25 June 2009

Game 72 Unfair Loss Shares

Wolf lost the game, but the Dodgers weren't buried after he went out. If the Dodgers had received some good relief pitching, as they so often have this year, then they might have won the game, or at least sent it to extra innings. Instead Wade came in and laid an egg. The egg hatched and out came a couple of two run home runs.

Wade's ERA now sits at 5.88. That's bad, but sometimes with relievers ERA can be deceiving. Here is a look at Wade's distribution of runs allowed in each appearance:

0 runs -- 17
1 runs -- 3
2 runs -- 3
3 runs -- 0
4 runs -- 2

Wade almost never pitches more than an inning. When he has, it's been 2 innings, and he hasn't given up a run in any of those outings. Wade has also allowed two inherited runners to score, once a man at second with two outs, once a man at first with no outs. Both of those runs tied the game, and both came in games where Wade didn't allow a run of his own to score. So, of Wade's 25 appearances, 10 have hurt the Dodgers in some way. To me this isn't a very reliable reliever, though I suppose you can do a lot worse.

Mota, unlike Wade, pitched a scoreless inning yesterday. I've been down on Mota all year, but I'm wondering if maybe Mota is a better option than Wade at this point. Here is Mota's distribution of runs table:

0 runs -- 21
1 runs -- 2
2 runs -- 2
3 runs -- 2
4 runs -- 1

Mota has also allowed 7 inherited runners to score in 6 different games, though three of these runners were at third with less than two outs when he entered the game. Twice Mota allowed no runs of his own to score but did allow a preventable inherited runner to score, so Mota has hurt the Dodgers in 9 of his 28 appearances. Not great either, but a better rate than Wade. Mota's ERA is 4.80, a full run lower than Wade's. Does all this mean Mota is a better pitcher this year than Wade?

I guess it might. Both pitchers have 17 strikeouts, though Wade's have come in 4 fewer innings. ( 26 for Wade, 30 for Mota ) Mota has walked 13, while Wade has walked 10, but you know, Wade walked only 15 last year, in more than 70 innings. There's the biggest difference between 2008 Wade and 2009 Wade, I think. Meanwhile Mota has 7 strikeouts and just 1 walk in June, so maybe he has turned the corner. It sure seems as if Mota is headed in the right direction, and Wade is headed in the wrong direction, but you just never know with relievers. You can make all the plans you want and they will knock those plans right into a cocked hat.

Usage patterns for both relievers are revealing. Mota really hasn't been trusted at all this year. Most of his appearances have come when the Dodgers already trailed. He has never been called on with a small lead, outside of one game when he came in while the Dodgers led by 2. Now if the Dodgers have huge lead, Mota is your man, as he's mopped up three times when the Dodgers had a double digit lead. Mota has been called upon in four ties, but three of those were in extra innings when there were likely no other good options left. The fourth was the game he recently lost to the Angels in the eighth inning.

Unlike Mota, Wade has been trusted by Torre a lot this year. Most of his appearances have come when the Dodgers led. But clearly there has been a shift in Torre's trust in Wade. Before May 24, Wade had never been called to enter a game when the Dodgers trailed. Since that date, 7 of Wade's 11 appearances have come when the Dodgers trailed. He has recently entered two games in which the Dodgers led by 1, and both times he left with the Dodgers tied. Wade is clearly slipping down the bullpen depth chart and his bad performances are greasing the skids. Not too long ago it would have been Wade entering that tie against the Angels instead of Mota. ( Wade was available, having faced just three batters the day before and none the day before that. ) But now, Wade has replaced Mota as the Dodgers' worst reliever. At least until Will Ohman comes back.

Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Wolf -- 2
Wade -- 1

Unfair Win Shares ( White Stockings )

Fields -- 1
Dye -- 1
Floyd -- 1

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