In a (typically, and thankfully) long blog post, America’s Best Sportswriter Joe Poznanski touches on the way Bill James’ critics miss the point and the irony of how “anti-statheads” inevitably rely on stats, just different ones, to prove their point.  He then looks at a “new” stat that James apparently has on his website ($).

You figure the record of the team when a pitcher started the game.

That’s it. There are no caveats. No no-decisions. None of that crazy adding or dividing or whatever they call that stuff. It doesn’t matter if the game goes 5 innings or 55. It doesn’t matter if you threw a shutout, scattered 12 hits or gave up 10 in 1/3 of an inning. It’s a one-question stat: That game you started: Did your team win or lose? End of discussion.

Aaron Harang ranked #1 in baseball – the Reds were 24-10 in his starts.

1. Aaron Harang has a pitcher’s record of 57-42 since coming to the A’s in the Jose Guillen trade. That’s really good. But he has a true record of 79-59, which is quite amazing when you consider that the Reds have had a losing record every single one of those years.

Poz then compared each guy’s “true W-L” to his team’s overall record, to determine who was the biggest overachiever.

You take the team’s winning percentage with him not on the mound, multiply it by the number of starts.

Harang was again #1, with 11 more wins than expected.  He made 34 starts for a team that was otherwise 48-80 (.375).

Once again, we’re talking about the most underrated player in baseball.  At least Poz is catching on.