Saturday, January 24, 2009

Links: Mets on SI covers, Strikeouts and the "Curious Case of Forrest Gump"

Some links to check out while you wonder why the Mets let Dwight Gooden pitch 744.2 innings before he turned 22 years old:

1) Eric Simon at Amazin' Avenue presents part 1 of a visual history of Mets who made the cover of Sports Illustrated. Check out the cover featuring Ron Swoboda from 1968. He bears a slight resemblance to David Wright, from the side atleast.

2) The always insightful Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts writes about the stat "K/100", which is strikeouts per 100 pitches. Lederer says this is better than K/9 for measuring a starter's effectiveness, as it combines strikeout ability with pitch count maintenance. The average starter has lasted about 100 pitchers per start in recent years, so I think he's on to something here. In 2008, out of 142 pitchers that logged atleast 100 IP, Johan Santana was 18th with 5.73 K/100. Oliver Perez was 30th with 5.35 K/100 and Mike Pelfrey was 122nd with 3.31 K/100. Improve that strikeout rate Big Pelf.

3) At mlb.com, Matthew Leach writes about the changing perception of strikeouts for hitters. Leach writes:

"A player who strikes out 100 or more times can still be thought of as a winning player if he does the other things right: specifically, getting on base and hitting for power. For a hitter, the key question is: Did you make an out, or not? Above anything else, "statheads" rightly boil things down to that fundamental issue. Outs are bad. Any plate appearance that does not end in an out is good."

This concept is not anything new to informed baseball fans, but it's nice to see such a piece on mlb.com. Leach also discusses fielding independent pitching stats (such as FIP and tRA), which are better for predicting future performance and assessing a pitcher's value. Analysts on the MLB Network cited ERA+ recently, so maybe progress is being made on the advanced-statistics-as-mainstream front.

4) Unrelated to baseball, but check out this video from Funny or Die comparing "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" to "Forrest Gump." I haven't seen Button, but after watching the video it looks like I can save my $9.75 and just re-watch the DVD of Gump instead.

1 comment:

AndrewDeJo said...

I read that MLB.com piece the other day. I was surprised by it to tell you the truth. I thought it was going to be a slam piece by the way the use the term "statheads" The Picture that linked to the article was a pic of Adam Dunn whiffing out big time with a caption that basically said "Some 'statheads' think it doesn't matter if you strike out alot". ( I wish I can remember the exacting wording because it actually sounded a lot worse. I think the person who wrote the caption for the article did not actually write the article itself.) oh well... at least sabrmetrics are starting to get some more mainstream attention