Sunday, June 01, 2008

Dodger Starters Getting Surprising Amounts of Support?

Chad Billingsley pitched seven shutout innings yesterday and the offense scored two runs for him. Hiroki Kuroda pitched 6 1/3 innings Tuesday and got one run to work with. The perception has been that Dodger starters, especially Derek Lowe, receive very little run support. But Bill Shaikin in today's LA Times has compiled some surprising numbers from STATS LLC:

Highest run support per nine innings, with a losing record:

1. Brad Penny, Dodgers 6.81 5-6 5.66
7. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers 5.06 4-6 3.98
8. Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers 5.00 2-4 3.29

Three Dodgers in the top ten for run support? That's shocking. (No Dodger starter has a winning record, which (sadly) simplifies matters. Also, the numbers are through Friday's games, so yesterday's debacle isn't reflected in Billingley's line.) I found this so unbelievable that I checked Baseball-Reference to confirm. Naturally, the numbers don't match up:

Run Support (team's total runs scored in starts, avg. is per 27 outs used)

Brad Penny 5.52 5-6 5.66
Hiroki Kuroda 4.11 2-4 3.29
Chad Billingsley 3.90 4-6 3.29
Derek Lowe 3.88 2-5 4.52

B-R's numbers include yesterday's game, explaining Billingsley's lower ERA in the second chart. And that's where my analytical abilities end. Anyone have an explanation for the difference in the RS numbers? Please chime in.


StolenMonkey86 said...

guess it depends on if you count runs per game or runs while the pitcher is going, or at least is factored into the decision.

Orel said...

But I read "per nine innings" and "per 27 outs" as the same thing.

Eric Karros said...

Hmm, interesting, I don't know how run support is calculated. I agree w/ you Orel that 9 innings = 27 outs, but I think stolenmonkey86 means the following:

Let's say Brad Penny pitches 6 innings during which the Dodgers score 3 runs. Then in innings 7-9 after he's pulled, the Dodgers score 6 more runs, for a total of 9 for the game.

Run support for this game could be calculated as either:
a) 9.0 --> for the 9 innings in the game that Penny started, or
b) 4.5 --> 3 runs per 6 innings that Penny was actually pitching = 4.5 runs per 9 innings.

Is that what you meant, stolenmonkey?

Rob said...

Yeah, how did you calculate run support? It's not clear to me that this is available from B-Ref.

Rob said...

Annoying as hell to use, but ESPN's pitching stats include run support. THEIR numbers show the following, normalized to nine innings of work:

Billingsley 4.80
Kuroda 4.94
Lowe 4.75
Penny 6.81

Orel said...

At the bottom of each pitcher's B-R page (linked in the second chart) is a "Run Support" section.