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Beckett stands tall, record aside

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 20, 2011 12:28 PM

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Most fans have come around to the idea that a pitcher's win-loss record is not a very good way to determine his value. The latest example is Josh Beckett.

He has a 1.69 ERA and an 0.96 WHIP in his last six starts and is 1-0. The Red Sox are 4-2 in those games. For the season, check out these statistics for Beckett:

1.73 ERA

0.92 WHIP

8.2 K per 9 innings

2.7 BB per 9 innings

5.7 H per nine innings

235 ERA+

Oh, yeah. He's 3-1.

He has been the best pitcher in the American League and 29 other guys have more wins. How silly is that?

The good news is that he doesn't care. Beckett is not conversant in advanced statistics, but he knows his record is not reflective of how well he pitches. Most starters look at how many innings they've pitched, their ERA and their WHIP.

If you're durable and your ERA is somewhere south of 3.80 or so, you're doing your job well. The rest is up to run support and the bullpen and there is zippo a starter can do about that.

That Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award last season at 13-12 is evidence that people are open to common sense when evaluating players and not bound by tradition.

Now if only we can eliminate batting average from the conversation and replace it with OPS . . .

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