Splitsville: 2005 Pitchers

 

By Keith Glab 11/30/05

 

            It is important to remember when looking at single-season splits, that one season often isn’t a very big sample size.  However, a season’s worth of stats is a larger sample size for a starting pitcher than it is for a batter.  Enjoy these interesting splits for 2005 pitchers:

 

Pre/Post All-Star Break Splits:

 

            Unlike Cesar Izturis and Brian Roberts, winners of the inaugural Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins Award, the following pitchers stepped up their respective games in the second half.  Decide for yourself whether the pitcher has turned the corner, gotten lucky, or is just a second half performer:

 

Scott Kazmir

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Pre

3-7

4.59

102

82

56

8

Post

7-2

2.79

84

92

44

4

 

            This, I believe, is an example of a 21-year old pitcher starting to figure things out.  In the second half, Kazmir struck out more than one batter an inning, and almost never allowed a homer.  Eight of his 14 second half starts were against the high-powered Boston, Cleveland, and Texas offenses, and check out his numbers versus division-rival Toronto:

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

1-1

1.72

31.1

33

10

0

 

Tampa Bay may just be one or two Kazmirs away from being a very strong ballclub next year.

 

Noah Lowry –

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Pre

5-9

5.07

104.2

87

44

16

Post

8-4

2.43

100

85

32

5

 

            Noah turned 25 in October, and is another example of a youngster figuring things out.  You can see how his HR and BB rates dropped as the season went on, while he still maintained a quality K-rate.  Just how good is Lowry?  If you throw out his three starts in Colorado, his season ERA drops 50 points from 3.78 to 3.28.

 

Jason Schmidt –

 

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Pre

6-5

5.01

93.1

88

49

11

Post

6-2

3.66

78.2

77

36

5

 

            Although he didn’t improve by quite as much as Lowry, Jason did get progressively healthier as the 2005 season wore on, and it showed up statistically.  A renaissance season from Schmidt could make the Giants favored to win the weak West in ’06.

 

Jose Contreras –

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Pre

4-5

4.26

101.1

72

48

16

Post

11-2

2.96

103.1

82

27

7

 

            Okay, so you must have slept through the entire postseason if you didn’t know that Contreras suddenly gained command of his wicked stuff in the second half of the season and into the playoffs.  But no compilation of second half pitching heroes would be complete without him.

 

Johann Santana –

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Pre

7-5

3.98

124.1

143

26

15

Post

11-2

1.59

107.1

95

19

7

 

            Okay, it’s safe to deem Johann a second-half pitcher now.  His career record is 24-16, 4.00 before the break and 35-9, 2.55 afterwards.

 

 

Home/Away Splits:

 

            Most pitchers perform better at home, unless they play in an extreme hitter’s park.  Consider the following pitchers, however:

 

Freddy Garcia –

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Home

4-5

4.38

109

67

38

17

Away

10-3

3.40

119

79

22

9

US Cell (career)

10-9

4.67

198.1

137

66

30

162-G Avg

15-9

3.93

222

166

74

24

 

            Ken Williams might have checked Freddy’s career numbers at US Cellular Field before trading for him last year.  Credit Ozzie Guillen and Company (Harold “The Brain” Baines) for noticing the split, however, as they intentionally made Garcia the #4 starter in 7-game playoff series to avoid his pitching the crucial game 7 at home. 

 

Jeff Francis –

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Home

8-4

4.88

86.2

62

25

9

Away

6-8

6.40

97

66

45

17

 

            What in the heck is going on here?  Freddy Garcia struggled in a well-known hitter’s park, but Jeff Francis comparatively thrives in the most extreme hitter’s park of all-time.  Jeff didn’t even spend much time in Colorado Springs, so it’s not like he’s just used to the thin air.  But if this trend continues, the Rockies might want to alter his rest to make certain that he pitches at home, thereby avoiding 5-straight road game stretches like Francis faced at the end of last year.

 

 

Lefty/Righty Splits:

 

            These splits aren’t utilized as often as hitter’s lefty/righty splits, and it’s a shame, because they tend to be more extreme, particularly when the hurler throws from a three-quarters or lower arm angle.  Jeff Weaver and his famous Frisbee slider epitomizes this trend:

 

Jeff Weaver –

 

 

WHIP

BAA

IP

K

BB

HR

Vs. L

1.47

.297

114.2

73

30

22

Vs. R

0.87

.208

109.1

84

13

13

 

            Now look at teammate Derek Lowe’s splits, and tell me how much trouble the Dodgers are in with Barry Bonds’ return and Brian Giles remaining in the division.

 

Derek Lowe –

 

 

WHIP

BAA

IP

K

BB

HR

Vs. L

1.52

.296

113

68

36

17

Vs. R

0.97

.219

109

78

19

11

 

 

Day/Night Splits:

 

            Most people believe day/night splits to be baloney, and I used to be one of them.  Most intelligent people believe one season of splits to be not enough of a sample size for relievers and, well, I’m still one of them.  But, when you look at both the 2005 numbers and career numbers for certain relievers, their day/night splits look like, well, like day and night:

 

Brad Lidge

 

 

W-L

Sv

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Day ‘05

0-0

10

0.00

14.1

17

6

0

Night ‘05

4-4

32

2.88

56.1

86

17

5

Career Day

3-1

19

1.26

71.2

97

35

3

Career Night

14-11

53

3.27

187.1

272

69

16

 

            That’s right, Lidge was unscored upon during day games in 2005.  Why wasn’t more made of that?  Maybe because his K/BB ratio was still much better at night, and has been his whole career.  Who cares, you say, the Cubs should trade for the man because he gets it done during day games.   Well, the thing is, Lidge’s phenomenon isn’t all that uncommon.

 

Jose Valverde

 

 

W-L

Sv

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Day ‘05

1-0

4

1.56

17.1

22

7

0

Night ‘05

2-4

11

2.76

49

53

13

5

Career Day

1-0

11

1.90

47.1

63

23

4

Career Night

5-7

22

3.09

99

121

40

12

 

Matt Wise -

 

 

W-L

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Day ‘05

1-1

1.21

22.1

17

8

0

Night ‘05

3-3

4.50

42.0

45

17

6

Career Day

2-3

2.52

60.2

42

18

4

Career Night

7-10

4.94

151.3

126

54

23

 

            What do these three pitchers have in common?  Better K/BB numbers at night, better HR/IP number during the day.  In fact, in 2005, theses three pitchers didn’t allow a homer in 54 combined innings.  For their careers, they allow an aggregate one homer per 16.3 IP during the day and one homer per 8.6 IP at night.  THEY GIVE UP TWICE AS MANY HOMERS AT NIGHT!!!!

 

            So even though these late-inning relievers have better K/BB ration at night (doubtless due to batters having worse plate vision) they are much more effective during the day because of the homer factor (possibly due to loss of concentration late at night).  So the Cubs shouldn’t pay top dollar or trade top prospects for a reliever who can dominate during the day, since it appears that most relievers can.  However, there is a closer who can be more effective at night.  Coincidentally, he is the top reliever on the free agent market right now.

 

Trevor Hoffman –

 

 

W-L

Sv

ERA

IP

K

BB

HR

Day ‘05

0-3

14

4.95

20

17

3

2

Night ‘05

1-3

29

1.91

37.2

37

9

1

Career Day

13-21

138

3.11

277.2

328

98

33

Career Night

36-32

298

2.58

544.2

587

139

41

 

            Like Lidge and Valverde, Trevor has a better K/BB ratio at night.  However, Hoffman’s career IP/HR is 8.4 during the day, and 13.3 at night.  I don’t know what else to attribute this to other than a savvy veteran being able to concentrate more when it’s late and he’s tired.  If anyone does conclusive (or heck, even more anecdotal) research on this subject, please share it with us.

 

Statistics used for this edition of Splitsville were provided by Yahoo! Sports, except for Freddy Garcia’s 162-Game Averages which were courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.  Stay logged for Splitsville: 2005 Hitters.