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Thursday, June 26, 2003
pitching leaders
good morning bloggers! today we examine the national league pitching leaders:

kevin brown 2.22
jason schmidt 2.23
hideo nomo 2.41
woody williams 2.55
mark prior 2.64
jae seo 2.66
kaz ishii 2.78
miguel batista 2.83
kerry wood 2.94
carlos zambrano 2.95

three cubs make the list. i didn't do that on purpose. i'm not even a cubs fan. i just live in chicago. i swear!

don't talk to me about wins.

ok if we thought era was important, we'd feel like we had a pretty good handle on things: tight race at the top, bunching in the high 2's.

but we would be deluding ourselves (hypothetical delusion . . . don't ya hate it?). era is an ok stat for measuring pitchers. the problem is it takes like 500 innings before it starts to tell you things. since old hoss radbourne doesn't pitch any more, we need other metrics to effectively evaluate a single season. it's funny that that thought doesn't occur to cy young voters. there's a lot that's funny about baseball.

new list (wal con pow):

kevin brown .068 .765 .083
jason schmidt .075 .705 .140
hideo nomo .102 .789 .143
woody williams .067 .819 .142
mark prior .075 .720 .161
jae seo .054 .868 .142
kaz ishii .164 .731 .139
miguel batista .086 .824 .111
kerry wood .122 .650 .209
carlos zambrano .124 .776 .104

where did kevin brown get that pow? some skill, some dodger stadium, and a lot of luck. batista and zambrano have also been lucky in that regard. wood has been unlucky. see the plethora of .14's? pitchers do not vary the way batters do.

jae seo has been hit lucky. you gotta love his control, but with that kind of contact he will not keep his era under 3. the three dodgers pitchers have also been hit lucky, and it's not a coincidence, it's defense. woody williams is another guy that benefits from exceptional defense.

so who's the best? schmidt, probably, followed by wood. wood's con is outstanding, and his pow will come down. brown and prior are next. seo, batista, and zambrano will slip. nomo, williams, and ishii will fall some, but their defenses will keep them in it.

who did we leave out?

javier vazquez .063 .708 .261
randy wolf .102 .751 .211
adam eaton .096 .765 .211
matt clement .107 .772 .207
kevin millwood .075 .776 .197
odalis perez .063 .801 .218
matt morris .060 .802 .190
ben sheets .051 .826 .243
carl pavano .042 .830 .204
jason jennings .114 .790 .215

these guys are all better than seo, batista, and zambrano. what do they have in common? bad luck in pow. vazquez is the best of this group. his .261 comes from that bandbox in san juan they call a stadium. shout out to a colorado pitcher for making the list.

soon: al starters, relievers.
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