Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is Ron Washington Already Losing the Managerial Battle of Wits to Bruce Bochy?

Ron Washington moves makes one think, and not in a good way sometimes.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs raises an interesting question about the pitching rotation that Washington has set for the World Series.

In game 2, he’s decided to hand the ball to C.J. Wilson, and then turn to Tommy Hunter in Game 4. I’m not sure I would have made the same call in either case.

The main difference between starting Game 2 and Game 3 is the ballpark in which you pitch. Washington chose to throw Wilson in San Francisco and Colby Lewis in Texas, but based on their styles of pitching and the respective ways the parks play, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Let’s just start with the obvious: 44.5 percent of Colby Lewis’ balls in play this year were flyballs, compared to just 33.5 percent for C.J. Wilson. Wilson has the highest groundball rate of any pitcher on the Rangers’ roster, in fact, while Lewis has the lowest groundball rate of any of their starters. They are complete opposites on what kinds of balls in play they allow.
It is a very interesting question but if you look at their splits it is less interesting. For their careers Lewis has done better at home, while Wilson has been roughly equal wherever he starts.

Colby Lewis career at home: 5.02 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 4.45 xFIP

Colby Lewis career away: 5.50 ERA, 4.70 FIP, 4.54 xFIP

C.J. Wilson career at home: 3.96 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 4.06 xFIP

C.J. Wilson career away: 3.81 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 4.00 xFIP

This decision is at least somewhat defensible, although the argument that Lewis pitching style matches up with AT&T park we make me consider having him go in game 2.

This however isn't the end of Dave's argument against Washington's rotation, he also questions why Tommy Hunter is starting over David Holland.

The other curious decision is to give Tommy Hunter another start in Game 4. Derek Holland is simply a better pitcher than Hunter, and he’s been excellent in relief in the postseason. The decision was reportedly based on the Giants having a right-handed heavy line-up, but they actually hit RHP better than LHP this year, and as we discussed yesterday, their options for a DH against LHP are not good. By starting a righty, the Giants will be able to use a better alignment of players in Game 4.
This is a real head scratcher. I don't understand the logic of this one either but it benefits the Giants so I will gladly take it. Tommy Hunter has been a lucky pitcher this season, he is not as good as his 13-4 record would indicate. He doesn't strike people out, he gives up a lot of home runs


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1 comment:

  1. We will take all the help we can get!

    ReplyDelete