Posted by Andy on May 10, 2010
Or: Why You Shouldn't Get Too Excited About Tyler Clippard
Here are the 30 pitchers so far this season to inherit at least 5 runners and allow at least half of them to score:
This shows how deceptive relievers' stats can be. Sure a lot of these guys have ugly numbers. Take Matt Palmer for example. (I can hear Angels fans now: "Take him PLEASE!!" He's got a 6.26 ERA over 23 innings and has also allowed 6 our of 9 inherit runners to score.
But then take a look at Tyler Clippard. Raphy pointed out earlier that Clip has 6 wins already. He has an ERA of 0.76. But he's also allowed 10 out of 18 inherit runners to score. In his game logs you can see that 4 of his wins came along with blown saves. In each of those 4 games he inherited runners and allowed at least 1 to score. In another game, he came in with the Nationals down 3-1 and walked in a run to make it 4-1. He got the win because the offense rallied an inning later. In fact, it was Ryan Zimmerman pinch-hitting for Clippard who hit the go-ahead homer. Cheap win.
In yet another game on April 15th, Clippard came in with the bases loaded and allowed all 3 runners to score.
Bottom line? This guy has had more than his share of luck so far to get the stats he has and it is unlikely to continue.
Another guy with deceptive numbers is Daniel Bard. He has a nice ERA but has allowed 6 out of 10 inherited runners to score and has been instrumental in a few of the Red Sox's losses even though he was pegged with only one of them on his own stat sheet.
Bard had a 3-for-3 game over the weekend, meaning an occasion in which he allowed all 3 inherited runners to score. Such games should be easy to find but for some reason the IR and IS stats are not yet included in the Pitching Game Finder in the PI.
When I think about vultured wins, I always think about Mitch Williams in 1991. Looking at those logs, however, he had only 3 blown-save-wins that year although they all came in a 15-day stretch in August. The truth is that Williams had a good year that year, including an incredible string of 4 consecutive appearances August 2nd to August 7th where he pitched into extra innings each time and got the win each time. I suppose that season is memorable because he got 12 wins total, good enough for 3rd on a sub-.500 Phillies team.