In Response to Re: Red Sox will not resign Wakefield
1) My allusion to Wake/Beckett was to show that the first 55-60% of their Boston years were better on the road than at home. Look at Wake's hit/IP numbers over each period . It's pertinent for a flyball pitcher. Use the same time period (first 5 years). Wake's 6-10 seasons were among his worst overall, and he was a reliever for some of those years. My point is not that most or many pitcchers do just as good in Fenway as away. I am aware of the park venue differentials before you even posted them (nice wrok, by the way), but my point is that there are a select few who are not greatly effected by Fenway. Since Lackey has diminished away numbers as well from 2010-2011 as compared to ONLY 2005-2009, we don't know if the park venue is what the major cause is in hs case. It probably is. It probably has at least something to do with his inflated numbers, but we can never be 100% sure. Lackey's numbers as an Angel in Fenway against a very good hitting Sox team from 2005-2009 were not nearly as bad as 2010-2011 combined. Granted, the injury effect could be greater than I am giving it credit for. My point is mostly about your psoition that your conclusion is as clear as day. Adjusting for park venue is highly subjective. Looking at your examples below shows a wide range of differentials. We have no way of knowing how much of Lackey's declineis venue-related, age-related, injury-related, just plain home-away-related (factors not associated with park dimensions) . Far more often than not, the park affects pitchers dependant on their skill-set and their initial tenure. When you have the talent of a Schilling or a Pedro or a Lester, their pure ability then becomes the over-riding factor. Here's a couple more who come to mind: Bronson Arroyo: AT FENWAY IN 2004: 5.35 ERA 1.507 WHIP AWAY: 3.06 ERA 1.010 WHIP AT FENWAY IN 2005: 4.92 ERA 1.359 WHIP AWAY: 4.05 ERA 1.233 WHIP Dice: In his full seasons: AT FENWAY IN 2007: 4.86 ERA 1.338 WHIP AWAY: 4.02 ERA 1.313 WHIP AT FENWAY IN 2008: 3.34 ERA 1.462 WHIP AWAY: 2.37 ERA 1.158 WHIP Lackey vs. Boston in FENWAY - career: 6+ ERA...3.86 in CA. Angels staff over the last 8 years vs. Boston IN Boston: 5.05 ERA 1.540 WHIP IN CA: 3.31 ERA 1.270 WHIP REDSOX PITCHING THIS YEAR: IN FENWAY: 4.28 ERA 1.352 WHIP IN ALL OTHER VENUES: 3.53 ERA 1.172 WHIP TELL ME MOON: DO YOU BELIEVE IN HOME ADVANTAGE, BEYOND VENUE? Yes, I do. All sports exhibit home field advantages even when playing field dimensions are uniform. This is one reason, I am saying your adjustment for park venue may not be all about the dimensions. I sure do. The crowd. Being near family. Ask yourself this: Where is this home advantagewhen our pitchers take the mound in Fenway, as opposed to the road? Don't the fans support the team when they are in the field? Wouldn't you think the actual disparity H/A with pitching is in fact much greater! In Lackey's case there have been boos, bad media stories, family health issues (that might make it easier to concentrate when away from it all), and other added pressures. He may be adversely reacting to it all at home, and the park venue (dimensionsof walls, foul territory size, humidity, wind, sun...) may not be as great as you think. That is all I am saying. Some of it could be in his head . You want proof beyond the numbers? There's no way possible the park can enhance the hitting stats without compromising the pitching ones. No way It can in idividual cases. In general, LHPs are better suited for Yankee Stadium while righties are in Fenway, however, there are individual pitchers who buck the trend, because they are smart enough, or their pitching style, matches up well with the park. I don't have access to spray charts against Lackey in LA vs in Fenway. Has the park caused more hits, or have the spray charts changed (indicating Lackey is pitching differently and may be making a mistake by changing the way he pitched due to the big wall). I guess if this is true, you could blame "park venue", but I'd be more inclined to blame the pitcher(or catcher for calling for the wrong pitches) instead of saying the venue caused the inflated differentials. . 2) I addressed Lackey's supposed decline on the road in what is now my last post on UR REALISTIC thread. I used 2009 road numbers as a point of reference Why change the sample size you used in other comparisons? Yes, 2009 might have been an indication of the start of decline in Lackey's skillset for whatever reason. His overall 2005-2008 numbers weere better than 2009. I like to use longer sample sizes. I think Theo does too. Lackey's numbers from 2005-2009 adjusted for park venue (not just LAA to Bos, but less games in Sea & Oak as well) and age are what should be the issue here. I am pretty certain that park venue has had a learge influence on Lackey's numbers. I expected inflation. Our difference of opinion is in how much and how certain we are of the degree of park venue influence. You say Lackey is about where he should be (by your expectations). I say he has done worse. I have not been like others who call him a "bust". I defended his 2010 numbers to some extent this past winter. I value QS% and near QS% perhaps more than most. I expected lackey as a veteran pitcher to make adjustments and be slightly better this year than 2010. Maybe his injury and family distractions were the root to his decline. maybe he has turned the corner of late, and will shut this whole conversation down after another 10 starts. I certainly hope so. . I suggest you read it again ( or perhaps for the first time). It exposes how level of comp. affects his performance. I had a splitting headache, was nauseous and had vision issues, but was determined to finish it and the research required. You never bothered to acknowledge it beyond UR allusion of it as a 'rant'. It wasn't appreciated. Want me to bring up UR "rants" to Softy? A fair criticism. I am sorry for calling it a "rant". Your research was deep and supported your point. I do agree that park venue and competition level changes has had a major effect on Lackey's numbers. I just disagree with the the degree. I offered some numbers (2005-2009) that showed Lackey did not do so poorly in Fenway as many remember. I don't think I was cherry-picking that timeframe. Lackey's first 2-3 years were growth years. At Lackey's current age, I did not expect a decline due to age until maybe 2012 or 2013. I expected a higher ERA and slightly higher WHIP. I just didn't expect this much, hence my position that he has not met my expectations, and my belief that he has not met theo's either. His contract is long. He still can turn it around, and there are good signs he already has. 3) Did I subtract Lackey's 2008/9 numbers hurt? No,I didn't. Why? in 2008, he missed April and early May. So, where did he pitch hurt? Once he started his season, he threw 9 straight quality starts in May/June. 1.18 ERA in May. 1.16 in June. Good point, maybe he was fully recovered in 2008, but not in 2011. Lackey came back from injury on May 16th and had these lines: IP-H-ER-BB 0-0-1-0 (1 HBP) 5-7-4-0 7-7-3-1 (3 HBP) 7-10-5-2 7-7-2-3- 5-11-8-2 7-10-3-0 (1 HBP) 8-9-4-4 Sample Total: 47 IP, 61 H, 30 ER, 17 BB + HBP 5.70 ERA If you are going to adjust 2011 numbers for injuryand compare them to an unadjusted 2009 season, I do not think it is fair. In 2009, same thing. He didn't start his season until May 16th. There's no frame of reference. I do think, going by the terms under which he was signed, that his elbow might have become an issue in 2009. He was less consistent in 2009 than in 2008. If any regression existed, it could have begun in 2009. That's why I drew my analogy to his road numbers in 2009. His current numbers adjust to 2009, beyond injury. So, perhaps his regression is more injury related than park venue related, or 50/50, or... My point has been that we don't know for sure all the reasons for lackey's decline. It is almost certainly a combination of many factors, most of which have been discussed and dissected on this site. It's nearly impossible to pinpoint the degree of each factor. No matter what the factors, to me, he has been a dissapointment. Dice-K has too, although his injuies seem to be the over-riding factor . You made this statement: " Wake wasn't anymore healthy in 2010 as Lackey was in May of this year". This is blatantly false.Lackey in May 2011: 14.34 ERA 2.531 WHIP Since then: 5.10 ERA 1.388 WHIP
Wake 2010: 5.34 ERA 1.350 WHIP Wake 2011: 4.92 ERA
1.288 WHIP The difference in Wake can be explained by pitching in a more normalized role. How he now covers first has as much to do with throwing the knuckler as it does for Sabathia to miss two weeks of buffets as a downgrade to his performance "blatantly false"? It's this kind of wording that frustrates many readers. I know i get that way with the silly clown too, but when it comes to injuries, nobody really knows to what degree someone is hurt and what their pain threshold is. For all we know, lackey might have a different pain threshold and not even pitched with the pain level Wake had in 2010. We don't know. I tried to explain this to soty last year with Jake. His claim was that others came back from broken ribs much faster, so jake must be milking it Wake's 2010 numbers were vastly higher than his 2007-mid-2009 numbers, true, not to the extent of Lackey's differential, but the sample size for Lackey is so small, just one or two pitches could have made the difference. . 4) No, you don't limit UR W/L statements to refuting that of others. I don't know how many times you mentioned the team was 26-27 in Lackey's starts Go back and look. I do not think I ever mentioned it until after you brought up Win totals and the whole Lackey 14 win/season position. I also used it against softy when he used wins-losses to defend Miller. I think I mentioned it once before when I was calling out JCJCJCJC for his year long rant on the team's W-L record in games Wake pitches in. Honestly, you know I do not place great importance on wins by a pitcher. I do place more on team wins whan a pitcher starts than a pitchers decisions, but it has always been way down on my list of judgement criteria . Much of it was never instigated. A very poor way to attempt to show regression. I notice you love to mention how the team is 11-5 in Wake's starts, but you never state the team was 6-13 in his 2010 starts. When I brought it up, you went on UR "It's obvious Wake is much healthier this year" rant Yes, I have mentioned it a lot recently. I have used it to counter the whole overvaluing ERA nonsense . Most fans who use ERA a lot also value W-Ls. Neither are on the top of my list for judging pitcher skillset. They never have been. That doesn't mean they are not without value. They are both useful tools, but not the whole picture. My pitching stat of choice has alwats been WHIP. I do think ERA is much more valuable an indicator than Wins or W-Ls or team W-Ls, but as you probably know from my countless game by game line postings, I value QSs and near QSs greatly. More so than ERA. The team W-L recordcan sometimes acurately reflect the percentage of QSs and near QSs a pitcher has. With Beckett this year, his team W-Ls are much better than his personal decision W-Ls. The team record could be even better with "normalized" run support, but ti's still pretty darn good. Wake's 11-5 record is almost totally reflective of his amount of games he has put his team in a good position to win. Even forgetting about all the inherited runs allowed and cheap type runs allowed, Wake has pitched well enough for the team to be about 9-7 to 12-4. If you look at each game closely, he has really pitched well enough that with just a little luck, his ERA would be much lower and the team could be 13-3 in his starts. In short, I think the team W-L record with Wake is not a distortion as is Miller's 7-1 record. Strength of opponents, run support, etc... has distorted Miller's numbers Almost everytime I list the "updated starter numbers", I do not post W-L records. Instead, I post WHIP, ERA, IP/GS, and OPS against. You like to use quality starts as a measuring stick. Explain the minor variance in Wake's QS's between 2010 and 2011... Wake had 9 QSs out of 19 GS in 2010 (47.4%). He had 2 more "near QSs (5.2 IP 3ER and 7.1 IP 4 ER) for 11/19 put team in good position to win ratio (57.9%). His 6-13 2010 team record is not reflective of a 57.9% performance. As you and I have mentioned, Wake was jerked back and forth and up and down so many times, his head was spinning. I mentioned he was recovering from back surgery, limping, fielding more poorly, etc... I do not think his 2010 season was as bad as many feel it was. The same goes for Lackey's 2010 season and his high QS% Wake's 2011 season, to me, has been highly influenced by the amount of inherited runners allowed, being left in too long (from a personal stat related angle) to "save the pen" (for the good of the team, which i agree with in some cases). Many of his runs, as documented several times, are of the "cheap variety". In my opinion, much more so as a percent of earned runs allowed as other Sox starters and as compared to Wake in 2010. Despite all of this, his 2011 numbers are: 9 QSs out of 16 (56.2%) Wake has had a few near QSs this year. I wont get into the inherited runs allowed, dropped balls for hits, misguided routes by Ellsbury to allow cheap runs to score and put Wake out of the "near QS" or QS criteria, I will just go by the strict numbers: He had 2 near QSs (6 IP 4 ER and 4.2 IP 3 ERs). 11 out of 16 GS'ed have been QSs or near QSs (68.9%). So, 2010 vs 2011: 2010: 47% QS / 58% QS + Near QS 2011: 56% QS / 69% QS + Near QS. Going just by the numbers, one could say Wake was unlucky in wins in 2010 and lucky in wins in 2011. Just because you put a team in a position to win in 11 of 16 starts, doesn't mean the team will win all 11. The team has scored more for Wake this year and to start 2009 than in 2008 and 2010. Personally, I think the win luck factor this year is mitiagted by the poor luck he has had in the amount of "earned runs" he has allowed that are not really all that "earned". I think Wake is pitching and fielding better this year than last. His HR/9 rate is up slightly (1.2 to 1.4) and his SO/BB ratio is down (2.3 to 1.9), but almost all other indiators that I valuemost are showing a better year: WHIP: 1.350 to 1.288 QS%: 47% to 58% Near QS%: 56% to 69%. ERA: 5.34 to 4.92. ERA+: 81 to 84 OPS against: .773 to .783 (Gotten slightly worse) Here are some more stats that matter more to others than to me... xFIP: 4.70 to 4.69 (Nearly identical) WAR: 1.3 to 0.5 GB/FB: 0.79 to 0.80 (Nearly identical) Intersting Wake stats to check this out: Bunt hit%: 25% to 37.5% Knucklball % thrown: 83% to 92%
Posted by moonslav59
1) Lackey's "decline". You keep typing it and I keep refuting it.
This is the area of disagreement
. It hinges on injury and venue-related issues.Injury
: Two cort.shots in the elbow weren't given to him so that he'd enjoy the sensation. His numbers prior to the shots compared to when he returned from the DL ate day and night.
You said Wake's 2010/2011 differential was as great. I called that statement blatantly false. And the numbers back it up.
Lackey pre-elbow issue/post elbow issue: 8.01 ERA
/5.10 ERA.1.807 WHIP
Wakefield 2010/2011: 5.34 ERA/4.92 ERA 1.35 WHIP/1.288 WHIP.
Now you tell me true: which pitcher had the greater variance
That and two cort shots and a DL stint obviously show how Lackey was compromised by injury. The same can't
be stated for Wake with any degree of truth. Wake is in a more settled role and is responding accordingly.Neither
his 2010 nor his 2011
seasons ( you
are claiming he's so much healthier this year) are as good as he was in 2008/first half of 2009.Venue-related issues
: We agree the park makes a difference, but not on the degree of difference. Tell me this: What numerical degree of difference would you estimate the park to make with him?
I have mentioned that there are exceptions to any park variance. But they are few and usually fall into the category of great stuff (which over-rides venue and often team) and/or having the ability to overcome the Park's dimensions.
I've used several examples:
hitting/pitching vs. Boston in their venue as opposed to Fenway.
C) Other teams
hitting/pitching in their/our venue.
I really don't know how to equate the home advantage quotient. But it should be common sense that it if the ERA variance, for example, is .7 (2011: 4.23 ERA vs. 3.54 road ERA), then the home advantage factor would make the pitching disparity larger
. Don't the fans root for our pitchers/defense??? Think about it!!
differential, depending on the individual and his skill-set and how it applies to the park, could easily
be a full run. Simply put, pitchers watch 315 ft. outs on the road translate to doubles or dingers in Boston.
The foul territory in other parks allows pitchers to record more outs.
How is this even debateable???
2) Wakefield's 1-5 years as opposed to 6-10. This analogy isn't pertinent to the park factor. If he was worse at one stage over another, it'll be reflected both H/A.
Wake was better in the last 45% of his Boston tenure at home because he learned how to command his stuff to the point where he used the park to his advantage. I'm willing to bet he's tell you this very same thing.
The hits/IP indicator is more relevant with a flyball pitcher. His H/IP go in complete opposite directions after he logged 10 years in Boston. Why did it take so long? I say it's the nature of trying to perfect the pitch. Look at other Knucklers. Look how long it took for them to refine their art. That's why they are able to last so long. The pitch is conducive to longevity. Conventional pitchers have a shorter window of prime vs. gained knowledge.
3) Team W/L is dependant on several variable. I say the most critical is the pitcher's stuff. That dictates what kind of chance the fielders have to make the plays (i.e. how hard the balls are hit in relation to reaction time).
Beyond that, it's offense/defense and venue. Run support is obviously a telling factor. But averaging it out is not a good way to apply the data. Even using game logs are limited unless you look at the amount of RS when the starting pitcher was in the game. That tells you of the circumstance in which he was pitching under.
Look at Lackey's 8 QS's last year that ended up in losses or ND's.
If you look at the total run support, or even the game to game RS, it doesn't show a true picture. In most of these games, the support was low when he was pitching.
The BP would come in and blow the lead. Then the team scored against a tired starter or mediocre opposing BP depth.
This is true for Wake and others. That's why their team W/L was not good last year.
4) The issue of supposed road decline with Lackey is addressed on your REALISTIC thread.