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Monday, September 16, 2019

Citi Field duel shows why the NL Cy Young is a two-horse race

NEW YORK—As the baseball season draws to a close, awards debates tend to draw life from the players that can perform their best in a stretch run.

A crowd of nearly 40,000 was treated to just that Saturday night at Citi Field.

“That’s kind of what I was hoping for,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his team fell to the New York Mets, 3-0.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jacob deGrom worked in lockstep throughout the evening. Whether they care to admit it, Ryu and deGrom were bidding against each other for the National League Cy Young Award.

Max Scherzer, meanwhile, wonders if it was that he was entered into a competing race and couldn’t make this one, or that no one remembered to pay the fee to enter him into the race.

 

QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:09 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cy young award, hyun-jin ryu, jacob degrom

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   1. Lest we forget Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:46 AM (#5879533)
deGrom.

that's it.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: September 16, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5879549)
Scherzer has a 4.22 ERA in 21 IP over the last 21 days, and 1 W since July 6.

the latter is the date of his 2nd-to-last QS and his last Mad Max-level effort - 7 scoreless, 11 K vs the mighty Royals. that was his 7th straight Mad Max gem, but then the bed broke.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: September 16, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5879551)
Jake has 19 wins in the past two years, despite throwing 400+ innings at inner circle Hall of Fame quality. Has this feat ever been matched?
   4. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5879554)
Jake has 19 wins in the past two years, despite throwing 400+ innings at inner circle Hall of Fame quality. Has this feat ever been matched?


The Mets are 26-36 in those 62 starts of inner circle Hall of Fame quality.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5879566)
It's even more remarkable because deGrom is a pretty good hitter for a pitcher, too. He's hit .183/.231/.254 with 2 HRs and 11 RBI over the past two seasons, good for 1.1 WAR with the bat.

They lost a game this season where he pitched 7 innings, allowed 1 R, and hit a solo homer.

   6. I Knew A Guy Who Knew A Guy Who Knew Rey Ordonez Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5879570)
The Mets are 26-36 in those 62 starts of inner circle Hall of Fame quality.


I'd hazard a guess that the amount of run support Jake has gotten in those games is roughly 2-2.5 RPG.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5879573)
deGrom last season almost became the first starting pitcher since 1937 to have more WAR than Wins. He's the only starter since 1880, besides Eddie Smith in 1937, to have WAR > 90% of Wins.
   8. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5879583)
I'd hazard a guess that the amount of run support Jake has gotten in those games is roughly 2-2.5 RPG.


3.49 last year, 3.79 this year (though, that is full game totals). Run support while he was in the game may only be 2-2.5 rpg. 15 no-decisions over the last 2 seasons where he gave up 1 or fewer runs.

edit: i think i counted incorrectly. looks like 17 no-decisions with 1 or fewer runs, and that is not counting the 4ip 0run start, or the following 1 ip, 0 run start from 2018.

12-1 with 17 no decisions over the last 2 years when he allowed 1 or fewer runs and pitched at least 5 innings. (if i counted correctly this time).
   9. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5879607)
I'd hazard a guess that the amount of run support Jake has gotten in those games is roughly 2-2.5 RPG.

Some interesting numbers on deGrom over the past two seasons:

He's allowed a 2.36 FIP, a 2.12 ERA, and 2.37 R/9. So he hasn't really been a victim of bad defense.

The Mets have scored 3.64 R/9 in his starts which is pretty bad but doesn't fully explain his or the team's record in those starts.

And while their distribution of run scoring is a bit skewed (the median is 3.0, and there have been games of 10, 10, and 12 runs which pull the average up), you'd still expect them to do better in his starts given that distribution.

Looking at deGrom's decisions and the team's record in his starts:

deGrom has left 27 games with the lead. He's 19-0 in those games, the Mets are 19-8 (i.e., the bullpen has blown 8 leads and the team has not come back to win any of those games). Only one of those losses involved inherited runners scoring, the rest were completely coughed up by the pen.

He's left 17 games tied -- the Mets have gone 4-13 in those games. Again, only one of those losses involved deGrom's inherited runners scoring so you should really expect them to be better.

He's left 18 games with the Mets down -- they have gone 1-17 in those games and deGrom has gotten the loss in all 17 (i.e. the Mets never tied or took the lead after he left, other than the one victory).

It basically seems like he's been the victim of some poor run support, some poor bullpen support, and some bad luck.
   10. bfan Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5879624)
Max Scherzer, meanwhile, wonders if it was that he was entered into a competing race and couldn’t make this one, or that no one remembered to pay the fee to enter him into the race.


Or that on Friday night, another dual of possible Cy Young contenders matched up, with Soroka leaving the game after 6 innings against Schertzer, leading 3-0, having given up 1 hit. If WAR is your thing, Soroka is 3rd in the league. If ERA is your thing, he is 2nd in the league. If wins are your thing, he is 1st among those 4. If pitching for a division winner is your thing, Soroka is one of 2 of those, in that group of 4.

I think it should be DeGrom, but I also think you cannot have a full discussion on the merits of who it ought to be, include 3 names, and one name not be Soroka.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5879626)
They lost a game this season where he pitched 7 innings, allowed 1 R, and hit a solo homer.

I was there for all 14 ultimately miserable innings!
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5879630)
Here is a pretty remarkable stat:

In deGrom's 62 starts, he's allowed 107 runs and the bullpen has allowed 125 runs (!) despite pitching fewer than half as many innings

deGrom has a 2.37 RA/9 while the pen has a 6.70 RA/9 in his starts

deGrom has averaged 6.6 IP per start which by today's standards is going reasonably deep into games. You certainly can't blame him for putting undue strain on the pen.

Basically, it's the bullpen's fault. You can't expect your offense to come from behind or win tie games if the pen is allowing 6.7 R/9.
   13. DanG Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5879633)
NL CYA contenders ranked by Average Game Score

Player           GmScA QS WAR ERAOPS+  W L    IP Age  Tm  SO  ERA  FIP   BA
Max Scherzer      63.1 17 5.9  174   61 10 6 159.2  34 WSN 222 2.65 2.31 .220
Jacob deGrom      62.7 21 6.3  157   65  9 8 190.0  31 NYM 239 2.61 2.79 .212
Hyun
-Jin Ryu      59.7 20 4.5  176   68 12 5 168.2  32 LAD 148 2.35 3.12 .235
Clayton Kershaw   59.7 21 3.2  135   77 14 5 165.1  31 LAD 176 3.05 3.80 .223
Stephen Strasburg 59.5 20 5.4  132   62 17 6 191.0  30 WSN 229 3.49 3.23 .214
Jack Flaherty     59.5 17 4.5  140   68 10 8 174.1  23 STL 206 3.05 3.64 .203
Sonny Gray        59.2 16 5.5  163   59 10 7 163.2  29 CIN 190 2.80 3.43 .198
Luis Castillo     58.7 19 4.8  142   66 15 6 178.2  26 CIN 211 3.22 3.64 .203
Patrick Corbin    58.6 22 5.5  144   70 12 7 185.2  29 WSN 213 3.20 3.41 .225
Mike Soroka       58.0 18 5.7  180   61 12 4 164.2  21 ATL 130 2.57 3.50 .232 
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5879635)
NL CYA contenders ranked by Average Game Score


Wouldn't a better metric be the sum of the game scores? Guys who pitch more should be rewarded.
   15. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5879640)
For his career, the Mets are 86-83 overall. deGrom has a career ra/9 of 2.90.

edit: for comparison sake, since 2014, the Dodgers are 118-42 in Kershaw's starts. Kershaw has a RA/9 of 2.48 in that span. and the Nats are 98-58 in Scherzer's starts since he joined the team in 2015. Scherzer has allowed 2.85 ra/9 in that span.
   16. bfan Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5879677)
NL CYA contenders ranked by Average Game Score


If that was meant to show where Soroka was ranked, that chart shows him, among that group, 1st in ERA + and second in OPS+.
   17. DCA Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5879691)
The most interesting thing I see is that Scherzer, despite missing a month, is only 5 IP behind Soroka (late start to the year) and 9 IP behind Ryu (skipped a few turns).

The four are pretty close on a rate basis, any of them could be in the lead depending on the metric used. DeGrom's huge volume advantage makes him a clear #1 to me.

The other three are very close, and rest of season is probably going to be the deciding factor in their order.

#5 to round out the ballot? That's another tough call among several SP at the moment, none of who can crack the top four. I might give it to Kirby Yates to avoid the decision and just reward the best RP season.
   18. Karl from NY Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5879720)
Wouldn't a better metric be the sum of the game scores? Guys who pitch more should be rewarded.


No, because it's a counting stat with a nonzero starting point, you get 50 points just for showing up. You could start 162 games, give up a leadoff HR and then depart in every one of them, and you'd still lead the league in sum of game score.

Sum of (Game Score minus 50) might be workable. But that's basically just linear-weights with arbitrarily-selected values for the weights; you may as well use a more scientifically determined lwts system instead.
   19. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5879725)
He's not going to win the Cy Young award, but the Reds seem to have fixed Sonny Gray. He's having an excellent season, and they've got him for 3 more at 10, and then a team option at 12. He's been worth that entire contract just this year.
   20. bfan Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5879739)
He's not going to win the Cy Young award, but the Reds seem to have fixed Sonny Gray


Yes, they have built themselves a nice rotation going forward. What an inopportune time to one of the great hitters of his generation (Joey Votto) to start his decline.
   21. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5879747)
It certainly could be the start of his decline, and at his age wouldn't be surprising. But he also led the league in OBP last year, and came in second in the MVP vote the year before. I'm not ready to throw the towel in on Votto just yet.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5879756)

I'm not throwing in the towel yet, either, but he's hit .276 / .389 / .421 over his last 1200 PAs so it's hard to write it off as just a one-year blip. At least he still gets on base and fields pretty well. I'd hope he can reinvent himself as a high average guy, or find a bit more HR power given everyone else is doing it. But the days of Votto hitting .320 with 25-30 HR seem to be behind us.
   23. DanG Posted: September 16, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5879767)
Wouldn't a better metric be the sum of the game scores? Guys who pitch more should be rewarded.
Karl is right, that's not the way to do it.

Maybe you meant multiplying GmScA and IP? That puts deGrom far ahead of anyone else.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5879769)
Basically, it's the bullpen's fault. You can't expect your offense to come from behind or win tie games if the pen is allowing 6.7 R/9.

Well, sure but the bigger problem is being behind or tied to begin with. Basically in an "average" game, deGrom give up about 1.74 runs in 6.6 then the pen gives up 1.8 runs. That's terrible pen performance but not having the lead before deGrom leaves and only scoring 3.5 per game (in leagues average 4.4 and 4.8) is the main culprit here.

Next amazing deGrom stat: in his first 6 starts of Mar/Apr 2018, the Mets scored 36 runs. He still managed to win only 3 of those starts despite an ERA of 2.06 and 1 UER (so 11 runs total). He left a game tied having given 4 in 6 which the Mets actually won. He left a game leading 6-1 with 2 on only for the game to end 6-8. And he left a game 0-0 after 7 -- the Mets actually managed 3 runs but the pen gave up 4. Those are the sort of ############ you need to see to explain stuff like this.

It would then take the Mets another 13 starts to get to 36 runs scored -- and that's only because of one game in which they scored 12. And for the most part, they still couldn't score them at the right time. Against TB on Jul 6, deGrom went 8, gave up 1, the Mets won 5-1 ... no decision. On July 11, he went 8 giving up none vs Phil, Mets won 3-0 ... no decision.

In his last 15 starts of the year, they managed only 41. At least he got the wins in the two games they scored more than 4. In the end, 16 starts in which he went at least 6 and gave up 0 or 1 run and the Mets went just 10-6. In 3 of those 10 wins, he got a ND.

This year looks a bit more "normal bad luck" to me at quick glance. The offense is still more off than on but none of those massive droughts (i.e. they'll score a decent number every third game or so). Once again he's gotten losses of NDs in games where the offense finally showed up but at least some of those were relatively poor performances by him. For example, they lost 14-8 on Apr 9 but he gave up 6 in 4; they lost 8-6 on May 17 but he gave up 6 in 5. There are 2-3 other games like that where even though the pen deserves more of the blame, he didn't get particularly good results himself. Still 14 starts of 0 or 1 run and the Mets are just 10-4 and he's just 7-0. They've scored 43 in those 14 starts.
   25. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 16, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5879776)
Sum of (Game Score minus 50) might be workable. But that's basically just linear-weights with arbitrarily-selected values for the weights; you may as well use a more scientifically determined lwts system instead.

Plus it's not park adjusted.
   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 06:52 PM (#5879782)

Well, sure but the bigger problem is being behind or tied to begin with. Basically in an "average" game, deGrom give up about 1.74 runs in 6.6 then the pen gives up 1.8 runs. That's terrible pen performance but not having the lead before deGrom leaves and only scoring 3.5 per game (in leagues average 4.4 and 4.8) is the main culprit here.

Well, it's all of the above. I mean, if deGrom allowed 1.7 runs in 6.6 IP and the bullpen allowed 1.8 runs in 2.3 IP and the offense was league average, he and the Mets would have a much better record. And if he allowed 1.7 runs and the offense scored 3.6 and the bullpen was league average, same thing. But even with him allowing 1.7 and the bullpen allowing 1.8 and the offense only scoring 3.6, you'd still expect them to be about ~.500 in his starts. But they're 26-36 (.419). So there's some bad luck there as well.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:51 PM (#5879794)

Another way to think about it with rough numbers:

By my rough calculations, in 2018-2019, with league average defense, offense and bullpen, you'd have expected deGrom's team to win 76.2% of his starts or 47 wins.

The defense reduces that to 44 wins (3-4 wins)*

The offense reduces it to 37 wins (6-7 wins)

The bullpen reduces it to 33 wins (4-5 wins)

And then the "bad luck" of run distribution reduces it to 26 (6-7 wins).**

* This is buying into the BB-Ref assumption that the defense plays equally poorly behind all of the pitchers on the team. I have no idea whether that's true or not.

** There's also obviously a lot of bad luck involved in having a team that averages 4.5 R/G score only 3.6 for you, or having a bullpen that allows 5.3 R/9 allow 6.7 R/9 in your starts. I'm not talking about that kind of bad luck here.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:34 PM (#5880147)
#26-27. I agree. My "point" is more along the lines of what you show in the **. The offense averaged 0.9 r/g less in his games than usual. Now the bullpen allowed 1.4 more r/9 than usual but they generally only pitched 2.1 innings per deGrom start so it took them about 4 starts to amass that extra 1.4 runs. On a per-start basis, they were adding closer to .35 runs which is of course lower than 0.9. Now part of that is that the Mets have had below-average pens averaging 5.3 R/9 which I assume is where most of the 4-5 wins relative to an average pen comes from.

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