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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Run Support Likely Costs Lee Cy Young | Phillies Nation

Sabermetrics…bringing enjoyment and appreciation to a fan near you.

What’s very interesting is comparing Lee to another pitcher who finished with a much better W-L record, despite having essentially the exact same season.

Lee: 30 GS, 211.0 IP, 24.4% K-rate, 3.3% BB-rate, 3.16 ERA, 3.00 SIERA, 4.9 WAR
Mystery P: 31 GS, 215.1 IP , 24.9% K-rate, 6.0% BB-rate, 3.05 ERA, 3.22 SIERA, 4.5 WAR

The mystery pitcher is Cole Hamels, who finished with a 17-6 record, and has been mentioned as a dark-horse Cy Young Award candidate. A case could be made for either one having the better season, but Lee’s is easier to make. In one fewer start he provided almost a half-win more in value this year. Nothing should be taken away from Hamels’s great season, but it’s a shame that Lee isn’t viewed in the same light, despite performing equally or better. Had he received even a bit more run support, he probably would have finished with something like a 14-7 record. While others “won” more games than that, voters may have found it easier to cast their ballot in Lee’s name if his mark in this meaningless metric was more appealing.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:54 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, cliff lee, cy young award, phillies, sabermetrics

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   1. BDC Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4260252)
The Phillies went 12-18 in Lee's starts, and his W-L of 6-9 is exactly half that; and given that they played .500 ball overall, he was both unsupported and unlucky. An odd thing about his record is that he had decisions in only half his starts. Here's the complete list of (ERA-lead-qualifying) pitchers with decisions in half or less of their starts, this century:

Player           Year Dec GS
Elmer Dessens    2002  15 30
Odalis Perez     2004  13 31
Jeremy Guthrie   2007  12 26
Oliver Perez     2008  17 34
Roy Oswalt       2009  14 30
Cliff Lee        2012  15 30 


He's not close to any records in this respect, but it's a rare achievement. It includes things like giving up 3 runs in 6 IP in a game his team won 10-6 (30 May) and still getting ND.

I went through PI, and it seems that Bob Turley in 1960 was the first qualifying pitcher to have decisions in less than half his starts (11 of 24), but he pitched quite a bit in relief that year, and only threw 153 innings as a starter (just barely below qualifying). Mike Nagy in 1969 had 14 decisions in 28 starts (188 IP), and then Bert Blyleven in 1979 (a season oft-remarked for its weirdness in the erstwhile Bert-for-HOF threads) had only 17 decisions in 37 starts, the first pitcher ever to truly go a full qualifying season with decisions in less than half his starts. Even with the rise of bullpen innings, it's not common, as the chart above shows.
   2. ColonelTom Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4260293)
Um, Kershaw and Gio?
   3. AROM Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4260303)
Must be Fangraphs WAR. On BBref Lee and Hamels are tied at 4.2, but 6 pitchers are ahead of both of them. Poor run support cost Lee some wins but no matter what his teammates did he wasn't going to win this award. It's a pretty close race, but I'd lean towards Kershaw then Dickey, after looking up the numbers.
   4. salvomania Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4260304)

Run Support Likely Costs Lee Cy Young


That, and the 26 homers he allowed.

I doubt there have been any Cy Young Award winners who've allowed 4+ runs in a third of their starts, and threw zero complete games (and I know the CG may be a function of pitching in the NL and being lifted for a PH when tied or trailing... but still.)
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4260312)
salvo

pete vukovich gave up 4 runs or more in 12 of his 30 starts in 1980

and 5 or more in 7 games.

he did throw 9 complete games.



   6. salvomania Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4260325)
pete vukovich gave up 4 runs or more in 12 of his 30 starts in 1980


Yeah, I figured one of those crappy '80s winners might have done that, but not with zero CG...

Amazingly, he had a WHIP over 1.50 that year!!! Now THAT's something I'll bet no other Cy Young winner has ever done....
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4260329)
salvo

vukovich had a good infield defense him, a park that depressed offense save for july/august and an offense that scored almost 900 runs when 900 runs meant something. he wasn't anything special. and he was gross.
   8. salvomania Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4260334)
and he was gross.


I remember him well. A giant man with a lot of hair, a lot of facial hair, and bad skin.

A key component in the franchise-changing (for both teams) Cardinals-Brewers trade after the '80 season...
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4260358)
and he was gross.


The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers were the filthiest pennant winner ever. Vuckovich, Gorman Thomas, Mike Caldwell and his disgusting cap, etc. What a gloriously grimy bunch.
   10. ColonelTom Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4260361)
That, and the 26 homers he allowed.


Yep. I've often wondered if Cliff would do better by working a bit deeper into counts, rather than trying to throw sure strikes on every single pitch. Lee tends to approach hitters like he's always behind in the count, which makes him more likely to leave a pitch dead-center in the zone. Joe Blanton had the same issue with the Phils.

That said, I'm not sure if the offset (more walks) would be worth it for Lee, who's doing pretty damn well pitching as he does.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4260368)
Not Pitching As Well As the Leading Candidates Likely Costs Lee Cy Young

Cole Hamels is not even a candidate for the award; he likely won't be mentioned on a single ballot. So whether or not Cliff Lee pitched as well as Hamels is entirely irrelevant to the Cy Young discussion.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4260372)
Wasn't there a big game - maybe the 1982 season-ending division-decider against the Orioles - where Vuckovich went back to the dugout and threw up between innings? That seemed like a really Vuckovichian thing to do.
   13. SG Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4260376)
I doubt there have been any Cy Young Award winners who've allowed 4+ runs in a third of their starts, and threw zero complete games (and I know the CG may be a function of pitching in the NL and being lifted for a PH when tied or trailing... but still.)


Clemens's Cy Young season(2001) with the Yankees was noted as the first time a starter had won the Cy Young without pitching any complete games I believe.
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4260377)
sosh

i am fine with guys who may have relaxed bathing habits. i am not mr clean myself

but vukovich picked his nose openly and that was one of his less offensive personal habits.

i have waded up to my waist in liquid hog sh8t and that wasn't as foul as seeing vukovich and his mannerisms
   15. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4260399)
Liquid Hog Sh|t was one of Repoz's favorite bands, I think.
   16. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4260420)
The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers were the filthiest pennant winner ever. Vuckovich, Gorman Thomas, Mike Caldwell and his disgusting cap, etc. What a gloriously grimy bunch.


1993 Phillies?
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4260428)
1993 Phillies?


A worthy challenger, but I'm still giving the nod to the Brewers. Caldwell's hat alone warranted a hazmat crew for proper disposal.



   18. jacjacatk Posted: October 09, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4260545)
"I hate playing centerfield against Lenny Dykstra. One of these years, he's gonna give me foot cancer out there." - Andy Van Slyke, on Dykstra's excessive use of chewing tobacco...
   19. Don Malcolm Posted: October 09, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4260566)
Liquid Hog Sh|t was one of Repoz's favorite bands, I think.

Favorite band, hell. He was the lead singer!!
   20. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4260590)
Re: liquid hog sh|t..... Harvey, it must have been a few days before that smell went away. I play in a band with a guy (the drummer) who used to work at a hog farm. Even though he wore gloves at work, and washed his hands obsessively when he got home, his drum sticks actually smelled like sh|t.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4260615)
Cole Hamels is not even a candidate for the award; he likely won't be mentioned on a single ballot. So whether or not Cliff Lee pitched as well as Hamels is entirely irrelevant to the Cy Young discussion.


With the ballots going five deep, I'm sure there is someone out there who is going to do the Keith Law stupidity thing and judge a pitcher solely by fip going with a vote of 1. Gonzalez 2. Kershaw 3. Wainwright 4. Lee 5.Miley. Or even more silly xFip and go with 1. Lee 2. Hamels 3. Wainwright 4. Kershaw 5. Dickey.




   22. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 09, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4260658)
I had forgotten the voters now vote for five pitchers rather than three. So yeah, Hamels and Lee might get a stray down-ballot vote here and there.
   23. puck Posted: October 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4260661)
Vuckovich leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor.
   24. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4260702)
Run Support Likely Costs Lee Cy Young

That, and the 26 homers he allowed.


Also, other people pitched better. That hurts too.
   25. AROM Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4260706)
I doubt there have been any Cy Young Award winners who've allowed 4+ runs in a third of their starts, and threw zero complete games


Found one. Roger Clemens in 2001 allowed 4+ runs in 12 of 33 starts and completed zero games.

The concept of a starting pitcher winning the Cy with no complete games is a recent one, but I found another - Jake Peavy had zero CG the year he won the pitching triple crown.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4260735)
prosimian

well, i was around hogs for several decades so my nose became accustomed to the smell

the circumstances i describe is that i always keep a small flock of sheep around to keep the weeds down around the buildings and i also had an open pit for waste disposal for teh finishing barn. every so often a lamb would be careless and fall into the pit and instead of wading away from the building would wade further into the pit underneath the floor slats and risk drowning in hog manure

thank the kids hysteria in seeing a lamb in distress since i was not interested in 'going swimming' or fouling my rope in terms of a lasso.

but the kids were upset so you roll your eyes and go get the d8mn lamb.
   27. geonose Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4260812)
Not Pitching As Well As the Leading Candidates Likely Costs Lee Cy Young

That was my first thought. Some random guys named Dickey, Kershaw, and Gonzalez had a whole lot more to do with it than run support.
   28. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4261003)
the circumstances i describe is that i always keep a small flock of sheep around to keep the weeds down around the buildings and i also had an open pit for waste disposal for teh finishing barn. every so often a lamb would be careless and fall into the pit and instead of wading away from the building would wade further into the pit underneath the floor slats and risk drowning in hog manure

thank the kids hysteria in seeing a lamb in distress since i was not interested in 'going swimming' or fouling my rope in terms of a lasso.

but the kids were upset so you roll your eyes and go get the d8mn lamb.


And as pretty much defining the term city slicker, this is one of the many reasons I will never move to the country or own a farm. The notion of living in the country always seem appealing, however I hear enough of these stories to put me right off. Sure you can go hobby farm style, a few cows here and there, maybe only 40-50 acres, something manageable and all, but I am smart/old/wise enough to realise it'll require a level of dedication in which I have no interest in applying.

Great story though Harveys...

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