Sunday, July 6, 2008

Winning Isn't Everything

The win is one of the worst ways to measure a pitcher's effectiveness.

Case in point: Livan Hernandez is, by nearly every metric available, the worst starting pitcher on the Twins' staff (5.18 ERA, on pace to give up over 300 hits, and a mind numbing 3+ strikeouts per 9 innings), but because he's 9-5, he's considered to be the 'ace' of the staff. Dick and Bert, however, aren't satisfied to give him credit for his ridiculous luck, they're happy to attribute everyone else's (much better) pitching to his 'veteran presence' and even when he gives up 7 runs in 4 innings, he's "showing the other pitchers" how to grind through lousy starts (he certainly has the practice). If the Twins were able to make a trade and get a low level third string A-ball catcher who rolls the ball back to the pitcher, I would happily take it.
By contrast, Johan Santana is 7-7 this year, and while I seriously doubt/hope that no one would call Livan Hernandez a better pitcher than Johan Santana, I did overhear some true baseball genius saying just the other day how losing Santana didn't hurt the Twins, because they've got Livan, and he's got 9 wins, whereas Johan only has a 7-7 record. He's not as brutally dominant as he was in his 04-06, and his strikeout rates down a touch, but he's still one of the best pitchers in major league baseball, and to see him in the same paragraph as Livan irks me a bit.

It's this line of reasoning that's keeping Bert Blyleven out of the Hall of Fame, and it's unacceptable and ridiculous.

1 comment:

  1. I told you Livan was amazing. 300 hits would be a great accomplishment, especially if he won 20 games!!