• Daisuke Matsuzaka Splits

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (6)

    The Red Sox’ Dice-K threw a good game against the Devil Rays last night. Still, at this point it the season, I find myself asking the question “Is there a reason for Boston to still have Matsuzaka-mania?

    Yes, Matsuzaka’s ERA on the season is now 3.76 – which is very, very, good. But, when you look at how Matsuzaka has pitched against A.L. teams with post-season hopes, it paints a different story.

    In the 66.2 IP (over 10 games) that Matsuzaka has thrown against the Yankees, Tigers, Indians and Mariners this season, his ERA is 4.86 – and that’s not as pretty as 3.76.

    Could it be that Daisuke Matsuzaka has the stuff to beat bad teams but not enough stuff to beat the good ones? It will be interesting to see how Dice-K does in October this year, should Boston make it to the post-season (which they should).

    Comments on Daisuke Matsuzaka Splits

    1. JRVJ
      August 23rd, 2007 | 10:46 am


      This is probably as good a place as any to mention this, so here goes:

      1. On August 9th, you posted about how the Yankees did not hit good pitchers all that well (or most good pitchers).


      2. Two of the ten pitchers named were Kelvim Escobar and John Lackey.

      At the time, Escobar had pitched 7 innings against the Yankees and allowed 1 run, for an ERA of 1.29.

      Lackey had pitched 16 innings, allowed 2 runs, for an ERA of 1.69.

      3. Well, the Yankees got 5 runs off of Escobar in 6 innings last tuesday, for a total of 13 innings pitched, 6 earned runs allowed and an ERA of 4.15.

      The Yankees got 4 runs in 7 innings off of Lackey last night, for a total of 7 runs in 23 innings and an ERA of 2.73.

      I still think that the sample sizes are too small for ALL these pitchers, but it seems to me that the Yankees didn’t have any trouble hitting either one of these two pitchers this week (in the Escobar game, the Yankees were unlucky to have had one of the worst Mooses make its appearance).

      Care to comment

    2. JRVJ
      August 23rd, 2007 | 10:54 am

      One additional comment – I’d mentioned in the early August comments thread that those stats you’d quoted were misleading, because the Yankees had been very cold during part of the early 2007 season (i.e., they weren’t hitting ANYONE, whether a good or bad pitcher).

      It’s good to keep in mind that the Yankees had gotten 6, 5, 9 and 6 runs in the previous 4 games to playing against Escobar and Lackey this time around.

      In essence, the Yankees faced Escobar and Lackey THIS time while they were hitting much better than earlier in the season.

      Now granted, they might have hit other pitchers better, but it’s good to keep in mind that when the Yankees are ON, they tend to hit MOST pitchers not named Beddard well.

    3. August 23rd, 2007 | 11:12 am

      JRVJ – when it’s 9 against 1, isn’t it more an issue of the pitcher being on or not, and not the hitters?

      By this, I mean, all 9 batters in a line-up can’t be off at the same time, right? Even when the Yankees were slumping, W/L-wise, A-Rod, Jeter and Posada were batting very, very, well.

      Therefore, when the Yankees bang around a Lackey, it may be more a matter of Lackey being off than the Yankees hitters being on, no?

    4. festus
      August 23rd, 2007 | 12:17 pm

      Steve, I have no idea what you’re talking about with this comment. OF COURSE, every pitcher has on or off days, even great ones. Similarly, every line-up has good and bad days. That’s why sample size is important. Are you now going to drop Lackey and Escobar’s last starts from your dubious “Yanks don’t hit great pitching” stat b/c you thought they were off? Silly. What’s missing from your earlier post on the Yanks v. good pitchers, and also missing from this Dice-K post, is any context comparing these isolated stats from what the rest of the league is doing. It doesn’t appear to me to be notable that Dice-K allows one more run against good teams than he does against bad. Isn’t that common sense? In fact, look at Moose this season and you’ll see much more extreme splits. Not saying you need to do all the number-crunching yourself, but this pick and choose approach to these stats are as maddening as Sutcliffe hyping one hitter’s success against a pitcher in 5 at bats.

    5. August 23rd, 2007 | 1:17 pm

      Then, should we just ignore Mussina beating weak teams this year and doing poorly against good teams? If not, then why should we ignore it about Dice-K?

    6. festus
      August 23rd, 2007 | 1:46 pm

      That’s not what I was saying. The stat of how a pitcher does against bad teams as compared to good teams can be meaningful, but only if it’s contextualized and based on a large enough sample size. How does Dice-K’s 1 run difference between good and bad teams compare against other good pitchers? Or against all pitchers? It would surprise me if one run is an unusually large difference, but if it is, it might turn up something to talk about.

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