Lester: the hard cold numbers

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Ice-Cream's comment:


    I am also not ready to give up on Lester.  His ERA of 4.37 is still "okay".  His next start will be vs. the Tigers..............................that's not good.   LOL

    All jokes aside, I still believe that he wil bounce back. 

     



    His ERA is not okay. He's paid and expected to be the #1/2 starter on this team. If he was slotted as the #4/5, he'd be okay.
    Given how reliable he is, the Red Sox #2 starter now is Lackey.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to BosoxJoe5's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     

     

    Jon Lester since September 11, 2011:

    54 starts

    319.2 innings

    174 earned runs

    4.90 ERA

    24 Quality Starts

    The 24 Quality Starts include 5 with the 'bare minimum' of 6 innings, 3 earned runs.  If you eliminate those, you're down to 19 Quality Starts out of 52 games, or 36.5%.

     

     



    Still think he will "come around"? I don't. I have been saying for a long time that he is now just a serviceable #4 SP, and even that may be too kind. Losester is throwing like crap and Bucky is injured. This is the exact scenario that caused me to predict that this is a team capable of winning only about 81 games. Because of their great start it could be a few more, but this is not a playoff caliber team with Losester pitching like he is capable of and Bucky impersonating a Man of Glass.

     

     




    You are so foolish, dude. You can't be taken seriously on this matter anymore. You said Lester was an number 3 and posted all the ERA of number 3's in the league and he had better ERA then all of them. I get it you don't like him. It makes you bias meaning we should listen to you on Lester that is fine. Also you also said that a quality start isn't a quality start if Lester pitched. See through you go rife full of bias. A better defense team out there he probably gives up 3 runs.

     

    But lets take a deeper look at this game: 8k 0 BB 1HR. Those are pretty good stats.  Can't be too unset about the home run to Davis he has been doing that. A couple blop hits and some really poor defense lead to runs in the 5th.

    This is the last time I am going to talk with you about Lester because I am just tired of the bias and the self congrationals.



    Did you watch the game? The reason why he had 0 BB is that he had no ability to hit spots. And again, in 5 IP, his WHIP was 1.80 and his ERA was 9.00.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to irish-sox-fan's comment:

    In response to Ice-Cream's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     


    I am also not ready to give up on Lester.  His ERA of 4.37 is still "okay".  His next start will be vs. the Tigers..............................that's not good.   LOL

    All jokes aside, I still believe that he wil bounce back. 

     

     



    Why does everybody have such a hard time admitting that this guy is an average 3/4 starter? Who in their right mind ever thought they'd be more comfortable with John Lackey pitching and Jon Lester?!

     

    [/QUOTE]


    The reason so many still hold out hope Irish is that they are self-admitted pollyannas and they see only the good things and optimistic things ahead.  Some of us who are pollies sees thing the way they are and right now Lester not only s@cks, but he is a stubborn dirtbag besides.  Two HoF pitchers have said Lester should barf-can the cutter and only use it occasionally to set hitters up for his other stuff.  Those two were announcing for different teams on different occasions but said the SAME DA@N thing.  Think Dennis Eckersley and Jim Palmer have the credentials to make such a statement?  I certainly do, but Lester has been so thoroughly been taken in by Josh Beckett that he continues to be stubborn and spit in the wind.  The result is that he has been getting his rear end handed to him and hasn't the brains to alter his methods.  Right now the guy stinks.

     

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    Just a few links on loss of velocity with pichers Lesters age...

     

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/preliminary-aging-curve-for-fastball-speed/

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-velocity-loss-phenomenon/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/sports/baseball/17pitchers.html?_r=0

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    As I posted earlier, I'm still optimistic about Lester's ability to still be at least a solid No. 2.

    First, I'm not sure right now how pertinent the numbers going back to 2011 and the beginning of last year. Obviously, he was struggling, so I guess it does show how far back it goes to a certain exent. But it also can distort the picture because it ignores a stretch where he was very good.

    Here's why I hold out hope. He obviously had problems with mechanics in the first half of last season, which might have started in Sept. 2011). But he ended 2012 with a 3.76 ERA over 12 starts, which to me shows he still has good stuff and turned things around.

    So I could easily use Aug. 2012 as a starting point, instead of going back to 2011. From then through his first nine starts this year, he had 21 consecutive starts where he posted a 3.31 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP with 110 Ks and 51 BBs in 138.2 IP. That's a pretty decent stretch of starts at a high level, and it is recent enough. 

    If you use Aug. 2012 as a starting point and go up to date, his ERA is 4.11. To me, that tells the real story of Lester right now. He's at the crossroads. He had enough recent success, especially if you look just at the start of this season, to show that he still has good stuff. But something still isn't right.

    If you're going to say his next six starts are going to be like his last six, why can't you say his next nine starts are going to be like his first nine starts this season. It's the same season.

    I don't know what Lester will be like going forward. I wasn't concerned through the first four of the recent six-game stretch. He had one bad start then three mediocre starts where he gave the Sox the chance to win (they won two of the three). But now that it has extended through six starts, now it's a major concern. He remains the key to the staff IMO.

    Maybe the nine-start stretch this year (or 21-start stretch going back to last year) is the abberation of a starter who is otherwise declining. Or maybe the recent six-game stretch is the abberation of a pitcher who really has turned things around. I think over the next couple of months we'll have our answer one way or another.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    I hate disagreeing with royf19, which fortunately this time I don't have to do.  I like his numbers and respect the balance of the last paragraph--the trends can push in either direction, he's coming back or he is declining.

    Hard cold numbers notwithstanding, I am hopeful because he is healthy and because I think his issue is pitch selection--too many fastballs and cutters, not enough curves and changeups, especially the latter.   His fastball is fine, maybe faster than any other Sox starter, but the curve and changeup are not.  If he can make them an effective and regular part of his repertoire, he should be fine.  If he can't, he could still an end of the rotation starter. 

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to klaus1954's comment:

    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.




    The problem is that Lester should be doing better than just giving us the minimum for a QS. Not so much the definition of it.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to klaus1954's comment:

    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.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    Re: Quality Starts.  I thought it would be useful to give two numbers.  I provided the number which meet the definition of Quality Starts, which is 24.  But I thought I should also give the number excluding the minimum of 3 ER in 6 IP, which is 19.  Because I have found that quite a few people have an issue with 3 in 6 being a true Quality Start. 

    Nolan Ryan has proposed a stat called a 'High Quality Start' that requires at least 7 innings and 3 earned runs or less.  

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ADG. Show ADG's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers


    Lester has started 15 games. He has 7 quality starts. 7/15 = 46.6%.

    That isn't good no matter how you slice it. Also, outside of Doubront and Morales, Lester has the worst ERA on the team.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Re: Quality Starts.  I thought it would be useful to give two numbers.  I provided the number which meet the definition of Quality Starts, which is 24.  But I thought I should also give the number excluding the minimum of 3 ER in 6 IP, which is 19.  Because I have found that quite a few people have an issue with 3 in 6 being a true Quality Start. 

    Nolan Ryan has proposed a stat called a 'High Quality Start' that requires at least 7 innings and 3 earned runs or less.  



    It's easy to play with numbers and find stats to back either position on Lester. While agree that 6 IP and 3 ER may not be a true quality start, it is not a bad start either, and one could look at the 5.2 IP 3 ER start as a QS or first game as a QS too (5IP/2ER/5H/2BB/7K).

    It's really hard to get a grip on who the real Jon Lester is, let alone project what he will be. He's been all over the map, and some game lines do not truly reflect how well or how badly he pitched that day. I happen to agree with Eck about Lester's last game, but his gamelog looks awful.

    His first 4 starts were very good:

    3 -7 IP and a 5.0  start. That's not unusual amounts of innings for any starter's first 5 starts.

    26 IP  5 ER  19 H  4 BB..

     

    Then he had 2 not so good starts:

    11.2 IP  8 ER  12 H  8 BB

     

    Then he had 3 decent starts (including the 1 hitter):

    22 IP  5 ER  14 H  3 BB

     

    Then the last 6 have been really bad:

    35 IP  29 ER    47 H  18 BB

     

    It's not a stretch to think he may have another good streak or two left in him this year, or that he could put together a longer stretch of picthing well, but nothing hints at that happening too soon.

    This is baseball, though, so one never knows. It will be interesting to see how much patience Farrell and Ben are going to have with Jon.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    With a pitcher it's all about balls and strikes and who is getting the close calls, the batter or the pitcher.

    Early this year we saw Hanrahan throwing 99 mph and getting killed. We've seen Bailey and Webster throw 97 and get killed. Lester has clocked 96 on occasion this year. What's his fastball sitting at, 92 mph?  That's plenty fast enough. The fact is he gets NO close calls. The hitters all know this and lay off anything close. Lester's out-pitch the cutter has become a non-factor because if Lester throws a fastball down, it's going to be called a ball. An effective cutter starts off looking like a low fastball which dips out of the zone inducing a swing and miss. If batters can confidently ignore low fastballs the cutter doesn't even figure, because the batter is laying off low fastballs. 

    Because of Lester's height and arm slot his delivery should be devastating. His lenght and angle of delivery mean his picthes come in at an angle which can clip the corners of the plate while fading away or boring in on batters. He also has excellent seperation on his curve and fastball. 

    It's awfully hard for a pitcher to be effective when their strike zone is the size of a cigar box. 

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    Looking at just IP and ERS (not my idea of judging a pitcher's game)

     

    High Quality starts: 5

    IP/ER

    9  0

    7  0

    7  1

    7  2

    7  2

    Quality starts, but not High Quality: 2

    6  3

    6  3

    Near Quality starts: 3

    5  2 

    5.2  3

    7  4

    Not horrible: 1

    6.1  4

    Bad to horrible: 4

    6  5

    6  5

    5  5

    4.2  7

     

    In summary 15 starts:

    Quality/highquality: 7

    Near Quality: 3

    Near bad to horrible: 5

     

    Near quality to high quality in 10 of 15 starts.

    Horrible to near quality in 8 of 15 starts.

    Depends how you like to look at it. If you count 6 IP and 3 ER as near quality, you could say 10 of 15 are horrible to near quality starts.

    Sox4ever

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from slasher9. Show slasher9's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    doesn't want the sox to pickup his option?

    otherwise this is a contract year and he should be pitching lights out. 

    I missed yesterdays game but his previous 2 starts he was missing spots badly.  control/mechanics.  fixable for sure.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    I hate to ever try and judge any player by one game sample sizes, but hearing all the wrath directed at Lester over his last games is too much.

    Here are the 9 hits one by one:

    Ground ball 2B to LF

    Bloop 1B down LF line

    Line drive 1B to RF

    Ground ball 1B up the middle

    Deep 2B down LF line

    Ground ball 2b down RF line

    Line drive 1B to CF

    Deep 2B down LF line

    HR to deep RF

    5 of 9 hits were hit hard.

    I'm not trying to downplay what happened. It is what it is, but just seeing 9 H in 5 IP and saying he stunk is not really telling the whole story.

     

    Sox4ever

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from LeftyGrove. Show LeftyGrove's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to royf19's comment:

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

     

    Still think he will "come around"? I don't. I have been saying for a long time that he is now just a serviceable #4 SP, and even that may be too kind. Losester is throwing like crap and Bucky is injured. This is the exact scenario that caused me to predict that this is a team capable of winning only about 81 games. Because of their great start it could be a few more, but this is not a playoff caliber team with Losester pitching like he is capable of and Bucky impersonating a Man of Glass.

     



    Can't candy-coat it anymore, he may not come around at all.  Frankly I feel sick about it. 

     

     

     



    The numbers are ugly, but it's not a straight line, which does give you some hope. I don't remember the exact numbers, but in that stretch, there was also a 20-consecutive start span (give or take a start or two) from the beginning of August last year through early to mid-May (don't have time to look up the exact dates) where his ERA was in the low 3.00s.

     

    That is a long enough and recent enough stretch to give me optimism about his chances of getting back on track again. So we'll see. I'm not ready to give up on him.

    [/QUOTE]

    On target... You can take a snapshot as others have done and yell... The sky is falling, 

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to patrickford's comment:

    With a pitcher it's all about balls and strikes and who is getting the close calls, the batter or the pitcher.

    Early this year we saw Hanrahan throwing 99 mph and getting killed. We've seen Bailey and Webster throw 97 and get killed. Lester has clocked 96 on occasion this year. What's his fastball sitting at, 92 mph?  That's plenty fast enough. The fact is he gets NO close calls. The hitters all know this and lay off anything close. Lester's out-pitch the cutter has become a non-factor because if Lester throws a fastball down, it's going to be called a ball. An effective cutter starts off looking like a low fastball which dips out of the zone inducing a swing and miss. If batters can confidently ignore low fastballs the cutter doesn't even figure, because the batter is laying off low fastballs. 

    Because of Lester's height and arm slot his delivery should be devastating. His lenght and angle of delivery mean his picthes come in at an angle which can clip the corners of the plate while fading away or boring in on batters. He also has excellent seperation on his curve and fastball. 

    It's awfully hard for a pitcher to be effective when their strike zone is the size of a cigar box. 




    I think this is overstated but has an element of truth.  I agree the umpires are squeezing Lester somewhat, but I also think he is squeezing himself by over using the fastball, which then requires him to only hit the corners because opposing hitters are sitting on it. 

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

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

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    The thing is Lester can be getting squeezed by inches and it would make all the difference in the world. It comes down to who owns the close pitches, the pitcher or the hitter. It isn't like he's Daniel Bard out there. He didn't walk a batter yesterday. 

    I admit I'm a fan, and may be letting my bias get in the way. The front office needs to  document what's going on using game film. If the film shows over a course of several games that all the pitchers in a game are getting the same strike zone then I'm wrong. If the film shows Lester is consistently not getting the close calls then something ought to be done. Just because Lester is shooting dirty looks does not mean the umpires have the right to punish him. What seems to be going on isn't a big secret. There has been talk of it. Lester, the other guys on the team and the manager can't say anything. If they did it would only get worse. The media and the fans can make an issue out of it. The team can make an issue out of it as well, but not in the media, the team has to do it behind the scenes. 

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to patrickford's comment:

    The thing is Lester can be getting squeezed by inches and it would make all the difference in the world. It comes down to who owns the close pitches, the pitcher or the hitter. It isn't like he's Daniel Bard out there. He didn't walk a batter yesterday. 

    I admit I'm a fan, and may be letting my bias get in the way. The front office needs to  document what's going on using game film. If the film shows over a course of several games that all the pitchers in a game are getting the same strike zone then I'm wrong. If the film shows Lester is consistently not getting the close calls then something ought to be done. Just because Lester is shooting dirty looks does not mean the umpires have the right to punish him. What seems to be going on isn't a big secret. There has been talk of it. Lester, the other guys on the team and the manager can't say anything. If they did it would only get worse. The media and the fans can make an issue out of it. The team can make an issue out of it as well, but not in the media, the team has to do it behind the scenes. 




    Its not the umpires: its Lesster. MLB has not singled out Jon Lesster for squeezing or any other form of punishment. He is simply not that good any more. He might be able to get good again, but that won't happen any time soon and the odds are against it in any event. I WISH he were good, but he isn't. He is mediocre to bad and has been for a long time.

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

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    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. 

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from stan17. Show stan17's posts

    Re: Lester: the hard cold numbers

    In response to maxbialystock's comment:

    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.`

     
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