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Friday, April 19, 2013

MLB Now debates pitcher wins

Brian Kenny to Harold Reynolds…“I’m puzzled to how you even think that way.”

Repoz Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4419231)
Harold Reynolds talking about anything that doesn't involve in-game technique = facepalm.

25 man rosters win games, Harold. You'd think you'd know that by now.
   2. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4419243)
Harold took the new school TO school. ::drops mike, walks off stage::
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4419256)
My sympathies were mostly with the female moderator who was trying to get them to move on.
   4. Chris Needham Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4419309)
MLB Network really really really sucks now. If this is the crap they're foisting on us.

I liked it that first season when they'd have long, extended highlights using local radio/tv broadcasts. Now, it's shorter highlights with their banal analysis, pretty much the opposite of what I enjoy. And, as we all know, my tastes and preferences should be acknowledged and catered to.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4419321)
MLBN is still much superior to anything else out there covering baseball. MLB Tonight is still pretty good and I think they do a pretty good job.

I find in general that I don't enjoy much coverage of baseball. I don't listen to any podcasts, I rarely read much more than what I see here. I feel like I know the game well enough that if I watch games, see the stats and just follow the sport myself I have the info I need.
   6. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4419350)
What I'll never understand is the criteria pundits use to decide which pitchers "pitch to the score" and which don't.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4419374)
What I'll never understand is the criteria pundits use to decide which pitchers "pitch to the score" and which don't.

If PitName "Jack Morris" then TRUE else FALSE 
   8. AROM Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4419382)
Pitcher wins as a stat was flawed from the beginning, but at least it made a little sense.

Cons: 50% dependent on runs scored by the offense. Runs allowed was greatly dependent on fielders.

Pros: Pitcher was/is the most important component of runs allowed. He pitched the whole game. He contributed to the offense.

The cons are still there (though with the rise in strikeouts, pitching has increased in it's importance to run prevention compared to fielders.) Of the pros for using pitcher wins, 2 of the 3 are gone. Pitcher hitting has devolved from being a weak hitting position to mostly a non-factor in hitting, and in the case of games in AL parks, has been removed from the game altogether. Starting pitchers pitch, on average, 2/3 of the game and that figure is still dropping. It makes much less sense to give out wins and losses to one pitcher among the several who contribute to each game.

If the concept of tandem starters ever catches on, that should be the last straw - a point where no pitcher pitches a majority of the game's innings. But it really doesn't make much sense now.
   9. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4419386)
I liked it that first season when they'd have long, extended highlights using local radio/tv broadcasts. Now, it's shorter highlights with their banal analysis, pretty much the opposite of what I enjoy. And, as we all know, my tastes and preferences should be acknowledged and catered to.

Some of their filler stuff like MLB Now and Intentional Talk is lowest common denominator stuff. MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch (though Heidi Watney's voice bugs me) is still freaking amazing. On top of that, there are like games on MLB every day/night except for Wednesday and Sunday. And I can turn on MLB Tonight on a non-game night and watch and see the "live look-ins" like every few minutes.

Quick PItch is pretty much exactly what you are looking for. Highlights with usually the local announcers and no analysis (which I agree, some of the analysis on MLB Tonight is too much.. Plesac and Mitchy are full of crap).
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4419407)
I'm fine with the win stat, just not fine with the way some 'experts' have interpreted the meaning of the stat. You look at hockey, and yes the goalie gets credited with the win, but you rarely see analysts quoting a goalies won/loss record ahead of goals against average. They seem to know that the most important thing about a goalie is goals allowed, but for some reason it's hard to get baseball analysts to accept that simple fact.(in regards to runs allowed)

I love the win stat, but I think it's easily inferior to other stats, including the much superior yet mocked stat, quality start.
   11. Shredder Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4419435)
You look at hockey, and yes the goalie gets credited with the win, but you rarely see analysts quoting a goalies won/loss record ahead of goals against average.
I tend to see wins quoted almost as much as the other stuff, but you're correct in that goaltender wins are typically not used as a measure of quality. And that's somewhat interesting, because unlike ERA, which is to an extent dependent on the defensive performance of a pitcher's team, GAA and SvPctg are MUCH more dependent on the defensive performance of one's team (and offensive performance, if you consider time of possession an offensive stat) than ERA.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4419469)
including the much superior yet mocked stat, quality start.


I don't understand why this has never become a much more widely used statistic. It's easy to understand, you can calculate it in your head without the aid of a computer and it is directly assignable to the pitcher (to the extent that any stat is). People get so up in arms about it being a 4.50 ERA at the bad end that they don't realize it correlates very very well.

Game score, which I know James initially described as a "junk stat" or something similar, is much the same. At least game score is a bit more complicated to calculate but I think it's a great tool.
   13. AROM Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4419504)
People get so up in arms about it being a 4.50 ERA at the bad end that they don't realize it correlates very very well.


People just don't think clearly. It's hard to get them to understand that the 4.50 is a floor, and that the average ERA in quality starts is probably closer to 2.00. Not to mention, once the offensive explosion started in 1993 a 4.50 ERA was pretty good pitching, especially in the AL.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4419510)
I don't understand why this has never become a much more widely used statistic. It's easy to understand, you can calculate it in your head without the aid of a computer and it is directly assignable to the pitcher (to the extent that any stat is). People get so up in arms about it being a 4.50 ERA at the bad end that they don't realize it correlates very very well.


My only fault with it, is that you can earn a quality start, then lose it in the 7th or 8th inning. I think that it's perfect if it is earned regardless of what happens after the 6th inning.
   15. salajander Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4419518)
My only fault with it, is that you can earn a quality start, then lose it in the 7th or 8th inning. I think that it's perfect if it is earned regardless of what happens after the 6th inning.
Huh? A quality start is >= 6 IP and <= 3 ER. If you don't meet both of these, you don't get a "quality start". E.g., 2 runs through 6 then give up 4 in the 7th is not a quality start, because total ER is >3.
   16. AROM Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4419520)
I think cardsfanboy knows perfectly well how the stat is defined. He would just prefer the stat if it were defined differently.
   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4419522)

My only fault with it, is that you can earn a quality start, then lose it in the 7th or 8th inning. I think that it's perfect if it is earned regardless of what happens after the 6th inning.


Yeah but I think any stat can be tweaked just a bit. I like the idea of a useful stat that I can pick up my newspaper, look at the boxscore and quickly determine what happened.
   18. attaboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4419524)
'Pitches to the score', LOL. Please point out the other sport of a single player in such control of the game that isn't giving 100% all the time. Imagine a hockey or soccer goalie with his team up 5-0 giving up a goal just because he isn't properly focused. I mean, at some point during a long season, all goalie aren't focused 100% of the time but it isn't due to the score! To get to that level of play, personal pride demands effort all the time. Now, in Harold's defense, the only thing in baseball which differentiates itself from other sports is the walk. Up by a bunch, I can see giving up a solo homer run when you are behind on the count because you are supposed to challenge a hitter behind on the count but really, how often does that happen in a game? So you give up a run, you don't go from a 6-0 lead to a 6-4 lead because you are pitching to the score.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4419525)
Huh? A quality start is >= 6 IP and <= 3 ER. If you don't meet both of these, you don't get a "quality start". E.g., 2 runs through 6 then give up 4 in the 7th is not a quality start, because total ER is >3.


That's his point. If you have allowed 3 ER through 6IP, you've qualified for a QS. He thinks once that's established, you shouldn't be able to lose it.

I can see an argument for a sliding upward scale. From that 6IP, 3ER position, if you give up 4 without having recorded an out in the seventh, you haven't really done put together a QS. OTOH, if you go the distance and yield only one more run, then you've actually lowered your ERA for the day. You probably shouldn't lose the QS for pitching three additional innings at a lower earned-run prevention level.

Of course, pretty much all stats have weaknesses at the edges.

Up by a bunch, I can see giving up a solo homer run when you are behind on the count because you are supposed to challenge a hitter behind on the count but really, how often does that happen in a game? So you give up a run, you don't go from a 6-0 lead to a 6-4 lead because you are pitching to the score.


That's what pitching to the score has historically meant, before Jack's supporters had to explain away his less-than-stellar ERA. You get a big lead, you throw strikes. YOu might give up the occasional jack, but you avoid the walk-driven big inning.

It shouldn't have any effect on your overall run prevention figures, only the distribution of runs. Since baseball isn't a timed game, if it were actually elevating your runs allowed, it would be a foolish tactic.
   20. salajander Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4419527)
Yeah, reading comprehension is hard.
   21. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4419529)
Every pitching stat is manager-dependent in that there is some discretion at the end of a pitcher performance. If a guy got pulled each time he gave up a base to the first guy batting in the 6th inning, starters' ERA would be way lower. Chad Billingsley would lead the league every year with a .50 ERA. That guy seems to give up runs in the 6th like nobody's business.

This is not a critique, just an observation. I don't know how to factor a manager's hook into the equation in a way that would make things easier to understand.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4419536)
If a guy got pulled each time he gave up a base to the first guy batting in the 6th inning, starters' ERA would be way lower.


That assumes the bullpen is effective at keeping the run off the board. It isn't a given.

   23. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4419540)
That assumes the bullpen is effective at keeping the run off the board. It isn't a given.


Good point. Bad example. I guess the example should be a guy getting pulled after the 5th or after the 6th, having given up no runs and with no one on base. (EDIT: obviously no one's on base to start an inning).

I suspect getting left in after losing one's effectiveness is more or less the same over time for every pitcher, and bullpen difference would further obscure the issue.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4419551)
Yeah but I think any stat can be tweaked just a bit. I like the idea of a useful stat that I can pick up my newspaper, look at the boxscore and quickly determine what happened.


Agree, as I said before it's a great stat already, better than wins, but I wouldn't mind that one tweak that I mentioned. I'm usually slightly hesitant fully endorsing a stat that allows you to earn it...then lose it even though you didn't do bad...example. You could pitch 8 2/3rd inning allow 4 runs(4.19 era) and not get a quality start even though you went 6 shutout innings.

Minor nitpick of course, and if I have to live with that minor flaw, then the naysayers against it, can get over their ######## about 4.50 era performance once in a while.

Please point out the other sport of a single player in such control of the game that isn't giving 100% all the time. Imagine a hockey or soccer goalie with his team up 5-0 giving up a goal just because he isn't properly focused.


But his team positions itself differently in football you have the "prevent" defense, in hockey(if you have the misfortune of having Keenan as your GM) you clear the puck(and play more up the middle) in basketball you hold onto the ball longer...and I guess in soccer you stop watering the grass you are watching grow.

Which of course supports the major concept with assigning wins/losses to a player, it shows that it's a team effort going on, instead solely the individuals.
   25. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4419552)
I believe that pitcher wins are currently properly valued.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4419558)
I believe that pitcher wins are currently properly valued.


Really? Not talking about by teams, but by writers and analysts.
I find that hard to believe, sure once in a while a King Felix wins a Cy Young award, but even then you have dozens of articles written about how he didn't have the win total.
   27. Eric Ferguson Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4419560)
Who would be the leader in wins by position (1B, 2B, etc.)?
   28. DanG Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4419568)
I believe that pitcher wins are currently properly valued.
Sure, on a team-wide basis the sum of all the pitchers' Wins correlates amazingly well with the team's actual Wins! Do the math.
   29. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4419573)
I think wins are a particularly good stat given enough time. The top-10 guys in Wins over a 5 year period probably gives you as good a list of the best pitchers in baseball as any other stat that's easily accessible.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4419575)
Who would be the leader in wins by position (1B, 2B, etc.)


I imagine Jeter's 1547-1036-2 record is probably up there for shortstops. (note that is every game he's played, not his team record in games he's played shortstop)
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4419594)
Who would be the leader in wins by position (1B, 2B, etc.)


Guesses:
C - Fisk
1B - Anson? (Albert might get this eventually)
2B - Morgan
SS - Jeter
3B - B. Robinson
LF - Bonds
CF - Mays
RF - Aaron
   32. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4419598)

'Pitches to the score', LOL. Please point out the other sport of a single player in such control of the game that isn't giving 100% all the time. Imagine a hockey or soccer goalie with his team up 5-0 giving up a goal just because he isn't properly focused. I mean, at some point during a long season, all goalie aren't focused 100% of the time but it isn't due to the score! To get to that level of play, personal pride demands effort all the time. Now, in Harold's defense, the only thing in baseball which differentiates itself from other sports is the walk. Up by a bunch, I can see giving up a solo homer run when you are behind on the count because you are supposed to challenge a hitter behind on the count but really, how often does that happen in a game? So you give up a run, you don't go from a 6-0 lead to a 6-4 lead because you are pitching to the score.


Blow out basketball games are pretty much 'playing to the score'. Typically not a lot of focus on defense, nor good offense, just quick shots to get a basket or two on your stat line. And the 'prevent' defense, as cfb mentioned, concedes yardage, theoretically just primarily defending the end zone. Those are both very different playstyles based on the score of the game.
   33. JE (Jason) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4419602)
Much like with Jim Kaat during the WBC, I suspect that Harold is being goosed to be more vehemently anti-stat than usual.
   34. Canker Soriano Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4419610)
I was home from work the other day and had a chance to catch MLB Now. While Reynolds seems like an idiot, Intentional Talk makes this show look like a veritable Algonquin roundtable. I never realized how truly objectionable IT was until I tried to sit through an episode.

I love the MLB Network, and I'm sure they're struggling to find ways to fill 24 hours a day talking only about baseball. But this is as bad as any of those putrid ESPN talk shows where people shout at each other for no apparent reason.
   35. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4419615)
I think wins are a particularly good stat given enough time. The top-10 guys in Wins over a 5 year period probably gives you as good a list of the best pitchers in baseball as any other stat that's easily accessible.


The problem with that is when you get into counting stats over a period of time virtually any stat works out. Cy Young the career leader in losses etc...
   36. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4419616)
I love the MLB Network, and I'm sure they're struggling to find ways to fill 24 hours a day talking only about baseball. But this is as bad as any of those putrid ESPN talk shows where people shout at each other for no apparent reason.


I don't mind that they have something like "Intentional Talk" on the air. As you say they've got 24 hours to fill. I mind that they seem to be making it their signature show.
   37. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: April 19, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4419671)
I mind that they seem to be making it their signature show.


If it doesn't affect air time or quality of other shows, why mind?
   38. Canker Soriano Posted: April 19, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4419697)
If it doesn't affect air time or quality of other shows, why mind?

Because it will start to do that. If MLB overpromotes the hell out of it, such that it gooses more people to tune in, then they'll think they have a "formula" to get more viewers... so they'll make more shows like this.

I liken it to what happened over at ESPN in the mid-1990s. It was just Berman who acted like a goofball with the nicknames and everything on Sportscenter, and then a couple of others picked it up, and then you couldn't tune in without Stuart Scott shouting "Booyah!" every 10 seconds. Every anchor suddenly had his own catchphrase, his own mannerisms, as they all tried to outdo each other, and the show became essentially unwatchable claptrap.

MLB has the best product to promote - baseball. They don't need to dress it up by having Kevin Millar scream "got... HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM" like he's some kind of coyote suck in a bear trap.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4419705)
They don't need to dress it up by having Kevin Millar scream "got... HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM" like he's some kind of coyote suck in a bear trap.


For the record, I would definitely tune in to Ex-Ball Playing Talking Heads Try to Navigate Bear Traps.

Only on MLB Network.

   40. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 19, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4419721)
If it doesn't affect air time or quality of other shows, why mind?


Besides what Canker said I'll add that it gets stuck in a very convenient timeslot and unlike say a show like Clubhouse Confidential is available for a download as a podcast.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: April 19, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4419789)
Blow out basketball games are pretty much 'playing to the score'.

The better basketball analogies are switching to a zone defense and running down the shot clock on offense when you've got a lead. Not to mention I'm sure Andy still has nightmares -- very, very boring nightmares -- about the heyday of the 4 corners "offense" in the ACC.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: April 19, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4419858)
IIRC, the average ERA in a QS is lower than the average ERA in a win by a starting pitcher. I like QS% as a stat as well.
   43. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4420091)
2B - Morgan

With full acknowledgment that you were just spitballing here, I'd be quite surprised if Morgan beats Eddie Collins. The other guesses look good.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4420118)

With full acknowledgment that you were just spitballing here, I'd be quite surprised if Morgan beats Eddie Collins. The other guesses look good.


I think first was incorrect also. It's got to be Eddie Murray.
   45. Rob_Wood Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4420161)

I don't think Aaron would be correct since he played center field for a couple seasons early in his career, then moved to 1B/DH late in his career. Clemente probably has more wins in RF than Aaron, though I am not necessarily claiming that Roberto has the most.
   46. bigglou115 Posted: April 20, 2013 at 02:07 AM (#4420201)
'Pitches to the score', LOL. Please point out the other sport of a single player in such control of the game that isn't giving 100% all the time.


In fairness, I don't think Harold had any actual answer for this, which makes me think he hadn't really given it a lot of thought. I'd bet that's true of the vast majority of guys who use the "pitch to the score" line. So, CC Sabathia doesn't try to get guys out when his team's ahead? Or the follow up question that never gets asked, "Why does the fact that Jack Morris or CC give up more runs than they have to make them better than other guys who don't?"

The thing I don't understand is why the "old school" guys are always allowed to frame this issue. It's not about the guys who win a lot of games, its about the guys who don't. Show me one aspect of performance at which CC Sabathia has been better than Felix at for the past 5 years. One reason why he's better than Felix without looking at win totals. Nobody can ever do it, show me what CC is doing on a pitch by pitch or batter by batter basis that makes him win more games. Can't. Be. Done.

Finally, I'd watch this show, because it seems rather obvious from the clip that the moderator is probably going to bang their heads together at some point and I'd really like to see that.
   47. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4420252)
I liken it to what happened over at ESPN in the mid-1990s. It was just Berman who acted like a goofball with the nicknames and everything on Sportscenter, and then a couple of others picked it up, and then you couldn't tune in without Stuart Scott shouting "Booyah!" every 10 seconds. Every anchor suddenly had his own catchphrase, his own mannerisms, as they all tried to outdo each other, and the show became essentially unwatchable claptrap.


This is absolutely true and the primary reason why I completely stopped watching ESPN ten years ago or so. The fact that I'm forced to subsidize this pervasive boobery to the tune of some $60 a year, like it or lump it, so long as subscribe to any cable package vexes me greatly. I think the only watchable thing on their suite of jock-off programming in old AWA wrestling.
   48. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4420254)
Blow out basketball games are pretty much 'playing to the score'.


But there's no clock in baseball, so if this is meant to prove something about baseball, it doesn't. At a certain point in most basketball games, you no longer need to accomplish anything else. You don't need to make a shot, nor defend one. You can turn the ball over every time and allow uncontested layups. The clock will run out and you will win. In baseball, you still have to get the outs, no matter how big your lead nor how late in the game.
   49. Greg K Posted: April 20, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4420426)
I liked it that first season when they'd have long, extended highlights using local radio/tv broadcasts. Now, it's shorter highlights with their banal analysis, pretty much the opposite of what I enjoy. And, as we all know, my tastes and preferences should be acknowledged and catered to.

I've really come to love the BBCs Match of the Day. On Saturday night they have about a 100 minute program which is three guys in a studio. They introduce each game, have about 10 minute packages, which aren't so much highlights as they are full replays of large chunks of play, then back to studio for some analysis.

I'd definitely spring for a channel that just did something similar with re-worked versions of the "condensed games" on mlb.com. The short, 1:30 game summaries that pass for highlights these days are almost unwatchable for me.
   50. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4420899)
But his team positions itself differently in football you have the "prevent" defense, in hockey(if you have the misfortune of having Keenan as your GM) you clear the puck(and play more up the middle) in basketball you hold onto the ball longer...and I guess in soccer you stop watering the grass you are watching grow.

Average distance covered by a player per game:
Soccer 7m
Basketball 2.5m
American Football 1.2m
Baseball - only sport you can actually get away with watering the grass

Dumbass.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: April 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4420906)
Average distance covered by a player per game:
Soccer 7m
Basketball 2.5m
American Football 1.2m
Baseball - only sport you can actually get away with watering the grass

Dumbass.


It was a joke. I grew up playing soccer, but the sport is a boring sport to watch on tv.

It's always fun to piss the soccer fans on here off.
   52. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 21, 2013 at 12:40 AM (#4420926)
It shouldn't have any effect on your overall run prevention figures, only the distribution of runs. Since baseball isn't a timed game, if it were actually elevating your runs allowed, it would be a foolish tactic.


No it wouldn't.

If you could turn on your 'pitch to the score' ability any time you were ahead by five runs or more and increase your chances of giving up one or two runs while decreasing your chances of giving up five or more runs, even if your overall RA went up from 4.00 when pitching normally to 4.50 when pitching to the score, you'd do it.

If your distribution over games was

1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1 when pitching to the score

and

0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 0, 5, 0, 0, 0

when not,

you'd rather pitch to the score even though overall you're giving up more runs.
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:01 AM (#4420928)
No it wouldn't.

If you could turn on your 'pitch to the score' ability any time you were ahead by five runs or more and increase your chances of giving up one or two runs while decreasing your chances of giving up five or more runs, even if your overall RA went up from 4.00 when pitching normally to 4.50 when pitching to the score, you'd do it.


Pitching to the score isn't an ability, but a very mild change in approach. Basically, it amounts to "don't ####### nibble." There's one thing that drives managers and pitching coaches nuts when you have a big lead, and that's walking guys.

So you tweak things a little in terms of your strike percentage, which may result in a few more single runs and a corresponding offset of crooked ones. If it were leading to a lot more runs in general, it wouldn't work as a strategy, since baseball is governed not by time, but by outs. If a strategy is yielding many more baserunners and runs (and fewer outs) than your primary one, it would be discarded because it wouldn't be getting you any closer to your desired result.

As for your theoretical example, sure, I didn't mean to suggest you couldn't possibly see any difference in runs allowed by changing your approach, just that it wouldn't be meaningful (or predictable, since those numbers you supplied aren't based on anything).
   54. bobm Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4420930)
September 4, 2007
Prospectus Hit and Run
Starter Stats
by Jay Jaffe

From the You Learn Something New Every Day files... I'm not sure how many times over the years that I've referred to the quality start stat as a Bill James invention. Apparently, I'm mistaken. Coming across an old Rob Neyer column behind ESPN's subscription wall the other day, I was clued into the fact that the stat was defined by John Lowe of the Philadelphia Inquirer (now of the Detroit Free Press). James helped spread it to the masses via his Baseball Abstract series, which is where I first encountered it, but in this instance, he's overshadowed somebody else's worthy contribution. My apologies to Mr. Lowe for any failure to properly credit him in the past and to my readers for spreading such misinformation. Score that E-6.

As defined by Lowe, a quality start is one in which a pitcher goes at least six innings and allows no more than three earned runs. It's a simple and elegant stat that suggests a pitcher did a reasonable job of keeping his team in the ballgame. And while it's possible for a pitcher to earn a quality start with a game ERA of 4.50, such instances are rare. In the aforementioned ESPN column, Neyer found that in 2005, the average quality start featured a game ERA of 2.04, a non-quality start 7.70--that's not a misprint, it's Boeing's next jet--and the 6 inning/3 earned run/4.50 case constituted just 9.2 percent of all quality starts.


http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6667

   55. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2013 at 03:16 AM (#4420947)
I like the QS well enough too. I would probably like to tweak it a bit. The way cfb suggested, having it based on just the first 6 innings would be an improvement, especially given reliever usage these days -- i.e. it's the manager's decision to not get the starter out of there before giving up the 4th run. (Yes, it always was but these days it's unusual to leave the guy in past the 7th.)

What I've never liked about that 3-run limit thing. First, 7/3 is obviously a good bit better than 6/3. But hey, 9/4 is better too and 8/4 is really just as good. Any measure of the sort "if X>a and Y<b then condition A" ... it's just a variant on "Bob has the 19th highest OPS of all-time among batters with 3000+ PA" comparing Bob with guys with 12000 PA.

I was also not happy about 6/3. I thought "less than half as many runs as IP" would work pretty well. You'd have to give up 2 if you went exactly 6 but could give up a 3rd run from 6.1 to 8 and a 4th run after that.

But given the relative rarity of 8 inning starts these days, cfb's will work at least as well and would be easier to implement.

Show me one aspect of performance at which CC Sabathia has been better than Felix at for the past 5 years. One reason why he's better than Felix without looking at win totals.

Well, from 2008-12, CC has 3.1 more IP, 3 more points of ERA+, walked fewer batters with a higher K/BB, has the lower WHIP, has surrendered fewer unearned runs (so I assume his RA+ advantage would be a bit larger), has 1/3 as many wild pitches and has hit twice as many HR. That all is pretty trivial but, somehow, it's added up to 3 more WAR over 5 years which is not so trivial.

CC also did a MUCH better job of becoming an FA and playing for a team that will score him runs. Stupid Felix!
   56. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 21, 2013 at 05:24 AM (#4420958)
It was a joke. I grew up playing soccer, but the sport is a boring sport to watch on tv.

It's always fun to piss the soccer fans on here off.

It was a moronic comment. There are plenty of sports I don't care for, but I don't feel the need to run around and belittle those that do, and scream to the world how much superior mu sports are. Probably because I am comfortable with the size of my penis.

In retrospect, it shouldn't have come as a surprise, that this came from a member of the fanbase, with a compulsive urge, to constantly tell the world how super-special they are. Friggin' pathetic.

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