Josh Beckett’s Colorful 2009 Season

Hi there. Here’s a visual portrait (both figuratively and literally) of Josh Beckett’s 2009 season. Sort of a blend of pop art and the baseball box score.

Some notes (for those curious):

First, I’m using red to indicate a quality start (min 6 IP, 3 ER or less). Sometimes I wonder about the notion of a “quality start,” though. I think I’m more impressed by an 8 inning 4 ER start than a 6 inning 3 ER start. Second, for partial innings completed I rounded down (just to keep the graphic simple).

image

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Comments

  1. kds said...

    How about using a whole palette of colors, tied to Bill James’ Game Scores?  Then you could use size, shape, etc., to show other things; e.g., IP, Wins, Innings, Runs, etc.

  2. David said...

    I really enjoy your visuals, great creative work here. Out of curiosity, how long did it take to create this one in particular?

  3. King Kaufman said...

    My definition of a quality start is at least 5 innings with an ERA of 4.50 or below. 8 innings, 4 ER is definitely better than 6 innings, 3 ER. I’ll also take 5IP and 2 ER.

    You mean to tell me that once a guy has 5 IP and 2 ER, what he has to do to earn a quality start is go out and pitch an inning with an ERA of 9.00?

  4. Todd said...

    I agree with King Kaufman. Even if you want to make the cutoff 6 IP, having a max ERA, rather then simple max ER, makes far more sense. After all, what about 4 ER/9 IP?

    Kevin, I realize that your goal here is to present interesting visuals, and that you’re not trying to innovate on the statistical side of things, so that’s not meant as a criticism, just as a comment. I like this presentation, though I would agree with the idea that a gradient of some sort could improve it.

  5. Joe said...

    This is a really great visual!  I totally agree with you on the quality start issue.  Then again, quality is definitely an “eye-of-the-beholder” kind of thing…even when it has been officially defined.

  6. Kevin Dame said...

    Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions.  Very helpful.

    David, to answer your question, it can take anywhere from 5-10 hours to create a visual, depending on the complexity and how much experimenting I do.

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