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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Goldman: Jered Weaver vs. Smoky Joe Wood (In Which Pitcher Wins Are Fun)

Jered Weaver is working on a consecutive-wins streak. Wins aren’t meaningful as a way to evaluate pitchers, but every now and again they lead to something wonderful.

Aug 9, 2012 - We, the hip and enlightened, know that individual pitcher wins aren’t meaningful. Team wins and losses are everything. Individual pitcher wins are an often arbitrary act of accounting in which sole credit is awarded to an individual for a group triumph. Remember Bartolo Colon winning 18 games with a 5.01 ERA in 2004? Storm Davis fooling the Royals into offering him a lucrative free-agent contract by going 19-7 for the World Champion A’s despite posting a 4.36 ERA in a pitcher’s park? Conversely, AL 2010 ERA leader Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young award despite going only 13-12 because voters chose not to penalize him for the failings of his team. In short, they recognized that individual wins did not accurately portray the value of the pitcher.

Having said that, pitcher wins can be kind of fun.

Jered Weaver of the Angels is a case in point. His 15-1 record in no way makes him the most valuable starter in the league, but it sure is pretty to look at. His ability to pile up wins also brings to mind a time when a pitcher’s record said a bit more about his value.

...It was 100 years ago, in a game that only superficially resembled our own. Yet, if Weaver continues to pile on wins in the starts remaining to him, imagine the excitement of a September 6 of our own, with Weaver facing a Johnson or a Wood with a personal stake in the outcome of the game beyond his team’s place in the standings. Rarely has baseball been so personal as it was that day. We probably won’t see such a day again, and September 6, 2012 will probably pass, unremarked upon.

Thanks to Will.

Repoz Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:52 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4204346)
Listen, my friend, there's no man alive can throw harder than Smoky Joe Wood!
   2. karlmagnus Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4204353)
There's also no man alive with a cooler nickname.
   3. Shredder Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4204392)
There's also no man alive with a cooler nickname.
Including Smoky Joe Wood, who is no longer alive.
   4. Leroy Kincaid Posted: August 09, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4204662)
If Smokey Joe were playing today his "nickname" would be JW.
   5. Jacob Posted: August 09, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4204667)
J-Woo*
   6. Walt Davis Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4204735)
Woodsie
   7. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4204829)
Woody.
   8. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4204832)
I understand the point of the article, but Jered Weaver v. 2012 isn't vulturing any wins. He leads the league in ERA and WHIP. He has 2 shut-outs (one no-hitter) and has held the opposition to ZERO earned runs in another six starts.

He missed three starts to injury, but he's been pretty damn dominant in his 20 starts. His K rate has dropped a bit and his velocity is down - which worries me a bit - but he has been really good this year.

This isn't Ivan Nova version 2011 - this has been a legitimately good stretch of pitching.
   9. RJ in TO Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4204841)
Storm Davis fooling the Royals into offering him a lucrative free-agent contract by going 19-7 for the World Champion A’s despite posting a 4.36 ERA in a pitcher’s park?


In a season where he averaged just under five and a half inning per start. And in the same year in which they signed Mark Davis because of all of those saves.

That wasn't a very good offseason for the Royals.
   10. spike Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4204844)
Including Smoky Joe Wood, who is no longer alive


Obligatory and super cool, I might add

You can tell me I'm not wanted,
But the joint will still be haunted;
'Cause I'm the ghost of Smoky Joe.


Man, that's priceless
   11. smileyy Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4204849)
In a season where [Storm Davis] averaged just under five and a half inning per start.


But he had that sparkling 85 ERA+. ERA+ is like ERA, where lower numbers are better, right? :D
   12. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4204957)
Wins aren’t meaningful as a way to evaluate pitchers...



Look, I know the wins statistic is fraught with inaccuracy, but generally, pitchers with more wins are better than pitchers with fewer wins. The wins statistic is not meaningless, just inaccurate and historically over rated.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4204977)

http://articles.courant.com/2011-05-20/sports/hc-viola-darling-anniversary-0521-20110520_1_yale-coach-yale-field-ron-darling

The oldtimers here know this, but it's still worth mentioning:
Future MLB (and Met) pitchers Ron Darling and Frank Viola pitched an all-time classic college baseball game in 1981. In the stands was .... Smokey Joe Wood with author Roger Angell.

The incredible resulting story - a man who once dueled fellow young hurler Walter Johnson with his observations on these hot prospects - appeared in the book, "The Summer Game," the author notes.

   14. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4205014)
If Smokey Joe were playing today his "nickname" would be JW.

No, it would be the awful J-wood. Though Smoky-J is kinda cool....
   15. RSNation Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4205032)
Leroy Kincaid said "If Smokey Joe were playing today his "nickname" would be JW."

If Smoky Joe were playing today the damn Red Sox wouldn't be 55-58!

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