Originally Posted by WhiteSox5187
Again, I think it depends on the pitcher. I would say that Mark Buehrle is a strong pitcher but he relies on his defense. If his shortstop boots a ground ball that is right at him, there isn't much that Buerhle can do about that.
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.