Wins and Losses Mean Nothing

By / March 1, 2009 / Uncategorized

Wins and losses. Of all stats, this is probably the most irrelevant one among pitchers. It is overrated. It does not give you the complete picture of a pitcher.

I have to laugh when people look at these wins-losses records as part of the criteria for a pitcher to make into the Hall of Fame. It does not do a pitcher justice.

A great example is Johan Santana.

He was wrongfully criticized by so many during the first half of the season by analysts and fans alike. Many said he was not “the ace of the staff” because of his wins and losses. Not only was this not true, it was unfair and unjustified.

Santana went 16-7 in 34 games. He pitched three complete games. His total ERA for the 2008 season was a 2.54 in over 234 logged innings.

Want more stats?

His WHIP was 1.148. Santana had struck out 206 batters. He walked 63 hitters.

What many failed to take into account was the bullpen and the offense. Both were culprits in Santana not hitting the 20-win game mark last season.

Take a look at his stats for June alone. In the entire month, he pitched in six games. He won one game and lost five. Of the five games he lost, only one was his fault, the game against the Anaheim Angels.

He lost that game 5-1. His ERA was 3.04. In six innings that he pitched he allowed four earned runs, eight hits, one home run, and allowed two walks.He struck out five.

Most teams would take that on their staff. Of course, it was not good enough for Mets fans and analysts.

In the game against the Seattle Mariners he only allowed one run, yet lost the game 5-2. He pitched seven innings and was only charged with one earned run. The other four runs came from the defense. He walked only two.

Yet, that is not good enough to be an ace, right?

Out of the five games, Santana lost three of those games by one run. The results were 1-2 against the Padres, 4-5 against the D-backs, 2-3 against the Yankees.

So who were the ones that lost those games? The offense because they could not score runs. I would criticize the bullpen, but Aaron Heilman was pretty solid in the month of June. It could’ve been the other relievers.

In each of those games, Santana’s ERA was as follows: 3.08 (Padres), 2.85 (D’backs), 3.04 (Angels), 2.93 (Mariners), 3.01 (Yankees).

Yet he is not an ace, right?

I was infuriated by how people talked about and treated Johan Santana last year. He did not deserve it. He pitched like the ace that he was called to be.

It is not his fault if the rest of the team did not do their job and supported him. He cannot field and hit in place of these guys. He cannot pitch 34 complete games.

He got the job done. The rest of the team did not. If you do not think Santana is an ace, I’m sure there are other teams that would love to have him and he would be treated as an ace…with respect.

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Ed Leyro

Okay, who are these people who don’t think Santana’s an ace? Lemme at ’em!

I loved this blog. I have a tender place in my heart for stats, so it was a joy to read this. For those people who think he’s not an ace, just look at how worried most fans are with his tight elbow right now. When John Maine went down late last year, there wasn’t this palpable tension as there is now with Santana. That’s what an ace does to you.


being the Ace isn’t (completely) about stats. The ace of the staff is the guy who goes out on what could be elimination day in September and throws a 2 hit, complete game shutout (not to tie it to stats) on a bum knee with superman’s cape tucked under his uniform.

you can’t expect anyone to be perfect (not in the perfect game sense either) every time out. and the bullpen blew his chance at the Cy Young award.

you want stats, go through the box scores from last year and see where the starting pitcher was when he threw his last pitch (Win, Loss, or Tied), and see what ended up in the record books when the day was done. (something I compiled last year when I noticed a trend that I can pull up if needed)

Tanya Mercado

I hate stats. I hate reading them and analyzing them. I agree with everything you said dyhrdmet. Can you email me what you compiled? Thanks.

It would be a miracle if Moyer repeated what he did last year. Then they brought in Chan Ho Park as a backup plan? How do you bring in a guy like that to pitch in a hitter’s park? He may as well pitch in Colorado.

But this isn’t about the Phillies holes. It’s about the Mets. Their pitching has cost them playoff spots in the past two years. I’m happy the ‘pen is fixed. The rotation needs some more work.


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