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View Full Version : How good is the starting rotation?


Ol' No. 2
05-11-2005, 09:42 PM
So far, in 34 starts the Sox starters have turned in 21 quality starts (62%). Looking at 2004 full season numbers, only five starters in the AL (Santana, Radke, Schilling, Martinez and Buehrle) had a higher QS% than the current Sox STAFF AVERAGE. I find that pretty remarkable.

NorthlakeTom
05-11-2005, 09:45 PM
Yes, it is remarkable.

Consider this, also: The starters have lost only four games.

SOXintheBURGH
05-11-2005, 09:48 PM
We rule.

soxfan26
05-11-2005, 09:52 PM
With the exception of Contreras each starter is averaging 6 innings or more of work each outing and Buehrle has the worst ERA of the bunch at 3.78.

I'm impressed.

SOX ADDICT '73
05-11-2005, 09:59 PM
I think this pitching staff could be for real, and the Cubans are the key. They both seem to be flourishing (yes, Contreras too - we've had a chance in every one of his starts) outside of the New York spotlight. It was nice to see El Duque pitch well today, after what seemed like four consecutive mediocre performances by the rest of the starters (including two wins!).

I'll be there tomorrow to see which Garland shows up - the one from the first month of this season :smile: , or the one from the previous 4 seasons (plus his last start) :(: . Although (and I pray this doesn't happen, of course) he could lose every start for the rest of the year, and he will still have given us more out of the 5-spot than we've seen in the last two years combined (not sure 'bout that stat, but it's gotta be close).

For the first time in years, I wake up in the morning KNOWING there's the strong possibility of a W. Couldn't say that in the days of Wright, Schoenweis, Stewart, Rauch, Munoz, Diaz...I could go on, but just listing those names has made me nauseous.

Frater Perdurabo
05-11-2005, 10:08 PM
This is the best Sox rotation, 1-5, I have seen in my career as a Sox fan (since 1983).

MRKARNO
05-11-2005, 10:17 PM
I think we're going to see Contreras fall back a bit more and Garland as well, though I think both will still be solid. I'd be thrilled with a 4 ERA from Contreras and a 3.5 ERA from Garland. Buehrle I would expect to be a little better and my hope for him is a 3.25 ERA. El Duque is awesome and I just hope he can stay healthy. Garcia I'm not sure about, but hopefully he will keep this up. It's pretty darned good, but I think we're going to see a few more poor outings from some of them in the near future.

The hitting, hopefully, should make up for decline in pitching as it has woefully underperformed so far.

TDog
05-12-2005, 02:15 AM
I think we're going to see Contreras fall back a bit more and Garland as well, though I think both will still be solid....

The ESPN Web site shows Garland is on a pace to win 32 games. Honestly, I believe Garland will fall back and fail to win 32 games.

Banix12
05-12-2005, 03:26 AM
We all pretty much knew Buehrle and Garcia could be this good. As for the other three it was pretty much up in the air to start the season.

Garland - definitely showing the sox they were right for keeping him in the rotation all these years. Control has been better, still doesn't strike out a lot of batters but the improved infield defense has been gobbling up the groundballs he deals. The fact that he has gone deep into ballgames this season shows a lot of progress from where he was this time last year.

El Duque - When healthy this is exactly how he should pitch, so far showing no signs of slowing down. Staying healthy is the key though, but the sox can't be cautious with him. They have to keep putting him on the hill every fifth day and see if he can keep it going until he shows signs of wearing down.

Contreras - working faster is certainly helping, but he's fooled us before. I'm waiting for him to get at least a half a season of work until I declare him for real. Great start though, he hasn't been giving up the big innings which caused him trouble in New York

In all cases, I would say the overall improved defense has really helped the pitching, making it seem better than it probably is but even without the D I'd wager it's still better top to bottom than just about every rotation in the league

MUsoxfan
05-12-2005, 03:36 AM
I'm gonna take a moment to pat myself on the back and take credit for saying many months ago that our rotation would be among the best in baseball. I was laughed at, but....

wdelaney72
05-12-2005, 08:26 AM
Since he was signed, I've always thought Hernandez would be the unsung hero. While it looks like Garland is on his way to having the best year of his career, I still think el Duque will be 2nd in wins amongst our starters.

Up until his last start, Contreras has looked like a different pitcher. I certainly hope that was a fluke and returns to how he was pitching. Unfortunately, he's never been a consistent pitcher. I agree, we'll have to sit back and see what happens. The fact that Garland has stepped up so big is what really makes this a complete rotation 1 - 5. I LOVE our starting pitching. Somone on the radio yesterday said it best. This starting rotation should and will prevent any MAJOR losing streaks from happening, because all of them have the ability to come in and pitch a shutout.

mjharrison72
05-12-2005, 10:47 AM
Since he was signed, I've always thought Hernandez would be the unsung hero. While it looks like Garland is on his way to having the best year of his career, I still think el Duque will be 2nd in wins amongst our starters.

Up until his last start, Contreras has looked like a different pitcher. I certainly hope that was a fluke and returns to how he was pitching. Unfortunately, he's never been a consistent pitcher. I agree, we'll have to sit back and see what happens. The fact that Garland has stepped up so big is what really makes this a complete rotation 1 - 5. I LOVE our starting pitching. Somone on the radio yesterday said it best. This starting rotation should and will prevent any MAJOR losing streaks from happening, because all of them have the ability to come in and pitch a shutout.
Exactly... when I was talking about our pitching a couple of weeks into the season, a friend complained that the Sox don't have that great of pitching because they don't have an "ace" (stopper) who can come in when the team has lost a few games in a row and spark the offense by pitching a gem... he used Randy Johnson as an example. I tried to tell him any one of our pitchers would be capable of throwing seven or so innings of shutout ball on any given day, and he again told me we were missing that one "dominant" pitcher. I stand by my claims... just because our guys aren't dominant in the sense they're going to strike out 10 batters a game and put up the ridiculous fantasy stats, I'll take our rotation, 1-5, over any in the league in terms of each guy's ability to get guys out, not necessarily in the most dominating or beautiful fashion, but get them to ground out or pop out, and get the W.

In this sense, I have seen our pitchers throw with a lot of heart all season, pitching themselves out of jams, and you get the sense they are really gelling... with their defense, with AJ and Widger, and with each other. I think we can continue to expect some fantastic outings, but more importantly, expect these guys to bounce back from a poor outing.

nccwsfan
05-12-2005, 10:53 AM
The ESPN Web site shows Garland is on a pace to win 32 games. Honestly, I believe Garland will fall back and fail to win 32 games.

Focus on the negative, why don't ya?

This has been quite a run so far, and hopefully our guys can keep it up. Buehrle is simply the most underrated pitcher in the game today, and it's nice to hear him finally get some positive press around the league. I only appreciate Jon Garland more when I think of the #5 woes over the past couple of years- I really hope he can keep this up.

Flight #24
05-12-2005, 11:11 AM
Exactly... when I was talking about our pitching a couple of weeks into the season, a friend complained that the Sox don't have that great of pitching because they don't have an "ace" (stopper) who can come in when the team has lost a few games in a row and spark the offense by pitching a gem...

Just tell him he's right, we don't have one.....we have 4, and if Contreras gets it together, make it 5.

Seriously - what are the odds that we go on any extended (i.e. 3+ game) losing streak? So far this year, the longest stretch we've had without a game where we give up 2 or fewer runs is 5, and that only happened once. So even with minimal offense, it makes it highly unlikely to go on any bad streak.

mweflen
05-12-2005, 11:54 AM
1-5, definitely the best. 1-3, maybe not. Early 90's was a little more dominant. But I'll take this year's for depth.

Tekijawa
05-12-2005, 12:09 PM
I'm gonna take a moment to pat myself on the back and take credit for saying many months ago that our rotation would be among the best in baseball. I was laughed at, but....

And I said that someone other than Buehrle and Garcia would be our best pitcher.

Tekijawa
05-12-2005, 12:13 PM
1-5, definitely the best. 1-3, maybe not. Early 90's was a little more dominant. But I'll take this year's for depth.

I'll have to agree with you there. I would like to see Buehrle, Garcia, and Contreras (assuming those are our "top" 3) against McDowell, Fernandez and Alvarez!

mweflen
05-12-2005, 12:15 PM
I'll have to agree with you there. I would like to see Buehrle, Garcia, and Contreras (assuming those are our "top" 3) against McDowell, Fernandez and Alvarez!

Contreras? Duque, man, Duque! :smile: You'd better believe Duque would be no. 3 in a short series.

tstrike2000
05-12-2005, 12:25 PM
So far, in 34 starts the Sox starters have turned in 21 quality starts (62%). Looking at 2004 full season numbers, only five starters in the AL (Santana, Radke, Schilling, Martinez and Buehrle) had a higher QS% than the current Sox STAFF AVERAGE. I find that pretty remarkable.

It has been remarkable. This staff top to bottom is comparable to the pitching staffs of '83 and '93. The big differences between the last few years is we have no real #5 starters right now. Buehrle, Garcia, Contreras, Hernandez, and Garland have all been pitching like you want your 1-3 starters pitching with Buehrle's ERA of 3.74 being the highest. That's awesome. My big concern, especially with Contreras is walks, but they've been able to overcome the walks and avoiding big innings by enforcing the ground ball or the big K in crucial situations. The health of El Duque always comes to mind, but unless something happens it's a safe role of the dice on any one of these guys.

mccoydp
05-12-2005, 12:34 PM
This is the best Sox rotation, 1-5, I have seen in my career as a Sox fan (since 1983).

I agree. McDowell-Fernandez-Alvarez-Bere (from 1993) was a great four-man punch, but this rotation, IMHO, is much better because it is deep all the way down to #5.
A quick glance at the 1993 stats is great except for a sub-.500 record (Tim Belcher) in the 5th spot:

SP Alex Fernandez (http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/fernaal01.shtml), 18-9, 3.13 ERA
SP Jack McDowell (http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mcdowja01.shtml), 22-10, 3.37 ERA
SP Wilson Alvarez (http://www.baseball-reference.com/a/alvarwi01.shtml), 15-8, 2.95 ERA
SP Jason Bere (http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bereja01.shtml), 12-5, 3.47 ERA
SP Tim Belcher, (http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/belchti01.shtml) 3-5, 4.40 ERA

Let's hope Garland holds up. If the bullpen can at least bail Contreras out of a tie ball game, we'll be in business. I don't care if Contreras ends up 2-0 on the season as long as the Sox win his games.

Lip Man 1
05-12-2005, 12:45 PM
Ummmm gang you need to start comparing records to the 1994 staff (not 93), 1983 and of course numbers - wise, the finest Sox staffs in team history, 1963 through 1967. (with special attention being paid to 63, 64 and 67.)

Lip

gosox41
05-12-2005, 12:51 PM
This is the best Sox rotation, 1-5, I have seen in my career as a Sox fan (since 1983).

I like the 1993 rotation after Belcher was acquired.


Bob

tschneid83
05-12-2005, 01:02 PM
Not sure where i heard, read, made up this statement but i heard that ozzie was thinking about spiltting up those two so that if they both go out in early innings the bullpen is not busy two days in a row. Anyone else hear this and think it is a good idea. I am guessing it would be el duque, garland, then contreas.

I think it is a great idea, but that is just my 2 cents.

mccoydp
05-12-2005, 01:03 PM
Ummmm gang you need to start comparing records to the 1994 staff (not 93), 1983 and of course numbers - wise, the finest Sox staffs in team history, 1963 through 1967. (with special attention being paid to 63, 64 and 67.)

Lip

The '94 staff was great, and better in the 5th spot, but McDowell's numbers seemed a bit shaky to start. Personally (and this is just my opinion), I think Blackjack '93 was better than Blackjack '94 was going to end up.

I didn't do a research study on the numbers, but I went with my gut feeling from watching the games that year. :smile:

Lip Man 1
05-12-2005, 01:12 PM
Mccoydp:

Then prepare to be stunned by the numbers you get when you look at those Sox staffs of the mid 60's both starting AND the bullpen.

Lip

Ol' No. 2
05-12-2005, 01:19 PM
Mccoydp:

Then prepare to be stunned by the numbers you get when you look at those Sox staffs of the mid 60's both starting AND the bullpen.

LipYou have to be somewhat careful about comparing ERA's in the 60's with those today. That was the time of the expanded strike zone and the higher mound. League-wide ERA's were about a full run lower than they are today.

Rocky Soprano
05-12-2005, 01:24 PM
Not sure where i heard, read, made up this statement but i heard that ozzie was thinking about spiltting up those two so that if they both go out in early innings the bullpen is not busy two days in a row. Anyone else hear this and think it is a good idea. I am guessing it would be el duque, garland, then contreas.

I think it is a great idea, but that is just my 2 cents.

I agree.

If Contreras is our #5 guy, if the bullpen has to come out early, you wouldnt have to really worry about trotting the bullpen out the following day since Buehrle comes in the following day.

Buehrle, Garcia, Duque, Garland, Contreras = I like it.

NorthlakeTom
05-12-2005, 01:32 PM
You have to be somewhat careful about comparing ERA's in the 60's with those today. That was the time of the expanded strike zone and the higher mound. League-wide ERA's were about a full run lower than they are today.
True, but Horlen, Peters and John finished #1, 2 and 4 in the league in ERA in '67.

Lip Man 1
05-12-2005, 01:47 PM
No.2:

Which makes their accomplishments even more dramatic given that they had the best staff in the league during that time period and it was a time period for pitching.

That 64 staff was ranked by ESPN.com as one of the ten best in baseball history. (Sort of makes talking about the say, 93 staff, kind of moot doesn't it?)

Lip

Ol' No. 2
05-12-2005, 01:50 PM
True, but Horlen, Peters and John finished #1, 2 and 4 in the league in ERA in '67.The best way to look at this is ERA+, which scales by average ERA performace through the league.

1967
Peters 136
Horlen 151
John 125
Howard 90
O'Toole 110

Composite 131

1994
McDowell 125
Alvarez 135
Bere 122
Fernandez 121
Sanderson 92

Composite 122

So the 1967 crew was better for sure, but it's not nearly as overwhelming as if you looked at just the raw ERA's (2.44 vs. 3.88)

mccoydp
05-12-2005, 02:00 PM
Mccoydp:

Then prepare to be stunned by the numbers you get when you look at those Sox staffs of the mid 60's both starting AND the bullpen.

Lip

I'm only comparing what I have seen myself; I wasn't even a preconceived notion in the 60s. I'm sure they were good, but I only have stats to look at, not memories.

But, I guess I need to study the stats to keep up with all of you!

batmanZoSo
05-12-2005, 02:06 PM
The '94 staff was great, and better in the 5th spot, but McDowell's numbers seemed a bit shaky to start. Personally (and this is just my opinion), I think Blackjack '93 was better than Blackjack '94 was going to end up.

I didn't do a research study on the numbers, but I went with my gut feeling from watching the games that year. :smile:

Black Jack was close to .500 when the strike went down. He was much better in 93. Maybe it was a sign of the arm problems he would later have that ultimately ended his career.

Our rotation is better suited to win 100 games and dominate the regular season with 5 strong starters, but the 93 team with three, arguably four dominating pitchers (Bere and Alvarez were very hot at the time and won the only two games of the series) were better suited to win a playoff series, which, oddly enough, they didn't. :(:

NorthlakeTom
05-12-2005, 02:07 PM
The best way to look at this is ERA+, which scales by average ERA performace through the league.

1967
Peters 136
Horlen 151
John 125
Howard 90
O'Toole 110

Composite 131

1994
McDowell 125
Alvarez 135
Bere 122
Fernandez 121
Sanderson 92

Composite 122

So the 1967 crew was better for sure, but it's not nearly as overwhelming as if you looked at just the raw ERA's (2.44 vs. 3.88)
Interesting analysis. Where did you get these numbers and what exactly do they mean?

Considering that the Sox almost won the pennant in '67, with a team BA of .225 (9th out of 10), indicates the dominance of that pitching staff.

mccoydp
05-12-2005, 02:11 PM
Black Jack was close to .500 when the strike went down. He was much better in 93. Maybe it was a sign of the arm problems he would later have that ultimately ended his career.

Our rotation is better suited to win 100 games and dominate the regular season with 5 strong starters, but the 93 team with three, arguably four dominating pitchers (Bere and Alvarez were very hot at the time and won the only two games of the series) were better suited to win a playoff series, which, oddly enough, they didn't. :(:

Yeah, he could've been better than 10-9. Something seemed off...

Ol' No. 2
05-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Interesting analysis. Where did you get these numbers and what exactly do they mean?

Considering that the Sox almost won the pennant in '67, with a team BA of .225 (9th out of 10), indicates the dominance of that pitching staff.Baseball-reference.com There's a glossary that explains ERA+.

batmanZoSo
05-12-2005, 02:15 PM
The best way to look at this is ERA+, which scales by average ERA performace through the league.

1967
Peters 136
Horlen 151
John 125
Howard 90
O'Toole 110

Composite 131

1994
McDowell 125
Alvarez 135
Bere 122
Fernandez 121
Sanderson 92

Composite 122

So the 1967 crew was better for sure, but it's not nearly as overwhelming as if you looked at just the raw ERA's (2.44 vs. 3.88)

The DH as a rule generally adds .50 to a pitcher's ERA or so. Then you have the already mentioned high mounds and it was such a pitcher's era all around. The 93 staff could've been great at any time.

Ol' No. 2
05-12-2005, 02:19 PM
The DH as a rule generally adds .50 to a pitcher's ERA or so. Then you have the already mentioned high mounds and it was such a pitcher's era all around. The 93 staff could've been great at any time.That's why you use ERA+. It explicitly corrects for all those variables.

NorthlakeTom
05-12-2005, 02:39 PM
Speaking of high mounds, wasn't Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA in '68 a driving factor in the mound being lowered?

Looking over Gibson's stats, it's amazing that he pitched 255 complete games in his career. That's four more CG than W. And he's tied for 71st all-time in CG. Just goes to show you how the game has changed over the last 30 years.

Gibson threw as hard as anybody, so I don't understand why today's pitchers are so coddled.