Monday, October 25, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen -- your East Coast bias

No doubt that the Giants will be perceived as the underdog in the World Series, thanks to inept reporting like this. A New York Times blogger named Dan Rosenheck, who should know better, writes a column that says the Giants pitching isn't really that good. Only problem -- he completely ignores the recent evidence of a September stretch run when the Orange and Black pitching had to win just about every game.

Fortunately, John Perricone at Only Baseball Matters, points out that Rosenheck is full of hot air. Here's the key verbiage -- Over a span of 26 games, –during which they had to win every game– all the Giants pitching staff did was roll out a 1.78 ERA, throw 5 shutouts, allow 46 earned runs in 232 innings, pile up 234 strikeouts, allow just 58 walks, and hold the opposition to a Neifi Perez-like .181/.241/.283/ .524 OPS line, with just 15 home runs, and post a team-wide .90 WHIP, 4.02 K/BB and 9.06 K/9IP.

Just for the record, St Louis posted a 2.46 ERA in September of 2001, the only team in baseball over the last ten years to be within one run of matching what the Giants did.

I was gonna do a side by side with Texas, but, really, there is no point. That is, in fact, an historically great run of pitching, and I challenge Dan Rosenheck to come up with a team that has had a run like that in the last twenty years.

By the by, during the postseason, the Giants numbers have regressed, just a bit.

So far, in 91 innings, the Giants have a 2.47 ERA, with 102 strikeouts, 28 walks, and 2 more shutouts. They’ve allowed 25 earned runs, and a .199/274/.297 .571 OPS line. They’re K/BB has dropped to 3.31, while their strikeouts per 9 has increased to 10.46. Their team-wide WHIP is 1.02.


Anonymous Dan Rosenheck said...

Since when did everything that ever happened before 9/1/2010 lose all relevance? It's not like Sabean went and reincarnated Walter Johnson and Lefty Grove. These are still the same pitchers, and there's no statistically valid reason to weight their Septembers significantly more than any other month. Also, the staff-wide numbers aren't the right comparison, since I limited my commentary to Cain, Sánchez, and Bumgarner.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

Thanks for taking the time to write, Dan, but we are going to have to agree to disagree. To not mention anything about the September performance -- when that could be a strong indicator of postseason performance -- is just plain sloppy reporting.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Dan Rosenheck said...

I'm more than happy to get into a debate. Indeed, as you write, "the September performance...could be a strong indicator of postseason performance." Of course, so could the August performance, which took place just 30 days before, when the Giants' staff ERA was 4.55. How would you have responded if I had written on September 1 that San Francisco had no shot to make the playoffs because their pitchers had a bad August? (That, in fact, would indeed have been "sloppy reporting").

Could you please explain why you think that this particular 29-game sample has any more predictive power than any other one?

10:50 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

You are just being stubborn.

If you don't want to admit that the most recent 29 games have more predictive power than games during the rest of the year, you're showing that you don't really have much insight into how players change their approaches during the season. You're insisting on clinging to the notion that games in April should be given as much weight as those in September.

Don't try and shift the discussion to what you might have hypothetically written on September 1. You just don't want to admit that you did a slapdash sloppy job on this.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Big D said...

...and since you seem to feel compelled to mention the comparatively lousy August performance by Giants' starters, why didn't mention that in the article and then compare it with the July and September performances? That would have been many times more interesting and insightful than what you posted.

Frankly, since fans who track Giants performance are well aware of how well the starters performed during September, your attempt to ignore that and your subsequent responses strike me as being condescending and misinformed.

10:53 PM  

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