Monday, June 2, 2014

MLB Pitching: The Yowzah-Yuck Ratio

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Mark Buehrle has been the Mr. Automatic among MLB starting pitchers during the season’s first two months. The well-traveled lefty became the majors’ first 10-game winner Sunday, the 11th Blue Jay victory in his dozen 2014 starts.


The flip-side of that coin has been the season of Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy, who has been on the wrong end of eight out of nine decisions, with the Diamondbacks dropping 10 of his 12 starts.


Through close of business for May, 828 of the regular season’s 2430 games have been completed (one is still pending), just over a third of the season. Of the pitchers on pace to compile 20 or more starts, eleven (including Buerhle) have set the stage for a team win in at least 75 percent of their outings. On the other hand, nine hurlers on that pace (McCarthy among them) take the bump in what will become a loss at a 75 percent rate of frequency.


10 – 1 [.909]
Mark Buerhle (Tor.)

9 – 2 [.818]
Scott Kazmir (Oak.); Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

8 – 2 [.800]
Phil Hughes (Minn.); Rick Porcello (Det.)

7 – 2 [.778]
Tim Hudson (SF); Yu Darvish (Tex.)

9 – 3 [.750]
Julio Teheran (Atl.); Chris Tillman (Balt.); Adam Wainwright (St. L.)

6 – 2 [.750]
Andre Rienzo (Chi. W)


0 – 7 [.000]
Hector Santiago (LAA)

1 – 6 [.143]
Cole Hamels (Phil.)

2 – 10 [.167]
Brandon McCarthy (Ariz.)

2 – 9 [.182]
Ubaldo Jimenez (Balt.); Jeff Samardzija (Chi. C)

2 – 7 [.222]
Brett Oberholtzer (Hou.); Robbie Ross (Tex.)

2 – 6 [.250]
Dustin McGowan (Tor.); Drew Smyly (Det.)

Bullpen Power

One final Yowzah needs to be directed towards the San Francisco Giants’ relief specialists. The Bay Area Back-ups have posted a stout 15-5 record, nine of those victories coming in games started by old hands Tim Lincecum and Mark Vogelsong.

The Giants’ 15 bullpen wins ranks second to the Pittsburgh Pirate ‘Pen, which accounts for 16 of the squad’s 25 triumphs. The Brewers, Phillies, Marlins and White Sox place third with 12 non-starter winning decisions.

The most Yuck-worthy relief performance (3-12) to date has been delivered by the Cubs. The Dodgers’ 4-13 relief record has ravished the splendid (26-14) work that’s been submitted by their starting staff.

St. Louis and Cincinnati relievers also have posted but four victories apiece, Houston and Seattle a mere five.

The Pirate’s 23 bullpen decisions lead the majors, with Tampa Bay one behind. San Diego’s 12 relief decisions are the fewest, followed by the Tigers, Reds and Astros at 13.

Overall this season, relief pitchers have accounted for 526 of the 1656 decisions (31.8%) for a 267-259 record.