Tim Kawakami recently devised a new “statistic” to try and crystalize the problem with having Barry Zito in the Giants rotation:
Yes, I went back and looked it up, just to see if Zito’s long and ugly run of quick-KOs as a Giants pitcher are any worse and any more horrifying than anybody else.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo movie download And I found: If you count up any outing of 5 innings or less, in which the starting pitcher gives up 4 earned runs or more–call it a Zeet Game-guess who leads the way this year and for the last two years?
* Zito has 6 six Zeet Games (in 18 starts), tied for most ZGs in baseball.
That’s fully one-third of his 2009 outings in which he gave the Giants almost no chance to win. (Even with a perked-up offense, the Giants are 1-5 in ZGs. They’re 8-10 in his starts overall. They’re 41-29 in everybody else’s starts.)
* I didn’t go through every pitcher in baseball, so I might’ve missed somebody or two ZG-count somebodies, but I went through every qualifier with an ERA over 4.50, and a few others.
Only two two pitchers have been so bad as to tie Zito in the category.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest movie download -Minnesota Francisco Liriano 6 ZGs in 18 starts. (Extenuating circumstances: Coming back from elbow surgery, playing in home-run infested home stadium.)
-And Pittsburgh’s Ross Ohlendorf 6 ZGs in 18 starts. (No extenuating circumstances.)
Others ZG contenders:
-Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer 5 ZGs in 17 total starts. (Extentuating circumstances: he’s close to 50 years old and pitching in crazy HR park in Philly).
-ADD: Jonathan Sanchez has 5 ZGs in 14 starts. (Interesting that he was rightfully pulled from the rotation for 5-in-13 and only got back in to throw his no-hitter because of an injury-opening. Same rules for Zeet, if he goes over 33% ZG rate?)
-St. Louis’ Todd Wellemeyer 5 ZGs in 18 starts. (No exentuating circumstances that I can think of.)
-Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa 5 ZGs in 17 starts. (Pitches in altitude.)
-NY Mets Livan Hernandez 5 ZGs in 17 starts. (He’s Livan.)
-San Diego’s Josh Geer 5 ZGs in 14 starts. (Nothing.)
Those with 4 ZGs: Randy Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Baker, Bronson Arroyo, Carl Pavano, Kevin Slowey, Jeff Suppan, Vicente Padilla and the A’s Trevor Cahill.
I thought it would be interesting to apply this standard to the Yankee starting staff, being that Mike Francesa and other Yankees fans would likely call these “Joba Games.” It can help us identify games where the pitchers put the Yankees in a position where they were forced to claw back from a deficit early in the game, or gave up a large early lead to deflate the club.
CC Sabathia: 1 ZG in 19 starts (on Opening Day).
AJ Burnett: 1 ZG in 17 starts (he did have another where he allowed 3ER but added 2UER, both against Boston)
Andy Pettitte: 3 ZG in 18 starts (all since start of June, plus one where he allowed 6R but only 3ER)
Joba Chamberlain: 2 ZG in 17 starts (plus one that would qualify if unearned runs were tallied)
Phil Hughes: 2 ZG in 7 starts (plus one that would qualify if unearned runs were tallied)
Chien-Ming Wang: 4 ZG in 9 starts (plus one that would qualify if unearned runs were tallied)
What have we learned?
- CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett will keep you in games. If they pitch poorly, they will likely give you length, and if they do not give you length in a game, they will find a way to limit the damage.
- Andy Pettitte has been pretty awful since June started, and may find himself pitching for his job if this should continue.
- Chien-Ming Wang has neither given the Yankees length, nor has he limited the damage. He has been awful.
-Phil Hughes may not be ready as a starter, as he has the second highest ZG rate on the team. He looks more confident in the pen, and hopefully he will carry that over to the rotation.
-Joba Chamberlain’s struggles have been overstated, most likely because his last two starts were Zeet Games. For the most part, he has been adept at limiting damage, so that he does not give up many runs despite struggling through a limited number of innings. He has put pressure on the bullpen, but at least he keeps the team in the game.
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