Re: Old school stats vs. new school stats
posted at 1/27/2013 5:42 PM EST
In response to royf19's comment:
You make a good point with this post.
In response to soxnewmex's comment:
In response to royf19's comment:
I haven't read all the posts yet, but I just wanted to weigh in with a thought or two.
Regardless of whether or not they're old school or new school, any one stat is useless unless they're used in context with other stats.
For example, OPS is a great stat, but if the batter has a low BA w/RISP -- Drew a couple of years ago -- then in my opinion that great OPS loses some luster. If a hitter has 40 HRs, that looks great, but if he's batting .210 with 70 RBIs and a .280 OBP in 600 PA, then those 40 HRs aren't so great.
ERA is a great stat and a lousy stat. A low ERA tells a lot about a pitcher. It's hard to distort a bad (or even mediocre) ERA with two or three great starts. Yeah, those great starts will help but only two a point. On the other hand, two or three really horrible stats can easily distort an otherwise great ERA. Look at Lester and Beckett last year. I forget the exact numbers, but Beckett and Lester each had ERAs in the mid- to high 4.00s (maybe even low) after 13 starts for Beckett and 15 (maybe 17 starts) for Lester. But if you took away their two worst starts, Beckett's ERA was around 2.50 and Lester's 3.50 -- something like that. (WHIP is the same way).
So no matter what stats you are looking at, you need to look at more than one stat and you have too look deep into individual stats to see what's going on.
Don't quite understand taking away their two worst starts, or figuring, for example,
Beckett's ERA taking away his first innings. The bad starts, the bad innings, count.
Who said the starts didn't count? (And I never said, take away a bad inning.) The point was how horrible starts affect an ERA. For example, let take two pitchers in this hypothetical example:
Pitcher A: 20-10 in 30 starts. In the 20 wins, he went 7 IP with 2 ER every start for an ERA in those 20 starts of 2.57. In his 10 losses, he went 5 IP, 4 ER in every start for an ERA of 7.20. For the season, his ERA is 3.78. (190 IP, 80 ER). An excellent season by any standard.
Pitcher B: He also went 20-10 in 30 starts and in the 20 wins, he went 7 IP, with 2 ER every start. And in 8 of his 10 losses, he went 5 IP, 4 ER in every start. However, in his last two bad starts, they were horrible starts -- 2 IP, 8 ER both starts. So for the season, his ERA is 4.35.
A 3.78 ERA vs. a 4.35 ERA looks like a big difference, but can we honestly say Pitcher A was that much better than Pitcher B. They were equal in the number of good starts and equal in eight of their 10 bad starts. The only difference was that Pitcher A was simply bad in his last two bad starts while Pitcher B was horrible.
Back to Beckett and Lester -- no one is saying don't county those bad starts. The point is, if they were simply bad -- which still means two bads starts and losses -- instead of horrible, their ERAs would have been much lower and thus, a better indicator on how they've pitched.
I would say pitcher B did worse, but not by as much as his ERA indicated. Pitcher A did give his team a slighlty better chance of winning since letting up 4 ERs in 5 IP is not impossible to win with while 8 ERs is nearly so.
There are also many comparisons made between pitchers who get cheap wins because their team scores for them while other get losses of no decisions due to poor run support. Consider this real life case.
Pitcher A finishes 6th in WHIP in the AL (1.182) one season with a decent 4.13 ERA, but goes 10-11. Here are the particulars of his 30 starts:
This pitcher had 0-3 ERs in 22 of his 30 starts (73%). He had 24 of 30 with 4 or less (80%).
His record 8-6 with 8 no decisions in 0-3 ER allowed games and 9-7 with 8 ND is 0-4 Earned run games.
With a little luck he might have gone 17-8 and been a hero, but instead he was called upon to retire by several posters on this board, most loudly by the clown himself, softy.
Even after making the allstar game the following year, little changed.
Pitcher B had essentially the same defense behind him, had an almost identical ERA (4.03) and WHIP (1.187), but went 12-10 with these particulars in 27 starts:
This pitcher went 9-4 in games with 0-3 ERs allowed with 4 NDs. 17 of his 27 games were 0-3 ER games (63%) and 21 of his 27 starts were 0-4 ER games (75%).
Pitcher B had a slightly better ERA, more wins, less losses and almost the same WHIP, but who gave his team more of a chance to win?
A or B?