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.
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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.