In response to Beantowne's comment:
In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
In response to pinstripezac's comment:
I'm suggesting pitching today for a team
with a good offense hurts a pitchers era
I'm under the impression in the old days
the starters stayed in the game much longer
no matter what the score was
today a tired pitcher with a lot of runs to work with
will stay in the game and be allowed to give up a few more
while the pitcher with no lead to work with
will be pulled B4 he gives up the few more runs
even today how fair is it to compare a starters era
with a great BP vs one with a bad BP
All good points zac. A starter's ERA can be greatly impacted by how his innings are managed and the bullpen behind him.
ERA is relevant when compared to the norm as means to reach a conclusion...Although there're are many factors that have to be weighed...the park being the chief among them...and the weighted difference in pitching to NL vs. AL lineups. As a historical measure the size of the parks today vs days gone by are a factor that can't be dismissed...
My greatest issue with ERA is that it is based on 9 innings...Back in the old days when pitchers were expected to go nine. ERA was in fact a great measure for expected results...if A guy had a 4.5 ERA back in 1970 it 's a good bet that your team would score at least four...Today if a starter has 4.5 ERA it means your team s likely to score 3 heading into the 7th.
For bullpen guys I'd prefer they used the runs allow per appearance. ERA for relievers is perhaps the single least relevant stat...
it does have 1 use.. a quick way to know how strong someones argument is. If someone starts throwing relievers ERA at you or some other type of small sample size (for example, The Beckett bashers last year would throw his 1st inning ERA out there in debates) then you know they have the weakest of weak arguments.
for me, when valuing statistics i tend to like the ones that look at the effect an individual has on the game. Stats like W/L and RBIs take into account too much of the rest of the team, ballpark, opposing teams, etc to really make an accurate judgment of the impact a player makes. Now, i realise that practically all Pitching stats (except K and Walk rates and maybe FIP) are dependant on the defense behind him at the very least. Still, you gotta think the less variables involved the more "level" the playing field for analysis.
The correct answer of course is to use any and all available data to judge a players performance. Its how much stock that you put into each stat that should vary from person to person.