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Can Bronson Catch Bert?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 18, 2011

Here are the pitchers to allow 40+ homeruns in a season:

Rk Player HR Year Age Tm Lg G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pit Str
1 Bert Blyleven 50 1986 35 MIN AL 36 36 16 3 0 17 14 .548 0 271.2 262 134 121 58 215 4.01 107 1126 1049 42 8 4 10 5 4 19 26 7 4 0 4 .250 .294 .448 .742      
2 Jose Lima 48 2000 27 HOU NL 33 33 0 0 0 7 16 .304 0 196.1 251 152 145 68 124 6.65 75 895 801 52 8 3 2 12 12 12 14 5 0 0 3 .313 .364 .578 .942   3195 2037
3 Bert Blyleven 46 1987 36 MIN AL 37 37 8 1 0 15 12 .556 0 267.0 249 132 119 101 196 4.01 115 1122 1002 45 1 4 9 4 6 31 33 9 0 0 13 .249 .321 .433 .754      
4 Robin Roberts 46 1956 29 PHI NL 43 37 22 1 6 19 18 .514 3 297.1 328 155 147 40 157 4.45 84 1228 1161 55 17 3 2 15 10 23 11 2 0 0 2 .283 .305 .478 .783      
5 Bronson Arroyo 44 2011 34 CIN NL 30 30 0 0 0 8 12 .400 0 182.0 212 115 108 44 100 5.34 73 790 730 44 3 5 5 6 5 12 9 4 0 0 0 .290 .333 .540 .873 139 2890 1886
6 Jamie Moyer 44 2004 41 SEA AL 34 33 1 0 1 7 13 .350 0 202.0 217 127 117 63 125 5.21 87 888 799 33 1 3 11 9 6 12 9 4 2 0 1 .272 .331 .481 .812   3414 2108
7 Eric Milton 43 2004 28 PHI NL 34 34 0 0 0 14 6 .700 0 201.0 196 110 106 75 161 4.75 95 862 768 46 4 6 1 11 6 12 12 2 0 0 3 .255 .320 .493 .813   3438 2212
8 Pedro Ramos 43 1957 22 WSH AL 43 30 7 1 5 12 16 .429 0 231.0 251 131 123 69 91 4.79 81 1011 906 34 8 4 7 5 5 22 11 6 6 0 2 .277 .331 .475 .806      
9 Denny McLain 42 1966 22 DET AL 38 38 14 4 0 20 14 .588 0 264.1 205 120 115 104 192 3.92 90 1080 956 30 8 3 3 12 5 21 2 5 2 0 6 .214 .292 .394 .686      
10 Rick Helling 41 1999 28 TEX AL 35 35 3 0 0 13 11 .542 0 219.1 228 127 118 85 131 4.84 106 943 837 49 8 5 6 5 10 19 13 14 4 0 8 .272 .340 .497 .837      
11 Phil Niekro 41 1979 40 ATL NL 44 44 23 1 0 21 20 .512 0 342.0 311 160 129 113 208 3.39 120 1436 1290 50 6 8 11 14 7 25 40 11 2 4 18 .241 .306 .384 .691      
12 Robin Roberts 41 1955 28 PHI NL 41 38 26 1 3 23 14 .622 3 305.0 292 137 111 53 160 3.28 121 1256 1184 58 15 3 2 12 5 15 8 3 0 0 3 .247 .279 .425 .704      
13 Eric Milton 40 2005 29 CIN NL 34 34 0 0 0 8 15 .348 0 186.1 237 141 134 52 123 6.47 66 855 784 55 7 2 7 6 6 3 11 3 0 0 8 .302 .349 .543 .892   3164 2082
14 Ramon Ortiz 40 2002 29 ANA AL 32 32 4 1 0 15 9 .625 0 217.1 188 97 91 68 162 3.77 118 896 816 29 7 0 5 2 5 14 11 9 0 3 7 .230 .292 .430 .722   3254 2067
15 Shawn Boskie 40 1996 29 CAL AL 37 28 1 0 1 12 11 .522 0 189.1 226 126 112 67 133 5.32 92 860 769 43 1 7 13 6 4 18 17 2 3 0 10 .294 .359 .508 .867      
16 Brad Radke 40 1996 23 MIN AL 35 35 3 0 0 11 16 .407 0 232.0 231 125 115 57 148 4.46 114 973 901 55 6 2 4 5 6 16 6 5 0 0 1 .256 .302 .464 .766      
17 Bill Gullickson 40 1987 28 TOT ML 35 35 4 1 0 14 13 .519 0 213.0 218 128 115 50 117 4.86 88 896 827 43 5 7 3 8 8 9 24 9 1 1 4 .264 .305 .473 .778      
18 Jack Morris 40 1986 31 DET AL 35 35 15 6 0 21 8 .724 0 267.0 229 105 97 82 223 3.27 127 1092 1000 38 8 7 0 7 3 20 21 8 1 0 12 .229 .287 .403 .690      
19 Fergie Jenkins 40 1979 36 TEX AL 37 37 10 3 0 16 14 .533 0 259.0 252 127 117 81 164 4.07 102 1089 986 39 8 6 3 10 9 22 22 9 1 0 4 .256 .311 .433 .744      
20 Phil Niekro 40 1970 31 ATL NL 34 32 10 3 1 12 18 .400 0 229.2 222 124 109 68 168 4.27 101 980 895 25 6 2 6 6 5 20 25 6 0 2 6 .248 .304 .423 .727      
21 Orlando Pena 40 1964 30 KCA AL 40 32 5 0 3 12 14 .462 0 219.1 231 126 108 73 184 4.43 87 955 863 40 12 2 8 6 6 18 17 1 1 1 6 .268 .328 .481 .809      
22 Ralph Terry 40 1962 26 NYY AL 43 39 14 3 2 23 12 .657 2 298.2 257 123 106 57 176 3.19 118 1191 1114 36 9 1 3 8 9 17 9 7 0 0 2 .231 .268 .387 .655      
23 Robin Roberts 40 1957 30 PHI NL 39 32 14 2 5 10 22 .313 2 249.2 246 122 113 43 128 4.07 93 1033 978 47 9 16 1 8 3 8 18 3 0 0 0 .252 .283 .441 .724      
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/18/2011.

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Of course, if you want another way to look at this, here are the pitchers to allow 30+ HR in a season where they also had HR>.2*IP -

Rk Player HR IP Year Age Tm Lg G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pit Str
1 Jose Lima 48 196.1 2000 27 HOU NL 33 33 0 0 0 7 16 .304 0 251 152 145 68 124 6.65 75 895 801 52 8 3 2 12 12 12 14 5 0 0 3 .313 .364 .578 .942   3195 2037
2 Bronson Arroyo 44 182.0 2011 34 CIN NL 30 30 0 0 0 8 12 .400 0 212 115 108 44 100 5.34 73 790 730 44 3 5 5 6 5 12 9 4 0 0 0 .290 .333 .540 .873 139 2890 1886
3 Jamie Moyer 44 202.0 2004 41 SEA AL 34 33 1 0 1 7 13 .350 0 217 127 117 63 125 5.21 87 888 799 33 1 3 11 9 6 12 9 4 2 0 1 .272 .331 .481 .812   3414 2108
4 Eric Milton 43 201.0 2004 28 PHI NL 34 34 0 0 0 14 6 .700 0 196 110 106 75 161 4.75 95 862 768 46 4 6 1 11 6 12 12 2 0 0 3 .255 .320 .493 .813   3438 2212
5 Eric Milton 40 186.1 2005 29 CIN NL 34 34 0 0 0 8 15 .348 0 237 141 134 52 123 6.47 66 855 784 55 7 2 7 6 6 3 11 3 0 0 8 .302 .349 .543 .892   3164 2082
6 Shawn Boskie 40 189.1 1996 29 CAL AL 37 28 1 0 1 12 11 .522 0 226 126 112 67 133 5.32 92 860 769 43 1 7 13 6 4 18 17 2 3 0 10 .294 .359 .508 .867      
7 Braden Looper 39 194.2 2009 34 MIL NL 34 34 0 0 0 14 7 .667 0 226 123 113 64 100 5.22 79 866 781 38 6 6 5 9 7 20 5 3 3 0 5 .289 .344 .503 .847   3275 2033
8 Carlos Silva 38 180.1 2006 27 MIN AL 36 31 0 0 2 11 15 .423 0 246 130 119 32 70 5.94 75 811 759 44 2 4 7 6 7 16 10 2 0 0 1 .324 .354 .538 .892   2693 1790
9 Darrell May 38 186.0 2004 32 KCR AL 31 31 3 1 0 9 19 .321 0 234 130 116 55 120 5.61 85 832 764 58 9 4 2 1 9 14 17 9 4 0 2 .306 .351 .555 .906   3007 1905
10 Dave Mlicki 37 167.2 2001 33 TOT ML 34 29 0 0 1 11 11 .500 0 203 122 115 74 97 6.17 72 772 666 43 3 3 15 8 9 15 16 7 0 0 8 .305 .382 .545 .927   2742 1693
11 Brandon Backe 36 166.2 2008 30 HOU NL 31 31 0 0 0 9 14 .391 0 202 114 112 77 127 6.05 70 756 669 46 4 2 4 4 2 17 4 6 0 0 2 .302 .376 .544 .920   2787 1765
12 Chad Ogea 36 168.0 1999 28 PHI NL 36 28 0 0 3 6 12 .333 0 192 110 105 61 77 5.62 85 746 667 52 1 1 4 10 4 12 16 4 0 2 5 .288 .349 .531 .880      
13 Jose Lima 35 165.2 2001 28 TOT ML 32 27 2 0 3 6 12 .333 0 197 114 102 38 84 5.54 79 719 658 27 7 3 9 5 9 21 15 4 1 0 4 .299 .342 .521 .863   2520 1646
14 Jeff Fassero 35 156.1 1999 36 TOT AL 37 27 0 0 2 5 14 .263 0 208 135 125 83 114 7.20 70 751 655 44 3 3 4 2 7 11 23 6 3 0 9 .318 .394 .554 .948      
15 Scott Bankhead 35 149.1 1987 23 SEA AL 27 25 2 0 1 9 8 .529 0 168 96 90 37 95 5.42 88 642 593 29 6 0 3 3 6 6 9 5 1 2 2 .283 .326 .530 .855      
16 Scott Elarton 34 132.2 2001 25 TOT NL 24 24 0 0 0 4 10 .286 0 146 105 104 59 87 7.06 68 595 521 17 0 2 6 7 2 5 9 3 2 0 5 .280 .359 .509 .867   2289 1437
17 Scott Elarton 33 158.2 2004 28 TOT ML 29 29 1 1 0 3 11 .214 0 164 107 104 62 103 5.90 77 697 619 39 5 3 4 5 7 9 10 2 1 0 8 .265 .332 .504 .836   2788 1793
18 Javier Vazquez 32 157.1 2010 34 NYY AL 31 26 0 0 4 10 10 .500 0 155 96 93 65 121 5.32 80 683 602 35 3 4 7 2 7 8 4 4 0 0 8 .257 .333 .485 .818   2705 1692
19 Rob Bell 32 149.2 2001 24 TOT ML 27 27 0 0 0 5 10 .333 0 176 115 111 64 97 6.67 70 670 587 47 3 1 7 3 9 16 15 10 0 0 9 .300 .370 .554 .924   2411 1467
20 Rob Bell 32 140.1 2000 23 CIN NL 26 26 1 0 0 7 8 .467 0 130 84 78 73 112 5.00 95 618 534 38 2 6 1 8 2 7 19 1 0 0 11 .243 .334 .502 .836   2236 1345
21 Casey Fossum 31 142.0 2004 26 ARI NL 27 27 0 0 0 4 15 .211 0 171 111 105 63 117 6.65 70 652 567 24 2 5 10 8 4 9 15 8 4 2 4 .302 .379 .515 .894   2404 1498
22 Greg Gohr 31 115.2 1996 28 TOT AL 32 16 0 0 7 5 9 .357 1 163 96 93 44 75 7.24 70 546 494 21 1 2 3 1 4 9 12 4 0 0 6 .330 .385 .565 .950      
23 Ken Dixon 31 105.0 1987 26 BAL AL 34 15 0 0 13 7 10 .412 5 128 81 75 27 91 6.43 68 470 439 21 3 4 1 1 2 7 9 1 0 1 5 .292 .333 .565 .898      
24 Jorge Sosa 30 118.0 2006 28 TOT NL 45 13 0 0 12 3 11 .214 4 138 79 71 40 75 5.42 83 524 472 27 1 6 1 7 4 9 2 2 0 0 2 .292 .346 .544 .891   1956 1232
25 Andy Benes 30 107.1 2001 33 STL NL 27 19 0 0 3 7 7 .500 0 122 92 88 61 78 7.38 59 500 426 20 4 0 6 3 4 7 6 5 1 0 1 .286 .380 .563 .944   2022 1192
26 Ryan Rupe 30 143.1 2001 26 TBD AL 28 26 0 0 0 5 12 .294 0 161 111 105 48 123 6.59 68 635 568 30 4 0 11 3 5 5 4 3 1 1 7 .283 .348 .509 .857   2443 1543
27 Scott Sanders 30 139.2 1997 28 TOT AL 47 20 1 1 15 6 14 .300 2 152 92 91 62 120 5.86 78 626 547 38 3 6 4 3 10 8 13 5 0 0 8 .278 .350 .523 .873      
28 Jim Deshaies 30 130.1 1994 34 MIN AL 25 25 0 0 0 6 12 .333 0 170 109 107 54 78 7.39 67 596 530 39 5 0 2 5 5 10 18 8 5 2 1 .321 .382 .583 .965      
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/18/2011.

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This sort of says that Lima is more the Gopher King than Bert was...

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 10:25 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

32 Responses to “Can Bronson Catch Bert?”

  1. If they don't shut him down, it looks like he'll get 2 more starts -- home to Houston, and at the Mets.

    His HR rate is higher at home, as you'd expect -- 27 in 16 home games, 17 in 14 road games. But that road rate is still plenty. And while New Shea is a tough HR park, he's allowed 5 HRs in 5 career starts there.

    Houston might be the taller task, as they're next-to-last in MLB with 89 HRs. But Carlos Lee has hit 3 in 49 ABs against Arroyo.

    For the Mets, Reyes, Wright, Pagan and Duda have 1 apiece.

    Definitely worth watching!

  2. If he keeps up his current pace, he'll also become just the sixteenth pitcher in history to qualify for the ERA title and allow as many or more home runs as walks.

  3. Notice that Blyleven even with those 2 years with so many HRs allowed is the only one to have them both pretty good years until you get down to 41 HRs allowed. Everyone else close to him in HRs allowed had more or less below a league average ERA +.

    Considering WAr, which gives credit for IP, will reinforce that Bert still had decent effectiveness even in the ONLY 2 years when he gave up a great # of HRs.

  4. Evil Squirrel Says:

    His HR rate is higher at home, as you'd expect -- 27 in 16 home games, 17 in 14 road games. But that road rate is still plenty. And while New Shea is a tough HR park, he's allowed 5 HRs in 5 career starts there.

    Actually, he's only allowed one career run in 2 career starts at Shi.... er, Citi Field, but that one run was a homer (to Angel Pagan). He did allow 5 career homers at Old Shea Stadium....

  5. How about HR/s per batter faced among this group, minimum 30 HRs?

  6. Oh, he can catch him of course. Will he have even a close resemblance of Blyleven's season? Not ever!! This is one of those statistical oddities that transcends numbers.

  7. @4, E. Squirrel -- Thanks for catching my goof there.

  8. Arroyo and Jose Lima easily lead this list in HR/9.

  9. The only qualifying pitchers to allow over 2 HR/9. Showing HR and HR/9.

    - Jose Lima 48 2.20 2000 HOU NL
    - Bronson Arroyo 44 2.18 2011 CIN NL
    - Jim Deshaies 30 2.07 1994 MIN AL
    - Sid Fernandez 27 2.11 1994 BAL AL

  10. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Anyone who had ever held the NL record for most home runs allowed in a season and who was still alive at the beginning of May 2010 did not make it out of that month still alive.

  11. Look at batters faced. Even if Bronson doesn't catch Bert, he is the new
    king.

    He will end up facing close to 300 fewer batters than Bert faced. In fact,
    he will face fewer batters than anyone else on this list.

    Poor Cinci. Arroyo is signed for two more years and his effectiveness
    is severly diminished this season. He is giving up homers at almost
    twice his career rate.

    Is this a bad season or the beginning of the end. At age 34 maybe the end.

  12. here is a pitching question folks might find interesting, & I would enjoy help with.

    1993: the one year of Maddux string of 4 Cy Young's which B-R WAR does not rate him #1 in the league. In fact, he is not even close: Jose Rios has an 8.6, Mad Dog 6.2. A quick look at their stats shows Maddux better overall-though not as good in Ks. That is until you look at defense. Rios is adjudged to have hada poor defense, Maddux excellent-it stands out for both especially in this very year.

    But in the seven advanced stats at the end of this B-R page, Maddux does better overall! Do not 6 of these, all but ERA +, ADJUST for defense? http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/1993-pitching-leaders.shtml. How is this internally consistent?

    Also, I have asked for a while now for a review of the often widely disparate total value/WAR systems. I checked Fangraphs for the 1st time: In '93 they have Maddux ahead of Rijo 7.9 to 7.2! That is just a huge & disparity in how the 2 s system rate these 2 top pitchers!

    Looking at the AL that year, Appier vs. Johnson has a large difference also. between systems, B-R rating Appier much higher, Fangraphs having them very close. Maybe in this case the latter rates Johnson's ks & hits allowed as more important that this site. While B-R values ERA + & HR allowed more. Given that Johnson also had a slightly better defense, I would tend to agree with this site in this case.

    Anyway, we can find many examples like this, where the ratings of pitchers & players are VERY different between systems, & sometimes somewhat different over a whole career. Can anyone tell me what system they feel is better in the above instances, so we can get at what factors each may properly & incorrectly weight? Thank you in advance for trying.

  13. @12-

    There are many places you can go on the internet for an explanation of how/why Fangraphs and B-Ref differ. I would suggest this one, because it's very funny:

    http://www.patrickfloodblog.com/2010/07/16/war-problems-part-two/

    There's a link in the first paragraph to the first part of the story, which is worth reading, even though it deals with offense, rather than pitching, which is definitely the bigger difference.

    As far as which system is "better," a million people could give you different answers. Partly, it depends on what questions you're asking. Mostly, though, it's up to you to weigh the evidence yourself, and decide on your own. Yes, it takes a little critical thought, but it's worth it.

  14. Thank you, that is a useful article. Two points.

    Of course we should think critically, that is not even a question. But as in numerous threads here with often triple digit responses assists with, kicking around numerous strong & nuanced opinions about the matter likely will assist in forming conclusions, such as in what situations & how often one system is better. Many minds thinking rigorously & challenging each other works very well to introduce & salvage the best ideas, while pruning away the less tenable ones.

    Yet unlike a million other much less meaningful questions that just how good & valuable a player is, we never seem to have any discussions & debates about this. Why? WAR is so strongly referenced here & trusted, it behooves us to do so. If we want to not just take things on faith or unchallenged.

    Also, position player differences vary significantly. 1.5 is a fairly big % for a season, & if players vary, say, an average of just 1.0 per system over a career, that really adds up in career value. It is mostly defense? Then this is also crucial to analyze closely.

    Here are 2 of the 1st 3 position players I looked up, neither known for their defense. Willie Stargell. B-R WAR: 57.5. Fangraphs: 70.9. Harmon Killebrew: here, 61.1. Fangraphs, 78.4!

    Al Simmons, 63.6 Here. FG: 78.5. Lou Brock: here, 39.1. FG: 53.4. That is over 1/3 higher on FG!! Ron Santo: Here, 66.4. FG, 79.3.

    Jim Rice: Here, 41.5. FG: 56.5! (I do not trust FG on this one). Greg Luzinsky: here 28.2, FG, 38.1. Now there are MANY players with a ~ a 10 point differential or so, but the % difference here is obviously large. Bigger still with Dante Bichette: 11.5 here, 2.0 at FG!

    These large discrepancies point to differences with a few things besides defense, though that may account for at least the plurality of the difference in most cases. But we have very different types of players above, including excellent defense & great base running< & outliar park factors.

    The thread where it was discussed whether Stargell deserved the HOF really opened my eyes. He is not the largest difference or anywhere approaching the biggest & difference in rating, but his lifetime WAR in the B-R system is barely borderline HOF, & in Fg it is a no-brainer slam dunk.

    Yet we use B-R as if gospel routinely to evaluate players. And pitchers are rated even more variably! So it behooves us to get a handle on these things, IF we want to use WAR as at all an authority on anything, as at all reliable.

    Thanks for listening to my pedantic rant y'all!

  15. @14: Mike F, I agree with all of your post, except the next to last line. It seems in reading all the comments that there seems to be a consensus that WAR, regardless of who calculates it, while useful, isn't the last word. That may be because some of us are less technically proficient, or aren't comfortable with fielding measurements and dWAR. But I also think it's because it doesn't feel (yet) as a stat we are all comfortable with embracing as a single uber-tool. One of the things that drew me to the first Bill James Abstracts was this sense that he was picking up and quantifying things that I previously just had a gut feel about. To meet the emotional smell test, a new stat, for at least some of us, needs to buttress what we see with our eyes. That may not be scientific, but I think it's true.

  16. Curious to see what percentage of the respected pitchers HR totals is in relationship to their overall ERA for that particular yr.

  17. @14

    Another issue is that players on Fangraphs in general will tend to be a little higher. They use a lower replacement level overall. That's something that, especially over a 15+ year career (and in the cases of many of the players you mentioned, around 20 years) will really add up. So that's something to take into consideration, as well.

  18. @14 Fangraphs WAR uses a slightly different lower replacement level, so you should expect fWAR to be higher. Before 2002 both use Total Zone for defense, but get slightly different numbers. fWAR seems not to have base running except for very recent players. (I think they have SB/CS, but not "taking the extra base.")

  19. @Mike Felber

    Concerning the disparity between fWAR and rWar in terms of pitching, it really depends on which philosophy you adhere to. Fangraphs uses FIP and B-R uses Runs allowed and then adjusts for strength of defense. If you believe that the amount of runs a pitcher allows, while adjusting for his defense, is the best way to evaluate a pitcher, then use B-R. If you think that a pitcher should only be evaluated on the things he can control the most (walks, HRs, and strikeouts) then use Fangraphs. I tend to rely on Fangraphs version because I agree with DIPS theory and the logic and data behind it, but I'll still check here and see what this version says and weigh the two.

  20. @19 I might prefer one or the other in different situations. The actual runs allowed is what happened, which can include a lot of luck. If you want to measure true talent rather than actual results one season of FIP is better than one season of RA or ERA. (this years FIP is a better predictor of next years ERA than is this years ERA.) Given enough innings pitched, (certainly by 2500, maybe less.), I would strongly prefer to use actual runs allowed since most of the random luck would have canceled and variations from the mean in such things as BABIP would mostly represent real skill.

  21. @20 I see your point. I still find it difficult to attribute runs solely to the pitcher since there are so many other factors involved. Even with the defensive adjustment I don't think it's accurate enough. But that's not to say I won't incorporate it into my evaluations, and is certainly not to say it's not useful. I think there are even better DIPS stats out there than FIP. SIERA does a better job, since it goes a step further and incorporates batted ball tendencies (GB, LD, FB). But the beauty of all this is the information is available for everyone to examine and make determinations.

  22. "Congratulations to Jack Morris and Bill Gullickson in being the only pitchers in big-league history to allow 40 homers in a season, and NOT lead the league in homers allowed.

    You're welcome.

    Signed,
    Bert Blyleven, Hall of Famer."

  23. "P.S. Note that the 50 homers I allowed accounted for 80 (59.7%) of the 134 total runs scored off me in 1986, the highest percentage of any of the 45 pitcher seasons shown above. Basically, when I wanted to give up a run or two, I grooved a homer pitch — much more efficient and less stressful than holding a bunch of runners on. Jack and Bill, I couldn't help noticing that your percentages were well below 50%. As veterans, don't you think that's kind of irresponsible?"

  24. @21

    The problem with SIERA, of course, is that you have to believe/agree with the scoring of GB/LD/FB. It has been noted that those are notoriously inaccurate from park to park and scorer to scorer when compared to actual ball-speed and angle data. Personally, I think FIP does a good job of finding a happy medium between a total projection system like SIERA and a traditional system like ERA. B-R's version of WAR is also a "happy medium" type of thing, but it puts a lot more weight on sequencing. Really, it's probably best to just average the two and see what you get. But that's just my theory.

    Additionally, as to the whole WAR discussion, Baseball Prospectus has WARP and The Baseball Gauge also uses a WAR metric that's similar to Fangraphs for pitching, but more similar to B-R for offense. Both of these sites are also worth checking. And, of course, if we're talking MVP or Cy Young voting, one should never go into it without at least considering WPA and REW, and then considering WPA/LI. It's a lot to think about, that's for sure.

  25. Useful information above, thanks. Though the trouble with a smell test is that it so So prone to selection bias, what you think before, & the usually small sample size you see, received wisdom, & other biases.

    Also, I appreciate that Fangraphs is often higher due to replacement level differences, but very often the total scores are about the same also! And often enough they are 10, 20, even 30% or so variable from B-R WAR in career value! And I am just talking about position players here, not even pitchers, who it is pointed out tend to vary more.

    So while it might be useful to advocate for one pitching evaluation system over another, at least it would be very useful to look at the causes for all the variation on how most guys, position players, are rated over a career.

    Best would be to take folks like those I show above who have a high % of variation, see WHY that is so, & compare it to the many players who rate about the same in both. That will isolate what factors we think should be adjusted in which systems.

    But it is different enough with players that it only makes sense to brainstorm & hear many opinions & arguments what each system does best. THEn we will be in a better position to independently evaluate how much to accept each version, & in which instances.

  26. @24

    Point well taken. Who is responsible for categorizing the batted ball types? Is it a third party company that looks at all this, or is it an official scorer type capacity at each ballpark? Just curious to know. I agree FIP is a happy medium, and I think it's probably the most well known of the DIPS stats available today, and the differences between the two aren't all that big to begin with. I guess what I was trying to get across in reference to the original question, is that right now there is no concrete right or wrong when it comes to WAR, so there won't be one single version of it (most notably for pitching). But it's not necessary for them to agree since the underlying stats are based off two different philosophies. But as long as one understand the ingredients that go into making them, then it doesn't matter.

  27. @25

    I think that's a sensible route. I think the major difference between the WAR here and Fangraphs WAR (for position players) is the defensive metric used. This site uses Total Zone while Fangraphs uses UZR (for seasons from 2002 to the present). That is probably the major reason for the variation, and as you said, can account for massive differences over a career. I'm curious to see what you find out when you look into it though. If you publish your findings anywhere be sure to make it known if you can.

  28. Yet another backdoor way to gloss Blyleven!

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    But in the seven advanced stats at the end of this B-R page, Maddux does better overall! Do not 6 of these, all but ERA +, ADJUST for defense? http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/1993-pitching-leaders.shtml. How is this internally consistent?

    No, they do not.

  30. Johnny Twisto Says:

    there seems to be a consensus that WAR, regardless of who calculates it, while useful, isn't the last word

    It's definitely not the last word. Its developer would say that. It's an argument-starter, not an argument-ender. It's a wonderful tool for broad-based comparisons. You want to find the best players who have been left out of the HOF? Look up players with more than, say, 40 WAR. It's better than searching for players with 2000+ hits, or a 120 OPS+, etc. But it is not not not intended to answer all questions. Unfortunately people take it that way and disparage it for that very reason.

  31. Fair enough JT, & thanks for the advanced stats info. But we can do much better by asking the questions in specific cases & figuring out the causes of the biggest distinctions: & a good chance we can come to a general consensus as to how to take each system with a grain of salt, when, & in which directions.

    Is it really almost all defense that accounts for differences in players as disparate as Killer, Simmons, Brock, & Santo, as mentioned in post 14? I seem to recall walks being cited as a reason Stargell was rated much higher on FG, something that was not defense. Park, base running, other things?

    IF it is most all defense measured differently, I would state Offensive WAR, either system, & separately the career defensive #s of both systems, so we would know & could take into consideration the arguments for each system.

  32. So much for that. Complete game 2:12 minute shutout for Bronson today. The Astros really must want to get the season over with.