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czalgosz
12-15-2001, 05:25 PM
I read your front-page article, and some good points were made. What got me really thinking is the home/road split you pointed out in your atricle, about how Ritchie was outstanding at home but terrible on the road. Yes, Ritchie, pitching in the NL, got to face other pitchers. But isn't the advantage that an NL pitcher has from facing other pitchers at least somewhat mitigated by some of the horrible hitter's parks in the NL?

I looked closely at the road games in which Ritchie pitched poorly.
In almost every case, he was pitching at a park where extreme groundball pitchers like Ritchie are punished.

April 26th - @LA - 5.2 IP, 6ER, 7H, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 HR.

Ritchie was cruising until the 6th inning, when he gave up 6 singles through the infield, 5 runs, a walk and a K in 2/3 of an inning. Oh yes, and there was an error. Something tells me that the Pirates infield wasn't doing their job that day.

June 6th - @ FLA - 6 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Mike Lowell went 4-for-4 for the Marlins that day (3 for 3 vs. Ritchie) and drove in 3 of the 5 ER that Ritchie gave up and scored a fourth. Other than that, Ritchie handled the Marlins pretty well, which is why he lasted until the 7th.

July 8th - @ CWS - 7 IP, 5 ER, 12 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 3 HR

Jose Canseco hit 2 homers for the Sox that day. And I guess Ritchie won't have to worry about facing the Sox any more. Interestingly enough, Sean Lowe was the Sox pitcher, and he pitched 8 innings and only gave up 1 run.

August 19th - @ HOU - 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Far and away Ritchie's worst start. Of course, I think Enron had something to do with it - a week later he faced the Astros at PNC and blew them away (8.1 IP, 2 ER).

August 31st - @ CIN - 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8H, 4 BB, 2 K

The Pirates made 2 errors in the 3rd inning, leading to a 4-run third, and he apparently lost confidence with his fielders and started uncharacteristically walking people. Ritchie left with the bases loaded in the 4th and the reliever promptly gave up a slam.

Draw what conclusions you will, but I think that there are a lot more ballparks in the AL that will suit Ritchie's game. Two things to worry about are his not-good outing at Comiskey Park and his high ratio of groundballs - to - flyballs with the Sox defense the way it is.

AsInWreck
12-15-2001, 05:30 PM
i agree/ but also i think the pitcher's advantage when changing leagues will make up for any difference in nl/al effect

Bmr31
12-16-2001, 04:47 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz
I read your front-page article, and some good points were made. What got me really thinking is the home/road split you pointed out in your atricle, about how Ritchie was outstanding at home but terrible on the road. Yes, Ritchie, pitching in the NL, got to face other pitchers. But isn't the advantage that an NL pitcher has from facing other pitchers at least somewhat mitigated by some of the horrible hitter's parks in the NL?

I looked closely at the road games in which Ritchie pitched poorly.
In almost every case, he was pitching at a park where extreme groundball pitchers like Ritchie are punished.

April 26th - @LA - 5.2 IP, 6ER, 7H, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 HR.

Ritchie was cruising until the 6th inning, when he gave up 6 singles through the infield, 5 runs, a walk and a K in 2/3 of an inning. Oh yes, and there was an error. Something tells me that the Pirates infield wasn't doing their job that day.

June 6th - @ FLA - 6 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Mike Lowell went 4-for-4 for the Marlins that day (3 for 3 vs. Ritchie) and drove in 3 of the 5 ER that Ritchie gave up and scored a fourth. Other than that, Ritchie handled the Marlins pretty well, which is why he lasted until the 7th.

July 8th - @ CWS - 7 IP, 5 ER, 12 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 3 HR

Jose Canseco hit 2 homers for the Sox that day. And I guess Ritchie won't have to worry about facing the Sox any more. Interestingly enough, Sean Lowe was the Sox pitcher, and he pitched 8 innings and only gave up 1 run.

August 19th - @ HOU - 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Far and away Ritchie's worst start. Of course, I think Enron had something to do with it - a week later he faced the Astros at PNC and blew them away (8.1 IP, 2 ER).

August 31st - @ CIN - 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8H, 4 BB, 2 K

The Pirates made 2 errors in the 3rd inning, leading to a 4-run third, and he apparently lost confidence with his fielders and started uncharacteristically walking people. Ritchie left with the bases loaded in the 4th and the reliever promptly gave up a slam.

Draw what conclusions you will, but I think that there are a lot more ballparks in the AL that will suit Ritchie's game. Two things to worry about are his not-good outing at Comiskey Park and his high ratio of groundballs - to - flyballs with the Sox defense the way it is.

lack of talent kills your theory. Good luck...

MikeKreevich
12-16-2001, 05:47 AM
Wow! Your doing your homework.
The more I learn about Ritche, the better he sounds.

kermittheefrog
12-16-2001, 06:28 AM
I really don't see proof in Ritchie's favor here. He gave up infield singles in Dodger Stadium? It's frikkin Dodger Stadium, pitcher's heaven. Mike Lowell and Jose Canseco smoked him? How does this make him more suitable to the AL? I think this is more ***** happens than proof Ritchie will fair better in the AL. Just live with it, Kenny screwed up.

voodoochile
12-16-2001, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Just live with it, Kenny screwed up.

Only if Kip becomes a solid starter and Ritchie fails. Again, this is all IYO, too. No matter how you defend your position with stats, nothing will be known until about June of this year. That is the double edged sword of stats. They can give us a base to predict upon, but coaching, teammates, random chance, player development and mental outlook can factor heavily in how a team and player performs. None of the stats you mention take into account those factors. How well will Kip perform in the NL? Who knows, but with the Pirates' scoring problems it doesn't look good, and could cause Kip to become even slower, more deliberate and contemplative on the mound, knowing he can't make ANY mistakes. The trade from a potential pennant contender to a second division club probably won't help his long term outlook either. On the other hand Ritchie benefitting from the improved offensive production he should get from the Sox may just take another step up, throwing strikes and being even more agressive. That will be encouraged and developed by Daver's favorite coach , Nardi, who preaches those ideas like they are Fatwas.

In the end, we will all have to wait and see, but even if Ritchie never becomes Cy Young eligible pitching for the Sox, it wouldn't be a huge loss, IMO because Kip isn't doing anything with his talent, and for all we know he never will. The other two players aren't that big of a loss, IMO. They would only be missed if the bullpen suffers the same quantity of injuries as last year.

I know I am one of the optimists on this board as my signature makes quite clear. I also know that Kenny has had some really bad luck and made some bad decisions since he has been the GM. I think this is going to be a turning point for KW and for the club. Ritchies veteran leadership and power sinking pitches are going to have a HUGE impact and the Sox are going to storm to the playoffs. Now if someone would just lock up the Yankees on obscenity charges. After all, their payroll is definitely obscene...

czalgosz
12-16-2001, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I really don't see proof in Ritchie's favor here. He gave up infield singles in Dodger Stadium? It's frikkin Dodger Stadium, pitcher's heaven. Mike Lowell and Jose Canseco smoked him? How does this make him more suitable to the AL? I think this is more ***** happens than proof Ritchie will fair better in the AL. Just live with it, Kenny screwed up.

Well, if you look at the ballparks that Ritchie pitched poorly in, they are fast-infield ballparks. Dodger Stadium, Enron, they are both in the desert, which makes the ground hard and balls get through the infield faster. He actually pitched pretty well at home-run ballparks (He pitched 8 innings and only gave up 3 runs in his only start at Coors), it was ballparks that tend to give up lots of singles that kill him, and I submit that there's more ballparks like that in the NL than in the AL. I could be wrong about that, though.

As a pitcher, Ritchie's not going to give up a ton of homers, and he's not going to walk everyone. He's going to induce a lot of gounders. That could be good, that could be bad, considering the Sox infield defense. I just think that pitching in the NL is a lot different experience in terms of the ballparks that one sees than pitching in the AL, and a lot of those Sabermetrics don't take that into account beyond looking at the pitcher's home park.