Comments on: Mariano Rivera http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: David in Toledo http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5213 Tue, 29 Jul 2008 20:14:22 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5213 This discussion shouldn't be primarily a comparison between Rivera and Papelbon. Yes, they're both contemporary closers, but one took that role at age 27 and has 14 ML seasons. The other took the role four years ago at age 24. The differences are as important as the similarity.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5212 Tue, 29 Jul 2008 17:19:28 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5212 True, vincent, although of course it's very much up for debate whether such use was the optimal pattern. It's true that Rivera has had more "tough" save situations than Papelbon yet has saves in his whole career, but I'm not sure how to use that as a point of comparison between them.

One thing's for sure--I certainly subscribe to the idea of using your closer when the game is on the line. Case in point is how Rivera has often been used against the Red Sox. When the Yankees have had a small lead in the 8th with Ortiz & Ramirez up and runners on base, Torre never hesitated to use Mariano, as he should have, since that was definitely the key point of the game. 9th inning with later hitters up and bases empty is not worth saving your closer for unless you can hold the lead in the 8th.

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By: vincent75 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5211 Tue, 29 Jul 2008 17:10:14 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5211 since this seems to have turned into a comparison between papelbon and rivera, it should be noted how many times rivera has averaged more than an inning per appearance in his career as opposed to papelbon.

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By: David in Toledo http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5208 Mon, 28 Jul 2008 22:53:45 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5208 Play Index allows us to compare Jonathan Papelbon's first four years with (only) the first four years of other pitchers. This allows us to look at only how pitchers began (filtering out their later careers, both what is often their improved maturity and their decline phase).

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/WtTq

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5207 Mon, 28 Jul 2008 21:35:49 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5207 I believe Baseball Prospectus has stats which try to address these issues. For starters, I believe that support-neutral W-L record assesses the likelihood of a win based on the pitcher's performance on a start-by-start basis. For relievers, I think they have numbers assessing performance based on the situations relievers face when entering the game, and runners they may leave on base for the next guy.

I do agree that ERA isn't always a perfect measure, for any pitcher, especially relievers. If you can't access Baseball Prospectus (or don't trust them) you can also look at unearned runs allowed, component stats (H, HR, BB, K), % of scoreless appearances, etc. However, with someone like Rivera who consistently puts up miniscule ERAs year after year, it's a pretty good bet that ERA is accurately representing his performance.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5206 Mon, 28 Jul 2008 19:27:50 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5206 I don't really agree with this last comment. A run is a run, and whether allowed over a long appearance or a short appearance, it counts the same in the final score. Perhaps what's bothering you is that relievers' appearances, at least in terms on earned runs allowed, tend to be a lot more binary than starters' appearances. In other words, most relievers, especially closers, can have their appearances broken down into two categories: ones where they allow runs, and ones where they don't. These days, though, starters almost always allow at least 1 run. In this sense, the average number of runs allowed feels like a more statistic. Maybe your average #3 starter goes out there and allows 1 run 10% of the time, 2 runs 20% of the time, 3 runs 30% of the time, etc etc. Then knowing that he allows on average, say, 3.2 earned runs per game, and does that over an average of, say, 6.1 innings, means that he has an ERA of 4.72. Knowing what fraction of his starts he allowed 0 runs seems fairly meaningless, since for most pitchers it's a very small fraction. But for relievers, maybe it would be nice to know what fraction of his appearances were scoreless. But then, as pointed out above, we'd need also to know something about the fraction of inherited runners he allowed to score.

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By: apreziosi http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5205 Mon, 28 Jul 2008 18:58:28 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5205 I think where it gets out of whack is when a reliever comes in for one inning, gives up a run and his ERA is 9. A starter might give up a run in the first then settle down and pitch 5 scoreless innings. They aren't comparable measures.

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By: vincent75 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5204 Mon, 28 Jul 2008 17:01:42 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5204 what they really need for relievers is stat to measure the number of inherited runners allowed to score; i know they do track this but it needs an ERA equivalent.

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By: apreziosi http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5203 Mon, 28 Jul 2008 14:45:50 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5203 I'm wondering how relevant the ERA is in the modern game. It's a stat born in a time before pitch counts and specialization, when pitchers threw 9 innings. The WHIP is a bit more revealing, since it measures innings on their own merit. Even though the ERA is applied equally for everyone, I wonder what it really means when one considers relief pitchers and starters, for that matter.

The "quality start" will sometimes contradict an ERA. Perhaps it's time to come up with a relevant statistic to measure each outing. It may take 3 outings for a pitcher to amass 9 innings, which is why I don't feel it's always relevant.

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By: David in Toledo http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/728/comment-page-1#comment-5201 Sun, 27 Jul 2008 13:15:06 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/?p=728#comment-5201 For what Jonathan Papelbon has accomplished after 200 career innings, see the following PI list. The name "Dick Hughes" surprised me.

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/rjxj

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