Anyone who still uses Wins and Losses as the end all and be all for determining a pitchers worth (I am looking at YOU, anyone who didn’t give Felix Hernandez the vote for the 2010 Cy Young) let me bring up three pitchers right now.
All have identical win and loss records.
One is A. J. Burnett, the wonderfully talented yet outrageously inconsistent pitcher for the Yankees. Some days he can be a completely dominating pitcher, but most times he gets derailed by a single bad inning and puts more pressure on the bullpen then necessary. Despite his wonderful ability and his crucial Game 2 victory in the 2009 World Series, not a soul on the planet thinks he can be an effective #2 starter for a pennant winner.
Another is John Lackey. Red Sox fans hated him when he was with the Angels. But they HAAAAAATTTTTEEEE him now as a member of the Boston starting rotation. He had a subpar 2010 with the Sox, the first year of his 5 season deal with the Sox. But this year, a series of grotesque outings and injuries had his ERA skyrocket into the 8’s by the middle of May and stayed in the 7’s as recently as the Fourth of July. On independence day, he got lit up in Boston by Toronto (the only baseball city under any British control, ironically.) 7 runs in less than 3 innings work will get the boo birds out. However, a three game winning streak has improved his record, but his ERA remains a horrific 6.28 and he is hardly a confidence building ace on the mound.
And finally, Tim Lincecum. The 27 year old ace for the Defending World Champs has already started compiling a Hall of Fame resume. He’s not there yet, but the two Cy Youngs and being a World Series hero certainly make for a fine first paragraph. While he isn’t the front runner for this year’s Cy Young Award, he still is putting up All Star worthy numbers. Second in the league in strikeouts, he is sporting a solid 2.90 ERA deep into the season. He is in the top 10 of innings pitched and lowest batting average against. With a little more offensive support, he’d have some more wins. His last outing he went 7 innings letting up a single run while striking out 7. He got the loss.
All three of these pitchers have a record of 8-8.
If you just glanced at the win loss record, you would assume they were all the same caliber pitcher having similar years.
Could you possibly equate these three pitchers?
Can you really say “so far this season, they are all doing about the same”?
If so, please comment below. I wonder if there will be a “non insane” response.