June 24, 2005
Some Numbers to Start
As the Dodgers move into a weekend with Angels followed by three days vs. the Padres, here are some numbers to think about ... :
You know what a quality start is ... : The starter goes at least six innings, and gives up no more than three earned runs. If you compare the Dodgers and the Angels, you'll find that both teams win about two-thirds of their quality starts. But the Angels get a lot more quality starts – 43 so far this season, compared to only 33 for the Dodgers. The Angels are 29-14 when they get a quality start, while the Dodgers are 21-12. That’s an eight-victory difference … and so far this season, the Angels have seven more wins than the Dodgers.
If you compare the Dodgers and the Padres, you'll find something different. Even though San Diego has a reputation for excellent starting pitchers, the Dodgers and Padres actually have gotten about the same number of quality starts this season – 33 to 37.
But San Diego wins a far greater percentage of its quality starts - 76% for the Padres, compared to 64% for the Dodgers. So far this season, that works out to seven extra wins for the Padres … and overall, San Diego overall has five more wins than LA.
Are the numbers swimming in your head? Just remember this … : The Angels are doing better than the Dodgers this season because they’re far more likely to GET a quality start ... while the Padres are doing better than the Dodgers because they’re far more likely to WIN a quality start.
It all comes down to starting pitching … and so far, the numbers for the Dodger starters don’t add up.
Posted by Nick Roman at 8:31 AM
Well said, Nick. But the Dodgers are just beyond banged up right now, and they really need Odalis Perez in the rotation, and he got a decent contract out of them to be one of the anchors in the rotation, if not the ace. When they signed Perez, they had yet to offer a contract extension to Penny, and I don't remember if they had already signed Derek Lowe, but I don't think they were looking to Lowe to be the ace of the staff.
Given that Penny has established that he is healthy and capable of very good things when he's healthy, when you look back to the start of the season at a rotation of Perez, Lowe, Penny, Weaver and... well, I can't remember who that 5th starter was, but 1 through 4 looked as good if not better than the Angels with Colon, Washburn, Lackey and Byrd. Remember, Kelvim Escobar started the season on the DL, so there were questions about his health coming out of spring training.
For the Angels, the true revelations have been Lackey and Byrd at the bottom of the rotation. If Byrd beats the Dodgers on Sunday, that will give him 8 wins, and I think the Angels would have been happy to get 10 or 12 out of him, plus some other good starts and a decent amount of innings. It looks like he might exceed expectations.
Posted by: Andrew Torres on June 25, 2005 9:21 AM