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Not so perfect: Braden, Halladay, and Galarraga since their perfect games

Posted by Andy on July 21, 2010

Check out the cumulative pitching numbers for the two guys to throw perfect games this season, as well as Armando Galarraga, since each of their gems:

Braden 9 1 0 5 52.2 69 30 24 16 0 6 36 10 0 2 3 0 2 4.10 233 0.319 0.355 0.477 0.832 0.362 817 66% 19% 8% 1 1 3 0.97 -0.265 -0.16
Halladay 9 2 3 5 68.0 71 24 22 11 1 10 61 7 0 3 7 2 0 2.91 277 0.271 0.296 0.435 0.731 0.316 954 70% 18% 12% 5 1 0 1.03 0.990 10.78
Galarraga 7 0 1 2 41.0 51 25 25 8 4 5 17 14 0 1 2 1 2 5.49 186 0.300 0.355 0.482 0.837 0.309 696 63% 17% 7% 2 2 0 0.94 -0.503 -2.02

Braden has been decent, allowing few walks but a lot of hits and an ERA close to league average. He has yet to get a single win since his perfect game.

Halladay has been very good, with a 61/7 K/BB ratio in 68 innings but has earned only a 3-5 record thanks in large part to the terrible slump the Phillies' offense was in.

Galarraga hasn't been all that good. His WHIP isn't terrible but 17 strikeouts in 41 innings isn't going to get it done. He's got just 1 win since his near-perfecto.

20 Responses to “Not so perfect: Braden, Halladay, and Galarraga since their perfect games”

  1. Jim Says:

    Honestly, at this point, the Phils have been in an "offensive slump" longer than they haven't been (i.e. the beginning of the season) so its almost as if one could say the beginning of the year was a fluke.

  2. Dan Hirsch Says:

    If I remember correctly, after Mark Buehrle's perfect game last year, he continued his "perfect innings" streak against the Twins and then struggled after that as well. It would be interesting to see how ALL post-perfect games compare.

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Well, we know David Cone's entire career immediately went downhill after his perfecto.

  4. Matt Young Says:

    And David Cone's career came to a near screeching halt after his perfect game.

  5. Pageup Says:

    Koufax's e.r.a. went down from 2.14 to 2.04 for the rest of the year ('65), strangely he saved 2 games at the end of that year, no wonder his arm was feeling tired by the end of '66

  6. SJBlonger Says:

    After Buehrle set the major league record by retiring 45 batters in a row, the next 45 batters were a different matter. A total of 25 reached base, not counting 2 that reached on errors. The ugly rebound:

    17 singles, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 walks, 2 hit batsmen, 2 reached on error, 18 outs.

    That's a .000/.000/.000 line, followed by a .512/.556/.707.

  7. Geoff Young Says:

    Don't forget Mat Latos, who came within one out (infield single off his glove) of a perfect game on May 13 in San Francisco. Since then: 10 GS, 63.1 IP, 8-2, 1.85 ERA, 9.52 K/9, opponents hitting .185/.254/.238.

  8. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Look at Edwin Jackson after his No-hitter.
    3 Starts – 16.1 IP - 7.16 ERA - 22 hits/11 BB
    He threw a MLB high 149 pitches that game and I'm sure all these guys, including Jackson, that we are discussing here, really 'turned it up' at the end of their respective games. Overthrowing, if you will. Its one thing to let a guy go over 125 pitches, but when he's that locked in and the adrenalin is flowing, can he hurt his arm?
    It was a tough decision for the manager to make there. I think you would of needed a crowbar to get Jackson off the mound, but at the same time, even opponents of pitch counts, could see Jackson was laboring hard.
    So what do the D-backs do... give him a few days of extra rest. So with the all-star game and the extra rest, Jackson comes back to throw his three of his worst starts.
    This begs two questions; is letting a young guy go for a single game glory worth it to him and the team over the long haul? And does 'extra days' off, actually help, or hurt an arm.
    I actually think the routine of 4 days rest, then throw, 4 days rest, throw - is more important than long rest periods.
    This is becoming extra pertinent with Stephen Strausburg. He is so hyped and so important to Baseball and especially the Nationals, who are putting 15,000 - 17,000 more butts in seats when he is on the hill. Even on the road the Strausburg effect takes every stadium. But now the Nationals are talking about skipping his starts as the season winds along.
    Is this wise?
    No one wants to see another Kerry Wood.
    But on the other Hand the Yankees have shown how to over baby a pitcher, both practically and through the media.
    The "Joba Rules' of a year ago, were nauseating. Why they even felt the need to name the strategy and put in the papers, is beyond me. It was unnecessary pressure on Chamberlain and I believe alienated him from his team. Its one thing to have your own set of rules, its another to name those rules and put it on the cover of the sports pages.
    And worst of all, it backfired. Joba is having an awful year... again.
    Now, look at another young pitcher with great stuff the Yankees have announced will be held back and skipped in the rotation; Phil Hughes.
    Hughes was looking like a Cy Young candidate early on.

    1st 10 starts- 7-1 2.54 ERA
    99-117 pitch count – 105 average
    63.2 IP – or 6.1+ per GS
    47 H, 20 BB, 64 SO
    Average days rest: 4.3

    Then the Yankees started skipping his starts.

    Next 7 starts – 4-2 6.17 ERA
    94-110 pitch count – 102 average
    42.1 IP – or 6 per GS
    52 H, 12 BB, 29 SO
    Average days rest 5.85

    So, a little feed back please. Do you think extra rest hurst or helps? Or do you think letting a guy throw his turn in the Rotation, but keeping his pitch count down is better?

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Here's another Hughes breakdown:

    First 6 starts: 5-0 1.38 ERA
    99-103 pitch count - 103 average
    39 IP, or 6.5 IP per GS
    22 H, 14 BB, 39 K
    Average days rest: 4.4

    The the Yankees didn't change anything.

    Next 7 starts: 5-1 4.78 ERA
    99-117 pitch count - 106 average
    43.1 IP, or 6 IP per GS
    46 H, 11 BB, 39 K
    Average days rest: 4.4

    Hughes has had ONE start skipped, plus the rotation reshuffled around the All-Star break. Guys have starts skipped all the time. It's never a big deal unless it's the Yankees. Keep in mind he didn't even make his first start until game 9, but that long rest didn't seem to prevent him from getting off to a great start. He was obviously pitching over his head to begin with. Now he's in a slump. There may be identifiable reasons, but every single pitcher has good streaks and bad streaks.

  10. Johnny Twisto Says:

    oops, meant to bold that second "Average days rest" as well.

  11. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Not that I'm dismissing your questions Duke. I think they are good ones to ask, since there doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern pitcher usage is reducing injuries. I just don't believe a skipped start has anything to do with the shape of Hughes's season.

  12. MikeD Says:

    The "Joba Rules' of a year ago, were nauseating. Why they even felt the need to name the strategy and put in the papers, is beyond me.

    Duke, it wasn't the Yankees who named it the "Joba Rules." It was the NY tabloid media. The Yankees were trying to manage his innings. Every team gets to do this except the Yankees. Joba has not been the same pitcher since August 2008 when he was removed from the mound in Texas because of an injury. Tendinitis in the shoulder. Nothing to be concerned about at the time, they said. Well, he returned in September and after one appearence with reduced velocity the Yankees basically shut him down. When he showed up in Spring Training 2009 the velocity was still down about three mph. It's never returned, nor has the command he had over his fastball. So it wasn't the Joba Rules that's caused him problems. Despite the Yankees attempt to protect him, he's simply the latest in a long line of young MLB pitchers to suffer an injury, even a minor one, that caused him to lose velocity.

  13. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Johnny T:

    If you look at the defense independent numbers, your two breakdowns don't look all that different. The difference is in how many hits. BB and K / IP look similar. It's hard to be sure that the ERA difference is about what he's doing vs. what his fielders or the opposing batters are doing. probably he wasn't really as good as he seemed in the first 6 games, nor was he as poor as he seemed for the next 6. OTOH, he really does stop striking guys out as much in the next split that duke offers, so his pitching definitely suffered some.

    That said, it's a pretty big stretch to attribute that to one or two missed starts.

  14. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Michael, fair point. I noticed that too. Still, BABIP is not totally random or defense-dependent. I could have also included he allowed 1 HR in first 6 starts, and 6 in the next 7. Also note that Duke's second split begins three starts before the skipped start.

  15. dukeofflatbush Says:


    My split is not arbitrary or there solely to support numbers. It starts with a 5 days of rest game. In his 7 previous starts (from where I make the split) he had 4 days rest in 6 of them. Pretty consistent. Then over his next 7 starts he has 5, then 4, then 5, then 9, then 4, then 4, then 10 days of rest. Pretty inconsistent.
    I started the split where I saw the most inconsistency.
    His best start over that stretch (7/9), is the second of back to back starts of 4 days rest. Consistency. His two worst starts; 9 and 10 days rest respectively.
    I think a pitcher is best suited to pitch 100-120 pitches every 4 days.
    I understand the concern with young arms. This question I presented was aimed more towards Stausburg's future, using Hughes as a yardstick.
    I know the theory of 'stretching out' a young arm, but I don't think skipping starts is a good idea. Maybe lowering his pitch count or making him a 5 inning pitcher is a better solution.
    With Joba, I think switching roles (setup/starter) and the prep that goes into each role, is a greater demand on a young arm. Prepping to pitch 4 days a week as opposed to pitching with four days rest are completely different animals, with completely different mindsets. When you know you only have 1 inning, you throw everything into each pitch, its a sprint. Prepping for a start, is like a Marathon. Not too many guys can switch off the mindset that goes with each role in mid season - multiple times. Also, when Joba started, he knew his pitch count and the scrutiny that followed, so I think he tried too hard to manage his pitches instead of just pitching. If you have to worry about the hitter AND how many pitches you can throw, I believe you will 'overthrow'.
    And MIKEd,
    I think where I heard 'Joba Rules' first, was on the YES network. And if I'm wrong, then I heard that phrase on YES a ton. And everyone in New York knows that every word on YES is spun by the Yankee brass. If the Yankees didn't like 'Joba Rules' as a phrase, we wouldn't of heard them on YES. Michael Kay is a marionette with Steinbrenner strings. Girardi has his own TV show on YES. Not a press conference, a show. Not a debate, a show.
    Its like the Republicans and FOX.
    A show.

  16. dukeofflatbush Says:

    One more point:
    Pitch count is just one of at least 4 factors that should all be measured to preserve pitcher's stamina.
    One should be, amount of pitches per inning. If a pitcher throws 45 pitches in 3 innings, so what? But if one of those innings was 30 pitches and the other two 7 and 8, I think that makes a huge difference. Mike Pelfrey threw 40 some-odd pitches in the first inning the other day. Even if he settled down and threw 40 pitches over the next 4 innings, I think they should weigh that first inning.
    Also, the amount of time between innings is never counted. After an hour rain delay, you seldom see the starter back out there. So why, if your team rallies for a eight run third, and the opposition makes two pitching changes and you're on the bench for an hour, do they expect you to go out there.
    Also pitch type and type of pitcher are important to consider. Jamie Moyer is either throwing well or he's not. He's got that lazy-lefty thing where pitch count shouldn't matter. But someone like Joba, a power pitcher, I think you really need to check his velocity over the course of the game and pitch selection.

  17. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Duke, teams basically use 5-man rotations all the time these days. So any time there is an off-day, the pitchers go on 5 days rest instead of 4. Check any active regular SP. They all have many starts on 5 days rest as well as 4. The skipped start did not occur until he had the 9 days rest. If having 5 days rest is going to mess Hughes up, it doesn't matter what the Yankees do or don't do, he's never going to make it.

  18. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Give me a bit of credit. I have heard of this 5 man rotation you speak of...
    And, I do understand the off day. I am taking one today. Most teams however, even high end teams, have three quality starters, one decent guy and one fill in/journeyman.
    Some teams, on off days will skip the 5th man altogether. I understand this is not always applied to keep the 1-3 guys in a 4 day rest pattern, but for teams to put out their three best arms, the most.
    The Yankees are the one of the odd exceptions. Their 4-5 guys are a former top prospect coming into his own and a guy who finished 4th in the NL Cy Young last year. So they have ample pitching. The kind of problems teams wish for.
    But they are the Yankees and are starting to misuse Vasquez for his second tour, again, and he's been skipped as well, stuck in the bullpen, and ripped in the media. He's a great pitcher, he just doesn't thrive when being treated as if he is lucky to be playing.
    That being beside the point; teams can find a way to see that an off day doesn't mess up a rotation too much.
    In 2002, The D-backs used the Schilling-Johnson tandem every 4th day, July on-ward, off day or not. Guys got skipped, but you know what? Johnson/Schilling finish 1-2 in Cy Young that year.
    I think rest, mental prepping, scouting and throwing drills are all best done consistently. Ask any runner how important routine is.
    4 days of rest works best. Your body and mind get into a rhythm.
    I'm not saying all Hughes problems are from extra rest, I merely believe they are contributing. Its hard to find things to do to keep sharp when you know you are not playing.
    Sports psychologists have proven that a pattern or routine followed 20 times, becomes harder to stop then continue. So just say every morning you wake up and run 13 miles. While it may hurt your body at first, your mind becomes prepared. And after 20 mornings, you'll find it harder to stay in bed, mentally and physically, then it is to run your 13.

  19. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I didn't intend to be condescending. My point was that it truly is a 5-man rotation these days, not a 5-day rotation as it often was in the past. Most teams do not regularly skip the 5th starter anymore. No one has made more than 35 starts since 2003, more than 36 since 1991.

    How have they misused Vazquez? He's pitched far, far better since they skipped his start and then he made a relief appearance.

  20. dukeofflatbush Says:

    "How have they misused Vazquez?"
    Its just my opinion, but he seems to have a very small window for error. AJ Burnett has pitched like Carrol Burnett and was and is much more deserving of some bullpen duty. I even think he is better suited as a set-up/closer. But Vazquez, who is the better pitcher (my opinion), seems to be treated far worse. Imagine if Vazquez had cut his hand punching walls and had to be pulled from a game... whooaaa boy! AJ has the stuff, but Javy can pitch.
    Vazquez has a chance at 200 career victories and 3000 Ks. At age 34, I don't think he should be sitting in the bullpen. He's be a #2 starter on about 2/3rds of MLB teams.