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Thread: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

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    Member durl's Avatar
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    Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Last night's game (5/10) made me start thinking again about what constitutes a "Win" for a pitcher. This may have been discussed years before I arrived here, so feel free to tell me if this is worthless rambling.

    Harang went 7 2/3 with 5 hits and ZERO earned runs and left with the lead. The closer blows the win and a pitcher who just happened to be on the mound before the Reds took the lead gets the win.

    So what would be the ramifications if the pitcher who went 5+ innings and left with the lead were to get credit for the win? While I realize this could create a very convoluted system, it just seems to be little consolation for a guy who pitches a shutout and has the lead to only get a "Quality Start" on his record.

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    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Quote Originally Posted by durl View Post
    This may have been discussed years before I arrived here, so feel free to tell me if this is worthless rambling.
    It's not.

    Imo, wins is one of the most overrated stats. Yes if a pitcher manages to get 20+ wins chances are he really is one of the better pitchers that year. But there have also been pitchers that pitched great but their season win-loss record didn't show it.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    I don't put too much stock in wins and losses. After all, a guy could have an ERA of 1.00, a WHIP of 0.111, throw nothing but complete game one hitters and still lose every single ball game. On the other hand, a pitcher could have ridiculously inflated numbers but still win because he pitches for the Yankees. Relievers with a lot of wins often blew saves to get those wins. I long ago decided to ignore W/L as a measure of value.

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    Member hebroncougar's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Quote Originally Posted by reds1869 View Post
    I don't put too much stock in wins and losses. After all, a guy could have an ERA of 1.00, a WHIP of 0.111, throw nothing but complete game one hitters and still lose every single ball game. On the other hand, a pitcher could have ridiculously inflated numbers but still win because he pitches for the Yankees. Relievers with a lot of wins often blew saves to get those wins. I long ago decided to ignore W/L as a measure of value.
    Me too. I wish Dusty would have, instead of bringing Harang back to try and get him the all important win. Wins and saves are two of the most (if not the most) meaningless stats in baseballl.

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Bob Gibson has a 1.12 ERA and went 19-9. That says it all.

    The rule about having to be on the mound when the winning run scores is what throws it all out of wack. Drop that rule, and let the official scorer decide on his own, and it would be much fairer.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

  7. #6
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Or just get rid of the win entirely. Seriously, at the most basic level, no single player can win or lose a game. It's silly to use a "stat" that infers such. Even the somewhat convoluted "quality start" is much better assessment of pitcher performance than a "win". The same can be said about the save. Imagine if for hitters used "game winning RBI" or game winning run scored" as a primary stat for them -- it's silly on the face of it because it describes the context in which a performance occurred rather than the performance itself.

    It's really not hard to say "100 IP, 3.50 ERA" and be done with it. That certainly tells me more than 11-4 does.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    I think this example fully illustrates the usefulness of "wins" in evaluating a pitcher:

    Code:
    Rk   Pos                      Age  W  L  W-L%   ERA  G GS GF CG SHO SV    IP   H   R  ER HR  BB IBB  SO HBP BK WP   BF ERA+  WHIP  H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
    1     SP      Bronson Arroyo   32  7  4  .636  5.00 12 12  0  1   0  0  77.1  79  45  43 13  26   1  39   4  0  1  327   89 1.358  9.2  1.5  3.0  4.5  1.50
    2     SP        Johnny Cueto   23  6  3  .667  2.33 12 12  0  0   0  0  81.0  61  22  21  8  24   0  58   3  0  2  320  191 1.049  6.8  0.9  2.7  6.4  2.42
    To me, the only entity that should get credit for a "win" or "loss" is the team.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    A more meaningful stat could be derived from the QS if it included being ahead or tied with 4 or less or behind with, say 2 allowed after 6. I agree, though, that wins for a pitcher are meaningless. They should at the least be the discretion of the scorer.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Seriously, at the most basic level, no single player can win or lose a game. It's silly to use a "stat" that infers such. Even the somewhat convoluted "quality start" is much better assessment of pitcher performance than a "win".
    You ever seen Pujols take over a game?

    I agree with you that no single player can win a game, I just think pitchers W-L record is a bench line for measurement. I think "quality start" has some value but it can be somewhat vague as well. A pitcher pitches a complete game in which he gives up 4 runs in a 10-4 victory. That wouldn't register as a quality start or even a good ERA but it sure helps a team out. W-L record is like any stat taken by it self, it is just way too vague. When you combine that with various other measures you can get a more accurate picture of the pitcher as a whole. I do think that most executives and CY Young voters have begun to use other stats as a better measuring stick than W-L. WHIP, ERA, K, and BB/9 all have become almost common when measuring pitchers.

  11. #10
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    By far the most meaningless stat is the Hold. I looked at a box score the other day and the same pitcher got a Hold and a loss. Apparently he left with a lead but his runners scored after he left resulting in a loss. I've also seen LOOGYs come in, walk the only batter they face and get credited with a hold. Throwout the Hold stat altogether.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    The "Winning Pitcher" doesn't make any more sense than awarding a win to the QB in football. The save is just as irrelevant, IMO. The ridiculous thing is that managers seem to make decisions at times on these arbitrary statistical designations. For example, Harang wanting to get the last out of the fifth against the Astros so he could "get the win," and Dusty buying into it. Many managers also buy into the "save situation" mentality in bringing in their "closer" also.

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    Member durl's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    I agree with those who say that Win/Loss is basically a useless stat. Even so, it's still a very dominant stat in the game. And I believe that having some type of quick stat is good to help us see how well a pitcher is doing.

    We've seen a lot of growth in the acceptance of OBP and SLG, so perhaps it's time to start promoting a new way to grade pitchers.

  14. #13
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    You ever seen Pujols take over a game?

    I agree with you that no single player can win a game, I just think pitchers W-L record is a bench line for measurement.
    OK, so what exactly does it measure about an individual pitcher?
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    Quote Originally Posted by durl View Post
    I agree with those who say that Win/Loss is basically a useless stat. Even so, it's still a very dominant stat in the game. And I believe that having some type of quick stat is good to help us see how well a pitcher is doing.
    I kind of like FIP for that.

    Fielding Independent Pitching, a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded. FIP was invented by Tangotiger.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about "Winning Pitcher" stat

    (HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP

    There's no way most fans are going to relate to that at all. It looks like some sort of garble you'd see on the chalkboard of a math class. It may spit out a more meaningful number than wins, but there's no ease of use to that, so it won't catch on.


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