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View Full Version : Ace Overrated for Playoffs?



757690
10-09-2011, 04:04 PM
The cry is for the Reds to get a true #1 in order to be able to go deep into the playoffs. However, here are the recent ERA's of the #1's that have been in the playoffs recently:

Marcum - 13.50
Greinke - 7.20
CC - 6.00
Verlander - 5.71
C.J. Wilson - 4.76
D. Price - 4.73
Carpenter - 4.24
Lee - 3.51
Lincecum - 2.43
Halladay - 2.37

Outside of Lincecum and Halladay, not that impressive. Even Lee, who had that streak of great playoff games, overall has been around average.

Now, of course these are small sample sizes, which is my point. Because they only pitch a few games in any postseason, you're really not a whole lot more likely to get a good start out of a true #1, than you are out of a the #2 or 3 starters on your team.

I think in the steroid era, having a shutdown pitcher was more important, since it was easier to score runs, and so a great pitcher could make more of a difference. But now that scoring is down, I think getting a good game out of a pitcher is more likely, and hence, the value of a shutdown starter is less.

I think that since scoring is down, a bigger key is having a strong middle of the lineup. That is what all the playoff teams, especially the ones that have advanced, have this year.

Brutus
10-09-2011, 04:52 PM
I think history has proven that teams rarely win without superb pitching. Perhaps in a short series the best staff doesn't always win, but it's going to win more than it will lose IMHO.

MikeThierry
10-09-2011, 05:29 PM
Agree Brutus. The perfect example of why there needs to be shut down pitching in the playoffs is game 5 between the Phillies and Cards. The Cards had no room for error just being ahead one run and they needed a starter that could pitch flawless baseball. Plus, I don't think you can underestimate the pressure pitchers face in playoff situations. I would much rather have an Ace go on the bump who has been there and has pitched in high pressure games rather than an unknown pitcher that is young. You also have to look into the fact that I feel the every day players feel less pressure on them if they have a guy out there that they can count on.

wlf WV
10-09-2011, 05:56 PM
NO. Ask the Phillies if they think St. Louis would of won without their ace...

dougdirt
10-09-2011, 06:04 PM
I ask the Phillies if they think St. Louis would of won without their ace...

It goes both ways. Would the Phillies have even had to see him if they could have scored one lousy run off of the entire Cardinals bullpen in game 2?

Game one resulted in 17 runs being scored.
Game two resulted in 9 runs being scored.
Game three resulted in 5 runs being scored.
Game four resulted in 8 runs being scored.
Game five resulted in 1 run being scored.

That was 6 starts by "aces" and that doesn't include guys like Garcia or Oswalt who were also pretty darn good pitchers. Two games were "pitcher duels". Three games weren't.

Superdude
10-09-2011, 07:34 PM
I'd say quality at the top becomes a bigger advantage in the playoffs, but it's definitely overblown IMO.

wlf WV
10-09-2011, 08:37 PM
Ask San Fran last year.Ask the Yankees. Ask the Red Sox. We've got a lot of devil's advocates.Ask the Phillies who carried them this year. and on and on and on....

757690
10-09-2011, 08:47 PM
Ask San Fran last year.Ask the Yankees. Ask the Red Sox. We've got a lot of devil's advocates.Ask the Phillies who carried them this year. and on and on and on....

Ahhhh... the Phillies got knocked out of the first round this year, as did the Yankees, and the Red Sox didn't even make it to the post season. They all have true #1 starters (Phillies have 3).

wlf WV
10-09-2011, 09:08 PM
I just don't get the argument about devaluing aces.Makes little common sense except for a debate.

Superdude
10-09-2011, 09:10 PM
I just don't get the argument about devaluing aces.Makes little common sense except for a debate.

Debating is what we do best ;)

757690
10-09-2011, 09:23 PM
I just don't get the argument about devaluing aces.Makes little common sense except for a debate.

When attempting to build a championship team, it's important to be able to accurately project the value of each position and player.

The issue isn't, are Aces valuable, of course they are. They issue is how valuable?

I think it's starting to appear that they are becoming less valuable in the playoffs due to the decrease in overall scoring. Lately, it seems like, in the playoffs, you aren't significantly more likely to get a shutdown start from your #1 than from your #2 or 3.

bucksfan2
10-10-2011, 08:45 AM
In a 5 game series, yes.

When you get into a 7 games series it plays more true to the actual baseball season. You want to try beating the Phillies in a 7 game series when you have to face Halladay and Lee twice? In a 5 game series you can go with a 3-4 man starting rotation and having a starter in there to be a long man in case something goes wrong. In a 7 game series you don't have that luxury. I tend to think that a 5 game series is a crap-shoot whereas a 7 game series the best team often comes out on top.

PuffyPig
10-10-2011, 09:19 AM
Every year many look at the team that won and suggest that that is the blue print for victory.

And every year a different type of team wins.

The key to winnng in the playoffs is to make the playoffs.

Once there any thing can, and usually does, happen.

Many thought the Phillies were virtually unbeatable, but the odds were that someone would.

The Philies won about 60% of their games during the regular season, and in the playoffs vs. better teams that percentage would go down.

There is no such thing as upsets in the playoffs, as the teams are simply too close, especially when you add in the randomness of baseball.

Carpenter struck out about 3 guys in his last start, but was dominating based on a BABIP of about .100. That wouldn't continue over a large sample size of a season, but it can certainly continue over a short series. He came close to giving up a 3 run HR, and no one would be talking about his dominating performance if it had gone a foot or so further. Now that's baseball, but I wouodn't draw any firm conclusions over who wins in the playoffs, it's too random.

Design a team to make the playoffs. THat's your best bet to winning in the playoffs. And if you have the money and the talent, get a team with strong starting pitching, led by a few aces, with strong fielding and hitting throughout the lineup, backed up by a lights out bullpen. And plan to get great randomness during the playoffs.

RedsManRick
10-10-2011, 09:59 AM
The key to winning in the playoffs is to outscore your opponent in more games he outscores you. There is no magic bullet. At the end of the day, a short series between two roughly equal teams is a total crap-shoot. The "randomness" of execution and luck in given circumstances will tend to trump small systematic advantages.

In so far as you don't have to use a 5th starter (and sometimes not a 4th), you're at a bit of an advantage relative to your regular season record if your rotation is top heavy.
While I'd prefer to have the ace, just get me to the playoffs and I'll be happy. A team good enough to make the playoffs is good enough to win the series.

mdccclxix
10-10-2011, 10:02 AM
The key to winning in the playoffs is to outscore your opponent in more games he outscores you. There is no magic bullet. At the end of the day, a short series between two roughly equal teams is a total crap-shoot. The "randomness" of execution and luck in given circumstances will tend to trump small systematic advantages.

In so far as you don't have to use a 5th starter (and sometimes not a 4th), you're at a bit of an advantage relative to your regular season record if your rotation is top heavy.
While I'd prefer to have the ace, just get me to the playoffs and I'll be happy. A team good enough to make the playoffs is good enough to win the series.

...and that's why they play the games, and why we watch.

nate
10-10-2011, 10:23 AM
There's no certainty in baseball, only chance modification.

_Sir_Charles_
10-10-2011, 10:38 AM
I think having capable pitching is more important that an "ace". Heck, I think a shut down bullpen is more important than an "ace". 1 "ace" and 2 scrubs ain't gonna do it either. 3 solid starters and an excellent bullpen will get you farther IMO.

MikeThierry
10-11-2011, 06:49 PM
I think having capable pitching is more important that an "ace". Heck, I think a shut down bullpen is more important than an "ace". 1 "ace" and 2 scrubs ain't gonna do it either. 3 solid starters and an excellent bullpen will get you farther IMO.

I think you make an excellent point here. This years playoffs have had many games where the games were won and lost by the bullpens or the matchup battle. I still think it is imperative to have a high quality ace for high pressure games such as elimination games but the more and more I think about it, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that you are.

nate
10-11-2011, 11:05 PM
I think fielding a team of the best players possible is the best way to increase one's odds in the playoffs.

I think trying to analyze recent results based on infinitesimally small sample sizes is tilting at windmills.

757690
10-12-2011, 12:36 AM
I think fielding a team of the best players possible is the best way to increase one's odds in the playoffs.

I think trying to analyze recent results based on infinitesimally small sample sizes is tilting at windmills.

That was pretty much my point in starting this thread. The Reds shouldn't use resources to acquire true Aces for the playoffs, they should just use resources to build the best overall team possible.

Brutus
10-12-2011, 01:16 AM
That was pretty much my point in starting this thread. The Reds shouldn't use resources to acquire true Aces for the playoffs, they should just use resources to build the best overall team possible.

OK but to have the best team possible, you probably need to have an ace or two. So if you don't have it, then you probably would be advised to acquire it.

nate
10-12-2011, 10:08 AM
That was pretty much my point in starting this thread. The Reds shouldn't use resources to acquire true Aces for the playoffs, they should just use resources to build the best overall team possible.

Well, if acquiring "Aces" makes the best overall team, they should do that regardless of the playoffs.

Something like that, yes.