Originally Posted by TDog
You can make assumptions by looking at raw stats based on your experience, and you might be right. My assumpiton when I see a pitcher giving up a lot of unearned runs is that he couldn't pitch over mistakes as well as other pitchers. If Mark Buehrle is giving up five or so unearned runs in a season, I can assume a few infield defenive mistakes, maybe one or two botched double plays that led to a runners scoring from second base. But in 2008, there were games when he couldn't stop the bleeding, although not as much as often as Floyd who could give me the impression that he didn't care about giving up unearned runs because they didn't count against him.
My assumption when I see a pitcher with 10 or 20 unearned runs in a season is that the the pitcher is to blame for a lot of those unearned runs. I saw it happen with Floyd and Buehrle in 2008. A good example of what I'm talking about was on display in the fourth inning of Saturday night's Giants-Padres game. Barry Zito gave up six runs, five of which were unearned, in the fourth inning. There was one error, coming on a ball Carlos Quentin hit the outfield with one out and none on. At that point, Zito had a 5-0 lead. Zito got only one more out before the Padres knocked him out.
Not all unearned runs are created equal.
That is true and there is one game in 2008 in particular that I recall Buerhle couldn't pitch over a mistake by the defense (I think it was against the Angels and I think that was the game Buehrle took a bat to a cooler in the dugout). I think for unearned runs you have to watch the game to see. A sinker ball guy needs his defense to back him up and if he is getting guys to hit ground balls and guys behind him are either booting the ball or just can't quite get there, that is on the defense. But if it is the sort of thing that happened to Bartolo Colon in 2009 where one guy makes an error and then all of a sudden Colon gives up 7 runs, that's on the pitcher.