My spirit has been bruised, but not 'Lima Timed'. I will take your constructive criticism on the much maligned new site design that has been scratched and constructively throw it out the window. The site design has gone back to the drawing board with less white as the goal. Personally I found the white soothing like a babbling brook, but to each his own. Back to business....
We often hear the terms lucky and unlucky when describing some baseball player's performances. Some people do not want to hear much of that and others believe to a certain extent there is luck involved. In terms of batting, it was Willie Keeler who said “I keep my eyes clear and I hit 'em where they ain't". Well, when you don't hit 'em where they ain't, that is termed unlucky. That has been something said about Cliff Floyd this season because he has been hitting the ball hard, but just at people.
In terms of pitchers, we can look at another Met in Heath Bell. His 2004 performance got a lot of fans giddy when he put up a 3.33 ERA at the end of the year and struck out a batter per inning. In 2005, he put up a high 5.59 ERA, but kept the ball in the park, struck out almost a batter per inning, and exhibited good control. The term unlucky was tossed around with him a lot because he had a high BIPA and the thought process is that eventually the BIPA would regress towards the league average.
Right or wrong, unlucky and lucky are used a lot in baseball. It is possible some people just suck, but when you factor in other things, it really looks like bad luck or good luck sometimes does exist. Now that I've wasted a lot of your time on stuff you already knew, on to the real point of the post.
A pitcher's ERA, independent of the defense behind him. This formula, based on essays by Voros McCracken, assumes that all pitchers have consistent BIPA (See Above), and adjusts accordingly.
I did not use the regular DIPS as I did not account for park factor, but I used the quick and dirty DIPS which does give a close result and gets the idea across. As for Heath Bell, his 2005 ERA was 5.59 and his 2005 dirty DIPS era was 3.13. Basically, he pitched a lot better than he his stats show according to Voros McCracken and since McCracken is a lot smarter than me, I tend to believe him. More on DIPS...
* There are several possible outcomes for any pitched ball.
o Walk/Hit Batsman
o Ball put into play resulting in Home Run
o Ball put into play resulting in an out
o Ball put into play resulting in a single, double or triple
* The pitcher has direct control over the first three, and there is a strong correlation between the players who lead these statistics from year to year. Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood, Billy Wagner
* The last two are affected by the defense and can be summarized by Batting Average on Balls in Play (BAbip).
* Voros McCracken found that BAbip is only weakly tied to the pitcher, and there is very little consistency in who leads this statistic from year to year. It is primarily the result of defense and luck.
* You can compute a defense-independent ERA (dERA) based on the first three factors and this is a better predictor of next year's ERA than the current year's ERA is.
Now, let's take a look at the Mets pitchers this year and see who has been lucky and unlucky according to DIPS.
DIPS ERA Actual ERAIt was pretty much on mark for what I thought it would be with the exception of Steve Trachsel and Tom Glavine. I knew Wagner's ERA was low for his performance and he got a bit 'lucky', I knew that Bannister was a bit 'lucky' as well, but Trachsel was surprising. Glavine and Pedro seem a bit high, but homers are heavily weighted and Pedro has given up six and Glavine had given up four while Trachsel has given up two. Now this of course is a small sample size so that has to be taken into account. For example, at this point in the season, a lot of homers can skew such a small sample size and a inordinate amount of strikeouts in limited work could skew the numbers. Nonetheless, it is interesting to get a temperature check of who is doing what.
Pedro Martinez 3.58 2.89
Steve Trachsel 3.87 4.96
Brian Bannister 4.99 2.89
Victor Zambrano 6.11 6.75
Tom Glavine 3.50 2.19
Aaron Heilman 2.49 1.96
Billy Wagner 4.65 2.39
Duaner Sanchez 2.60 0.41
Jorge Julio 3.84 4.28
Pedro Feliciano 2.34 0.93
Darren Oliver 2.23 3.86
Brian Bannister is going to throw in a simulated game tomorrow, according to manager Willie Randolph.
The rookie right-hander, who's on the DL with a strained right hamstring, has not pitched since April 26. He is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow but will not. Bannister has been rehabbing in Port St. Lucie.
If he throws in a simulated game tomorrow and everything goes well, figure him on missing two more big league starts with an eye on returning after the Yankee series.
Of course, the biggest knock against Rodriguez among fans is that he seemingly doesn't deliver in the clutch. He thinks the math is pretty simple.
"I come through all the time," he said. "I don't think anyone can drive in 130 runs and not come through. I think that's impossible, mathematically."
Yes, all the time. Especially in March though.
Just for shits and giggles, let's look at out clutch he is.
In 2006, he has a .270/.417/.514 line with runners in scoring position, a .235/.435/.412 line with runners on and two outs, and a .167/.333/.167 line in situations deemed close and late.
From 2003 to 2005, he has a .273/.381/.482 line with runners in scoring position, a .270/.392/.495 line with runners on and two outs, and a .276/.392/.553 line in situations deemed close and late.
So, in 2006 you are only reinforcing your Mr. March nickname. From 2003 to 2005, you have done well, but nothing spectacular.
The verdict? Not clutch....except in months that start with an 'm' and end with an 'h'.
Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, Pedro Martinez, Xavier Nady and David Wright should have the lumber.
"If I get some hits that day, I might use it for a while," said Wright, who frequently gets ribbing from teammates for wearing a pink Polo shirt.
In other Mother's Day related news...
A man who was denied a red nylon tote bag during a Mother's Day promotion at an Angels baseball game has filed a sex and age discrimination lawsuit against the team.
The class action claim filed by Michael Cohn, a Los Angeles psychologist, alleges that thousands of males and fans under age 18 are entitled to $4,000 in damages each because they were treated unequally at last May's promotion. Women over 18 received the gifts.
Bell, who still figures he may be traded before the July 31 deadline, said he wasn't disgruntled at Norfolk, but acknowledged: "I didn't think I was going to get the call at all."
Probably for the best.
After being examined by doctors Tuesday in New York City, Owens said he was diagnosed with a very small tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The injury is not believed to be serious, and Owens began playing catch before Wednesday's game. There is no timetable for his return.
"It's just been frustrating," Owens said after Tuesday's game. "To be a competitive person and show up at the stadium every day and not be able to pitch, it's tough."
Anytime something inside your body tears, consider it serious.