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Monday, September 19, 2022

Houston Astros’ Framber Valdez sets MLB single-season record with 25th straight quality start

Working closely with Framber Valdez, Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado has enjoyed a front-row seat for the journey that has turned the left-hander into one of baseball’s top pitchers in his fifth season.

“It is a lot of calm, a lot of confidence and a lot of maturity from him,” Maldonado said. “He knows what he can do good. Listening more and taking pride in the work, less emotional on the mound. So I’ve seen a lot of stuff going into (his growth).``

Valdez set a major league single-season record with his 25th straight quality start, and Yordan Alvarez and Maldonado had four RBIs apiece in the Astros’ 11-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Valdez’s streak is tied for the third-longest all time across multiple seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:48 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: framber valdez

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   1. Rally Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:08 AM (#6096854)
I am kind of surprised that 25 is a record. Had to check Bob Gibson’s 1968 game log.

He had a 19 game streak which was snapped when he allowed 5 runs in one start, while pitching 11 innings.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:32 AM (#6096856)
The really difficult thing to imagine is a current pitcher getting to throw at least six innings in 25 straight starts. You would think he'd have a day where he got lifted with 92 pitches through 5 in there.

   3. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:14 AM (#6096860)
He had a 19 game streak which was snapped when he allowed 5 runs in one start, while pitching 11 innings.


That really should be a QS. 4 runs through 9 is better than 3 runs through 6, and anything after 9 innings out to not count.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:18 AM (#6096861)
That really ought to be a QS. 4 runs through 9 is better than 3 runs through 6, and anything after 9 innings out to not count.


And only four were earned.

He had two starts where he allowed four ER in nine innings, that one and another against the Dodgers. All the others were QS.

I've never understood why the longer start with an equal or lower ERA didn't qualify as the QS.

   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:27 AM (#6096862)
Valdez is now tied for the 6th most valuable Astro according to WAR, behind Alvarez, Tucker, Verlander, Bregman and Altuve, and with the same 4.1 WAR as Pena. That's one loaded team.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:57 AM (#6096865)
I've argued in the past that quality start should be a stat that is locked, once the minimum is reached. Meaning if you qualify for a quality start, you can't get penalized because you continue pitching and allow a 4th run in the 7th, it kinda defeats the purpose of the quality start stat.

I've also campaigned that it should be included on bb-ref in the first grouping of stats, not further down. (same with holds) In today's game quality start is more indicative of performance for a starting pitcher than won/loss record.
   7. Obo Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:58 AM (#6096866)
I've never understood why the longer start with an equal or lower ERA didn't qualify as the QS.

Because quality start was never meant to be taken seriously as a statistic. It was simply something that could be figured out quickly from the typical line score appearing in a newspaper back in the "little to no information" era.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6096868)

Because quality start was never meant to be taken seriously as a statistic. It was simply something that could be figured out quickly from the typical line score appearing in a newspaper back in the "little to no information" era.


Whether it was intended to be taken seriously, there's no logic to 3ER in 6IP is a QS but 4ER in 9 is not.
   9. John Northey Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:08 AM (#6096869)
Quality start is not meant to be a perfect indicator, just a quick and dirty one of quality. Obviously a 9 inning+ game allowing 4 or fewer is better than a 6 inning 3 run game. I recall when the QS was first used people went 'who cares' as most starters then went more than 6 innings. But now with pitchers going no more than 6 innings it seems, the QS becomes a lot more important. I tried making a reverse stat - the Disaster Start (DS) which is 5 or more runs, and fewer than 5 innings pitched - basically not giving your team a chance. That way it doesn't hit openers who did their job (1 or 2 shutout innings) or guys who go long (ala Bob Gibson going 11 but allowing 5 runs). No interest though.

A good example of extremes is Jose Berrios this year - 16 quality starts, and 7 disasters out of 29 starts. The Jays so far are 15-1 in his Quality Starts, 1-6 in his Disaster Starts. His 'meh' starts (6 games) they are 6-0 in (go figure - under 6 innings each time, but allowed under 5 runs - one he got just 1 out and allowed 4 runs in but the Jays came back to win 10-8). So as long as he doesn't totally screw up the team wins (21-1) if he messes the bed totally they still have a slim chance (1-6 - the win was an 11-10 game, he allowed 6 runs in 2 1/3 IP).

Meanwhile Alek Manoah has 5+ IP every start, allowing 5 runs just once (over 5 2/3 IP) but the team is 16-13 in his starts including last night when normally reliable Romano blew the save and allowed 3 runs in the 9th. Some guys have all the luck.
   10. Obo Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6096872)
Whether it was intended to be taken seriously, there's no logic to 3ER in 6IP is a QS but 4ER in 9 is not.

Sure there is. One rule, no A or B or C, no gray area. If somebody is credited with a QS you know exactly how they qualified.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6096875)
If they'd made it 3 ER in 7 innings instead of 6, it'd be much more of what I'd consider a quality start, especially since part of the "quality" should consist of not overtaxing the bullpen.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6096877)
9 of the 25 are exactly 6 IP, and in 4 other games he did not finish the 7th inning.

3 complete games.

2022 has become "the year of the overhyped stats."

Valdez is really good. beyond that.....
   13. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 19, 2022 at 12:15 PM (#6096881)
Because quality start was never meant to be taken seriously as a statistic. It was simply something that could be figured out quickly from the typical line score appearing in a newspaper back in the "little to no information" era.

Were quality starts discussed much back then? I don't remember hearing about them until maybe 15 years ago, and don't remember them being in baseball discourse at all in the '80s-'90s.
   14. Ron J Posted: September 19, 2022 at 02:10 PM (#6096894)
#13 Mostly used as what you might called deadline fodder. I always got the impression it was primarily used to pad out an article that was due shortly.
   15. BDC Posted: September 19, 2022 at 02:30 PM (#6096902)
Even given the pancake-floppiness of the way "Quality Start" is defined, 25 starts in a row with ≤3 ER is pretty remarkable. Granted Bob Gibson was actually better in 1968, granted a lot of pitchers have been: Valdez has an amazingly consistent run. As with any kind of streak, it's not so much the total value as the series, naturally.

I looked up other likely suspects … Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander in their best years – granted that for some of those seasons ER data is incomplete, still they tended to have human moments, maybe Disasters by deadball standards, where they'd give up six or eight runs. Now and then, infrequently, but usually much closer than 25 starts together.

Take Walter Johnson in 1913. Gives up a run on Opening Day, throws four straight shutouts, of course he is also playing relief ace in between; gives up an unearned run to the Tigers. But then the Indians rough him up, 13 hits, 5 runs, all earned. In June he actually gives up four runs in three different games, the Senators lose all three. Then another ten quality starts … only one of them isn't, because with Washington cruising 6-0 after four against Chicago on 6 August, they remove him after four so he can start again on one day's rest (not something you'd see much of lately). Then the Athletics legitimately beat him up on 1 Sept., six ER in ten innings, not a good deadball outing. After which he has ten more appearances with an ERA of 0.61 to finish the year.

Managing to avoid that one start where you just don't have it, or just run into a hot team, is quirky but interesting for Valdez.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6096909)
I'm not sure when QS was thought up but as Ron notes, it has been popular for quite a while with the media/TV. It's been considered a "did his job" stat for a long time it seems to me. If we were doing a proper history, I'd look to see when it started getting serious mention in stories about big FA contracts, CYA voting articles and things like that to determine when it became "serious" (as opposed to quick & dirty or useful).

Put me down with CFB that it should be a threshold stat (once it qualifies, it's a QS) although that doesn't answer whether we should allow one that wasn't (4 runs through 6) to bocome one (4 runs through 8). I think I'll vote yes. (There's not a lot of danger of that happening these days anyway.) I assume that using retrosheet it wouldn't be that hard for somebody to tweak the QS stat as CFB suggests so at least then we'd be comparing Valdez and Gibson on a more even footing.

I don't think it's because of the stat (as opposed to the save) but the QS has become more relevant over time. The SP job description has gone from "pitch until the game is over or we have to PH for you" to "keep us in the game through 6." It's gone so far now that requiring 6 IP might be "too much."

Surely the worst pitcher mentioned so far, QS discussions always make me think of Shawn Estes in his year with the Cubs. (Huh, just a year, it seemed longer.) It was a classic Jekyll-Hyde 5th starter performance. 28 starts, 152 innings, he went 8-11, team went 12-16. He made 11 QS plus 7 IP 5UER/4ER, 7 IP 4/4, 5 IP 2/2 outings. So half the time he had excellent to good to OK results. Across those starts, 96 IP, 25 ER and something like 8 UER (lazy). That's really good. The Cubs went just 8-6 in those starts anyway. In his other 14 starts (and one short relief), he gave up 72 ER and about 8 UER in about 56 innings. In 9 starts, he gave up at least as many runs as IP. Impressively the Cubs were 4-10 in those starts.

Baseball's a funny game. Even Mike Trout sucks 2 games a week, even Shawn Estes pitches like a CYA winner in 40% of his starts.
   17. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 04:04 PM (#6096914)
where is Snapper in this discussion? It was just the other day that Framber was having some sort of lucky streak with HRs and thought his campaign was so much smoke and mirrors.

At that pt. he was giving up 0.5 HR/9 inn, but his entire career for 5 years he's been 0.7, so that hardly seems flukey. he's 27 years old if I recall and its reasonable to think he's somewhere near his physical peak as a baseball player. His ERA+ has also been consistently good through his entire career (cant recall but its something like 120?)

Is there anyway to differentiate between someone having a fluke season and someone who's at his physical peak? I doubt there really is but I would bet on Valez continuing his magic in the playoffs.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2022 at 05:13 PM (#6096924)
I didn't read much of that discussion but it started with somebody claiming that Valdez was a better pitcher right now than Verlander and Snapper rightly pointing out that was a silly proposition. Hard to argue with Snapper on that. Maybe it went downhill from there but saying "no he is not as good as Verlander" is not "he is a fluke." But Snapper does go overboard sometimes. (Moi? Never!)

Looking at Framber's numbers, he's a hard guy to figure. It's still just 500 innings, this is his first season over 150. His K-rate is fine but pretty standard these days. He had an excellent FIP in 2020 but not 2021 and this year's FIP is very good but not great. The low HR rate does seem "for real" and his peripherals are good but he has also benefited from a low BABIP the last two years. His EV and hard-hit %s are about league average but he generates a lot of GBs (massively so by today's standards) -- great for a low HR rate but weird to also produce a low BABIP.

So the HR rate is probably for real, the BABIP probably is not (or is mainly excellent defense not excellent pitching).

Anyway, FV 2020-22 vs JV 2019-22 (since JV barely pitched in 2020-21)

FV 391 IP, 2.95 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 8.7/3.1 K/BB, 0.6 HR/9
JV 386 IP, 2.26 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 11.0/1.6 K/BB, 1.2 HR/9

The FIPs are close because of the HR rate difference although I'll guess that JV's HR rate is lower with men on base. Unless maybe if the IF is prime Brooks, Ozzie, Maz and Keith, I'll take Verlander over Valdez in the game that my life depends on. (Note to self: when making this deal with the devil, make sure the contract specifies the positions each of those guys plays lest I end up with Hernandez at SS.)
   19. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2022 at 05:48 PM (#6096927)
It's not exactly clear when pitchers peak or when they get old. And for pitchers, their "physical" and "performance" peaks often don't have much to do with one another. I recall MGL looked at some of this ages ago and pitchers physically peak quite early then it's all downhill from there in terms of velocity (and maybe break). Alas, young pitchers usually don't understand how to pitch which seems to come (for some) with age. In obvious examples, who know when the physical peak of Ryan and the Unit were but they became exellent/great pitchers once they figured out how to control their stuff and stop walking so many guys. I doubt Maddux's physical peak was with the Braves.

But whatever MGL (or whoever) did was probably in the pre-statcast, pre-spin rate days. These days we do see pitchers adding velocity and/or movement mid-career because apparently the experts have figured out some things about grips and arm slots and sticky stuff and whatever. But I assume they are applying this knowledge at younger ages too so this mid-career "physical" improvement will be a short-term trend.

I recall MGL also found that defense and speed are also at their peak at like 21-22 and it's all downhill from there. That still won't stop a Davey Lopes from "mastering' the art of base-stealing in his late 30s.

Anyway, Valdez doesn't seem to depend much on "stuff" more on location, mainly in keeping the ball down. His numbers suggest a guy who does everything good not great but a 2/1 G/F ratio in today's game is huge (MLB avg is about 3/4). Here's HR/FB again -- his is 8.9 vs a league average of 9.7 so it's not like he has some magical power to keep flyballs in the park nor is his magical power a huge K-rate, his magical power is not giving up FBs. This puts him somewhere in the (very fine) range of Carlos Zambrano to Kevin Brown. Here are some career numbers, unfairly comping FV's first 500 innings vs Z and KB career (so I can use league avgs for comparison

HR% K% BB%
FV 1.8 22.9 9.7
ML 3.2 22.8 8.5

KB 1.5 17.7 6.7
ML 2.6 16.0 8.8

CZ 1.9 19.5 10.7
ML 2.7 17.5 8.5

Zambrano put up short of 2000 innings of 120 ERA+, 38 WAR; Brown just over 3250 IP of 127 ERA+, 68 WAR. Z hit MLB early (age 20, topped 100 at 21, topped 200 at 22) while Valdez and Brown took their time. Through age 28, Brown had 16 WAR, Valdez is on 8 so it seems quite unlikely he'll match Brown. Through 28, Verlander had 28 WAR; Zambrano had 34.

By bWAR, Verlander's best was 8.6 at 28, basically repeated at 29 but also with 7 WAR seasons 33, 36 and a 6-WAR at 35. Z's WAR peak was 22-25. Brown's peak was 31-35 (roid rumors). This is Valdez's best season to date by far ... it's about half of Verlander's best season and 1 WAR behind Verlander's 2022.

All indications are Valdez is a good to very good pitcher and if Snapper said otherwise, that was silly. There aren't really any indications that Valdez is currently as good a pitcher as Verlander is but I suppose we can't conclusively rule it out.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2022 at 06:15 PM (#6096932)
Oops, I forgot their G/F ratios. Brown's was 1.45, career-best of 2.05. Zambrano -- well golly I'm wrong, just 0.95 with only one big year at 1.4. I guess he just had a "heavy sinker." His HR/FB was 6.5 vs 7.7 lg. Valdez is at 2 for his career so more extreme even than Brown so far.
   21. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 07:22 PM (#6096942)
this is actually turning into a really interesting deep dive into Valdez etc. Thanks for these insights Walt. I need some time to digest all of that. wow.
   22. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 07:33 PM (#6096944)
here's the actual exchange. Post 65 on the previous omnichatter:


Don't kid yourself. Their team ERA+ is 130, and at this point Verlander's not even their best pitcher. Valdez has a 1.41 ERA over the last month, while Verlander's currently on the IL. [andy/st. nick]


Valdez has been good for 20 minutes. He's living on an unsustainable HR rate. If he's an ace so is Cortes. Javier is a much better pitcher than Valdez. [snapper]


Valdez has not been good for 20 min. He's been good for five years. He's also on an unprecedented streak of effective outings or whatever. Granted its a questionable stat in the era of 6 inn. starters but still no one else has done it.

His HR rate is not unstainable. Its been very good for his entire career.

And of course Andy merely pointed out that Verlander is on the IL. So asking about who you'd want in a single game is shifting the goal line.
   23. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 07:58 PM (#6096949)
Ive read this a couple times and I dont get it:


His EV and hard-hit %s are about league average but he generates a lot of GBs (massively so by today's standards) -- great for a low HR rate but weird to also produce a low BABIP.


Since the ba on GB is what? about .240? and BaBIP is currently 290? Hence if all other things (e.g Ks) being equal inducing more GBs should lower BaBIP. Im sure Im missing something here but I cant figure it out.

Also after reading about ba and how many AB it takes for ba to find its "real" level can we agree two seasons should be enough? Valdez has pitched 320 inn. in the last two seasons and his BaBIP is at .27 for both. Do we not agree that pitchers have some control over BaBIP? Does it not seem likely that Valdez has some ability to lower his babip?


Would this also be a reason that FIP would argue aainst Valdez's continued success? ANd would that be a bogus reason?

Again: as I said the other day the only time people trot out FIP ( or so it seems) is when someone is unusually off the charts and it is these very same unusual players where FIP is not useful. I think you sort of back handedly agreed when you said "all" stats break at extremes "in theory." wotever.
   24. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:04 PM (#6096954)
MLB GB rate in 2021 was what 43%?

And Valdez GB rate last two years is 68.5%

THe difference between BaBIP and BaGB is 50 pts. 25% x 50 pts = 12 pts. So Valdez should have a lower babip by at least 12 pts via more GBs. Maybe he also induces a lot more weak contact. to get to 20 pt depression.
   25. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:28 PM (#6096960)
Valdez has not been good for 20 min. He's been good for five years.

He's been in the majors for five years, and only been a full-time starter for three (one of which was 2020). In '21, he was good when healthy but only made 22 starts. And even if you give him full credit for all five years, he did not pitch well in 2019. Acting like he's a firmly established front-line pitcher is a bit much.

Also, his career HR rate is good, but coming into this year he allowed about 1 HR every 11 innings (which would be in the top 5 among active pitchers if he had enough innings to qualify); this year, it's been 1 HR every 20 innings. Given that the active leader in HR/9 (Kershaw) has averaged about 1 every 13 innings, this rate seems unlikely to be sustainable long-term.

Also after reading about ba and how many AB it takes for ba to find its "real" level can we agree two seasons should be enough? Valdez has pitched 320 inn. in the last two seasons and his BaBIP is at .27 for both. Do we not agree that pitchers have some control over BaBIP? Does it not seem likely that Valdez has some ability to lower his babip?

Valdez's BABIP allowed the last two years: .269, .274
Houston's BABIP allowed as a team the last two years: .276, .267

I am not inclined to read this as any particular skill of Valdez's beyond good taste in teammates.
   26. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:29 PM (#6096961)
9 of the 25 are exactly 6 IP, and in 4 other games he did not finish the 7th inning.

3 complete games.


Those 3 complete games are 25% of all the complete games pitched by all AL teams this season. No other AL pitcher has more than 1.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:35 PM (#6096965)
my observation was not focused on pitchers in 2022.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:52 PM (#6096969)
Since the ba on GB is what? about .240? and BaBIP is currently 290? Hence if all other things (e.g Ks) being equal inducing more GBs should lower BaBIP. Im sure Im missing something here but I cant figure it out.

Well, yes and no. I was sloppy. BAgb is indeed low but BAfb (well BABIP on FB) is substantially lower. BABIP is all about LDs. But of course for G/F ratios, LDs are in the F portion. Valdez doesn indeed give up a substantially lower proportion of LDs (per contact ... about 20% vs 255) but gives up FBs at less than half the league rate. But yeah, I guess that must work out to at least a 300 BABIP, probably higher, on non-GB. From my unofficial poking around, GB guys have seemed to give up LDs at about the same rate as regular guys so were swapping low-BA FBs for higher-BA GBs, by definition a net increase in BABIP (assuming steady BAgb, BAld and BAfb. Valdez is still swapping more FBs than LDs for GBs but he might be reducing LD% enough to come out ahead on that.

And sure, pitchers have some control over their BABIP but not to that extreme unless of course Vadez is a freak (and he does have a freakish G/F ratio). Moreover ... who really knows but by bWAR's estimation, the Astros' defense is saving him nearly half a run per game. On the other hand, DRS seems to think their IF is just avverage overall -- Pena outstanding, Altuve atrocious balance each other out.

Hold the phone! Cool, b-r now has a "shift" entry in their fielding table which, I gather, is supposed to tell us how much the team is saving by positioning. So while the Astros' total Rfield is +63, a whopping +29 of that is the shift. So the Astros defense is apparently Pena, Tucker, the departed Siri and the shift. The shift presumably helps Valdez a LOT given his G/F.

it is these very same unusual players where FIP is not useful. I think you sort of back handedly agreed when you said "all" stats break at extremes "in theory." wotever.

No and maybe. When I said all stats break down at extremes in theory, I meant when we pose hypotheticals like "what does FIP predict if a guy strikes out 20/9" -- i.e. extreme values we won't ever (or in two years) see. They are "theoretical extremes" like "maybe we should just IBB Bonds every PA." I used to regularly point out that the theoretical all-BIP pitcher would be a very good pitcher (usually around top 10 in ERA). The speculation I had was whether it gets wobbly at some of the values we are actually seeing today where Devin Williams and others are regularly striking out 1.5 guys per inning.

But sure, if Valdez's G/F ratio means that his "true" BABIP is 10 points lower than league average, then his FIP will be higher than his ERA in a large sample ... assuming there's not something else going on like high G/F correlates with high HR/FB.

Now it's possible that Valdez is so far out there on the G/F scale that he is as close as we've ever seen to a "what if he only gave up GBs" hypothetical. I poked around a smidge and was reminded of Randy Jones, the old Padres SP. He once had a season where he gave up just 6 HR in over 250 IP, a HR/9 of 0.2 something. He had some similar seasons. We don't have G/F going back that far (and some of the values we do have are wonky) but we do have GO/AO which is the ratio of ground-outs to air-outs which should correlate highly with G/F. Valdez's GO/AO ratio is near 3; Jones in that season was just 2.28. Valdez might have the highest G/F ratio ever or at least in the expansion era or the post-Ruth era (at least for a SP). As it turns out though, in that season, Jones had a perfectly normal BABIP for the time.

So you tell me. I don't know of any sources out there that rank G/F seasons. It seems to me that G/F and GO/AO must be stongly correlated enough that, maybe in conjunction with HR/PA and BABIP, we could probably build a pretty good model for estimating G/F historically.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:20 PM (#6096977)
For 2022, BABIP

GB 236
FB 101 (that includes pop-ups which are 13% of all FBs ... implies BABIP on non-IF at about 117)
LD 617

An avg pitcher is about 43% GB, 24% LD, 30% FB in play (with about 7% of that 30% being pop-ups), 3% HR. That gives a rough estimate of a 289 BABIP while the official number is 290.

Framber has about 66% GB, 20% LD, 12% FB in play but only about 3% of that 12% are pop-ups. So one "problem" is swapping pop-ups for GBs. Anyway, I get an expected BABIP around 296. His actual BABIP this year is 274. Maybe he's 22 points better in true BABIP talent but I doubt it.


   30. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:23 PM (#6096979)
Here's another question I had:

Put me down with CFB that it should be a threshold stat (once it qualifies, it's a QS) although that doesn't answer whether we should allow one that wasn't (4 runs through 6) to bocome one (4 runs through 8). I think I'll vote yes.


Why would it even be up for debate? Let's say someone gives up a HR to the first batter. At that pt. obviously he's off to a terrible start. But if he then retires the next 27 guys or whatever. of course its a quality start. The answer is obviously yes. Yes?
   31. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:29 PM (#6096984)
Valdez's BABIP allowed the last two years: .269, .274
Houston's BABIP allowed as a team the last two years: .276, .267


well that's interesting. But if a guy throws a lot of GBs, presumably that would help his team's defense.
   32. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:39 PM (#6096988)
When I said all stats break down at extremes in theory, I meant when we pose hypotheticals like "what does FIP predict if a guy strikes out 20/9" -- i.e. extreme values we won't ever (or in two years) see. They are "theoretical extremes" like "maybe we should just IBB Bonds every PA."


Right. But I wasnt talking about such things. I was talking about a real life, living example, F Valdez. Its a set of actual empirical data pts. And I'm not really seeing how FIP helps us figure out what is going on his case.

I mean, I think I agree with your conclusion: its doubtful Valdez is able to induce weak contact to the pt of 22 pts less than expected BaBIP. But does FIP really get us there? They're perifpheral stats for a reason. They make us go "hmm" but trying to say X batter was really unlucky or X pitcher is due to regress, there's a bit of debate about that.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:03 PM (#6096999)

well that's interesting. But if a guy throws a lot of GBs, presumably that would help his team's defense.


BABIP is much lower on fly balls than ground balls.
   34. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:27 PM (#6097005)
well that's interesting. But if a guy throws a lot of GBs, presumably that would help his team's defense.

The team's BABIP allowed overall is effectively identical to their BABIP with Valdez on the mound. (Also, see Walt's #29; expected BABIP by a pitcher who allows the number of GB/FB/LD/PU that Valdez does is 20 points higher.)

The most common explanation for a pitcher with a BABIP better than league average over a long span is good fielding behind him. The Astros in fact appear to have good fielding; they lead the AL in defensive efficiency and are third in both TotalZone and DRS, and had similar placements last year (1/2/2). You are welcome to give Valdez some amount of credit for that, but my expectation until his career innings total increases significantly will be that his BABIP allowed will be roughly equal to the rest of his team's, as it has been for the last two years. (For what it's worth, if you go further back, Valdez's short 2019 and 2020 seasons had BABIP of .319 and .314, both substantially worse than Houston's overall totals.)
   35. baxter Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:36 PM (#6097006)
22. What IL for JV? He missed a start or two b/c of calf issue; just pitched on Sept 16
   36. DanG Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:37 PM (#6097007)
Were quality starts discussed much back then? I don't remember hearing about them until maybe 15 years ago, and don't remember them being in baseball discourse at all in the '80s-'90s.
According to Wikipedia, the quality start was developed by sportswriter John Lowe in 1985 while writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer. That seems right, since the first mention of it in Bill James' Baseball Abstract is in the 1986 edition.
   37. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 20, 2022 at 10:37 AM (#6097037)
(Gibson) had a 19 game streak which was snapped when he allowed 5 runs in one start, while pitching 11 innings.

In those 19 starts, he had 17 CG and went 15-4 with a 0.78 ERA, which even for 1968 would've been something like a 440 ERA+. (The best part: those four losses came all in a row, in May; Gibson was 0-4 with a 1.87 ERA and a .192 OppBA in those games, in which St. Louis was outscored, 9-3.)

Meanwhile, Denny McLain (31-6 in '68) had two streaks of 12 straight QS that year.
   38. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 05:56 PM (#6097147)
Valdez's BABIP allowed the last two years: .269, .274
Houston's BABIP allowed as a team the last two years: .276, .267


Well wait a second Eric. That HOU defensive efficiency or BaBIP that has to be further refined, no?

LIke don't you first have to determine how many FB, LDs, GBs, etc. they had hit toward them before you can say they are excellent defenders. For instance if the HOU staff gives up more FBs, then that makes their defensive job easier.


Not saying that's likely. But the distribution of FB GB has to be accounted for before we make any conclusions as to their defense. There' also the issue of park effects, but I think that cuts both ways (Valdez/team HOU).
   39. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 20, 2022 at 07:50 PM (#6097170)
Well wait a second Eric. That HOU defensive efficiency or BaBIP that has to be further refined, no?

LIke don't you first have to determine how many FB, LDs, GBs, etc. they had hit toward them before you can say they are excellent defenders. For instance if the HOU staff gives up more FBs, then that makes their defensive job easier.


Yes, obviously. That's why I included more than one defensive metric, some of which account for batted ball types, and all of which uniformly state that Houston has had a very good defense each of the last two seasons.

You are free to put as much effort into defending Valdez's alleged BABIP control abilities as you want; I am not going to invest any more into it myself. My closing statement in comment 34 stands as my position until his sample size increases by at least two more full seasons.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 10:30 PM (#6097194)
GLad you didn't take it personally.

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