Originally Posted by kittle42
A pitcher should not be expected to have to be near perfect the great majority of his starts. Some run support would be nice. This isn't a closer whose job is almost completely to protect 1-2 run leads in an inning's work.
Baseball is a team game - wins are dependent upon how the entire team plays. I refuse to tag a starter who coughs up a 1-run lead in a 1-0 game in late innings with full responsibility, even if "he knew the situation he was in."
I just got back to reading these posts after being on the road for awhile.
The irony is that in one of Max Scherzer's three losses, he gave up a two-run two-out seventh-inning single to lose 2-1. This has happened in none of Chris Sale's losses this year. There was a game where Sale gave up a grand slam in the sixth with the White Sox leading 3-0, eventually losing 4-3, but that really isn't the same thing.
Baseball is a game of contexts. You can't simply look at a pitcher's statistics in isolation without looking at the situation. Mound presence, the ability to do what is needed to win a game, is one of the strengths of quality pitchers. I don't think you can say that a pitcher who loses a lot of close games (and really, Sale has lost a lot of games that weren't that close) would have won those games with just a little more run support.
There is probably not much left to this discussion, though, because I seriously doubt anyone is arguing now that Chris Sale deserves the Cy Young Award.