all-around with strengths in many different areas. But Lackey's numbers and his visual performance have as much to do with his failures, not the team's failures or the park's enhancements to his ERA/WHIP. His wins have as much to do with the Sox offense too. JL is a guy who has a history that shows he was pretty good for a few years and certainly was supposed to be that prety good pitcher as a Sox. But we just haven't seen much of that this year, and even last year you could make a case that he was helped by the Sox offense quite a bit, home and road.

    The Sox offense has been huge and judging by even the number of walk-off wins, you can also say the Sox offense is timely/clutch. The Sox have great pitching, but it also has great hitting, and good defense. Trying to make a case which area of the team is better than the others is kind of...a waste of time.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    On another note, last year I remember the CERA thread bringing up that the Sox pitching was affected game to game by the catcher. That the team's pitching was inconsistent. But the reality was that the offense was not that good on the road especially after the Pedroia injury (with Ellsbury out). The pressure was on the Sox pitching to really be the predominant factor to win games.

    A lot of games, however, turned into losses because the team's offense sputtered with all the injuries. Now that the offense is certainly much better on the road this season (less injuries), the team is winning more on the road. I see that as a major reason why the Sox are winning on the road. You have to have the offense to go with the pitching. Maybe for some of the great teams of past years, the pitching took respective teams to great heights on their own merit with not a lot of offense. I've never seen that to be the case with any Sox team, however, in my lifetime. But I've seen a lot of Sox teams fall apart offensively because either they didn't have the talent (1990s in particular) or there were too many injuries. The pitching on this year's team is as good bullpen wise as we've ever seen, and certainly Beckett, Lester have been terrific in the rotation.

    Bottom line, the team wins because of the combination of variables, not one overriding predominance.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]On another note, last year I remember the CERA thread bringing up that the Sox pitching was affected game to game by the catcher. That the team's pitching was inconsistent. But the reality was that the offense was not that good on the road especially after the Pedroia injury (with Ellsbury out). The pressure was on the Sox pitching to really be the predominant factor to win games. A lot of games, however, turned into losses because the team's offense sputtered with all the injuries. Now that the offense is certainly much better on the road this season (less injuries), the team is winning more on the road. I see that as a major reason why the Sox are winning on the road. You have to have the offense to go with the pitching. Maybe for some of the great teams of past years, the pitching took respective teams to great heights on their own merit with not a lot of offense. I've never seen that to be the case with any Sox team, however, in my lifetime. But I've seen a lot of Sox teams fall apart offensively because either they didn't have the talent (1990s in particular) or there were too many injuries. The pitching on this year's team is as good bullpen wise as we've ever seen, and certainly Beckett, Lester have been terrific in the rotation. Bottom line, the team wins because of the combination of variables, not one overriding predominance.
    Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]Another way to say this is a team needs to be able create positive run differential. There are different ways to approach that.

    Pitching does tend to separate good teams in late season and post season head-to-head play. This is probably why so many observers are concerned about the RS having lost so much quality depth in their starting rotation through injury and/or under achievement.

    What the Diamondbacks did versus the NYY in 2001 where their two starting pitchers were so great that it did not matter that the NYY had a better offense, deeper rotation and better bullpen. It can happen but it is not the normal outcome of the 7 game post season series.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]I like all of these most recent posts. And I want to personally thank you, moon, for pointing out that Lackey most certainly was a top-of-the-line starter (No. 2 at least and the ace in 2007) for the Angels. I know I have a tendency to jump on harness over his "theories," but he often tends to backtrack on things after many of us show him evidence that just a blanket statement isn't always so. This Fenway Factor thread has not changed anyone's thoughts about Fenway and its influence. I think most of us already knew that Fenway produced high averages for the home team, always has. Ask Fred Lynn, Nomar, Wade Boggs, Bill Mueller, Manny Ramirez, Carney Lansford, Yaz, all batting champions at one time or another. But this thread's underlying intention has demeaned the Sox offense on the road. Harness will not give credit to the Sox road offense as having a major influence on the team's winning on the road. This is a very good 2011 team, obviously built to be all-around with strengths in many different areas. But Lackey's numbers and his visual performance have as much to do with his failures, not the team's failures or the park's enhancements to his ERA/WHIP. His wins have as much to do with the Sox offense too. JL is a guy who has a history that shows he was pretty good for a few years and certainly was supposed to be that prety good pitcher as a Sox. But we just haven't seen much of that this year, and even last year you could make a case that he was helped by the Sox offense quite a bit, home and road. The Sox offense has been huge and judging by even the number of walk-off wins, you can also say the Sox offense is timely/clutch. The Sox have great pitching, but it also has great hitting, and good defense. Trying to make a case which area of the team is better than the others is kind of...a waste of time.
    Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]

    You do make me laugh, I must admit.
    I speak of wins-per-start as a functional stat and get hammered.
    Moon shows win/team function and you applaud the criteria.

    Lackey was an overall distant #2 pitching for possibly an over-rated Angel's staff in a pitcher's venue. He comes to Boston winning the same number of games on the average, giving up more hits/runs but getting more run support, and yet he's a "bust".

    The board is fine with AGONE's hitting .395 in Fenway after hitting .265-.272 in Petco. But God forbid we adjust Lackey's stats last year or healthy this year.
    Funny.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    i don't think it's funny that Lackey has underperformed.
     
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    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion : My guess is they would hit about .275-.280 overall, but it's all relative. They could still be the best hitting team in MLB after venue adjustements were made. Let's say for argument's sake, the Sox pitching was exactly equal to every opponent they play: If the Sox went on to hit .245 in "the new homefield" of SAFECO" and .295 on the road (.275 overall), but their opponents hit .250 overall, then the .025 differential would prove the Sox were among one of the best hitting teams in MLB, even though their overall BA might be mediocre.  Playing in a park for 3 games a year is not a large enough sample size to determine that is what they would hit there over 81 games. I think they would make adjustments. Their pitching would be no better, but their pitching numbers would put them near the top. Venue adjustments to stats have always been a tricky venture. AGon's .808 OPS in PetCo doesn't make him any less of a great hitter. .808 is great for PetCo. It probably ranks as one of the best alltime OPS in that park with a large enough sample size to be definitive. It's all relative. It's all relative.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    Yes. It's all relative to venue overall. AGONE is who he was.
    So is Lackey. The park plays into both. I gave Boston a .265 on a reach in Safeco because like you I don't trust 3-game samplers. Their.243 BA in Safeco over the last 8 years is a truer indicator, but variables like home crowd/ travel/etc. play into it. I don't think Boston would be leading the league in hitting though. NY/TX playing in hitter's venues would be likely eclipse us.

    Especially if our current road numbers hold true. If they do, statistically, Boston would be mid-pack in hitting (.265 home/.250 away) but would have the #1 pitching staff. And I guarantee you, there's be no talk of "juggernaut offense"...
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]i don't think it's funny that Lackey has underperformed.
    Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]


    I don't think he thinks it's funny either. A bad elbow in April/May skew the numbers. Tell me, did Lackey 'under-perform' last year?
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]On another note, last year I remember the CERA thread bringing up that the Sox pitching was affected game to game by the catcher. That the team's pitching was inconsistent. But the reality was that the offense was not that good on the road especially after the Pedroia injury (with Ellsbury out). The pressure was on the Sox pitching to really be the predominant factor to win games. A lot of games, however, turned into losses because the team's offense sputtered with all the injuries. Now that the offense is certainly much better on the road this season (less injuries), the team is winning more on the road. I see that as a major reason why the Sox are winning on the road. You have to have the offense to go with the pitching. Maybe for some of the great teams of past years, the pitching took respective teams to great heights on their own merit with not a lot of offense. I've never seen that to be the case with any Sox team, however, in my lifetime. But I've seen a lot of Sox teams fall apart offensively because either they didn't have the talent (1990s in particular) or there were too many injuries. The pitching on this year's team is as good bullpen wise as we've ever seen, and certainly Beckett, Lester have been terrific in the rotation. Bottom line, the team wins because of the combination of variables, not one overriding predominance.
    Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]

    There's always an over-riding factor. And in Baseball, it's pitching. The reason why you've never seen it in Boston is because Fenway masks the pitching numbers.
    The same park that'll make AGONE an MVP - the same park that put Rice in the HOF - will hide a pitcher's true numbers.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    Last year, didn't the Sox play a series in Safeco where half of the players were hurt? So I looked back for last season a 4-game set at Safeco: The following players were not available in the Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, Victor Martinez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez (not on the team yet)....but playing in that series were Eric Patterson, Bill Hall, Jeremy Hermida, Kevin Cash, and Mike Cameron. Doesn't that "distort" the batting average for the Sox at Safeco? The Sox did have Beltre so that might offset Gonzo to be fair.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    So if you take numbers on the road by including one park over the years, you are also having to take into account who is actually in the Sox lineup there. Sometimes it's not the full team or the best 9. Is that fair?
     
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    On Lackey, I do think he did a good job in IP or quantity of work, yes. I was disappointed in the ERA and some of his implosions. His wins were aided a bit by offense. But he may have thrown a few gems that the team didn't score much and that would offset a loss or two.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    Yes. It's all relative to venue overall. AGONE is who he was

    Yes, and that is one of the reasons I projected huge gains for AGon this year, because I looked at his road numbers while he played with SD and knew he'd 
    .
    So is Lackey. The park plays into both. I gave Boston a .265 on a reach in Safeco because like you I don't trust 3-game samplers. Their.243 BA in Safeco over the last 8 years is a truer indicator, but variables like home crowd/ travel/etc. play into it. I don't think Boston would be leading the league in hitting though. NY/TX playing in hitter's venues would be likely eclipse us

    No, they wouldn't, but that doesn't mean they still would not be the best hitting team in MLB (after adjustments). It's all relative. The difference is that you are trying to adjust Lackey's numbers betond what is reasonable. If you adjust Lackey from 6.20 to 4.70 ( a reasonable expectation for what Lackey should have given us), then you are saying playing half your games in Fenway makes a 1.50 difference in your overall ERA. If you apply the same rational to all Sox pitchers, then Beckett's adjusted ERA would be 0.70 and Lester 1.67. Sorry, I think those two are great, but not that great. .
    .
    Especially if our current road numbers hold true. If they do, statistically, Boston would be mid-pack in hitting (.265 home/.250 away) but would have the #1 pitching staff. And I guarantee you, there's be no talk of "juggernaut offense".

    True, people don't do mental adjustments in their heads for park influences. Nobody would be calling the Sox a great offensive team if they played 81 games in Seattle. I agree with that, but that doesn't mean they aren't still the best or near the best. If they are hitting .265 in Safeco for 81 games, but the opponents are hitting .225, the .040 point differential is about the same as it would be in Boston (.295 to .255). The Sox would be better than their opps wherever they play, and that is what counts. ..
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    A 'gem" is 7+ innings giving up less than a hit per inning, and one overall run or less. I doubt you will find too many "gems" spun by Lackey last season.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    The reason why you've never seen it in Boston is because Fenway masks the pitching numbers

    We've seen it with Clemens. 

    We've seen it with Pedro..

    Most of us know that we finally won a ring when we finally got some more pitching.

    Both Clemens and Pedro (and later Schilling and Beckett) were able to put up some great numbers even before any park adjustments were made. 


     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    I'm still waiting for a response as to the "distorted" numbers that occur when the Sox have injuries and they are playing on the road with a skeleton lineup. It greatly affects batting average if you have a pedestrian lineup in a road game against any quality pitcher. It certainly affects a team's ability to produce offense. Also, we've seen some bizarro righty heavy lineups v. NL teams in interleague on the road, which often produced no decent numbers at all (no DH as well). I'm just saying that once you start using collective team averages at one road park, you better look at who's playing in those selected games. And who's pitching.
     
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    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]A 'gem" is 7+ innings giving up less than a hit per inning, and one overall run or less. I doubt you will find too many "gems" spun by Lackey last season.
    Posted by BurritoT[/QUOTE]

    I doubt we got many of those games from anyone last year, except maybe Lester and Buch.

    I counted 4 for John, but he did have these 14 game lines (IP H ER)
    6-3-0
    7-6-2
    7-2-1
    7-7-2
    7-6-2
    7-8-1
    7-7-2
    8-2-0
    7.1-7-2
    8-6-2
    7-4-1
    7-5-1
    6-3-2
    7.2-6-2

    He had 21 out of 33 starts counted as Quality Starts. Most were not by minimum qualifications. 16 of the QSs were 0-2 ERs allowed, and almost all were more than the min. 6 IP requirement for  QS. Of the 5 QSs he had that were 3 ERs allowed, only one was in less than 7 IP.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    I'm pretty sure we all agree 2010 Lackey would at least be 7 million times better than 2011 Lackey. But he can't match 2011 Lackey, he's regresssing because 2007 Lackey is a fluke.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    Then can we have the 2005, 2006, 2008, or 2009 Lackey back?
     
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    good point. Lackey and Crawford are the team's ultimate albatrosses. Guys with long-term salaries, ill-fitted for their ballpark and the Sox brass as well as the fans knew they were guys not fit for Fenway based on their past experiences at Fenway.

    Look, I think Theo has done a good job, I really do. He helped the team secure 2 WS titles. He has made some shrewd moves, but better he's nailed some great ones in AGON, Jason Bay in his time here, Schilling, Foulke, Loretta, Aceves, Beltre, and VMART. But his long-term, big contracts to Renteria, Lugo, Drew, Dice-K, and now Lackey and Crawford have been albatrosses. These are guys that not only under-performed but at times were excrutiating in their ability to fail badly. I understand the Fire Theo parade, and understand the need to defend him too (usually compared to Cashman). But to me, he used little forethought in signing Lackey (51 starts in 2 previous seasons due to injury) and Crawford. Just 224 million that could have been spent on an Ellsbury, Papelbon, and another starting pitcher.

    It's money gone, and unfortunately when the time comes, you will hear the Sox playing the squeeze game on Ellsbury and Papelbon. Two guys the Sox badly need.
     
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    Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion

    In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: FENWAY FACTOR - The Great Distortion : I doubt we got many of those games from anyone last year, except maybe Lester and Buch. I counted 4 for John, but he did have these 14 game lines (IP H ER) 6-3-0 7-6-2 7-2-1 7-7-2 7-6-2 7-8-1 7-7-2 8-2-0 7.1-7-2 8-6-2 7-4-1 7-5-1 6-3-2 7.2-6-2 He had 21 out of 33 starts counted as Quality Starts. Most were not by minimum qualifications. 16 of the QSs were 0-2 ERs allowed, and almost all were more than the min. 6 IP requirement for  QS. Of the 5 QSs he had that were 3 ERs allowed, only one was in less than 7 IP.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    Its hard anyhow here, even if someone is on a roll you will still have Tito pulling them after 6 often times. I worry now that the bullpen will be taxed by September,

     

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