2010 in Review: Team Pitching

Posts in this series:

Team Offense Team Pitching
Team Defense
Catcher First Base Second Base
Shortstop Third Base Designated Hitter
Left Field Center Field Right Field
Starting Pitching Relief Pitching

 

Moving on from the almost irredeemable hitting, now we come across an aspect of the club that actually did improve as the season wore on.

First, let's look at the overall numbers, then the starters and relievers separately.

 

Tm R/G ▴ ERA CG tmSHO cgSHO SV H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
OAK 3.86 3.58 7 17 3 38 1315 626 566 153 512 29 1070 38 8 42 116 1.276 8.3 1.0 3.2 6.7 2.09
TBR 4.01 3.78 6 12 3 51 1347 649 611 175 478 34 1189 46 9 60 104 1.255 8.3 1.1 3.0 7.4 2.49
MIN 4.14 3.95 9 13 3 40 1493 671 638 155 383 19 1048 47 4 41 105 1.291 9.2 1.0 2.4 6.5 2.74
TEX 4.24 3.93 7 8 0 46 1355 687 636 162 551 24 1181 63 4 56 110 1.310 8.4 1.0 3.4 7.3 2.14
NYY 4.28 4.06 3 8 0 39 1349 693 651 179 540 37 1154 62 6 69 106 1.310 8.4 1.1 3.4 7.2 2.14
SEA 4.31 3.95 11 10 2 38 1402 698 628 157 452 33 973 40 11 73 100 1.289 8.8 1.0 2.8 6.1 2.15
LAA 4.33 4.04 10 9 3 39 1422 702 651 148 565 33 1130 46 6 80 101 1.371 8.8 0.9 3.5 7.0 2.00
CHW 4.35 4.09 6 11 2 43 1471 704 658 136 490 41 1149 34 9 59 107 1.356 9.2 0.8 3.0 7.1 2.34
LgAvg 4.42 4.14 7 41 1425 716 664 158 519 32 1096 52 6 60 101 1.346 8.9 1.0 3.2 6.8 2.11
TOR 4.49 4.23 5 11 2 45 1407 728 676 150 539 35 1184 60 3 69 99 1.351 8.8 0.9 3.4 7.4 2.20
BOS 4.59 4.20 3 9 1 44 1402 744 679 152 580 30 1207 53 3 58 104 1.361 8.7 0.9 3.6 7.5 2.08
DET 4.59 4.30 6 5 1 32 1445 743 690 142 537 29 1056 65 9 75 98 1.372 9.0 0.9 3.3 6.6 1.97
CLE 4.64 4.30 10 4 2 34 1477 752 684 147 572 36 967 66 3 54 90 1.430 9.3 0.9 3.6 6.1 1.69
BAL 4.85 4.59 3 7 0 35 1508 785 733 186 520 45 1007 59 5 45 93 1.412 9.4 1.2 3.3 6.3 1.94
KCR 5.22 4.97 7 3 1 44 1553 845 794 176 551 28 1035 47 7 55 85 1.465 9.7 1.1 3.5 6.5 1.88
4.42 4.14 93 568 19946 10027 9295 2218 7270 453 15350 726 87 836 101 1.346 8.9 1.0 3.2 6.8 2.11
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/6/2010.

Even though Runs/Game is considered a pitching statistic, team defense does contribute to it in a meaningful way. In the next segment I'll take a look at the team defense and what effect it had on the pitching staff.

Had the Indians given up this few Runs/Game last season, they would have bested the league average, but with this season's scoring environment, giving up 4.64 runs a game places them towards the bottom of the league.  These numbers may look good to eyes used to equating a team ERA of below 5.00 as decent, but 2010 was either a gigantic anomaly or the start of a major shift in style of play.

Here's how the Indians ranked in other major AL pitching categories:

 

Category
AL Rank
 ERA
t-11th
H Allowed
11th
R Allowed
12th
ER Allowed
11th
HR Allowed
3rd
BB Allowed
13th
SO (Inverse)
14th
WHIP
13th
H/9
12th
HR/9
6th
BB/9
t-13th
SO/9
t-13th
SO/BB
14th
ERA+ 13th
HBP 14th

 

The Indians didn't give up very many home runs, but they gave up just about everything else, including hits, walks, and even hit batters. The team ERA is a bit better because the defense committed errors at a high rate. But the major problem was the free pass.

Here's a couple tables showing how the pitching staff did by month:

 

Split H 2B 3B HR SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
April/March 185 29 4 17 1.19 .257 .347 .380 .726 .282 93 98
May 292 67 6 29 1.48 .303 .378 .475 .852 .335 125 132
June 248 49 6 17 1.67 .271 .338 .393 .731 .303 93 100
July 228 56 3 22 1.58 .251 .338 .393 .731 .287 93 100
August 282 59 4 34 1.62 .288 .356 .461 .817 .309 115 125
Sept/Oct 242 47 6 28 2.82 .240 .298 .382 .680 .280 79 91
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/6/2010.

 

Split ERA BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
April/March 4.16 93 111 1.445 5.2 1.19
May 5.47 108 160 1.664 6.0 1.48
June 4.42 89 149 1.391 5.5 1.67
July 3.89 109 172 1.414 6.5 1.58
August 4.57 94 152 1.516 5.5 1.62
Sept/Oct 3.35 79 223 1.182 7.4 2.82
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/6/2010.

 

The month of May really sticks out; opposing batters hit like Shin-Soo Choo that month; for the most of the rest of the season, they hit more like Jason Donald. The month of September looks really nice, but again, a lot of those games were against AAA lineups. The WHIP numbers were way too high almost across the board.

Let's look at home versus away splits:

 

Split R H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
Home 354 726 165 13 70 71 32 268 486 1.81 .258 .327 .401 .728 .289 92 106
Away 398 751 142 16 77 54 26 304 481 1.58 .280 .358 .431 .789 .313 108 111
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2010.


Split ERA SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
Home 3.84 18 741.0 726 354 316 70 268 486 1.341 5.9 1.81
Away 4.79 16 692.0 751 398 368 77 304 481 1.525 6.3 1.58
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2010.

The staff performed better at home, which isn't that surprising now that Jacobs/Progressive Field has morphed into a pitcher's park.

 

OK, let's separate the starters from the relievers:

 

Split SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
as Starter 1.62 .278 .346 .426 .773 .305 104 111
as Reliever 1.81 .251 .334 .394 .728 .291 92 104
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2010.
Split ERA IP WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
as Starter 4.53 948.2 1.456 5.5 1.62
as Reliever 3.83 484.1 1.379 7.1 1.81
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2010.

 

For the first time in several years, the bullpen was a productive part of the team, and kept a bad season from turning into a terrible one. The starting staff wasn't as bad as it I thought it would, thanks to comeback seasons from Fausto Carmona and nice contributions from guys like Mitch Talbot and Jeanmar Gomez, but compared to the rest of the league, it still has lot of catching up to do. Here's how the starting staff compared to its AL peers in selected stats:

 

Tm CG SHO QS QS% GmScA ▾ IP/GS Pit/GS <80 80-99 100-119 ≥120 Max
OAK 7 3 103 64% 54 6.1 97 15 68 77 2 122
TBR 6 3 95 59% 53 6.2 99 14 51 94 3 122
SEA 11 2 90 56% 52 6.3 97 12 74 73 3 128
LAA 10 3 93 57% 52 6.3 102 9 42 106 5 126
TOR 5 2 86 53% 51 5.9 96 17 74 70 1 137
TEX 7 0 76 47% 51 5.9 98 19 54 84 5 127
NYY 3 0 83 51% 51 6.0 97 24 55 80 3 123
MIN 9 3 86 53% 51 6.1 94 22 79 60 1 123
CHW 6 2 94 58% 51 6.2 99 11 58 88 4 129
BOS 3 1 89 55% 51 6.2 103 7 38 110 7 124
LgAvg 7 2 86 53% 50 6.1 98 15 60 83 4 10
DET 6 1 79 49% 50 6.0 100 14 59 74 15 127
CLE 10 2 74 46% 48 5.9 97 12 64 86 0 118
BAL 3 0 80 49% 48 5.8 97 18 59 84 1 120
KCR 7 1 71 44% 46 5.8 97 16 67 76 3 128
93 23 1199 53% 50 6.1 98 210 842 1162 53 137
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2010.

I chose to sort by average game score, since that takes into account both the length and effectiveness of each start. Not only were the starters towards the bottom when it came to ERA, they also didn't stay in the game very long, ranking towards the bottom of the league as far as IP/GS. Also, their Quality Start percentage ranked second-to-last in the league. Since the average pitch count per start was close to the league average, the staff just wasn't efficient with their pitches per out. Again, reducing walks and improving the infield defense would go a long way in improving their performance.

Here's how the Indians relievers did compared to other AL bullpens.

 

Tm Wgr Lgr SV% IS% ▾ aLI Runr Out/GR Pit/GR
KCR 21 27 68% 39% 1.010 139 3.4 19
SEA 15 29 69% 38% 1.024 94 3.5 19
LAA 18 19 70% 38% 1.032 89 3.2 19
DET 28 22 71% 38% .991 156 3.4 18
BAL 24 24 56% 32% 1.018 169 3.2 18
LgAvg 22 22 69% 31% 1.009 140 3.2 18
TOR 22 26 74% 31% 1.001 137 3.2 18
BOS 19 23 66% 30% 1.061 148 3.0 17
NYY 23 17 68% 29% .970 134 3.3 18
CHW 24 20 75% 29% 1.019 129 3.3 18
TEX 32 19 70% 28% 1.052 154 3.1 17
OAK 17 23 75% 27% .973 129 3.1 17
TBR 23 16 76% 27% .978 176 2.8 15
CLE 18 22 68% 26% 1.000 163 3.1 18
MIN 21 18 68% 24% .991 144 2.9 16
305 305 69% 31% 1.009 1961 3.2 18
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2010.

 

IS% stands for Inherited Score Percentage, or the percent of the time an inherited runner scores. The Indians were among the best in the AL in this category, saving the starters and other relievers hidden Earned Runs on their ledger.

 

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