April 28, 2014

"Pay No Attention To A Pitcher's W-L Record", Starring Jon Lester

ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes explains why a pitcher's win-loss record is nearly meaningless. (I think the stat should be abolished, but that will likely never happen.)
Last April, through his first half-dozen starts, Lester was 4-0.

This April, through six starts, his record is 2-4.
Then he gives us some statistics:
2013: 6 starts, 3.11 ERA, 37.2 IP, 13 ER, 12 BB, 33 K
2014: 6 starts, 3.10 ERA, 40.2 IP, 14 ER,  8 BB, 43 K
You could make a decent case, based on his BB/K ratio, that Lester has pitched a bit better this season.

Then comes the vital information:
Runs scored by the Sox in Lester's first six starts in 2013: 42
Runs scored by the Sox in Lester's first six starts in 2014: 13
I can't control it. I don't get to hit. If I did, it would probably be worse. ... I can't control wins, I can't control losses, I can only control what I do those five days and the preparation I have in between pitches. That's all I can control. I'm going to keep chucking the ball and see what happens.
Also: The Great Yankee Stadium Ice Cream Riot of 2009