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Monday, July 30, 2012

Tango: Isn’t how they calculate a pitcher’s W/L record wonderful?

Yes. Especially if you want King Felix to win the Cy Young Award with less than 13 Wins! Woo-hoo!

The reality is that you had one reliever get charged with 3 runs, another reliever who allowed a hit to get the game tied, a third reliever that faced one batter, and a fourth reliever that saved the game though he allowed one run.

According to MLB, Felix Hernandez gets no credit for the win, even though he did more than each of the other pitchers.  He gets a “no decision”.  That is, Felix decided nothing at all.

Of course, when it comes time to aggregating things at the end of the year and for a pitcher’s career, all these weird games, these exceptions, become a blur, because we figure they all cancel out, and all we are left is whatever it is that MLB is counting officially.  Well, that’s all that’s left for those who subscribe to only the official record.

How about MLB takes the lead here and instead of sticking to the legal definition, they create a definition that’s a bit more flexible, not so much for my sake, but for the sake of others who don’t spend more than two seconds thinking about this, but spend two decades defending it.

Repoz Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:23 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, sabermetrics

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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4195634)
i know this has been discussed many, many times but fundamentally major league baseball doesn't want to open that can of worms where a scorer is left to choose who gets credit for a win or a loss when these things are still so vital in salary discussions. pitchers will be griping nonstop, the noise will be ridiculous

the situation now is unsatisfying but the instances of where a pitcher gets truly screwed are limited enough from a cost/benefit perspective making a change to the current approach isn't justified. and by cost/benefit i am speaking in terms of a few pitchers getting some stray wins versus the chronic griping and complaining from pitchers who feel they were shortchanged in some manner.

and if you touch how folks get assigned wins don't you have to assign how losses get assigned? because if a team is losing 9-2 and ties it up and then in the 14th a reliever gives up a run isn't the guy who got the team in a 9-2 hole really responsible for the loss? folks may think that is a crackpot argument but pitchers will bring this up if baseball goes down the path of allowing official scorers latitude

and assigning wins would put a lot of stress on official scorers. this is way beyond errors in the infield stuff.

don't like the current approach. but boy, the alternative looks to be a sticky wicket
   2. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4195642)
The simple alternative would be to not assign wins and losses to individuals. Honestly, I don't think it would ever have been done if baseball started out using 4-5 pitchers per contest. It's a relic of the complete game era.
   3. TomH Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4195646)
Well Harvs, I propose a simple change (or 2) would restore some balance to the W-L record of SPs.

First, altho the rules make for silly assignments of "W"s and "L"s to relievers, I don't think anyone cares. Who tracks a bulpen guys' W-L record anyway? So I put that problem into the category of annoyance, not critical.

The real problem is starting pitchers, who often get no decisions based on either leaving in a tie game, or leavng when ahead/behind and the bullpen alows a lead change that negates their efforts. Or, the SP who only goes 4 IP and is banned from getting a decision.

Easily solution #1: change the min IP rqmt from 5 to 4. The notion that a SP has to go 5 IPs to get a W is a vestige of a very different game. Today you could have an SP go 4.1 and then five relievers combine for the rest of the game; why insist on giving someon eelse the W if the team wins? Yeah, Bob Gibson et al would whine, but it's the right thing to do in a time when it's tough to even win 20 games when you only get a max of 34 starts per year.

A little harder solution #2: Change the rules so that if an SP (who goes at least 4 or 5 IP) leaves the game with the team ahead (plus any runners he leaves on don't score to lose the lead) and the team eventually wins, the SP gets the win. Conversely, if the team is losing when he leaves and the team loses, the SP gets the loss; maybe make an exception if a reliever gives up more runs than the SP.



   4. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4195648)
I still enjoy the fun little thought experiments, like who will be the next guy to get to 300 wins, even while knowing that the stat is overrated. I'm against the idea of doing away with it completely.
   5. Stevis Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4195655)
What would records look like if we assigned wins and losses based on Win Probability Added?
   6. Biscuit_pants Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4195657)
Easily solution #1: change the min IP rqmt from 5 to 4. The notion that a SP has to go 5 IPs to get a W is a vestige of a very different game.
I always assumed it was at 5 IP because it would be an official game at that point.
   7. BDC Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4195659)
One thing that you sometimes see calculated is the team's W-L in the games that a pitcher started (this is, naturally, easily available on B-Ref). It's of mild interest when compared to his traditionally-calculated W-L record, or to those of his teammates. The problem is that when you think about it, it's not all that interesting. It's still going to track the W-L of the team overall for the most part, with better pitchers doing somewhat better and worse doing worse. And there are lots better ways of finding out who pitched better or worse.
   8. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4195671)
The problem with assigning wins and losses isn't that they are calculated wrong it's that people take them seriously. Wins and Losses are correctly calculated, they just don't have much use. If I'm looking for something to give me a game to game look at a pitcher I like to look at Quality Start percentage. It too has its flaws but it's much more reflective of what the pitcher accomplished.
   9. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4195672)
The simple alternative would be to not assign wins and losses to individuals. Honestly, I don't think it would ever have been done if baseball started out using 4-5 pitchers per contest. It's a relic of the complete game era.

No, it never made any sense. Pitchers don't win or lose games, TEAMS do. The entire idea of giving a pitcher a "win" is batty.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4195673)
arom

true. and maybe the game snaps back in the other direction. (boy i hope so)

changing rules like this should always be given careful deliberation so that they still hold even as the game transforms over time.

   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4195678)
andere

very minor quibble in that at some point others around and very close to the game did think it made sense especially given that pitcher win totals quickly became a talking point in comparing pitchers.

other stats have come and gone and not received anywhere near this type of attention.

i understand what you are saying. just trying to provide a different perspective
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4195679)
and to be clear i am not 'in love' with pitcher wins. but nor do i consider them 'useless' as long as the reader understands the context
   13. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4195683)
I still enjoy the fun little thought experiments, like who will be the next guy to get to 300 wins, even while knowing that the stat is overrated. I'm against the idea of doing away with it completely.

Concur. It's a flawed stat, but not a useless one. If pitcher wins/losses didn't exist the first thing we'd have to do is invent it.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4195691)
One thing that's interesting, regardless how usage has changed, it's my understanding that decisions: IP has remained fairly consistent through the years. Whatever flaws exist with the stat (and, obviously, they are multiple), those weaknesses aren't specific to one era over another.

   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4195693)
I don't see why relievers should be assigned wins at all. I also don't see why every game must have a winning pitcher. Not every game has a "save."
   16. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4195738)
I don't want a change. Very generally, the longer and more effectively a player pitches in a game, the more wins he will receive. Usually, the pitchers with the highest win totals are the best starting pitchers in the game. Is it perfect? No. Should wins be viewed more as a team stat than as an indivual stat than it is now? Yes. But usually, pitchers who have pitched well receive a larger share of wins. It is a good enough measure of pitcher performance in the context of team performance.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4195739)
What would records look like if we assigned wins and losses based on Win Probability Added?


This
   18. Randy Jones Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4195742)
What would records look like if we assigned wins and losses based on Win Probability Added?


Totally and absolutely useless, probably even more useless than current W/L records.
   19. Ron J2 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4195751)
#5 Take a look at Support Neutral W/L (or whatever they've changed the name to)
   20. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4195753)
Here's an illustration of the silliness of the 4 inning rule:

Mariners lead the A's 7-2 after 4 innings. Omar Olivares has pitched decently, has thrown 68 pitches, and just has to complete 1 more inning to qulaify for the win. Mariners pull him and let Randy Johnson pitch 2 innings. The starter who went 4 can't get a win, but the reliever who came into a game that was pretty much already over can get one. But then, who cares about Omar Olivares? Randy Johnson, 20 game winner. That's worth celebrating.

A few years ago in an APBA league I exploited that loophole to get a 30 win season out of a middle reliever.

   21. BDC Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4195757)
The heyday of the usefulness of W/L record, it seems to me, was in the deadball era: lots of CG, low offense, pitchers way ahead of hitters. Take the 1908 Giants (whom I chose pretty much at whim):

W  L W-L%  ERA GS CG ERA+  WHIP
Christy Mathewson   37 11 .771 1.43 44 34  168 0.827
Hooks Wiltse
*       23 14 .622 2.24 38 30  107 1.027
Doc Crandall        12 12 .500 2.93 24 13   82 1.197 


There were probably a fair number of teams in that era where the major indicators for the top starters all correlated with W/L record. (Not that W% was ever free from illusion.) But with more shared work in the rotation, larger bullpens, fewer IP per start, fewer CG, the correlation dwindles (in part because you get smaller and smaller samples of run support for each starter). Now it's at a point where a .500 pitcher might well be significantly better than a .622 pitcher for the same team.

EDIT: And even then, of course, the weak Doc Crandall's .500 for a good team like the Giants is not helpfully comparable to, say, .429 for a good pitcher (Vive Lindaman) for the weak Boston Braves, obviously.
   22. Ron J2 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4195759)
#18 Disagree partially. I think SNWL is the best measure of starting pitching value. It's not precisely WPA, more like WPA assuming league average offensive and bullpen support. (Mind you, those adjustments may address your specific complaints)
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4195764)
the biggest problem with the stat has been its name
   24. Randy Jones Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4195766)
#18 Disagree partially. I think SNWL is the best measure of starting pitching value. It's not precisely WPA, more like WPA assuming league average offensive and bullpen support. (Mind you, those adjustments may address your specific complaints)


I doubt it, unless somewhere mixed into those adjustments they remove Leverage Index. Even then, WPA/LI is pretty useless too, it's just not totally and completely useless like WPA.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4195769)
the biggest problem with the stat has been its name


I'd say the biggest problem, as is often the case, is the people using it. Though the name is a close second.

   26. Danny Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4195770)
How often do scorers use discretion in crediting wins? Jerry Blevins got a win for the A's on Friday by pitching a scoreless bottom of the 9th in the A's 14-9 win. The A's closer, Ryan Cook, gave up 3 hits and the lead in the bottom of the 8th before the A's stormed back with 6 runs in the top of the 9th.

The irony is that if Cook had pitched even worse and given up 2 more runs (making it 14-11 for the bottom of the 9th), Blevins would have been credited with a save and Cook likely would have gotten the win.
   27. The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4195772)
If pitcher wins/losses didn't exist the first thing we'd have to do is invent it.
Why?
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4195778)
I'd say the biggest problem, as is often the case, is the people using it. Though the name is a close second.


I was thinking that the name has steered the usage
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4195782)
I was thinking that the name has steered the usage


Well, people misuse BA and RBIs (and the advanced metrics, for that matter), so I think it would have happened regardless.
   30. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4195788)
If pitcher wins/losses didn't exist the first thing we'd have to do is invent it.


If we were looking at modern baseball, with all the use of relievers we have today and an alphabet soup of stats to choose from, I don't think too many people would feel a void not having pitcher wins. Somebody might invent it, but I don't think it would get any more attention than catcher won lost record.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4195814)
Here's an illustration of the silliness of the 4 inning rule:


The extreme silliness was a few weeks ago when Ned Yost left Bruce Chen to complete the fifth, even though he had looked shaky all game, and admitted after the game that he wanted Chen to qualify for the victory. Chen blew it and the Royals lost. But we're the stat nerds.
   32. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4195821)
Honestly, I don't think it would ever have been done if baseball started out using 4-5 pitchers per contest. It's a relic of the complete game era.


Of course, in the very early days, when teams had just one pitcher, W-L didn't make any sense then either. The 1878 Boston Red Stockings went 41-19, so I can't imagine it had any significance to anyone that Tommy Bond went 40-19.

Which brings up the question: When did people start using pitchers' W-L records? Probably sometime after 1880.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4195836)

Which brings up the question: When did people start using pitchers' W-L records? Probably sometime after 1880.


I'm sure. I agree with Dag that pitcher wins/losses would have emerged in some form because pitchers don't go everyday, and therefore someone would have wanted to see how the team performed with different pitchers on the mound. I think they were somewhat inevitable.

   34. BDC Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4195856)
Probably sometime after 1880

By 1884, as Ed Achorn shows in his excellent book 59 in '84, Hoss Radbourn's W/L record was a big deal in the media. With the advent of full-overhand pitching, the one-man rotation was on the way out, so when Radbourn took on the role of one-man rotation that year people were suitably impressed (particularly since the team won so much).
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4195857)
Assigning team wins to individual players is a terrible idea for any sport.

Football does it with quarterbacks.
Baseball does it with pitchers.
Hockey does it with goalies.

Basketball doesn't do it at all.
Soccer doesn't seem to do it, either.

The difference seems to be that the first three sports have a position that (according to people) is more important than any other position on the field/ice. So the majority of the success/blame rests on their shoulders.

Those positions are also unique compared to others on the field/ice, and often have very specific tasks that aren't assigned to any other position. The only other positions like them that I would think might deserve "win/loss" credit for being "unique" would be baseball catcher, soccer goalie, and football kicker.

The interesting part for me is how the quarterback and the pitcher are only on the field for half the time. They get credit/blame if the other half (defense and offense, respectively) do/don't perform well.
At least the hockey goalie and soccer goalie are always "in play", even though they don't have (or, very little) impact on the offense.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4195870)
I too liked the SNWL stats. (Or like. I don't look at them anymore because b-r doesn't have them.)
   37. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4195898)
If pitcher wins/losses didn't exist the first thing we'd have to do is invent it.

Why?

1) While pitchers aren't the only one who have an impact on who wins or loses the game, the starting pitcher has the most impact on if his team wins/loses. He has FAR more impact. Even now he'll face 30-35 batters while a hitter will only come to the plate 4 times and have a few chances in the field. To put it another way, it sure as hell ain't random happenstance that guys like Lefty Grove and Pedro Martinez have among the best winning percentages of all-time.

2) Yes there's SNWL and all that but it's nice to have a nice, crisp, clean easy to understand counting stat. Not that SNWL is bad, it's great- but it's nice to have something basic and easy to process. (Besides, if we didn't have W-L, we sure wouldn't have SNWL).
   38. Dan Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4195932)
If pitchers have to be credited with wins and losses, I don't understand why the starting pitcher isn't simply crediting with a win if the team wins or a loss if the team loses. Any win is already dependent on the support of the offense and defense, so what does it change to make it also dependent on the pitching of the relief corps? The fact that there is such a thing as a no decision makes less sense than crediting pitchers with wins and losses in the first place.
   39. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4195950)
very minor quibble in that at some point others around and very close to the game did think it made sense especially given that pitcher win totals quickly became a talking point in comparing pitchers.

I suppose in some ways this comes back to AROM's point about it coming from a time when the complete game was normal, and that has not been true for a long time. But even then, it starts with a bad premise: that because the pitchers probably had more of an impact on the game result than any other positions (and that is probably over-estimated), he deserves credit for the win.

and to be clear i am not 'in love' with pitcher wins. but nor do i consider them 'useless' as long as the reader understands the context

I appreciate the POV here, but I am still convinced that the only reason pitcher "wins" is a useful framework for understanding is that it's what people are used to.

A lot of stats attempt to translate an individual player's actual contribution in terms of run-scoring into contribution in terms of wins: Win Shares, SNWL, WAR. This makes sense; ultimately, a fan would like to know how a player has contributed to what matters. These concepts do not simply look at the scoreboard and then point a finger at a pitcher who happened to be there and met a few arbitrary criteria.

A player's job is to score runs for his team with the bat and his legs, and to keep the other team from scoring with his arm and glove. It's really best to keep your primary focus on these things, and not to attempt to back estimate an individual's contribution from the team's result.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4195954)
If pitchers have to be credited with wins and losses, I don't understand why the starting pitcher isn't simply crediting with a win if the team wins or a loss if the team loses. Any win is already dependent on the support of the offense and defense, so what does it change to make it also dependent on the pitching of the relief corps? The fact that there is such a thing as a no decision makes less sense than crediting pitchers with wins and losses in the first place.


I think Wins and Losses attempt (and fail) to only include things that happened in the game while the pitcher is still in the game, and if things happen afterward (or beforehand), the stats "recuse themselves" and thus the no-decision. I can understand the desire to differentiate between a SP leaving the game with his team winning and a SP leaving the game tied (but they later win). But the employment of this desire is so crappy that you may be right that it doesn't make any more sense than just giving them the result of the game.
   41. Don Malcolm Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4195959)
I think it would be really nice if someone went back through the records and determined just how many times a starting pitcher had a win vultured by not going 5 innings in a game where his team never relinquished the lead. What's the actual frequency of this occurrence?

Looking at 2011, there were 15 games in which a pitcher went 4-4 2/3 IP and allowed two runs or fewer in a game that his team won. That doesn't guarantee that the pitcher had the lead when he was removed from the game; we'd have to look on a game-by-game basis to determine that.

There were five pitchers who threw 4-4 2/3 shutout innings in such a game. One of those--Ervin Santana--left the game in a scoreless tie.

15 games is roughly 0.3% of the total number played in 2011.


   42. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4195960)
I appreciate the POV here, but I am still convinced that the only reason pitcher "wins" is a useful framework for understanding is that it's what people are used to.


I think wins provide some descriptive information about a pitcher's season. Consider 2 versions of Bob Welch's 1990 stat-line which are identical except that one does not include his Wins and Losses. Both would give you the same amount of information concerning how well he pitched that year, but the one with the 27-6 staring out at you would give you more overall context about what happened in those 35 games he started that year: You could surmise, given his low CG totals, that his bullpen was unbelievably effective at protecting his leads and that the team overall was probably excellent given that they won at least 27 of his starts. So there is some information there, and I think we shouldn't only be concerned with information that is relevant to the evaluation and projection of individual players.
   43. The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4195975)
You could surmise, given his low CG totals, that [Bob Welch 1990's] bullpen was unbelievably effective at protecting his leads and that the team overall was probably excellent given that they won at least 27 of his starts.
No one would "need to invent" an individual stat that relayed that information.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4195983)
I wasn't trying to comment on the 'need to invent' discussion...
   45. MM1f Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4195985)
Who cares?
   46. GregD Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4196000)
I think it would be really nice if someone went back through the records and determined just how many times a starting pitcher had a win vultured by not going 5 innings in a game where his team never relinquished the lead. What's the actual frequency of this occurrence?

Looking at 2011, there were 15 games in which a pitcher went 4-4 2/3 IP and allowed two runs or fewer in a game that his team won. That doesn't guarantee that the pitcher had the lead when he was removed from the game; we'd have to look on a game-by-game basis to determine that.

There were five pitchers who threw 4-4 2/3 shutout innings in such a game. One of those--Ervin Santana--left the game in a scoreless tie.

15 games is roughly 0.3% of the total number played in 2011.
This is exactly what I was wondering. Thanks! The 5-inning rule is silly but has so little effect that it's not worth worrying about.
   47. Ron J2 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4196008)
#36 They still have them. The name's just been changed.
   48. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4196034)
I think it would be really nice if someone went back through the records and determined just how many times a starting pitcher had a win vultured by not going 5 innings in a game where his team never relinquished the lead. What's the actual frequency of this occurrence?

Looking at 2011, there were 15 games in which a pitcher went 4-4 2/3 IP and allowed two runs or fewer in a game that his team won. That doesn't guarantee that the pitcher had the lead when he was removed from the game; we'd have to look on a game-by-game basis to determine that.

There were five pitchers who threw 4-4 2/3 shutout innings in such a game. One of those--Ervin Santana--left the game in a scoreless tie.

15 games is roughly 0.3% of the total number played in 2011.


In that game, Santana had more than a shutout, he had 7 strikeouts and a no-hitter. Josh Beckett also came out in before 5 innings were done, there was a long rain delay. Angels eventually won it in the 13th. I'll bet most of those cases with a pitcher removed while pitching well were rain delays, or elevated pitch counts. Vulturing wins this way, intentionally, is probably extremely rare, which is why I had to pull an example from 1997.

   49. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4196044)
Here's an example of Alfredo Aceves vulturing a win from Sabathia. Another rain delay situation. In that case, C.C. deserved to not get the win. He held a 6-3 lead in the bottom 5th, 2 out, and was working so godawful slowly between pitches that it was hard to believe. Here he was, 1 out from an official game, rain pouring down. I don't have much respect for the idea of playing for personal stats, but here is a case where pitching quickly to get that inning in would be important for the team. They were likely to win it (which they did, by score of 14-3) if play resumed, but there was a possibility that the game would be called if it rained long enough, and finishing that inning would give the Yankees a W, while waiting it out like he did set up the possibility of a rainout and start from scratch.
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4196059)
AROM, that story reminds me of when I was at this game and was infuriated at Beckett for pitching slowly during the top of the 5th in a driving rain with a 9-0 lead. He actually called Varitek out to the mound (I think with 2 outs) during the inning when it was clear to everyone else that the end of the game was imminent.
   51. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4196093)
If the criteria is changed, do we also go back and change all the records from the past? Or do we branch off into a future where any W/L comparisons with the past are apples and oranges? Neither sounds appealing to me.

If you want to know how good a pitcher was, you've got ERA, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, SNWL, and a whole host of metrics to help you with that. As for W/L record - if you think it's crap, ignore it. Most of us know by now to take it with a grain (or three) of salt. Not every stat has to enlighten the world.
   52. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4196117)
If the criteria is changed, do we also go back and change all the records from the past? Or do we branch off into a future where any W/L comparisons with the past are apples and oranges? Neither sounds appealing to me.


I agree with this. While I've taken the time to vent about some of the absurdities that result from the win rule, if I was in charge I wouldn't change anything. What's done is done.
   53. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4196124)
Here's what I would like to see- an expansion of the quality starts concept:

6 ip 3 er or less QS
7 ip 3 er or less GS (good start)
8 ip 3 er or less ES (excellent start)
9 ip 3 er or less SS (superb start)

Then you could look at a pitchers season stats as percentages of his starts where he achieved these numbers.

2012 Verlander looks like this:

21 total starts: 16 QS, 14 GS, 8 ES, 4 SS or 76/67/38/19

2012 C.C. looks like this

18 starts: 11 QS, 10 GS, 5 ES, 1 SS or 61/56/33/6

Just for fun, Jonathan Sanchez

7/0/0/0

That one was easy.


edited for punctuation and spelling
   54. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4196145)
If the criteria is changed, do we also go back and change all the records from the past?

The criteria aren't going to be changed.
   55. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4196152)
6 ip 3 er or less QS
7 ip 3 er or less GS (good start)
8 ip 3 er or less ES (excellent start)
9 ip 3 er or less SS (superb start)


8 IP, zero runs is better than 9 IP, 3 runs. Unless you have the Brewer closing options.
   56. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4196166)
If the criteria is changed, do we also go back and change all the records from the past? Or do we branch off into a future where any W/L comparisons with the past are apples and oranges? Neither sounds appealing to me.


There's precedent for not changing the records, although it's been awhile since they were tinkering with things like how many balls equals a walk.
   57. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: July 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4196182)
15 games is roughly 0.3% of the total number played in 2011.

Yes, but if you did away with the 5 inning minimum you would have people start to play games. It's not worth it to try to vulture wins today. You have to have a pitcher who isn't going to throw a fit about being removed. You have to have a decent lead, and balance that with the possibility of losing the game and/or burning up your bullpen. There's no real benefit to gaming the system today, except under the rarest of circumstances.

Do away with the minimum and I think you'll see a lot of cheap 20-win seasons start to pop up.
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4196190)
Do away with the minimum and I think you'll see a lot of cheap 20-win seasons start to pop up.


I'm not sure what you mean, what are some examples of game situations which would produce this result?
   59. AROM Posted: July 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4196216)
Do away with the minimum and I think you'll see a lot of cheap 20-win seasons start to pop up.


I don't see how this would be. Do you think starting pitchers would regularly leave games before 5 innings if they could still get a win out of it? I could see a situation where a pitcher gets a ton of run support, is leading 9-0 after the third inning. Say it's September, bullpen full of callups, and burning the bullpen is not an issue. Manager pulls him after 3 and he gets a win. Under the current rule, he'd pitch 5 innings before coming out, and still get his win. Only way this leads to more wins for the starting pitcher is if the manager changes the way the pitching staff operates, and gives the guy say, 50 starts per year of 3 innings each.

If teams want to try that instead of 30 starts, 7 innings out of 5 pitchers, then I'd hate to see a silly rule about who gets credit for a win be the only obstacle to it.
   60. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4196372)
8 IP, zero runs is better than 9 IP, 3 runs.



I know, but I think the expanded QS concept could give you a quick and dirty idea about a pitchers effectiveness that would be miles ahead of W-L record.
   61. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4196419)
I'm not sure what you mean, what are some examples of game situations which would produce this result?

Sorry, I clearly didn't phrase that well. I didn't mean that guys who would be getting 12 wins today would game the system and win 20. I was thinking of a good pitcher who gets up to 15 or 16 wins as the last month rolls around. Instead of finishing with 18 wins, the team starts him on his throw day, has him throw an inning or two, hoping to get the lead before the "real" starter comes in. So you'd have some 20-win seasons that would have been 17-18 win seasons.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4196441)
What I always like, is how quickly someone will denigrate "quality start" and the talk up the win stat. Between the two, there is no comparison as to which is the better stat, quality start, despite it's one glaring flaw(that you can lose the quality start after earning it) is much superior to wins, and it's not remotely close. And in the past 30 years, quality start's have gained more value.

I still enjoy the fun little thought experiments, like who will be the next guy to get to 300 wins, even while knowing that the stat is overrated. I'm against the idea of doing away with it completely.


Agreed. I like it as a career stat, even if I don't attach much value to it.

What would records look like if we assigned wins and losses based on Win Probability Added?

Humanity would have ended if they started to use WPA as the basis of anything. Anything as retarded as wpa is a step towards humanity accepting creationism, truthers/birthers and bigfoot.


I don't see why relievers should be assigned wins at all. I also don't see why every game must have a winning pitcher. Not every game has a "save."


I like this, and am willing to subscribe to your newsletter.

If pitcher wins/losses didn't exist the first thing we'd have to do is invent it.


But with today's technology and computers, making things decimal based or formula based isn't nearly the hindrance it was 100+ years ago. I can see that if a system was developed today, that pitchers might get .1 wins for every inning they pitched in a game in which the team wins(with the starting pitcher getting the last remaining .1...extra innings and home wins of course being the death of a simple system which of course would just be modified by assigning a simple number based upon the percentage of the game they pitched)

6 ip 3 er or less QS
7 ip 3 er or less GS (good start)
8 ip 3 er or less ES (excellent start)
9 ip 3 er or less SS (superb start)
.........

2012 Verlander looks like this:

21 total starts: 16 QS, 14 GS, 8 ES, 4 SS or 76/67/38/19



To many stats ... but I think the basis for excellent or superb should be a sliding scaled based upon how much beyond a quality start you go. A superb start would be 7 innings 0 runs, 8 innings 1 run 9 innings 2 runs. A good start would be 7 innings 1 run, 8 innings 2 runs, 9 innings 3 runs. (or however you want but basically it's a performance beyond a quality start)

   63. Nolan Giesbrecht Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4196491)
If the criteria is changed, do we also go back and change all the records from the past? Or do we branch off into a future where any W/L comparisons with the past are apples and oranges? Neither sounds appealing to me.

If you want to know how good a pitcher was, you've got ERA, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, SNWL, and a whole host of metrics to help you with that. As for W/L record - if you think it's crap, ignore it. Most of us know by now to take it with a grain (or three) of salt. Not every stat has to enlighten the world.


This my opinion as well. I love the historical record of wins - the trivia that baseball has ingrained in it's fiber. I love the continuity in baseball's statistics and would be disappointed to see the win stat "fixed" simply to appease our sensibilities.

I realize that wins are not the best analytical tool and don't use it for that.
   64. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4196512)
I don't see why relievers should be assigned wins at all. I also don't see why every game must have a winning pitcher. Not every game has a "save."
Reminds mw of watching college basketball games where they announced the player(s) of the game afterwards. There were some games where no one deserved it, but they gave it out anyways. I think there was a sponsor involved.
   65. bobm Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4196517)
2011 MLB starting pitching from B-R:


Wgs -- Wins in games started
Lgs -- Losses in games started
ND -- No Decisions in Games Started
Wchp -- Cheap Wins -- Wins in starts with < 6 IP or more than 3 ER Or wins in non-quality starts.
Ltuf -- Tough Losses -- Losses in quality starts ...

Wlst -- at the time the pitcher faced his final batter the pitcher was in position for a win, but game was blown by bullpen.
Lsv -- at this time of his last batter the pitcher was in position for a loss, but team came back to tie or take lead.


                                                  
Tm       Wgs  Lgs   ND Wchp Ltuf Wlst Lsv   QS QS%
ARI       71   54   37   13   13   10  24   90 56%
ATL       63   48   51   13   10   13  22   86 53%
BAL       46   72   44   12   12   15  24   60 37%
BOS       64   50   48   22   14   15  15   71 44%
CHC       46   65   51   12   16   21  19   76 47%
CHW       58   61   43    6   16   16  16   90 56%
CIN       50   55   57    5   15   18  27   90 56%
CLE       53   61   48    8   17   15  21   85 52%
COL       53   68   41   20   16   16  18   71 44%
DET       72   47   43   16   11    5  22   90 56%
FLA       42   60   60    7   21   15  24   83 51%
HOU       35   71   56    5   18   21  18   80 49%
KCR       45   65   52   10   17   17  19   75 46%
LAA       62   50   50    6   13   20  14   98 60%
LAD       65   61   35   14   23    8  16   94 58%
MIL       73   43   46   13   12   17  18   98 60%
MIN       46   71   45    8   17   17  18   80 49%
NYM       53   58   51   12   22   15  27   84 52%
NYY       71   45   46   14   12   14  19   84 52%
OAK       59   63   40    8   19   12  16   94 58%
PHI       76   42   44    9   14    5  18  108 67%
PIT       49   61   52   10   15   19  18   78 48%
SDP       52   66   44   13   25   17  16   91 56%
SEA       49   75   38    6   23   13  10   94 58%
SFG       60   58   44   11   25   12  18  103 64%
STL       62   42   58   16   11   16  28   86 53%
TBR       67   56   39   11   23   11  21   99 61%
TEX       74   40   48    8   11   14  16   99 61%
TOR       51   61   50   11   17   18  19   81 50%
WSN       49   58   54   16   20   21  17   79 49%
LgAvg     57   58   47   11   17   15  19   87 53%
Tm       Wgs  Lgs   ND Wchp Ltuf Wlst Lsv   QS QS%
        1716 1727 1415  335  498  446 578 2597 53%


http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2011-starter-pitching.shtml
   66. shoewizard Posted: July 31, 2012 at 06:53 AM (#4196753)
I still enjoy the fun little thought experiments, like who will be the next guy to get to 300 wins, even while knowing that the stat is overrated. I'm against the idea of doing away with it completely.


Eh....there are 24 300 game winners.

If you look at say the top 25 in Pitcher Career WAR the cutoff is about 77.

The highest active pitcher is Roy Halladay with 63. If he can recover from his injuries and put up 3 more typical Halladay seasons he can get there. Possible, no easy lock.

The next guy down the list that looks like he could get there is CC...but this season is making you think thats a stretch too.

Then you have to go to 29 yr. old Verlander as the next guy with an outside shot at it.

After that...who knows....Felix, Matt Cain, Greinke...guys young enough that if they are blessed with health and can pitch for 10 more years at a high level might have a shot.

It's just as interesting a thought exercise for me as speculating about 300 wins.

Active career pitching WAR leaders
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2012 at 03:36 AM (#4197810)
It's just as interesting a thought exercise for me as speculating about 300 wins.


I don't see it. "Hey you just made it to 77 war" next week after a bad week "hey go out there again and make it back to 77 war"....or he could just Steve Carlton his last few years and go backwards... A milestone that can be lost, isn't really a milestone.

Mind you, the silliness of war as a pitching stat really undermines it anyway in this type of conversation.

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