02 May 2009

Game 24 Unfair Win Shares

How did Jake Peavy outpitch Clayton Kershaw? Let me list the ways.

Peavy threw 69% of his pitches for strikes; Kershaw only got 61% of his pitches over the plate.

Peavy went 8 innings; Kershaw went 7.

Peavy allowed 3 baserunners; Kershaw allowed 6.

Peavy struck out 8; Kershaw 3.

Peavy faced a lineup that has an OPS on the season of 0.808 and allowed no runs; Kershaw faced a lineup with 0.740 OPS and allowed ... no runs.

So yeah, Peavy was by a fair margin the better pitcher yesterday. I think I'd even say that if Manny had managed to pop a solo shot out of the park at some point. But Kershaw was good enough to keep the Dodgers even. And Peavy wasn't strong enough, or efficient enough, or something enough to go nine innings, and so the game was lost once he was out of the way. I'm not saying Peavy bears any blame for "only" going 8 innings, or that Bud Black did anything wrong when he pulled Peavy after 115 pitches. I think Bud Black did something wrong in bringing in Duaner Sanchez instead of Heath Bell. The game is on the line, Bud. If the Dodgers score it's over, so why not go to your best reliever who has had two full days of rest? That's a Pointy-Haired loss share for you, Bud. I'm happy to award it. I just hope I don't have to award one of these to Torre for the exact same offense later in the season. I fear I will.

Kershaw still needs to have better control. That's what got him into trouble in Houston and Colorado and it's what nearly got him into trouble in the fourth inning last night. That said it was really really REALLY reassuring to see him come back with a good outing. Even a great outing, judging just by the results. I just hope he doesn't turn into an early career Ervin Santana pitcher: great at home, lousy on the road. I suppose I should see what he does in a non-hitters road park first, I guess, before panicking.

Kershaw will get two of the unfair win shares, since there's just about no one else to give them to. Poor Peavy gets none, because his team lost. Allow me to chuckle gleefully at this for a moment. ( I really don't like Peavy. Every time he pitches against the Dodgers I'm rooting for Mariano Duncan to run onto the field and tackle him or something. ) So who gets the last spot on the podium next to Kershaw and his clone? I'm going with Ohman's clutch eighth inning mop up of Belisario's mess. Martin's walk was good but it comes up just short.

Before I go, I have to wonder if that game was the dullest walk-off win game ever. I'm NOT saying that game was dull, as games go. I like pitching duels, and just because no one is scoring doesn't mean nothing is happening. But when the only run of the game comes on a bases loaded walk --- you have to wonder. But there is also this: There was about an inch of checked swing between the win and extra innings. That call of "no swing" was about as exciting as a walk will ever get, I guess.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Kershaw -- 2
Ohman -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Padres )

Sanchez -- 1
Headley -- 1
Eckstein -- 1

( Headley had one hit but he also had a terrible game, with a double play and multiple runners stranded in scoring position. )

Pointy-Haired Loss Share

Black -- 1

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