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.Ã‚Â 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.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it. There are no caveats. No no-decisions. None of that crazy adding or dividing or whatever they call that stuff. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter if the game goes 5 innings or 55. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter if you threw a shutout, scattered 12 hits or gave up 10 in 1/3 of an inning. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 pitcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record of 57-42 since coming to the AÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in the Jose Guillen trade. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â At least Poz is catching on.