Twins general manager Bill Smith, on Livan Hernandez, who improved to 10-6 with a 5.29 earned-run average with Saturday's victory over Texas: "I'll take the (10) wins. Who do you want, a guy who's 10-15 with a 2.80 ERA or a guy who's 16-8 with a 7.00 ERA? I'll take the 16-8."
Oh no Bill, not cool... I guess the saying goes 'I'd rather be lucky than good', but as a GM wouldn't you rather draft good, seeing as how it's a little bit more repeatable?
Let's put it this way. If I were to pitch in the major leagues, I'd understandably have a complete inability to get anyone out. I'd give up 96 runs in the first inning, and I'd only start people out when their arms were literally too tired to swing the bat. However, for the sake of this hypothesis, let's also say that my younger brother is toeing the rubber against me. He give up his 342 runs and then he starts walking people. The result is a thrilling 956-872 game, and I end up winning.
Now let's say that the very next day this happens. Scott Baker goes out and gives up 2 hits, one of which happens to be an unlucky home run. He loses because of his offense's innate disability to score runs behind him (this is actually the THIRD time he's lost 1-0 in this not-at-all-hypothetical-all-too-real world).
Who pitched a better game??
Exactly. Wins are overrated. A pitcher can pitch the game of his life, but unless the strikes out every single hitter, he's not in complete control of the outcome - and even then he still has to get some hitting behind him. Seeing how no one has ever done that, (not even Ron Necciai, though that one game was one of the greatest feats anyone has ever accomplished in sports), there has not been a single instance where a pitcher has won a game all by himself. A win is supposed to be a nice indicator of which pitcher pitched better on a given day, but it's a horribly flawed stat. I fear for the Twins, who seemingly have a GM who doesn't grasp that concept at all.
Coincidentally, Livan earns his own tag with this post. I'm kind of shocked he didn't already have one. His name has also been added to my computer's dictionary. Truly we live in harrowing times.