Lester: the hard cold numbers

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to patrickford's comment:

    Well, I recall thinking Larry Bird never got a bad call go in his favor. Maybe I'm wrong. That's why the team, or the Globe, someone should document this carefully. It has been talked about. There is a perception Lester is getting squeezed. 

    Take a look here at the season to date Lester and Buchholtz.

    http://stats.boston.com/mlb/playerstats.asp?id=8090

    http://stats.boston.com/mlb/playerstats.asp?id=7790

    Average velocity on pitches and the percentage of pitches thrown are all about the same. Lester has a very slight edge in velocity on the fastball and cut fastball. Both throw around 50% fastballs and around 25% cut fastballs. Both throw almost the exact same percentage of curveballs 14% and changeups 11%. 

    I'd like to see a much more intensive set of numbers. In particular I'd like to see what percentage of cut fastballs are swinging strikes, fouled off, or called balls. 

    Really I'd like to see someone do a real study using film just so they could tell me I'm wrong...if I'm wrong. 

    In any event the drop in velocity is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. 



    Larry Bird got many calls in his favor.

    Velocity does matter, especially when he has relied on throwing it by people for years.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to stan17's comment:

    In response to maxbialystock's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    One other possibility is Lester is tipping his pitches.  I think the Orioles got hits on two different 0-2 counts.

     



    I was actually thinking that also. When the Sox played in Tampa, it sure looked like Cobb was tipping his pitches in the 1st inn. Some of the pitches they hit were good pitches located well but they swung like they knew what was coming.`

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Absolutely.  The RS knew something.  Cobb allowed 4 ERs in his 4 previous games, then allows 6 in one inning, then goes back to shutout ball.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    You should move to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Who knows what kind of game he will pitch next time out?

    I think it goes without saying that no one knows how he will pitch next time.

    So what I'm saying is, based on what I saw in his last start, I think he'll do well next time, using an arbitrary standard of a QS.

    And I am allowing people that think it was a discouraging start to have a little fun with it.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    In response to klaus1954's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Quality starts are defined very specifically. It is not up to forum posters to change the definition to their liking or to fit their agenda.  Three earned runs or less in six innings of pitching. Live with it.

     




    Pike, if Lester gave up three runs in six innings all year would you be happy with his performance. Note: his ERA would be 4.50.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    A QS is a minimum standard, not an absolutely.  It means 3 ERs OR LESS, and 6 IPs OR MORE.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    You should move to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Who knows what kind of game he will pitch next time out?

    I think it goes without saying that no one knows how he will pitch next time.

    So what I'm saying is, based on what I saw in his last start, I think he'll do well next time, using an arbitrary standard of a QS.

    And I am allowing people that think it was a discouraging start to have a little fun with it.




    He is facing the Tigers, the team with the second best OPS in the AL. I am not expecting Lester to have much luck against them at all. A line of five runs in five or six innings sounds about right.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers


    Last time out Lester gave up 9 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings. That's really unacceptable but you can spin it and say that he didn't walk anyone and that's a marked improvement over his previous outing when he walked 7 batters in 4.2 innings. You can also say he only gave up 5 runs instead of 7 and only one home run instead of 3 but the bottom line is that he still stunk and if it continues he should be sent down to try to straighten things out. Sure he has shown great promise and pitched really well in the past but at the moment he is pitching horribly and it needs to be addressed.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    Sure he has shown great promise and pitched really well in the past but at the moment he is pitching horribly and it needs to be addressed.

    Like how?

    Bench him? Rest him? Phantom DL him? Trade him? Talk to him (softy's favorite)?

     

    My favorite: Obtain another solid starting pitcher and let the bottom feeders fight it out for the 5 slot.

     

    Sox4ever

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    Sure he has shown great promise and pitched really well in the past but at the moment he is pitching horribly and it needs to be addressed.

    Like how?

    Bench him? Rest him? Phantom DL him? Trade him? Talk to him (softy's favorite)?

     

    My favorite: Obtain another solid starting pitcher and let the bottom feeders fight it out for the 5 slot.

     

    Sox4ever



    I can't see how getting a #5, to serve as our #7, after AA, could help us.When Buch returns, AA goes back to the BP, so we'd trade maybe Lav for a #5 to pitch in AAA?

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    Sure he has shown great promise and pitched really well in the past but at the moment he is pitching horribly and it needs to be addressed.

    Like how?

    Bench him? Rest him? Phantom DL him? Trade him? Talk to him (softy's favorite)?

     

    My favorite: Obtain another solid starting pitcher and let the bottom feeders fight it out for the 5 slot.

     

    Sox4ever

    Send him to Pawtucket to get a dose of whatever worked with Aceves.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    Pike, if Lester gave up three runs in six innings all year would you be happy with his performance. Note: his ERA would be 4.50.


     



    A QS is a minimum standard, not an absolutely.  It means 3 ERs OR LESS, and 6 IPs OR MORE.


    [/QUOTE]


    And this is the fallacy in the "4.5 ERA" argument.   Since 1950, the bare minimum QS accounts for only 5.9% of all QS.  (stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus)

    Since 1950, the combined ERA of all starters in QS has ranged from a low of 1.63 in 1968 to a high of 2.13 in 2000, with an average overall combined ERA of 1.90 in QS. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.  But for such a simplistic stat, it does a fairly good job of measuring quality outings by a starting pitcher.  Teams win about 68% of games in which a starter has a QS.  By all accounts, if a starter has a QS, even the minimum case, he has kept his team in the game.  Hence, the "quality".

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to trouts' comment:

    Send him to Pawtucket to get a dose of whatever worked with Aceves.




    He is out of options.

    I think Lester will be fine.  I am encouraged with the improvement in his last outing.  Until Buchholz is healthy, it's hard to skip over Lester's starts.  However, if Lester continues to struggle, I can see a "tired arm" DL stint in his future.

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     


    Pike, if Lester gave up three runs in six innings all year would you be happy with his performance. Note: his ERA would be 4.50.


     

     



    A QS is a minimum standard, not an absolutely.  It means 3 ERs OR LESS, and 6 IPs OR MORE.

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    And this is the fallacy in the "4.5 ERA" argument.   Since 1950, the bare minimum QS accounts for only 5.9% of all QS.  (stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus)

     

    Since 1950, the combined ERA of all starters in QS has ranged from a low of 1.63 in 1968 to a high of 2.13 in 2000, with an average overall combined ERA of 1.90 in QS. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.  But for such a simplistic stat, it does a fairly good job of measuring quality outings by a starting pitcher.  Teams win about 68% of games in which a starter has a QS.  By all accounts, if a starter has a QS, even the minimum case, he has kept his team in the game.  Hence, the "quality".

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Minimum QS's comprise just 5.9%. What percentage of those games are won? I suspect its not quite 68%-in fact, its probably quite a bit lower. A minimum QS is equivalent to an ERA of 4.50, and thats simply not very good. I would say its a "low quality start".

     
  13. This post has been removed.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThefourBs. Show ThefourBs's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

     

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

     


    Pike, if Lester gave up three runs in six innings all year would you be happy with his performance. Note: his ERA would be 4.50.


     

     

     



    A QS is a minimum standard, not an absolutely.  It means 3 ERs OR LESS, and 6 IPs OR MORE.

     

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    And this is the fallacy in the "4.5 ERA" argument.   Since 1950, the bare minimum QS accounts for only 5.9% of all QS.  (stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus)

     

     

    Since 1950, the combined ERA of all starters in QS has ranged from a low of 1.63 in 1968 to a high of 2.13 in 2000, with an average overall combined ERA of 1.90 in QS. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.  But for such a simplistic stat, it does a fairly good job of measuring quality outings by a starting pitcher.  Teams win about 68% of games in which a starter has a QS.  By all accounts, if a starter has a QS, even the minimum case, he has kept his team in the game.  Hence, the "quality".

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Minimum QS's comprise just 5.9%. What percentage of those games are won? I suspect its not quite 68%-in fact, its probably quite a bit lower. A minimum QS is equivalent to an ERA of 4.50, and thats simply not very good. I would say its a "low quality start".

     

    [/QUOTE]


    That's why it's a minimum.

    It's not meant to define an ace.

    Just a decent start by a major league pitcher.

    It's not that complicated.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to ThefourBs' comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

     

    [QUOTE]

     

     

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

     

    [QUOTE]

     

     

     

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    [QUOTE]

     

     

     


    Pike, if Lester gave up three runs in six innings all year would you be happy with his performance. Note: his ERA would be 4.50.


     

     

     

     



    A QS is a minimum standard, not an absolutely.  It means 3 ERs OR LESS, and 6 IPs OR MORE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    And this is the fallacy in the "4.5 ERA" argument.   Since 1950, the bare minimum QS accounts for only 5.9% of all QS.  (stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus)

     

     

     

    Since 1950, the combined ERA of all starters in QS has ranged from a low of 1.63 in 1968 to a high of 2.13 in 2000, with an average overall combined ERA of 1.90 in QS. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.  But for such a simplistic stat, it does a fairly good job of measuring quality outings by a starting pitcher.  Teams win about 68% of games in which a starter has a QS.  By all accounts, if a starter has a QS, even the minimum case, he has kept his team in the game.  Hence, the "quality".

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Minimum QS's comprise just 5.9%. What percentage of those games are won? I suspect its not quite 68%-in fact, its probably quite a bit lower. A minimum QS is equivalent to an ERA of 4.50, and thats simply not very good. I would say its a "low quality start".

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


     

    That's why it's a minimum.

    It's not meant to define an ace.

    Just a decent start by a major league pitcher.

    It's not that complicated.

    [/QUOTE]

    Kimmi's post answered Pumpsie's question that he raised, after he read her post.  As others addressed this as well.  A QS is a minimum standard.  Basically, if you get the worst possible QS, you have about an average start.  If you have the best possible QS, you pitched a perfect game.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.

    Actually, it can't be improved upon.  It is an arbitrary stat used as a baseline.  And one could create as many arbitrary baselines as they want.

    However, perhaps what people that are concerned with not crediting someone with a QS, can instead replace QS with 'average start'.

    So instead of saying that an SP had a QS of 3 ERs in 6 IPs, they can have an AS of 2.86 ERs in 5.88 IPs.  Though they would still have to round off an AS to 3 ERs in 6 IPs.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.

    Actually, it can't be improved upon.  It is an arbitrary stat used as a baseline.  And one could create as many arbitrary baselines as they want.

    However, perhaps what people that are concerned with not crediting someone with a QS, can instead replace QS with 'average start'.

    So instead of saying that an SP had a QS of 3 ERs in 6 IPs, they can have an AS of 2.86 ERs in 5.88 IPs.  Though they would still have to round off an AS to 3 ERs in 6 IPs.



    Good points.

    I'm not sure an "average start" today is the same as a quality start. I know it's all semantics, and one could easily create a new stat called something else. Personally, I do not think a 4.50 ERA is "quality", so I'd be OK with replacing the "Quality Starts" with "Average Start" or"Decent Start".

    Maybe something like this:

    5+ IP 2 ER, 6+ IP 3 ER, or 7.2+ IP  4 ER "Decent start".

    5+ IP 1 ER, 6+ IP 2 ER, or 7.2+ IP 3 ER "Quality start"

    6+ IP 1 ER, 7.2+ IP 2 ER, or 8.2+ IP 3 ER "High Quality Start"

     

     
  18. This post has been removed.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.

    Actually, it can't be improved upon.  It is an arbitrary stat used as a baseline.  And one could create as many arbitrary baselines as they want.

    However, perhaps what people that are concerned with not crediting someone with a QS, can instead replace QS with 'average start'.

    So instead of saying that an SP had a QS of 3 ERs in 6 IPs, they can have an AS of 2.86 ERs in 5.88 IPs.  Though they would still have to round off an AS to 3 ERs in 6 IPs.



    Quality="degree of excellence" (Merriam Webster dictionary)

    An ERA of 4.50 does not equal any degree of "excellence" whatsoever, other than the lack of it.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    Minimum QS's comprise just 5.9%. What percentage of those games are won? I suspect its not quite 68%-in fact, its probably quite a bit lower. A minimum QS is equivalent to an ERA of 4.50, and thats simply not very good. I would say its a "low quality start".




    You are right, the percentage of games won in the minimum QS drops quite a bit.  Since 1950, the winning % in those games is only .419. 

    As a side note, I might add that from 2000-2010, that % is .475.  The winning % in QS with 6.2 innings pitched and 3 runs given up was .580, but the winning % in QS with 8 innings pitched and 3 runs given up was .480.  In the latter case, that's an ERA of 3.375 but the winning % of the team is not much different that the bare minimum case.

    In other words, you have to look at the bigger picture.  Again, the bare minimum case comprises only 5.9% of all quality starts.  Pitchers who routinely make quality starts are not going to pitch exactly 6 innings and give up 3 runs in every outing.

    If a pitcher has 20 quality starts in a season, on average, just one of those games will be of the bare minumum type.  Furtheremore, in those 20 games, he will have an ERA somewhere around 2, he will have pitched an average of 7.45 innings per start, and his team will have won 13 or 14 of those games.

    The bottom line for me is, in any quality start, did the pitcher give his team a good chance to win the game.  IMO, the answer is yes.  IMO, that constitutes a quality start.

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.

    Actually, it can't be improved upon.  It is an arbitrary stat used as a baseline.  And one could create as many arbitrary baselines as they want.

    However, perhaps what people that are concerned with not crediting someone with a QS, can instead replace QS with 'average start'.

    So instead of saying that an SP had a QS of 3 ERs in 6 IPs, they can have an AS of 2.86 ERs in 5.88 IPs.  Though they would still have to round off an AS to 3 ERs in 6 IPs.




    In improving the stat, I didn't mean in terms of redefining the baseline.   As I said in an earlier post, for as simplistic as the stat is, it does a pretty good job of assessing a pitcher's performance.  As with any stat, one must dig deeper to get a better assessment.

    It's similar to the "save" stat.  There is a big difference between a 2 inning, 1 run save and a 1 inning, 3 run save.   Likewise, there is a big difference between a minimum quality start and a complete game shut out.

    My opinion of improving both these stats involves assigning various point values or weights depending on the specific situation, not in changing the baseline.

    Bill James has already created 'Game Scores' for pitchers, a stat readily available at Baseball Reference.  It does a better job of assessing pitchers' performances than QS does.

     

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to trouts' comment:

     


    Last time out Lester gave up 9 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings. That's really unacceptable but you can spin it and say that he didn't walk anyone and that's a marked improvement over his previous outing when he walked 7 batters in 4.2 innings. You can also say he only gave up 5 runs instead of 7 and only one home run instead of 3 but the bottom line is that he still stunk and if it continues he should be sent down to try to straighten things out. Sure he has shown great promise and pitched really well in the past but at the moment he is pitching horribly and it needs to be addressed.

     




    He cant be sent down unless he goes through waivers (which would be dumb) or go on the DL (which hes said many times that its not physical). He needs to work things out right here for now.

     

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    Here's another factor:

     

    • 14:$13M club option ($0.25M buyout)
    • 2014 club option is voided if Lester is traded 

    Sox4ever

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThefourBs. Show ThefourBs's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    I agree that the QS stat is flawed, and that it could be improved upon.

    Actually, it can't be improved upon.  It is an arbitrary stat used as a baseline.  And one could create as many arbitrary baselines as they want.

    However, perhaps what people that are concerned with not crediting someone with a QS, can instead replace QS with 'average start'.

    So instead of saying that an SP had a QS of 3 ERs in 6 IPs, they can have an AS of 2.86 ERs in 5.88 IPs.  Though they would still have to round off an AS to 3 ERs in 6 IPs.

     



    Quality="degree of excellence" (Merriam Webster dictionary)

     

    An ERA of 4.50 does not equal any degree of "excellence" whatsoever, other than the lack of it.

    [/QUOTE]

    Ignoring your penchance for unrealistic expectations, any pitcher that makes it to the Major Leagues has reached a degree of excellence in the sport.


    A player doesn't get to the MLs without displaying some degree of excellence.

    Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls...

     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to patrickford's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    Well, I recall thinking Larry Bird never got a bad call go in his favor. Maybe I'm wrong. That's why the team, or the Globe, someone should document this carefully. It has been talked about. There is a perception Lester is getting squeezed. 

    Take a look here at the season to date Lester and Buchholtz.

    http://stats.boston.com/mlb/playerstats.asp?id=8090

    http://stats.boston.com/mlb/playerstats.asp?id=7790

    Average velocity on pitches and the percentage of pitches thrown are all about the same. Lester has a very slight edge in velocity on the fastball and cut fastball. Both throw around 50% fastballs and around 25% cut fastballs. Both throw almost the exact same percentage of curveballs 14% and changeups 11%. 

    I'd like to see a much more intensive set of numbers. In particular I'd like to see what percentage of cut fastballs are swinging strikes, fouled off, or called balls. 

    Really I'd like to see someone do a real study using film just so they could tell me I'm wrong...if I'm wrong. 

    In any event the drop in velocity is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. 

     



    Larry Bird got many calls in his favor.

     

    Velocity does matter, especially when he has relied on throwing it by people for years.

    [/QUOTE]


    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you--vehemently.  Velocity is fool's gold if you don't mix in other pitches and don't hit your spots.  Beckett's fastball in 2006, his first year in Boston, regularly hit 97 mph, and it went back out even fast because opposing batters were feasting on it.  His ERA that season was slightly over 5.

    Lester right now has fastball that is plenty good enough and faster than Buchholz's, but not if that's all he throws and can't hit the corners consistently.  He needs a curve and especially a changeup that he can rely on and use anytime. 

     

     

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