Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pitching wins are stupid

Today's Twins game is a perfect example of why the pitching win is stupid. Matt Capps got lucky today. He blew a save, but was fortunate enough to have the team score a run the inning following his mediocre outing, and he picked up the W.
Recently, Steve Berthiaume of ESPN wrote a piece about Kevin Correia of the Pirates who is currently 8-4. He touts Correia as some sort of genius because of the 8 wins. He lists all of his stats and ends by saying at the end that he is good because he wins games. Well, no. He pitches in games the team wins.
There is a lot of commentary about how the win is the most important stat in the game of baseball, and it's impossible to argue against that. The problem is that the win is attributed to one person on the team, when it is really a team statistic. In order to win the game, the team needs to score more runs than the opposition. The pitcher doesn't score those runs. Even if he holds an opposing offense scoreless, it is still on his offense to score the runs. This is the problem with pitching wins. It is not reflective on the pitcher, because there is now causality on his part, it is simply a thing that happens while he is on the mound.
This is to take nothing away from Correia. He has limited his home runs and is limiting his walks, and is in fact having a solid season, especially for a team that has needed a stabilizing fixture on their rotation for years. I just wonder if this is a reluctance Berthiaume's part to give credit to the Pirate's organization. They have done an excellent job adding young talent, which has improved both the offense and defense of the team. Where is the praise for Andrew McCutchen or Neil Walker?
Berthiaume said several times in his article that Kevin Correia wins games. I say the Pirates win games. Correia just gives them the chance.

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