Monday, December 28, 2009

Hasta la vista, Gascan Howry

The Arizona Republic is reporting that Bobby Howry has signed a deal with the Dbacks. That's just fine with me. I never liked him and now, he's someone else's problem. He had a knack for blowing big games while in the Orange and Black. He was OK if the game wasn't on the line, but he folded up like a card table and choked away at least 8 games this season, including three that ended in walkoff homers. As the season went on, Bochy became less and less likely to use him in pressure situations. Here are some of the more painful games Howry gave away this year while "earning" $2.75 million --

Sept. 12 -- combined with Valdez to give up five runs in the 7th against the Dodgers in a must-win game.

Aug. 20 -- gives up walkoff homer to the Reds.

July 21 -- helps convert a 3-3 game to an 11-3 loss.

July 17 -- gives up walkoff homer to Pirates.

July 1 -- gives up walkoff homer to Cards.

June 2 -- gives up 5-4 lead to Nats in the 8th

April 28 -- converts a 3-3 tie to the Dodgers in the 9th into a 5-3 loss.

April 15 -- converts 4-2 Giants lead in LA in the 8th to 5-4 loss.

Sabean signed this guy despite his having a plus 5 ERA in 2008. What a dingbat.


Blogger Alan said...

Going by ERA alone, then Howry's 2009 season (3.39 ERA) was a smashing success compared to his 2008 season (5.35 ERA), therefore, Sabean should be praised for the signing. Heck, it was a success over his career 3.66 ERA. But a pitcher is not measured solely by ERA. His 3 game-winning homeruns allowed are pointed out too, however, he only allowed 5 all season in 63.2 innings (63 games) compared to 2008's 13 HRs in 70.2 innings - again, greatly improved - despite allowing more flyballs than previous. Most of Howry's 2009 pitching stats were an improvement over both 2008 and career numbers. The exception being his declined K/9 and increased BB/9. All in all Howry gave the Giants a solid, if unspectacular, season at a relatively low cost. I think we should be thanking Howry for his contribution rather than kicking him in the pants as he leaves.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

Alan -- thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful post. We are going to have to agree to disagree. Howry was flat out awful with games on the line. His ERA was decent largely because Bochy finally got it through his thick skull to only use him in low pressure situations.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Alan said... disagree. Although, I agree that his value in pressure situations does appear diminished. Let's take a look at the 5 games you listed above that were not decided by a single (mistake) pitch (home run):

Sept 11, 10-3 loss, 1 IP, 1R, 1ER: brought in after Valdez allowed 4 baserunners (3 hits, 1 walk) without recording an out. Howry essentially did not factor into the decision. Overall, the pitching staff was not effective or the opposing hitters were just too effective that day. Not sure Howry deserves the blame for this one.

July 20, 11-3 loss, 1 IP, 2R, 1 ER: brought in the 8th inning trailing 9-3. The 2 runs scored on him did not affect the outcome (1 run due to fielding error). Again, the whole staff was ineffective or the opposing hitters were "on" again. Not sure Howry deserves the blame for this one.

June 2, 10-6 loss, 0.1 IP, 3R, 3ER: 3 different pitchers responsible for 3 or more runs in this game, although Howry does carry more responsibility for the loss than the others. Valdez came in after to allow the game to get out of reach. Again, ineffective staff, effective opposing hitters.

April 28, 5-3 loss, 1 IP, 2R, 2ER: gave it up in the 9th due to 4 baserunners (3H and 1BB). This one is on Howry.

April 15, 5-4 loss, 1IP, 2R, 2ER: he deserves it here, however, it does appear that Wilson walked in the winning run (credited to Howry).

By my count 2 of the games were already out of hand when Howry was brought in and a 3rd game got out of hand after he left (though he did give up the lead and gets 0.5 of the loss blame [my opinion and not quantifiably assessable]). The remaining 2 games require Howry to take some quiet time in the corner to reflect upon what he had done.

So, of the 8 games listed in your post (including the 3 mistake pitch HR losses), Howry should receive about 5.5 blames to his credit.

(Blames is a new stat invented just now consisting the number of Blames per team loss. Use it at will)


2:37 PM  
Blogger Big D said...

Thanks again, Alan. Full disclosure -- I was at the April 15 game and was infuriated by Bochy's decision to stick with an obviously ineffective Howry until the game was lost to the Blew Crew. So I began dreading his arrival in games and I put a significant part of the blame on Howry for the Giants not making the postseason. Let's say the Giants had never signed him -- it's hard to believe another relief pitcher would have managed to give up 6 games as clearly.

I think your idea of "blames" is excellent, by the way

3:58 PM  

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