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Articles Tagged Rick Sutcliffe 

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How did The Garv respond to fan chants on visiting the team he'd helped eliminate a few months earlier?

At last Saturday's Dodger Stadium shindig, we heard from Vin Scully, Logan White, and Steve Garvey. All told fascinating stories, among which were Garvey's recounting of his first game at Wrigley Field after helping to knock the Cubs out of the post-season the previous October.

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August 3, 2011 9:00 am

Clubhouse Confidential: Be Like CC

4

Marc Carig

A number of pitchers traded at the deadline hope to follow in CC Sabathia's 2008 footsteps by turning around their seasons with their new teams.

CHICAGO—The Cleveland Indians team flight had just touched down after completing its journey from Minnesota when word began to spread around the cabin.

CC Sabathia, the Indians' star pitcher and free-agent-to-be, had just been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. With the plane still on the tarmac, Sabathia began saying his goodbyes to his teammates and his manager, still stunned at a reality that would eventually set in. He had gone from an also-ran with the Indians to a playoff contender with the Brewers, a change of scenery that he later called “refreshing.”

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We Open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on Thurman Munson and the repercussions of his 1977 trade to the Cleveland Indians.

Dead Player of the Day #22 (Thurman Munson Edition)

Thurman Munson C 1969-1979 (1947-1979)

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A look at how a sabermetrician would have viewed a memorable Saturday afternoon game at Wrigley Field nearly 26 years ago.

It started as an ordinary Saturday afternoon game between a third-place club and a fifth-place club—sure, there were NBC broadcasters there, but not the main announcing team of Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola.  They were in Atlanta calling the marquee matchup between Fernando Valenzuela and Pascual Perez, while this game featured a rookie starter looking for his first major-league win, and a nondescript veteran with a career 54-57 record.  Before it was over, however, one player would hit for the cycle, another would stroke a bases-loaded pinch-hit single in extra innings to win the game, and neither would be remembered as the game’s hero.  This Cubs/Cardinals tilt at Wrigley Field was one for the annals, and if you’ve ponied up the cash to log onto CompuServe to read this you probably want more detailed analysis than you’re likely to find in Monday's USA Today—and that’s what I’ll try to provide, along with some statistical tidbits from the recent cutting-edge work of “sabermetricians” Bill James, John Thorn, and Pete Palmer.

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July 8, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Preview: Tuesday's Games to Watch

0

Caleb Peiffer

Beaming Rays into the Bronx before the dying of the light, CC's Brew Crew debut, and how does Cincinnati rise above the shortstopless bar?

Today's Full Slate of Games

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February 18, 2008 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: Topping the Twins, Part Deux

0

Steven Goldman

Finishing up a romp through past deals involving Cy Young winners to compare and contrast them with the Santana deal.

This week we conclude our Johan Santana-inspired look at Cy Young winners traded less than two seasons after winning their award, all part of placing the Santana trade in some kind of context. After last week's installment, I received a note from a reader (I seem to have misplaced it, so apologies, sir, for not recognizing you by name), saying that these trade capsules really ought to indicate if the Cy Young-er being dealt was felt to have the same kind of value that Santana does. It's a good point, and we'll endeavor to make note of that this time around. Once again, we're indulging in a speculative exercise here, one which has the benefit of hindsight in the case of the older trades, and the conceit of foresight in that of the Santana trade, a deal that has already been rated a loser for the Twins by many critics.

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October 8, 2007 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: Wrigleyville Agonies

0

Steven Goldman

You think times are tough now? Dial up the wayback machine to Orwell's year for some real pain.

This probably won't make Cubs fans feel any better, but their quick exit from the playoffs doesn't compare to the devastating loss they suffered at the hands of the San Diego Padres 23 years ago. As a result, however, the Cubs will observe the 100th anniversary of their last World Series title next year. (A team reunion seems out of the question).

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Kyle Lohse got no help last Sunday. The Minnesota starter was fairly effective in his outing against the Brewers, surrendering three runs through 6 2/3 innings, and leaving a bases-loaded, two-out situation for Aaron Fultz to deal with. If Fultz could retire Brady Clark, Lohse would have a Quality Start on his ledger, and the Twins would still be in the game. Instead, Fultz and successor Joe Roa surrendered a single and two walks, the game got out of hand, and Lohse was blamed for three extra runs that he only played a small part in allowing. A few months ago, I talked about one side of this story--measuring how well relievers handle their inherited runners. But what about the starters? How much can bullpen support distort their numbers during the course of a season or a career? One way of measuring this is to compare the expected outcome of those inherited runners to the actual outcome. For example, those three runners Lohse left for his relievers with two outs would be expected to score 0.7 runs on average. That's based on this year's league scoring numbers, as well as the impact the Metrodome has on scoring. Since all three runners actually scored, Lohse's relievers cost him 2.3 runs for that particular outing. Add those numbers up for a starter, and you have a measure of the season- or career-long bullpen support he received.

A few months ago, I talked about one side of this story--measuring how well relievers handle their inherited runners. But what about the starters? How much can bullpen support distort their numbers during the course of a season or a career? One way of measuring this is to compare the expected outcome of those inherited runners to the actual outcome. For example, those three runners Lohse left for his relievers with two outs would be expected to score 0.7 runs on average. That's based on this year's league scoring numbers, as well as the impact the Metrodome has on scoring. Since all three runners actually scored, Lohse's relievers cost him 2.3 runs for that particular outing. Add those numbers up for a starter, and you have a measure of the season- or career-long bullpen support he received.

We've tracked bullpen support of starting pitchers in our Support-Neutral pitching stats reports over the years. We recently added historical SNWL reports going back to 1963, which you can find on our statistics page. The historical numbers are made possible by the amazing folks at Retrosheet, who have painstakingly reconstructed play-by-play accounts of every game in the NL going back to 1969, and in the AL going back to 1965 (plus 1963). We're still missing the play-by-play for a couple of seasons in the post-Retrosheet years, but the data we have gives us a nearly-complete picture of starters' bullpen support over the past three-plus decades.

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February 18, 2004 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: 1984 Part II: The Universe of Battle

0

Steven Goldman

In part one of the current series remembering the 1984 season, You Could Look It Up revisited the champion Detroit Tigers--a phrase difficult to write with any comprehension giving the current decrepit state of the franchise--a team whose dominance came as the result of surrounding a strong core with a large cadre of role players. It's a solution set that is largely impossible now, due to the prevalence of bullpens bulging with mediocre lefties. At various times in the 1984 season, Bobby Cox, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, platooned at catcher, third base, right field, and designated hitter. The Toronto bullpen was widely perceived to have been a disaster, yet Cox used 12 pitchers all year long. Truly, we live in a time like unto the dark ages, where the wisdom of the past has been lost and superstition thrives. With no further ado, let's continue by dropping in on George Steinbrenner and pals during the summer of Wham.

It's a solution set that is largely impossible now, due to the prevalence of bullpens bulging with mediocre lefties. At various times in the 1984 season, Bobby Cox, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, platooned at catcher, third base, right field, and designated hitter. The Toronto bullpen was widely perceived to have been a disaster, yet Cox used 12 pitchers all year long. Truly, we live in a time like unto the dark ages, where the wisdom of the past has been lost and superstition thrives.

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The focus on pitcher workloads--largely through tracking pitch counts--is perhaps the most heated area of contention between old-school baseball people and outside performance analysts. Baseball Prospectus has been a big part of the debate, with Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner developing and refining tools that measure workload and investigating the effects, short- and long-term, of throwing a lot of pitches. At the other end of the spectrum are coaches and ex-players, many of whom have been in the game since before Woolner and Jazayerli were born. These men believe that pitch counts are a secondary tool at best, and at the extreme, proffer the notion that the real problem is that pitchers today are babied, not like the men years ago who always went nine innings. Or 12. Or even 26. Lost in that line of thought is the fact that pitching is harder now. No one counted pitches 90 years ago because, to a certain extent, there was no need to do so. Pitching a baseball game from start to finish required a level of effort well within the ability of the men assigned to do so. Now, pitching nine innings of baseball at the major-league level requires a much greater effort, one that may be too much for one human arm to handle.

At the other end of the spectrum are coaches and ex-players, many of whom have been in the game since before Woolner and Jazayerli were born. These men believe that pitch counts are a secondary tool at best, and at the extreme, proffer the notion that the real problem is that pitchers today are babied, not like the men years ago who always went nine innings. Or 12. Or even 26.

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2001 NL MVP

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