A Thread for Starting Pitchers That Are Jacob deGrom

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Does he have even an outside chance to finish the year with an ERA under 1.12? Getting beat up even once would pretty much end that. Gibson threw so many innings in 1968, he had enough wiggle room that I think he did have one or two relatively poor starts.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 16:49 (one week ago) link

Seems impossible to me. But my experience is mostly with starting pitchers that are not Jacob DeGrom.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 2 June 2021 16:50 (one week ago) link

And of course, he's simultaneously making a serious run at Williams' .406.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 16:51 (one week ago) link

Looked up Gibson's game log for '68. He never got hammered; a couple of starts where he gave up 4 earned runs, but even there, he pitched 9 and 11 innings. Mets have 113 games remaining, which'd be 21-24 more starts for deGrom if he stays healthy, probably another 150 innings. He's got a bit of a cushion right now, but a real longshot.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 17:14 (one week ago) link

deGrom's era- is 19, I doubt it stays this way but for reference, the Pedro twin masterpiece seasons were 42 and 35. Gibson's 1968 was 38.

Van Horn Street, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 21:19 (one week ago) link

Quick comparison of deGrom's career ERA+ (presently third all-time behind Rivera and Pedro), covering eight seasons, to the best eight-year run of some other post-war pitchers. I'm just doing a visual scan of career boxes, so I may not have the absolute best eight-year run for the some of the others.

Pedro ('97-04) - 194
Maddux ('92-99) - 179
Kershaw ('11-18) - 174
Johnson ('97-04) - 171
deGrom - 155
Clemens ('86-93) - 151
Scherzer ('13-20) - 146
Seaver ('68-75) - 145
Schilling ('97-04) - 142
Koufax ('59-66) - 141
Marichal ('62-69) - 141
Gibson ('64-71) - 140
Verlander ('11-18) - 133
Carlton ('69-77) - 122

There are others who would be on that list--Sale, Santana, Blyleven, probably a few more. Very informal: tried to pick the most famous pitchers.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:05 (one week ago) link

Carlton's peak was more diffuse, so a couple of his greatest seasons aren't included; ditto Clemens' two years with the Jays.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:06 (one week ago) link

Pedro is from a distant fictional world.

Van Horn Street, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:27 (one week ago) link

Also I checked for Halladay ('04-11) and it's 148!

Van Horn Street, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:27 (one week ago) link

seaver threw 1000 more innings during his eight-year run and even kershaw threw 400 (25%) more

obviously the standards for starters are changing -- we may never have another 300-game winner -- but degrom's rate stats will have to be insane into his late 30s to make up for the overall value lost by throwing so few innings

mookieproof, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:52 (one week ago) link

(tbf he'd have probably thrown 100 more had 2020 been a normal season)

mookieproof, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:54 (one week ago) link

I checked Halladay too, but I got something like 135...I'm guessing you used 2002-2011, a 10-year-run. I was trying to stick to eight, and couldn't get his Cy Young season with the Jays and his greatest years with the Phillies into the same window.

No argument about the innings. One good thing is the widespread and almost total understanding that he might be the most extreme case on record of a meaningless win total.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 June 2021 23:57 (one week ago) link

Not sure if Maddux's domination relative to era (beginning of the offensive boom) is fully appreciated; that window above includes a mediocre year in '99.

clemenza, Thursday, 3 June 2021 00:00 (one week ago) link

ERA + would reflect the hitting at the time tho, no?

It does, that's why he does so well on that list. That's what I mean--I don't think it's fully appreciated that his sub-2.00 years were in the middle of an offensive boom (ditto Pedro/Johnson/Clemens...even more so with Maddux, I think, because he wasn't first and foremost a strikeout pitcher).

clemenza, Thursday, 3 June 2021 00:18 (one week ago) link

I checked Halladay too, but I got something like 135...I'm guessing you used 2002-2011, a 10-year-run. I was trying to stick to eight, and couldn't get his Cy Young season with the Jays and his greatest years with the Phillies into the same window.

No argument about the innings. One good thing is the widespread and almost total understanding that he might be the most extreme case on record of a meaningless win total.

― clemenza, Wednesday, June 2, 2021 7:57 PM (twenty-five minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I went for 2004-2011. Sliding the years to 2003-2010, didn't change much. I probably did something wrong!

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 June 2021 00:25 (one week ago) link

The thing I love about deGrom is how even when he doesn't have his best stuff he figures things out. So many games where he gives up 1-2 runs in the 1st or 2nd inning on 20+ pitches, then he starts bearing down and you look up and its the 6th and he's thrown 85 pitches and no one else even got on.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Thursday, 3 June 2021 00:51 (one week ago) link

ERA+ doesn't really reflect the hitting climate (other than including park-factor adjustments) -- it's relative to other pitchers, not offense, e.g. maddux's 179 meant he was 79% better than league-average pitchers during that stretch.

i suppose it might actually be easier to differentiate yourself in a high-run environment -- when the league has a 5.00 ERA you can be a star with a 2.50 ERA; when the league has a 2.50 ERA, you can barely make any mistakes at all to be that much better than average

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 June 2021 00:54 (one week ago) link

Well, his ERA+ the last four seasons are 218, 171, 182, and, uh, 548 (this season, so far).

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Thursday, 3 June 2021 01:08 (one week ago) link

(xpost) But the hitting climate determines, to a degree, how well the other pitchers are doing, no? If it's an offensive boom year, and everybody else has an ERA of 3.50+ (Maddux won the ERA title in '94 by over a run, and then in '95 by almost a run), then your sub-2.00 ERA looks that much better. The reasoning seems circular here...you end up back at the same place.

clemenza, Thursday, 3 June 2021 02:10 (one week ago) link

Ya that’s true.

Yes and no, and the big factor is indeed the amount of innings you pitch, for which Pedro (become of his injuries and relatively shorter career), Rivera (because of his role) and deGrom (he is a late bloomer) have a rather distinct advantages in that regard. Mookie is right in that changes in pitching strategies will make it hard for us to compare a stat like era+ accross generations.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 June 2021 04:20 (one week ago) link

The first thing I’ve learned from Morbs on ILB is that one stat won’t capture the identity of a player, so looking into just era+ (or era-) won’t really tell the whole story on how deGrom is great and how he compares to other greats.

(I used the era- number myself more as an exclamation point.)

(19!)

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 June 2021 04:26 (one week ago) link

If deGrom throws 200 IP this year, he needs to have 25 ER or fewer to beat Gibson. He's given up 4 ER thus far, so he can give up 21 ER in 150 IP the rest of way ... a 1.26 ERA from now until the end of the season. Doesn't seem likely but I hope he finds a way!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 3 June 2021 08:10 (one week ago) link

You beat me to it--I was going try a similar estimation. Sounds within reach when you lay it out. (Except, just like Thermo is singlehandedly responsible for the meltdown of the Jays' bullpen, this thread has guaranteed that deGrom will get chased in the second inning next start.)

I just used ERA+ because it's quick and easy; of course no stat can capture everything. When I pushed back on WAR when I first came on here, that was basically my point. I'd put together some comparison, include a whole bunch of things, and someone would say "Why bother? WAR already accounts for all that."

I've got to be stubborn on the meaning of ERA+, though. It adjusts for two things: your park and league offense. The second adjustment reflects offense across the league, not the other pitchers, not unless you believe they get better or worse in lockstep, and do so independent of things like PEDs or lively baseballs or emphasis on launch angle and all that. When Pedro gets a huge adjustment for 1999 and 2000 (as he should), it's because of the crazy offense, not because all the other pitchers in the league suddenly and mysteriously got worse.

clemenza, Thursday, 3 June 2021 12:29 (one week ago) link

> one stat won’t capture the identity of a player

Uh, I think you guys are forgetting wins!

I still don't understand how a batter is supposed to pick up his slider vs his change-up... all the while knowing a high 100mph fastball is an option too. As long as he executes his pitches, I don't see how you strategize against him.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 June 2021 15:08 (one week ago) link

Has there been a batter who has consistently got his number?

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 June 2021 15:11 (one week ago) link

His personal Tony Gwynn? Interesting question.

stanton is .333/.419/.815 with 4 HR in 31 PA

rizzo is .435/.480/.609 in 25 PA

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 June 2021 15:38 (one week ago) link

I was curious, so I looked at the three lowest seasonal ERAs since Gibson's season to see what those ERAs would have been if you removed the pitcher's three worst starts. Three lowest: Gooden in '85 (1.53), Maddux in '94 (1.56), and--same season as Gibson--Tiant in '68 (1.60). The one that may end up being directly comparable to deGrom is Maddux, who only threw 202 innings in a strike-shortened season. Gooden was over 270, Tiant close to 260, so a single start had relatively less effect with them.

All three had one start where they gave up five earned runs. If you eliminate those, you get:

Maddux - 1.38 / Gooden - 1.39 / Tiant - 1.47

After that, you're looking at starts of mostly three earned runs, varying lengths, with one of four earned runs for Tiant. (Tiant didn't go six innings in his second- and third-worst starts).

With their two worst starts eliminated:

Maddux - 1.28 / Gooden - 1.32 / Tiant - 1.39

Eliminating their three worst starts:

Maddux 1.19 / Gooden - 1.25 / Tiant - 1.27

What I get from this is that avoiding one terrible start isn't enough; even when eliminating Maddux's three worst starts in a shortened season, he still comes up short (although very close). deGrom pretty much has to limit himself to one or zero runs every start.

clemenza, Thursday, 3 June 2021 23:56 (one week ago) link

He's almost always good for one or two "bad" starts.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Friday, 4 June 2021 01:14 (one week ago) link

I'm guessing that one bad start is his margin of error. (Those five-run starts by Maddux, Gooden, and Tiant were all five or six innings, by the way.)

clemenza, Friday, 4 June 2021 01:31 (one week ago) link

James on deGrom's chances (answering a reader e-mail from me): "It's very unlikely...I'd say it is a 5% chance, maybe." (His whole answer was a little longer.)

Posnanski, posted today (much longer): "I'd say he has a real shot...If deGrom can keep the few fly balls he allows in the ballpark, yes, this could be the year."

clemenza, Saturday, 5 June 2021 03:18 (one week ago) link

fwiw ten pitchers have won at least three cys. the only ones who *aren't* in the hall are scherzer, kershaw and clemens

mookieproof, Saturday, 5 June 2021 06:03 (one week ago) link

I think the rule-of-three when it comes to Cys or MVPs is 100% if PEDs aren't involved.

clemenza, Saturday, 5 June 2021 11:58 (one week ago) link

(If they are, even the rule-of-seven doesn't work.)

clemenza, Saturday, 5 June 2021 11:59 (one week ago) link

Good test for deGrom tonight, promises to be exciting.

Van Horn Street, Sunday, 6 June 2021 01:18 (one week ago) link

First 8 pitches: all 100 MPH

Michael F Gill, Sunday, 6 June 2021 02:32 (one week ago) link

That terrible 3rd strike call aside, I was just laughing at the glory of it.

Van Horn Street, Sunday, 6 June 2021 02:33 (one week ago) link

Mets booth said that Dwight Gooden has been scheduling his week around Degrom starts.

Michael F Gill, Sunday, 6 June 2021 03:51 (one week ago) link

Gooden and I have something in common then!

Van Horn Street, Sunday, 6 June 2021 04:17 (one week ago) link

It wasn’t drugs?

Nah, never touched that!

Van Horn Street, Sunday, 6 June 2021 15:45 (one week ago) link

I checked in every few innings online last night. I take it he loaded the bases at one point; that's how precarious and improbable chasing Gibson is--one bad pitch can set you back weeks.

clemenza, Sunday, 6 June 2021 16:28 (one week ago) link

There was an error in that inning so I believe the first run would have been unearned. Also Degrom has in the past been super adept at escaping bases loaded jams unscathed.

Michael F Gill, Sunday, 6 June 2021 17:31 (one week ago) link

Not especially meaningful, but:

https://img.mlbstatic.com/mlb-images/image/private/t_16x9/t_w1536/mlb/cdobiao2scbuwhrunhrq.jpg

clemenza, Friday, 11 June 2021 12:48 (three days ago) link

Only four innings, but I can't resist:

A Thread for Pitchers Who Are Doing Really Well and Are Jacob deGrom

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:18 (two days ago) link

I have a classic second-guess. Snell walks two guys to load the bases with one out, he's upset over a call, and the next batter swings at the first pitch; check swing, inning-ending double play.

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:29 (two days ago) link

0.58 at the moment.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:32 (two days ago) link

I'm actually watching. I hardly ever watch baseball anymore. I just fiddle with numbers and spout opinions.

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:35 (two days ago) link

You should watch baseball more often in my opinion, especially Vladdy Jr.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:38 (two days ago) link

but yeah every deGrom is fun to watch at this point, feels like post-season.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:39 (two days ago) link

I don't understand that Snell balk.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:45 (two days ago) link

What a guy!

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:46 (two days ago) link

I mean, he almost fakes out the infield on the first pitch, then with two strikes he turns into Rod Carew.

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 00:47 (two days ago) link

0.56 now

k3vin k., Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:07 (two days ago) link

6 innings, 80 pitches, 1 hit, 10 K, no walks, 3-0 lead. Unless he asked to be taken out, this seems premature by an inning, at least.

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:10 (two days ago) link

It's probably one of those post-shortened season precautions.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:14 (two days ago) link

rojas gonna rojas

k3vin k., Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:24 (two days ago) link

The Mets' announcers said deGrom's ERA is the lowest through 10 starts since Marichal in '66 (0.59--his 10th start was a 14-inning shutout!). Marichal's next three starts: 3 ER (9 innings), 6 ER (4 innings), 6 ER (6 innings). He finished the year at 2.23 over 307.1 innings.

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:29 (two days ago) link

I will take VHS's advice and go watch Vlad--3 for 3, double, HR, walk.

clemenza, Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:32 (two days ago) link

Mets suck

calstars, Saturday, 12 June 2021 01:42 (two days ago) link

Tendonitis


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