Thursday, May 15, 2008

Streaky Sox

I am not enjoying this streaky version of the Red Sox. Two nights ago Josh Beckett failed again to put the skids on a Boston losing streak. And last night they couldn't hold a lead against the Orioles for the second game in a row.

Fortunately the road trip is over. Tomorrow they will be back in Fenway to face... the Brewers? I just find it odd that they play Milwaukee on Friday when the bulk of their interleague schedule doesn't start for another month. I will rant more about interleague play when the time is right.

Matsuzaka will get the start and attempt to put the breaks on the four game losing streak. He will face Jeff Suppan, most famous to Sox fans for his base running gaffe in the 2004 World Series. When I look at the stats and then I watch Dice-K and Beckett pitch something doesn't make sense to me. Dice-K is 6-0 with an ERA of 2.45. Beckett is 4-3 with an ERA of 4.21. Matsuzaka seems to walk every other batter he faces, and he's walked 30 this season to Beckett's 10. Most of the time, Beckett appears to be the superior pitcher, but the stats tell a different story. In this case, the stats and my eyes disagree with one another. I'm not sure what that means yet.


Dennis said...

It means you are looking at the wrong stats. wins and losses are not useful when looking at individual pitchers effectiveness. If you look at WHIP, you will see that Beckett (1.11) is superior to the rest of the staff. he is 5th in the AL in WHIP, while Dice-K is 19th. OBA is also a good one. Batting average against is also helpful, although can be misleading. Matsuzaka's is absurdly low (.170), but that is because he walks so many hitters.
The stat that quantifies your point is K/BB ratio. Beckett's is nearly 5 to 1, which is 3rd in the AL, while Matsuzaka's is 1.33 to 1, which is 41st in the AL.

Dan said...

I guess what I was trying to say is, how can Dice-K walk so many and have a lower ERA and better W-L than Beckett? I suppose these things will even out in the end. I don't believe that Dice-K can continue to work as hard as he has to work to get outs and still win games at his current rate. All of the pitches he's throwing will catch up to him.

Joey said...

I hope I am wrong, but Dice-K looks like 2005 Matt Clement. Clement was 10-2 at the break, but had 35 walks. He tired in the second half and was less than effective, finishing the season 13-6 with a 4.57 ERA. Dice-K has good stuff and just needs to locate the fastball and throw strikes with his other pitches.

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Dennis said...

I think Clement fell apart because he got smacked in the face with a line drive, and he has never been the same.

And ERA is another misleading stat, because it doesn't tell you how the innings break down. If Dice-K only allows 2 runs but has to leave after 5 innings because he has thrown 110 pitches, that is a less useful start than Beckett allowing 3 runs in 7 innings, even though that leaves Beckett with a higher ERA.