Comments on: Worst OPS+ in a season with 200 hits http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: JohnnyTwisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5936 Mon, 26 Jan 2009 19:56:18 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5936 Agreed on durability being important. For his time, Morris wasn't an incredible workhorse. He only led the league in IP once and in CG once. But he was among the leaders for many years, while many of his '80s peers weren't able to remain healthy/effective for as long.

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By: TheGoof http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5934 Mon, 26 Jan 2009 17:09:09 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5934 Thanks for bringing those up, Johnny. I love that kind of analysis. I'd rather be corrected (or at least persuaded) by a good argument than assume a false position. It appears Morris didn't pitch to score, or at least that if he did, it didn't make a difference. I still, however, believe durability is vital, especially with how relievers are used today. I prefer the guy who gives up three runs over eight innings to the guy who gives up one in five. As was pointed out in the Baseball Prospectus article, Morris turned the ball over more frequently to the top relievers. A five-inning pitcher turns it over to two of the team's weakest links, who in turn (if the lead isn't blown yet) turn it over to the top two relievers. An eight-inning guy goes straight to K-Rod, Mariano, or your choice of game-ending hero. I'm sure that someone has or could crunch the numbers and prove this concept right or wrong.

That article reminds me of the great Bill James analysis of Don Drysdale in clutch games. Drysdale was absolutely unable to close out the big ones down the stretch. Yet he has this lasting impression as a tough guy who you'd want in those games, better than his record--kind of like Morris.

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By: JohnnyTwisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5931 Mon, 26 Jan 2009 16:27:21 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5931 People have studied that issue on Morris and it just doesn't seem to be the case. There is very little evidence he pitched to the score. For example see here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815 His winning % is so good because of run support. You can also look at his splits page, which doesn't have the level of granularity that some studies have gone into, but you can see he basically pitched with the same effectiveness whether the game was close or not, whether high leverage situations or low. http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=morrija02#situa-clutc

I will agree that some people go too far in completely dismissing the "old fashioned" stats.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5922 Sun, 25 Jan 2009 19:05:51 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5922 Honestly, TheGoof, I think you're writing a lot more from the heart than the head. While it's true that stats are overall less meaningful in many cases that many think, they are rarely without meaning. I find very unlikely that Wells allowed an atypical fraction of runs when games were already in hand. Competitive guys like him don't like allowing any runs, regardless of the score. If he allowed runs while way in the lead, it was due to the same skill set he used when the game was tied.

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By: TheGoof http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5921 Sun, 25 Jan 2009 18:46:39 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5921 To clarify on the Pedro vs. Morris item, I meant under similar circumstances. Coors Field, a lineup with Manny Ramirez batting eighth, or 100 innings lost to a one-time injury (fragility does matter) would change the equation. But if you have a guy would would go 15-7 for your team or a guy who would go 22-7 for your team, each in 35 starts, I don't care about ERA. I want the latter. I'm not saying he's better. I'm not saying he's the better bet for next year. I'm saying he got the job done.

I think David Wells and Jack Morris were never as good in their primes as Pedro. But their ERAs could be misleading. I bet that a careful check of their stats would prove that many of their runs allowed were after the game was well in hand. Wells would pitch one-run ball into the eighth or ninth of many games before giving up a pointless homer. And if you know your team has 11 runs, it doesn't really matter if you give up 2 or 4. Morris knew that. He pitched to win, not to get a great WHIP or ERA. El Duque and Livan Hernandez pitch that way, too. They don't care about walks and strikeouts, but they do tend to keep their teams, good or bad, in the game. Livan has been at .500 every year for a decade now with drastically different stats and support every year. So he's not great at closing the deal, but he'll give you as much of a chance with 6 ERA and 1.75 WHIP as he does with a 3 and 1.25.

And I'm not saying that ERA or WHIP are pointless. In most cases, especially if you never saw the pitcher, it's safe to say that they are good judges of how well the guy pitched, far better than wins and losses. I just believe that the trend to dismiss old fashioned stats like wins, runs and batting average has gone a little too far.

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By: JohnnyTwisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5918 Sun, 25 Jan 2009 07:58:08 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5918 Well, Sabathia did put up a lot of his numbers against a minor league 🙂

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By: David in Toledo http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5916 Sun, 25 Jan 2009 04:11:40 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5916 Indeed, Andy. Sabathia 253 innings in 2008, Mussina 200. Sabathia 17-10, Mussina 20-9. Sabathia ERA+ 162, Mussina ERA+ 132. Can there be doubt as to whom was more valuable, despite their won/loss records?

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5915 Sun, 25 Jan 2009 00:18:57 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5915 This mythical Pedro vs Morris discussion reminds me of a real-life case of people saying that the Yankees will be no better off with Sabathia since he's just replacing Mussina, who had 20 wins last season. The key, though, is that Mussina averaged less than 6 innings per start in 2008, meaning that the pretty bad Yankee bullpen had to pitch in a lot of his games. Mussina had a good year but it was some good luck that allowed him to get 20 wins. (Neutralized record in 2008 is just 14-8.) Sabathia, however, averaged 7.2 innings per start, meaning nearly one out into the 8th inning, allowing his teams to require just a setup reliever and closer in most of his starts.

If anything, the concern with Sabathia is that he's pitched too many innings. There is no question that he represents a tremendous upgrade over Mussina, despite Mussina having a very nice final year.

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By: David in Toledo http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5914 Sat, 24 Jan 2009 23:43:49 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5914 It's Morris's TEAM that made possible his 22-7 record. We don't know whether HE had a "more valuable" season than Martinez unless we know a lot more about the two pitchers' work that year and about the makeup of their teams. Perhaps Martinez left 15 starts that were tied 2-2 after 8 innings. Perhaps Morris's 22 wins came with average scores of 10-5, when he left the game after 7 innings and had good relief.

There have been eight times when a pitcher had a 22-7 record (in 2008, Brandon Webb, ERA 3.30). The ERAs of the others were 1.78, 2.32, 2.46, 2.63, 3.23, 3.25, and 3.65. Of course, ERA+ would be a more useful comparative stat, but Goof didn't suggest that. Jack Morris did not win 22 games, during any season, with a 4.50 ERA or with his career ERA+ of 105.

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By: Jgeller http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/1008/comment-page-1#comment-5913 Sat, 24 Jan 2009 23:26:10 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=1008#comment-5913 Well David, those are 2 different arguments.
Who had the more valuable season: Morris for his 22 wins
Who would be better on a neutral team, which is what you argue: Martinez for his 2.50 ERA
Morris on Pedro's mythical team might only have 10-15 wins with that 4.50 ERA, whereas Pedro with a 2.50 ERA should have 20+ wins on Morris's team

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