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Good Pitchers vs. Bad Pitchers


Falconsfan567
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In the last 2 games we have seen the difference between a good pitcher (Tommy Hanson) and a bad pitcher (Kenshin Kawakami).

The Good - Carlos Pena leads off the 2nd inning with a bunt single and makes it to 2nd on an error by Chipper Jones. Tommy Hanson gets the next 3 guys out and leaves Pena at 2nd.

The Bad - In the 1st inning Carl Crawford reaches base because of an error by Yunel Escobar. Kawakami gives up a homerun to Longoria and manages to come un glued and give up 2 more runs and before the Braves can even bat they are in a 4-0 hole.

That right there is the subtle difference between good pitchers and bad. Good pitchers are able to limit the damage. Had Kawakami been a good pitcher he would have only given up the homerun to Longoria for 2 runs. He would have gotten the next 2 guys out without giving up any more runs. People can say all they want to that 2 of the runs were earned and the other 3 were unearned but it still adds up to 5 runs on the scoreboard.

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I do agree he sucks when it comes to damage control. Usually when he's got a couple of runners on and no outs, the game is pretty much over. Maybe he just over pitches or worries too much about getting an immediate out to get some confidence. You figure a vet like him would be used to those types of jams.

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And one of the biggest differences between good pitchers and bad pitchers?

Walks versus strikeouts.

One of the big misconceptions of strikeouts is that strikeout pitchers are "power pitchers". That's not the case. Maddux was a strikeout pitcher. Glavine was a strikeout pitcher. They were strikeout pitchers because when they absolutely had to strike someone out, they had pitches that allowed them to do that. For Maddux is was his cutter, for Glavine is was his change-up. Both had the ability to make a hitter swing and miss a ball when he had to.

When runners aren't on? They were more than content to pitch to contact and let hitters get themselves out. And neither of them allowed a lot of walks.

Right now, Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen are the guys on the Braves that I have the most confidence in. In time, both will learn how to control their pitch counts and go deeper into games, but what they have going for them is the ability to get a strikeout when they need it. Hanson has a 3-1 K/BB ratio, Medlen a 4-1 ratio.

Kawakami and Lowe right now do not have that ability. They don't have an "out pitch". I actually think KK is a better pitcher than Lowe right now, but it's just a matter of degree. Sometimes they'll have good games because hitters aren't being smart with them and get themselves out. But when they get runners on... I don't have confidence in them to limit the damage.

And I can already hear you say "but what about getting double plays?" Inducing a double play is a skill, but in the end you are relying on 1) the hitter making a mistake, 2) not making such a mistake that the ball is hit too softly to turn two and 3) the fielders behind you making a play. A lot of things have to go right on a double play. You have runners on and less than 2 outs? The safer play is to strike out the next guy, and the chances of getting out of the inning without damage triples.

So what about Hudson and Jurrjens? Hudson's splitter used to be his out pitch. I don't see him throwing that much anymore, likely because of concerns about his elbow. Because of that, his strikeouts are way down. Hudson is a smart veteran, but I worry that eventually that's going to catch up with him. As for Jurrjens, he has a lot of ways he can go. When he's healthy and on, he has a cutter that can be that out pitch, but I would feel better if he could cut his walks down. JJ had a very nice season last year, but his peripheral stats are a little troublesome. That indicates his results last season were better than his performance (see Kawakami this season for an example of the opposite).

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BTW, Tommy Hanson now has 35 starts in his big league career, around the typical workload of a starter over the course of one whole season. How has he faired in his "rookie season"?

3.08 ERA, 210 IP, 202/74 K/BB ratio, 1.198 WHIP.

Tommy Hanson is a good pitcher. Barring injury, there's no reason to think he can develop into a great pitcher.

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In the last 2 games we have seen the difference between a good pitcher (Tommy Hanson) and a bad pitcher (Kenshin Kawakami).

The Good - Carlos Pena leads off the 2nd inning with a bunt single and makes it to 2nd on an error by Chipper Jones. Tommy Hanson gets the next 3 guys out and leaves Pena at 2nd.

The Bad - In the 1st inning Carl Crawford reaches base because of an error by Yunel Escobar. Kawakami gives up a homerun to Longoria and manages to come un glued and give up 2 more runs and before the Braves can even bat they are in a 4-0 hole.

That right there is the subtle difference between good pitchers and bad. Good pitchers are able to limit the damage. Had Kawakami been a good pitcher he would have only given up the homerun to Longoria for 2 runs. He would have gotten the next 2 guys out without giving up any more runs. People can say all they want to that 2 of the runs were earned and the other 3 were unearned but it still adds up to 5 runs on the scoreboard.

so are you saying tommy hanson is a bad pitcher b/c he gave up 8 runs in 2/3 inning against cincinnati?

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BTW, Tommy Hanson now has 35 starts in his big league career, around the typical workload of a starter over the course of one whole season. How has he faired in his "rookie season"?

3.08 ERA, 210 IP, 202/74 K/BB ratio, 1.198 WHIP.

Tommy Hanson is a good pitcher. Barring injury, there's no reason to think he can develop into a great pitcher.

he is very close to being great however i don't think for reasons stated in the OP

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BTW, Tommy Hanson now has 35 starts in his big league career, around the typical workload of a starter over the course of one whole season. How has he faired in his "rookie season"?

3.08 ERA, 210 IP, 202/74 K/BB ratio, 1.198 WHIP.

Tommy Hanson is a good pitcher. Barring injury, there's no reason to think he can develop into a great pitcher.

If that turns out to be Hanson's career average season then him and the Braves will be in **** good shape.

so are you saying tommy hanson is a bad pitcher b/c he gave up 8 runs in 2/3 inning against cincinnati?

Tommy Hanson was sick and light headed in that game. You have to throw that game out the window.

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the OP is using an example from one inning. any pitcher can pitch out of trouble, have a 1-2-3 inning, or get blasted. what happens in one inning doesn't reflect on how good a pitcher is.

Ah, I see. Yes, I agree with you in this, a one-inning sample size is not helpful.

However, a one-inning example is useful if demonstrating a repeated pattern.

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Ah, I see. Yes, I agree with you in this, a one-inning sample size is not helpful.

However, a one-inning example is useful if demonstrating a repeated pattern.

is it really a repeated pattern thought? kk has given up 3 ers or less in 9 of 13 starts and 5 of his last 6. he has dropped his era about a run and a half over his last 6 starts. he also has a better ERA then many pitchers with 6+ wins.

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is it really a repeated pattern thought? kk has given up 3 ers or less in 9 of 13 starts and 5 of his last 6. he has dropped his era about a run and a half over his last 6 starts. he also has a better ERA then many pitchers with 6+ wins.

I don't know, as I haven't done the research.

What I have observed is that KK does have a tendency to give up big innings. I'd need to go back and look at box scores, by my impression is that he has a hard time when he gets runners on.

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I don't know, as I haven't done the research.

What I have observed is that KK does have a tendency to give up big innings. I'd need to go back and look at box scores, by my impression is that he has a hard time when he gets runners on.

KK seems to struggle a lot in the first inning. don't get me wrong, im not saying he is cy young incarnate, i am just saying he isn't as bad as people are making him out to be.

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Ah, I see. Yes, I agree with you in this, a one-inning sample size is not helpful.

However, a one-inning example is useful if demonstrating a repeated pattern.

Exactly my point. Lowe and KK turn 1 or 2 innings into 4 or 5 run innings. It takes a lot of confidence out of the offense when you are down 4-0 before you even come up to bat. People get on the offense for not giving KK run support but it's a lot of his fault for not getting any run support. Let's go back to Tuesday's game. The offense is down 4-0 before we bat. While not an impossible comeback by any means it is when we score to cut it to 4-1 and then KK turns around and gives that run right back to make it 5-1. He does that a lot to0 and that takes even more confidence away from the offense.

Braves starters have given up 13 unearned runs this year. KK has given up 6 of those. Hudson 1, Hanson 1, Medlen 1, Lowe 2 and Jurrjens 2. That's another example of good pitchers vs. bad pitchers.

People want to talk about KK having had 6 quality starts. 3 runs in 6 innings is not a good game IMO. 2 runs in 6 innings or 3 runs in 7 or more innings is a good start IMO. How many of those games has KK had? Only 3. How many has Lowe had? 6.

Again Lowe beats KK in another stat. How many starts of 7 innings or more has KK had? 0. How many has Lowe had? 4.

But the most important stat is the team's win/loss record when he pitches. Braves are only 3-10 when KK pitches. Meaning they are 36-18 when everyone else pitches. That may not be all KK's fault but it is what it is.

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Exactly my point. Lowe and KK turn 1 or 2 innings into 4 or 5 run innings. It takes a lot of confidence out of the offense when you are down 4-0 before you even come up to bat. People get on the offense for not giving KK run support but it's a lot of his fault for not getting any run support. Let's go back to Tuesday's game. The offense is down 4-0 before we bat. While not an impossible comeback by any means it is when we score to cut it to 4-1 and then KK turns around and gives that run right back to make it 5-1. He does that a lot to0 and that takes even more confidence away from the offense.

Braves starters have given up 13 unearned runs this year. KK has given up 6 of those. Hudson 1, Hanson 1, Medlen 1, Lowe 2 and Jurrjens 2. That's another example of good pitchers vs. bad pitchers.

People want to talk about KK having had 6 quality starts. 3 runs in 6 innings is not a good game IMO. 2 runs in 6 innings or 3 runs in 7 or more innings is a good start IMO. How many of those games has KK had? Only 3. How many has Lowe had? 6.

Again Lowe beats KK in another stat. How many starts of 7 innings or more has KK had? 0. How many has Lowe had? 4.

But the most important stat is the team's win/loss record when he pitches. Braves are only 3-10 when KK pitches. Meaning they are 36-18 when everyone else pitches. That may not be all KK's fault but it is what it is.

That is an excellent point. The current quality start stat is garbage. A quality start should be defined as a Starting Pitcher going 7 innings while giving up 3 or less ERs. This gives the bullpen a chance to use just two RP (a set-up man and closer/9th inning guy) while turning it over to an offense who should be able to average at least 3-4 Runs per game. 6 innings with 2 or less runs is an alternative, but a good starting pitcher should be able to go 7 innings most nights.

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That is an excellent point. The current quality start stat is garbage. A quality start should be defined as a Starting Pitcher going 7 innings while giving up 3 or less ERs. This gives the bullpen a chance to use just two RP (a set-up man and closer/9th inning guy) while turning it over to an offense who should be able to average at least 3-4 Runs per game. 6 innings with 2 or less runs is an alternative, but a good starting pitcher should be able to go 7 innings most nights.

Yep. And Don Sutton agrees because that's where I got it from. The current quality stat equals a 4.50 ERA and 4.50 is NOT a good ERA. Sutton said and I agree anything over 4 is not good.

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