Comments on: Mussina or Schilling? This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Matthew Cornwell Sun, 04 Jul 2010 12:15:21 +0000 WPA does not adjust for park effects or quality of defense behind the pitcher. If TZ is right, than the Braves defense cost Niekro 110-120 runs. He also played in one of the NL's biggest hitters parks. Fix those two issue, and his WPA skyrockets.

By: John Q Sun, 04 Jul 2010 00:06:28 +0000 David J,

Valid point on game #7 but to be fair, Morris was great in the 1984 AlCS and WS, and the two games he pitched in the 1991 world series. The problem is the media tend to focus on one or two things like game #7 in '91 or the 1984 WS while overlooking the rest of his post-season career. And it's not like Morris pitched a no-hitter or a one hitter in game 7, Morris gave up 7 hits in game #7. John Smoltz also pitched a great game. Also, if Lonnie Smith doesn't make a base-running error in the top of 8th the Braves probably win the series. As it was, the Braves had 2nd and 3rd with no out and didn't score. and had bases loaded with 1 out and didn't score.

It seems like a pitcher's post-season productivity tends to even out over time to match his career era. The Same thing happened to Josh Beckett. It's kind of the law of averages, a guy with a 3.90 era won't continually put up 2.00 era's in post season series, eventually there will be a stinker.

By: mike aring Sat, 03 Jul 2010 18:04:02 +0000 schilling is a definate... he did very well before winning the championship with the diamondbacks.
Then a World Series co-mvp and then going to the Red Sox and helping (if not being the catalyst) for them winning the series in I don't remember how many years. Mussina was just a cog in the wheel!

By: Andy Sat, 03 Jul 2010 17:55:41 +0000 Tomorrow's HOF Poll post is about Jack Morris.

By: DavidJ Sat, 03 Jul 2010 17:32:43 +0000 This seems to illustrate as well as anything the degree to which Morris's reputation as a great postseason pitcher rests on one game:

His career postseason WPA is about 0.89.

His WPA for '91 Game 7 was 0.84.

So, his net WPA for the other twelve starts is only about 0.05. In half of them, he had negative WPA. His bad starts cancel out his good ones almost entirely.

By: John Q Sat, 03 Jul 2010 15:10:29 +0000 I've often thought that they should give a Pitcher's MVP and a Hitter's MVP for the LCS/WS.

Morris was 7-1 after the 1991 WS, and to be fair he pitched TWO bad games in the post season up to that point. Game 1 of the 1987 LCS and Game 1 of the 1991 ALCS. He was extremely lucky to get the win in game 1 of the 1991 Alcs, he didn't pitch a good game, he gave up 8 hits and 4 earned runs in only 5.1 innings pitched and if not for Willis/Aguilera bailing him out and Candiotti pitching like crap on the other side, he probably would have got a loss.

And really you can't just cherry pick certain games to explain what a pitcher did. He pitched in 1992 and that's part of his post-season record. Frankly the Blue Jays won the Alcs & WS no thanks to Morris. He had 4 Horrible starts in the Alcs & WS and if it weren't for Guzman, Key and Cone, they don't win either series. Game 4 of the 1992 Alcs gets overlooked in Morris post-season career because he got a no decision, but he was horrible and deserved a loss. He gave up 5 hits, 5 bb, and 5 earned runs in only 3.1 innings pitched.

So all together Morris had:

2-Excellent post-season starts
2-Very Good post-season starts
2-Good post season starts
1-Fair post season start
2-Bad post season starts
4-Horrible post-season games

You can do the same thing with Kevin Brown. Take away his last start in the 2004 ALCS and he has a career 3.44 post-season era. And it's really not fair to say he never pitched a big game. He had a 0.97 division series ERA and pitched well in the NLCS.

By: Matt Young Fri, 02 Jul 2010 16:27:47 +0000 From 84-91 he had one bad post-season start. Up to that point he was 7-0 with an under 2 ERA. He was MVP of the 91 series and probably should have been Co-MVP with Trammell in 84. He was the ace in 84 and 91. He flamed out at the end for sure. I'm now more on the side of the fence that he shouldn't get in, but there are anomalies. Why is Niekro's WPA 14, while borderline HoFers are mostly in the mid 20's (WPA) and HoFer's are 28+. As much as John's WAR is 59 and Kaat's is 42, we all know they weren't hugely different pitchers. Kaat was a reliever his last 5-6 years and so his WAR never moved or went down while John toiled with 4-6 , 8-8 and 13-6 seasons but for most part kept gaining points here and there for 7 years. Clearly John has a better case than Kaat, but it's not a huge difference. I agree with Matthew --Tiant should probably be in, John is right on the proverbial fence, and Kaat is out. IMO, Morris has a better resume than Kaat's, but perhaps not as good as John's --he's out now in my book.

How about Poll's on Brown, Cone and Trammell?

By: Matt Young Fri, 02 Jul 2010 16:05:21 +0000 There's clearly some disconnect between sportswriters/hall people and statheads on how Morris pitched. I think the wins overrate him, but also some stats underrate him. I tend to think the truth lies in the middle somewhere. The later years, when he was mostly bad according to stats, he was a hired gun for some reason-- I guess GM's were all delusional in what they thought of Jack as well. I guess synopsis is, had a good peak from 79-87, was mostly bad from 88-94, but even during his bad years he could come up and pitch a big game when it was absolutely needed. It'll be interesting to see if Morris gets in or not. I think his best shots are 2012 and his last year. I can hear people cringing now. 🙂 Sorry though, Brown is just as overrated. Other than a really good ALDS, he never pitched great in a must win game. Schilling, who has similar overall numbers, did just that! did Smoltzy. In fact, Smoltzy was by far Atlanta's best playoff pitcher.

By: John Q Fri, 02 Jul 2010 15:49:07 +0000 I also think Morris' post-season record is very selective and doesn't tell the whole story, I think the media focus too much on the 1991 & 1984 WS and selectively forget the rest, let's take a look.

1984 lcs & WS. Great performances
1987 lcs, Horrible, 6.75 era
1991 lcs, ok, 4.05 era
1991 WS Great performance
1992 Lcs, Horrible, 6.57 era
1992 WS, Horrible, 8.44 era

In 1993 he was on the Blue Jays and I don't even think he was on the post season roster. Overall he had a 3.80 post era which is roughly what his career era is.

By: John Q Fri, 02 Jul 2010 15:30:52 +0000 Yeah, I think Jack Morris is a good example of how W/L record overrates or underrates pitchers.

Morris was in a very good situation. He came to the Tigers when they weren't very good and established himself as a starter. When they got good he benefited from run support and great defense. After he left the Tigers, he was on some very good teams that inflated his W/L record. He was pretty awful from 1992-1994 with a 5.05 ERA and 85+era but he put up a 38-24 record because he was on great teams. Even from 1988-1994 he had a 4.48 era with a 92era+ and ended up with a 92-81 record.

Even without WAR let's look at it objectively:

IMO, Morris was a very good pitcher who looks better than he really was because of the teams he played with inflated his W/L record.

On the positive side he was a extremely durable pitcher who was an innings eater who could strike out people and was one of the best pitchers in BB during his peak of 1979-1987.

On the negative side he walked far too many batter and didn't have a very good K/BB. For a relatively long career, he only appeared on the top 10 K/BB list, 3 times in his career and only once in the top five. He only finished in the top 10 for HR/9 once in a long career. He greatly benefited greatly from his up the middle defense on the Tigers.

Other than his 1991 season, he wasn't a very good pitcher from 1988-1994 era+95, yet he was able to pile up 91 wins because of the caliber of his teams.

He's also odd in a sense because of the time period of his peak years. It was kind of an in-between period of great pitchers from the 60's ending their careers and great pitchers of the late 80's-90's not beginning their careers. The great 60's-70's pitchers like Seaver, Niekro, Carlton, Perry, Ryan, Palmer were ending their careers and pitchers like Maddux, Clemens, Gooden, Hershiser, and Cone wouldn't begin their careers until the mid-80's.