Friday, 9 April 2010

First Bullpen Hero Award for 2010

Last year my frustration with the bullpen drove me to create the Bullpen Goat of the Day awards, which I later in less churlish mood supplemented with Bullpen Heroes of the Day. I fully anticipated that the first award of 2010 would be a Goat, but Matt Capps managed to snatch the Hero's palm away from Brian Bruney yesterday.

These awards are based on the concept of 'P', the work of sabermetrician Doug Drinen which first appeared in the 1990s-era Big Bad Baseball Annual (previously known as the Baseball Sabermetric and the lineal line of descent from Bill James' original Baseball Abstract series). 'P' calculates the win probability at the moment when a reliever enters the game, and what it will be if he retires the side from that point. I've added the actual result of the pitcher's work, and calculated the difference between the ideal and the actual. Here are the scores from yesterday's game:

Capps         .175
Bruney .127
Clippard -.004
Burnett -.352

Another statistic I have lifted from the Big Bad Baseball Annual stable is QMAX, which is a more sophisticated way of analysing starts than the Quality Start/Not Quality Start binary opposition. The interesting thing is that Craig Stammen pitched the worst kind of start (in the 'Hit Hard' category), and yet the Nationals' still won. That means the lineup and the bullpen were the difference in this game. And with a 1-2 record after three 'Hit Hard' starts in a row, against the tough Phillies' lineup, it shows that the despair that many may have felt going into yesterday's game might be a trifle misplaced.

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