December 9, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
And here's the full roster.
THT's latest e-bookThird Base: The Crossroads is THT's new e-book, available for $3.99 from the Kindle store. The good news is that anyone can read a Kindle book, even on a PC. So enjoy the best from THT in a new format.
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Friday, June 04, 2004
Wichita State sophomore ace Mike Pelfrey pitched a gem today in the first game of the NCAA Regionals, beating Missouri 3-0. He pitched 8.2 shutout innings, struck out 14, and allowed just 4 hits.
The win runs Pelfrey's 2004 record to 11-2, with a 2.18 ERA, 125 strikeouts, and 24 walks in 115.1 innings.
Postscript: Pelfrey threw 128 pitches today, but I'm not really worried about that. Why? Well, I'm told he was in a groove, with no laboring or anything. I think there's a clear difference between 128 pitches in 8.2 phenomenal innings and 124 pitches in 6+ laborious innings (which is what Pelfrey threw a couple starts ago).
It's also interesting to note that Tommy Hottovy pitched the last 1/3 inning of the game. Apparently pitching coach Brent Kemnitz said going into the ninth that he'd pull Pelfrey if he allowed a baserunner. When he did, Hottovy (a senior) took the mound and finished things off. Hottovy has been a lights-out reliever all year, but was pressed into the rotation in the last month and has been excellent.
A big question head coach Gene Stephenson is facing is, do you start Hottovy tomorrow against Arkansas after he pitched (briefly) today, or go with freshman Kris Johnson (5-0, 2.02 ERA, 53 SO in 58 innings)? I'd go with Johnson, and save Hottovy for a must-win situation on Sunday.
Aaron mentioned in his last post that Prior's first start was today. Let's just say that things went very well for Prior, who only allowed two hits and no walks in six innings. He struck out eight in 85 pitches, and was perfect against the first thirteen batters he faced. Mark's fastball was between 93-95, and his curveball was equivalent to the 2003 version.
With all that being said, things aren't going too well for the Cubs. Moises Alou had to throw Rob Mackowiak out at the plate to save a run in the fifth, and the Cubs have left too many runners in scoring position. While watching this game, I kept wondering why Rey Ordonez is on a Major League baseball, not to mention a contender. Ordonez has made an error, failed to bunt a runner to third, and flown out to left with a man on second through six innings.
Tike Redman saved a would-be double with a diving play in the fifth, and Josh Fogg has matched Prior with six scoreless frames. Prior will stay 0-0, 0.00 ERA for another day.
Mark Prior is making his 2004 debut in about 20 minutes and the game is on WGN. Nothing better than a little Friday afternoon baseball with one of the best pitchers in baseball showing us if he's ready to return from injury or not. My prediction: 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 SO. I'll be watching ...
The American League and National League stats have been updated for all players. Win Shares will be updated this weekend.
We track ERA and FIP for each pitcher, and it's insightful to calculate the difference between the two. There are a number of things that can cause ERA and FIP to vary: the pitcher may give up more or less line drives than average, he may pitch better or worse with runners on, he may have good or bad fielders behind him, the bullpen may be making an impact, or it may all be due to Lady Luck.
In other words, draw no conclusions, but take a closer look. Here are the ten pitchers with the best variances of ERA vs. FIP (ERA is lower).
Player Team IP VAR Waechter D. TBD 49 3.06 Ramirez H. ATL 59 2.88 Leiter A. NYM 44 2.75 Ishii K. LAD 59 1.97 Moyer J. SEA 71 1.92 Morris M. STL 77 1.86 Wolf R. PHI 65 1.82 Carpenter C. STL 65 1.68 Suppan J. STL 61 1.68 Trachsel S. NYM 67 1.50And here are the ten pitchers for whom ERA is higher than FIP.
Anderson B. KC 61 -1.18 Sparks S. ARI 59 -1.44 Mitre S. CHC 47 -1.59 Dessens E. ARI 45 -1.64 Meche G. SEA 43 -1.81 Ponson S. BAL 74 -1.90 Lowe D. BOS 51 -2.00 Vogelsong R PIT 49 -2.00 Obermueller MIL 41 -2.03 Elarton S. COL 41 -3.74
Following in the footsteps of Craig Burley, I've developed a beta-version of college pitcher rankings. More details are to be found at Batter's Box, as well as a list of top 50 starters and top 20 Relievers in 2004. Our co-editor Matthew Namee will be pleased to see Wichita State hurler Tommy Hottovy topping the reliever charts.