Comments on: Winning 15+ Games In 1st Or 2nd Season Since 1973 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Johnny Twisto Thu, 08 Sep 2011 01:01:56 +0000 from the Basic Pitch Count Estimator to Tom Tango's more fiddly one

Not aware of the latter, can you share the formula or a link?

By: Charles Saeger Wed, 07 Sep 2011 18:00:45 +0000 I'm not even reading what others are writing now, so I don't care about the petty insults have been lobbed at me (especially from someone affiliated with the blog, how rude!), but I did even more fooling with Fidrych 1976:

1) I switched from the Basic Pitch Count Estimator to Tom Tango's more fiddly one, and Fidrych's Pitches/Start dropped from 122 to 116, even more than I thought. (The changes mean that pitchers who put a lot of balls in play, like Fidrych, would not have had as deep a count as pitchers who didn't, like Nolan Ryan, and therefore throw fewer pitchers per batter.) Throwing an average 116 pitches a game isn't out there at all; it wouldn't even be THAT out there for nowadays. (The average has been 95-96 since we started counting actual pitches, though the spread between pitchers has decreased.)
2) I had forgotten this, but using BABIP versus teammates, Fidrych was lucky to the tune of about 36 hits or so. That would throw his ERA over 3.00, as well as raising his K/9 (since those extra outs weren't strikeouts). He was lucky, though less so in the direction I read from straight K rate. Since Fidrych was a groundballer, he might have had even more luck than this shows; groundballers (or, more accurately, low HR/9 pitchers) have higher BABIPs per DIPS 2.0.
3) His first start was 5/15, yes, but so what? That's the 25th game, since the season used to start a bit later than it does now (closer to tax day than April Fools' Day), and there were a lot of off days in April for reasons I never grasped. If Fidrych had started the year in the rotation, he would only have had another 5 or so starts.

Conclusion? Still the same. Fidrych wasn't that good, and his usage pattern wasn't abnormal for 1976.

By: pauley Tue, 06 Sep 2011 23:28:22 +0000 85- True, there's no way to know if the amount of innings threw in such a short timeframe contributed to his arm injury. It should also be noted that he hurt his knee in spring training in '77 and missed almost the entire first two months of the season, which also may have caused a change in his mechanics which led to the injury. But...
That has nothing to do with your original ideas which were that Mark Fidrych 'wasn't that good a pitcher.' and that it 'wasn't surprising he lost it.' In a later post you give Frank Tanana the benefit of the doubt saying his injury 'may well have come from overuse,' while claiming Fidrych 'lost effectiveness immediately.'
Post 78 showed that his usage rate was entirely remarkable, in that he and Blue are the only pitchers at that young age to throw 20 CG in a season over the last 71 years. (The fact that Blue did this over a whole season and Fidrych in 2/3 of a season makes it even more unique.)
The reality is this: Mark Fidrych was a good pitcher. He didn't strike out a lot of the opposition. He did get them out and won baseball games for a pretty mediocre baseball team. The people who pick all star teams picked him both times they could. The people who decide who is the best pitcher in the league felt he was the second best that year, behind a guy who they felt was the best three times. The people who decide who the best rookie player in the league felt he was. Then he suffered a devastating injury which was never fixed. If you want to believe he wasn't a good pitcher and it was all going to fall apart someday go ahead and believe that. Someday years from now, someone will look at Bo Jackson's pro football stats and make the same conclusion you have, "Well, he only played half the time and apart his high avg per attempt he doesn't seem all that remarkable, I suppose he wasn't all that great." Stats don't always tell the whole story and that is the case with Mark Fidrych.

By: Stu B Tue, 06 Sep 2011 22:33:20 +0000 @43 Dennis: I don't know when the game you attended took place, but Seaver's rookie year was 1967, so it couldn't have been in 1966. A search of the database at shows that Marichal pitched 10 or more innings against the Mets in NYC twice, a 2-1 Giants win on 8/23/62 and a 1-0 Mets win on 8/10/69.

The only 1966 game in which McCovey homered at Shea was an 8-6 Mets win on 8/4/66.

So perhaps you memory's not so perfect.

By: Stu B Tue, 06 Sep 2011 21:59:22 +0000 @82: It was a faulty thought process. Given that so many prospects get their feet wet as September call-ups, using rookie year and second year yields a larger but more meaningful and statistically significant group.

By: Charles Saeger Tue, 06 Sep 2011 18:28:16 +0000 I'll amend that last one, which was indeed harsh, replying to an unwarrantedly harsh comment: I didn't actually cite complete games or innings pitched, but rather estimated pitches a start, which is a per-game total. Hence my honesty barb.

But John's comments were actually much better than most of the stuff in this thread. Fidrych came down with a rotator cuff injury the next year. How do you others (again, John didn't remark on this at all) know that was from his use the year before? You don't. There's no proven link between pitch counts and injuries. We think there is one -- hell, even I think throwing 150 pitches a start for a year is probably a bad idea for ones healthy arm -- but there's never been a link proven at all. Pitchers get hurt as much today when we throw a fit when one throws 110 pitches.

By: Charles Saeger Tue, 06 Sep 2011 18:01:11 +0000 @78: I did go over his logs. And I stand by my statement: they're not that remarkable. I have actually looked at other logs for that era, some of which I cited.

And c'mon, you're citing pre-war pitchers, aside from Jurrjens, whose first rate was 94% of league, which is almost average, actually proving my point instead. That's reaching pretty thin. Ted Lyons and Early Wynn were pitching in an era where the leagues had less than 3 K/9.

Facts are a funny thing. You should try them. And a little honesty too.

By: Johnny Twisto Tue, 06 Sep 2011 15:53:54 +0000 No s**t, Sherlock.

Since it's so obvious, I'm not sure why you asked WHY IS RON DARLING NOT ON THE LIST?

By: pauley Tue, 06 Sep 2011 13:26:56 +0000 79- Not a faulty thought process. His criteria was a pitchers 1st and 2nd year. Not 1st and 2nd full season, or his rookie season and the one after it.

By: DaveZ Tue, 06 Sep 2011 12:55:33 +0000 Add Daniel Hudson to this list.