Don Orsillo: [Zack Greinke] has allowed just one earned run over his last four starts, 29 innings pitched, a 0.31 ERA. Over the last five starts, he has gone 3-0 with a 0.73 earned run average. And he's only gotten 30 runs in 16 combined starts of losses [and no decisions], so if he'd gotten a little bit more run support, you're lookin' a five, six more wins for this guy --NESN then showed a graphic:
Sean Casey: Oh, he's runnin' away with the Cy Young, we're not even having a conversation about who the Cy Young award is if he was getting any run support. I mean, he's 14-8 right now, he could easily be 19-8, 20-8 ... 20-5, win some of those losses ...
1.6 Runs of Support in 8 LossesHow many times can an announcer say a pitcher's win-loss record is "not really indicative" of his actual performance before it dawns on that announcer that maybe a won-loss record is not the greatest barometer for measuring a pitcher's success?
This Season (13 Total Runs)
And how many times can he note that a pitcher threw seven innings of one-run ball and got a loss or allowed seven runs in six innings and got a win before he realizes, you know, W-L is stupid, why can't I use other acceptable ways to describe this pitcher's work?
The answer to those questions remains unknown, because even as announcers say "his record is not really indicative of how he has pitched" -- and Orsillo said those exact words last night about Greinke -- he still goes right back to using W-L as Exhibit A of a pitcher's worth.
I was talking back to the TV last night, trying to somehow nudge Orsillo and Casey along and get them to state a basic truth about W-L -- C'mon, take that next logical step, you can do it! Follow through! Say it! Say it! -- but they did not.
They had the same conversation two more times -- Casey again noting that Greinke would be "running away" with the award if his teammates had only scored more runs on the days he pitched -- when J.D. Drew batted in the second and when David Ortiz was up in the fourth.
Orsillo and Casey (and everyone else out there) are not saying "If he didn't have those four crappy starts, he'd be everyone's choice". In their discussion, Greinke's pitching performance for the entire year remains unchanged. So they are penalizing him -- saying his performance is not as good as it seems or perhaps not deserving of an award -- because of something he has absolutely no control over.
[Also posted at the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, of which I am a member.]