Worst Stat Ever?

Sunday May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

In keeping with my “worst” theme, I want to talk about what is possibly the worst measure of a players performance.

Win-Loss for Starting pitchers. Really pitchers of any kind.

Want to know just how ridiculous it is to even attempt to use won-loss as a stat to measure the performance of a starting pitcher?

The San Diego Padres starting pitchers have 21 quality starts in 33 games, but just 6 wins. That means that in 21 games the Padres starting pitcher has gone 6 innings while giving up 3 runs or less, but have recorded a win in just 6 of those games.
Tim Stauffer has a 1.38 ERA in his last 4 games giving up just 4 runs in 26.1 IP (and a 2.61 ERA in his 7 starts this season) but has no wins to show for it. 
Prior to last nights game Dustin Moseley had an ERA of 1.63 having giving up just 7 earned runs, but had only 1 win in those 6 starts. The Padres have been SHUTOUT in 4 of his 7 starts.
And somehow wins and losses are supposed to represent the performance of these two Padres pitchers? NOT!
These two guys, and the Padres pitching staff as a whole, have been lights out. 
The defense, while not as good as last years version, is ranked 10th in baseball in UZR and 7th in DRS. 
The OFFENSE for the Padres has been, well, offensive. Even the Petco factor cannot explain how poorly they have done. Many games have featured four or five players hitting under .200 in the starting lineup simultaneously. The Padres are leading MLB in being shutout with 8 and they have the worst batting average with runners in scoring position in this century – by FOURTY (40) points.
So when talking about pitchers performance lets just completely eliminate wins and losses. The wins & losses recorded by these Padres pitchers have had absolutely no relation with their performance on the mound. Those losses are the result of an unprecedented lack of hitting by the Padres team as a whole.

So from now on,

If you want to mention ERA – OK
If you want to mention WHIP – OK
If you want to mention FIP, xFIP, or tERA (my current favorite) – OK
If you want to mention BABIP, K/9, BB/9 and HR/9 – OK 
Just do not even bring up Wins & Losses.

2 thoughts on “Worst Stat Ever?

  1. I agree that W-L does not tell the whole story and can often be misleading. But I think you are taking it way too far in the other direction.

    It is not a coincidence that Christy Mathewson, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, and Greg Maddux all won 300 games.


  2. Hi there,

    I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy keeping up with your blog, Web Soul Surfer. I agree, the Padres aren't doing so well this season, especially during home games too!

    I’d also like to ask you about advertising on your website. I work for a company called Autofusion, which handles internet marketing for several car dealers. We have a client that would be interested in advertising on your site so any information you can provide me would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again and I hope to hear from you soon.



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