Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Gold Standard, Part 2 !

This is the second installment of the four part series, evaluating the 2006 playoff teams on pitching, defense, offense and coaching.

Today I'll try and break down each teams stats concerning their pitching staffs.

Once again, because of my sick sense of humor, the Cubs stats will also be included.

I've used 6 different criteria, ERA, WHIP, Runs, BB's, K's and Hits. The list will reflect the teams major league rank and be in descending order starting with the lowest ERA. Runs allowed will reflect total runs allowed not earned runs allowed.

4.74-24.1.45-22.856-26.687-30.1250-1..1396-2..Your 2006 Chicago Cubs

I'm sure you all realize that the NL teams numbers are helped by not having to face a DH, but as illustrated in the part one article the AL offensive numbers were helped by having the DH.

With that said, we still see 2 of the top 4 pitching staffs residing in the AL. We also can see that no team finished in the top 5 in every category as the Yankees did in offensive side of the ledger.

Of course the numbers do show some dominating staffs, primarily the Twins, Padres and Tigers. However, strictly based on the numbers, the Twins finished in the top 3 in 5 of the 6 categories and were clearly the Gold Standard, in pitching staffs.

As I look a little more closely at the numbers, it also seems clear some stats are more important than others. The stat that clearly jumps out at me is probably the most glamorous of them all, the strikeout. It seems that the strikeout is the least important and evidently has very little relevance to a staff's effectiveness.

In direct contrast to the strikeout we see one of the most damning stats, the free pass. In one of the more telling overall stats, WHIP, we can see the damage of the free pass when examining our beloved Cubs staff. They finished number 1 in strikeouts and 2 in hits allowed, but their total of walks issued was from Pluto.

It's just amazing that, not only the Yankees most prolific offense but the Twins most effective pitching staff, were both bounced from the playoffs in the first round.

What strikes me even more were the mundane numbers posted by the world champions, thus leaving me more certain than ever that all four categories combined must be considered to get a total picture of a teams ability to win.

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