Arbitrary Randomness
Thursday, May 29, 2003
 
Don't get me wrong, 300 wins for a pitcher is quite an accomplishment, but I think I have blogged on this topic before. The statistic of wins for a pitcher has got to be the most overrated stat. I just don't understand the relavence. First of all, it is a team sport. The TEAM gets the win, not any one player. Second of all, the win or loss given to a pitcher is dependent on how his team bats, not just the pitching/defense, and in the American League, the pitchers aren't even a part of the batting. Pitcher A could pitch 9 innings, giving up just one hit, which happened to be a home run. Unfortunately, his team does not score any runs. He gets a loss. Pitcher B could pitch 6 innings, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits, but since his team scored more runs, he can get the win. Most people would argue that Pitcher A is better than Pitcher B, but when looking at their records, Pitcher A is 0-1, and Pitcher B is 1-0.

I can see that the win/loss record can give you a rough estimate of how his team does when he pitches, but does it tell you anything about the pitcher's ability more than if you just looked at ERA, Walks, K, etc.? Telling me a pitcher's record doesn't tell me anything about his ability.
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