The Boston Red Sox: Defenders of the 2004 World Championship!! "Whoever plunges into his experiences with the momentum of hope, will remember so that he cannot forget." - Soren Kierkegaard.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Will the Sox be better than the MFY as far as pitching staffs are concerned? Both teams have re-tooled their pitching staffs, and I thought I would take a look at it. (I actually just mistyped and put "tit" and kind of enjoyed it.)

Here is how I see it breaking down:

1. Schilling - Johnson: even. Schilling is younger, Johnson is a lefty, Johnson's era is better, Schilling is the best big game pitcher on the planet. This could go on for a while.

2. Miller - Mussina: even. Mussina has been going down hill every year as he is getting older. Miller is coming off an injury, but when healthy is an ace on any staff without Schilling or Johnson.

3. Wells - Pavano: slight edge to Wells. Wells has pitched effectively under a lot of pressure as a Yankee. He has played in front of bad defenses, small parks, and is great in the postseason. Pavano is switching leagues. He was alright in the postseason with the Marlins. He is a pitcher that survives on the defense behind him (kind of like Lowe). He is coming from one of the best defensive clubs in baseball to one of the worst. He is going from a pitcher's park to a hitter's park. He is going from the offensively inept NL to face the big guns of the AL. Plus the DH.

4. Clement - Wright: slight edge to Clement. Wright has had no success in the AL and is coming off a career year under the best pitching coach ever in Atlanta. Although Clement is switching leagues, he has been improving each year.

5. Arroyo - Brown: Brown. Arroyo is getting better. He was great during the second half of last year. Brown is always injured but has also been dominating.

Here is the statistical breakdown of the pitchers both us and the MFY have signed (not traded for). Note: I think the K/BB stat is very important in the AL. If you walk batters, they make you pay.

Carl Pavano
Last three seasons: 36-31, 4.15 era, 2.53 K/BB
Career: 57-58, 4.21 era, 2.28 K/BB
Signed: 4 years, $40 million

Jaret Wright
Last three seasons: 14-13, 8.78 era, 1.49 K/BB
Career: 15-8, 5.09 era, 1.54 K/BB

Wright has actually gotten worse over his last three seasons. If you take out his year with the Braves (2004), his numbers for 2001-03 look like this:

6-10, 9.86 era, 1.02 K/BB (yup, that's 1 K for every BB).
Signed: 3 years, $21 million

David Wells
Last 3 Seasons: 46-22, 3.87 era, 4.38 K/BB
Career: 212-136, 4.04 era, 3.07 K/BB
Signed: 2 years, $8 million

Wells has been better over his last 3 years AND career than Carl Pavano. His is older, but more experienced, cheaper, and seasoned.

Matt Clement
Last 3 Seasons: 35-36, 3.80 era, 2.39 K/BB
Career: 69-75, 4.34 era, 1.89 K/BB
Signed: 3 years, $25.5 million

Not great numbers, but he has shown improvement.

Wade Miller
Last 3 Seasons:36-24, 3.59 era, 2.03 K/BB
career: 58-39, 3.87 era, 2.15 K/BB

And finally, for shits and giggles, Schilling vs. Johnson, last 3 years:

Schilling: 52-22, 3.15 era, 5.39 K/BB, not quite a Hall of Famer
Johnson: 46-27, 3.06 era, 5.31 K/BB, Hall of Famer

What does all this mean? From a statistical standpoint the Sox made better signings. The Sox won the World Series last year while the MFY had a better rotation April 1. Oh, and for all of those "Schilling and Miller both got injured last year" crap, Johnson was injured 2 years ago and won the Cy Young. Pedro had the same injury that Miller had and bounced back and was in the top 3 for Cy Young voting the next year.

I am a Sox fan and an optimist so I think they will do better than the MFY. Both teams are so equal (If the MFY get Johnson), it is all going to come down to chemistry. The Sox have it, the MFY don't.