Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wins and Losses are the worst statistic in baseball

In 187 innings, a pitcher in the major leagues has thrown 151 strikeouts, 76 walks, and compiled a 3.71 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has a 119 ERA+. He has started 30 games so far, so what would you expect his record to be? 12-9? 14-10? Something decent, right? Put that guy on the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, or other offensive team, and he could be looking for 20 wins by the end of the season.

Well, not when you're Matt Cain and you play for the San Francisco Giants. Cain is 7-15 thus far, and will probably lose his last game of the year next week. The only team that has scored less runs than the Giants this season is the Washington Nationals (time to ship that team back to Montreal). The Giants' offense is so bad, Matt Cain, in 53 at bats, has hit as many home runs (2) as Dave Roberts (362 AB), Omar Vizquel (481 AB), and Mike Sweeney (90 AB).

Matt Cain has not been perfect this year, but then, no pitcher has. He's not a Cy Young candidate with his numbers, but he has pitched 16 games where has given up 2 earned runs or less, and his record is only 6-6 in those games. If you want to include games with 3 ER, then he's pitched 22 games with 3 ER or less, and his record is 7-8.

In other news, I entered a LoJack caught stealing contest to guess how many runners the Yankees would throw out this season. I guessed between 41-45. After submitting my entry on MLB.com's website, I was told, "So far this season 22 runners have been thrown out by the Yankees." Well, considering Jorge Posada has already thrown out 29 runners, I'd say that you're wrong, MLB.com website. Furthermore, Wil Nieves and Jose Molina have also thrown out runners for the Yanks, so you're more wrong.

MLB.com website, you are so wrong you are more wrong than people who think Wins and Losses are a good stat to use in baseball.

Update, September 21, 2007: Matt Cain, yesterday's game hosting Cincinnati - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 R, 4K. Result? Loss.

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