With a mere two days left in the regular season, here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:
The Mets have struggled to play MLB-average baseball in many ways, including two that starting pitchers have little control over but help determine their won-loss record: hitting and relieving. Starters need to leave the game with their team in the lead, which means they need their teammates to score runs. Yet the Mets have averaged 4.08 runs per game, 0.16 runs lower than the NL average. Starters also need relievers to protect their leads or to keep the game close when they’ve left so the team’s hitters can stage a comeback. But the Mets bullpen has an ERA of 4.71, the highest in baseball, and has given up a whopping 5.18 runs per nine innings. . . .
But Mets batters and relievers stepped up their play for their ace this year in a way they didn’t for his rotation mates. The batters have scored 4.8 runs per 27 outs while Dickey was in the game and 4.8 runs per 27 outs throughout his games, including after he’d left the game but left a lead to protect. That’s about double the rate of scoring the Mets lineup has provided for Matt Harvey in his 10 starts for the team this year. His record is 3–5 despite a 2.73 ERA, nearly as good as Dickey’s. Dickey ranks in the top 25% in the majors for run support — not bad for a pitcher on a team with below-average offense.
The Mets bullpen also has summoned its best work for Dickey games. While relievers made Dickey’s last two wins extra-exciting by yielding ninth-inning home runs, he still won both games. In his 15 wins that weren’t complete games, Mets relievers gave up just 2.6 runs per nine innings, half their season rate. Eight times in Dickey wins they yielded no runs and just once, in win No. 20 on Thursday, did they give up more than a run.
You may have heard that the AL MVP is between a player who may win the Triple Crown and a player who most (if not all) of the stathead-friendly sites say is the best player in the league this year. There have been a number of articles being written by veteran writers about how stupid WAR is–complaining it’s incomprehensible, stupid, meaningless, dumb, formulas are different, etc. etc. . . .
Now I’m painting the baseball media with a broad brush, but each of these types of articles gets my hackles up. I’m a fellow card-carrying-member of the BBWAA and one would think that I would be afforded some professional courtesy before having a stat we produce being berated in print.
Not a single member of the print media, the broadcast media or radio has reached out to me to learn more about WAR since this MVP controversy has erupted. Not one. . . .
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!