Originally Posted by TRF
I'm taking Brisco's side on this. It's simple human behavior. Stats can be looked at in a vacuum, but the human element cannot be discounted. It's like the shut down closer argument. A team breathes a sigh of relief when Hell's Bells blasted in SD, because they "knew" the game was over. But, theoretically, any good pitcher on the roster can get those outs.
A bad defense can weigh on a pitcher, just like in any profession. If i am working with idiots, i put more pressure on myself to do well, for the project, company, whatever. Athletes are not immune to the human condition.
I think the debate is if this is a valid behavioral component. I would call this behavior "the blame game" of a mythical effect of "lacking confidence in a fielder." Sort of like Homer falling apart in his youth after an error in the field or a bad break. Did that suddenly justify him making bad pitches? No, he was expected to mature, and when he did, he would be better in those situations. Last season, it seemed that he had improved in overcoming adversity not of his own doing. But the only thing that changed was his attitude when the fielding or breaks did not help him.