6/18/10 Game Recap

I Can't Get No...Run Support

That wasn’t too much fun. Didn’t get to live blog that one, but I’ll be sure to be back at ya with the live blogging soon. Some thoughts:

– Javy has allowed three runs or fewer in 7 of his last 8 starts. In fact, in only one of those did he allow three. This is more like it. Much more like it. Didn’t think his ERA was going to dip to 5.01 this quickly after being so explosive for much of April and May.

– It bothers me when mediocre pitchers like Takahashi shut down the best offense in the game. It shouldn’t happen logically, but that’s why you play the games. Of course, his illegal move bothers me as well.

– As Sir Steve Phillips pointed out in the comments, it is somewhat legal for the pitcher to do that if he does it every time, but that’s a very fuzzy rule. I’d like to go up there with two baseballs every time and see how I do. I exaggerate, but just to make a point.

– You know things are off when Cano has no hits but a walk.

– What’s worst about the offense’s performance is that they were 0-for-9 with RISP and left 11 runners on base. Simply unacceptable. They had a chance to take back the lead and even blow it open given how many opportunities they had. What’d I tell ya about RISP?

– CHoP and Boone Logan scare me every time they come in the game. At least they’d been solid of late, but this Yankee bullpen is extraordinarily inconsistent and is going to plague them the rest of the season if it doesn’t improve or get added to.

– Jon Albaladejo is downright dealing down in Scranton. Wouldn’t he be better than CHoP or Logan at this point?

– Here’s to hoping that the Paul O’Neill theory will be in effect tomorrow. O’Neill says that if a team is shut down all game and then shows life near the end (even if their rally is thwarted), it carries into the next day’s game. We’ll see if it does.

Sorry for not live blogging this one. I’ll do my best to live blog at least one of the next two, so stop by soon.

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14 responses to “6/18/10 Game Recap

  1. I don’t think you’re giving enough credit to Takahashi. To call him simply “mediocre” is wrong. He’s got great command of the strike zone, and he’s very good at nibbling the corners with two strikes. No, his stuff isn’t spectacular, but he’s a very smart pitcher. With a 3.13 ERA, justified by a 3.26 FIP, Takahashi cannot be thrown aside as mediocre just because he doesn’t throw 95 mph.

    • I knew I was going to get some people on my back for that comment. Here’s why he’s a mediocre pitcher.

      His FIP and xFIP are 4.12 and 4.87, respectively. He’s got an unsustainable 5.9 HR/FB rate that will never last. His BB/9 is 4.61. And while it’s not awful, it’s not fantastic that he has three pitches, one of which is an 87 MPH Fastball. These are all things that may just get him by in the NL, but if he were to come to the AL or the AL East he would be torched.

      These guys who have a couple good starts and seem like true finds are a dime a dozen. There are plenty of guys who don’t throw hard and are legit great pitchers (i.e. 2010 Andy Pettitte), but Takahashi just isn’t more than mediocre. Wait a couple months, and his ERA will go down. Has to.

  2. Those stats are incorrect. Are you sure you were looking at Hisanori Takahashi?

    His FIP is 3.26 not 4.12
    His BB/9 is 3.28 not 4.61
    His fastball averages at 89 mph (still not great)

    And he’s by no means getting lucky. His BABIP against is .311

    – also, I don’t think it’s fair to say that he’d get killed in the AL East considering he has an 0.46 ERA against the AL East so far this year.

    • D’Oh. I was looking at Ken Takahashi. My bad. I’m still not a believer.
      45.2% flyball rate coupled with a 5.3% HR/FB, which he’ll NEVER maintain. He’s fine as a middle reliever, but as a starter with those peripherals and throwing 80% fastballs and changeups? Not very likely to stay successful.

  3. Look, I’m not sold on Takahashi either. Do I think he will die down eventually? – yes. But as of now, he is pitching superbly. Whenever you call a pitcher with a 3.26 FIP, 3.13 ERA mediocre, that is simply wrong.

    Phil Hughes’ HR/FB ratio according to fangraphs is 5.4% – does that make him mediocre?

    • No it’s not. If Aaron Small wins 10 games in a row with a 3 ERA, it is valid to call him mediocre. There’s a whole lot of guys who have some immediate success as starters and are mediocre in the long haul.
      As for Hughes, Hughes is a legitimate 3 pitch pitcher with a track record of having dominant stuff. Takahashi’s only track record is in Japan, which means absolutely nothing. (Kei Igawa dominated Japan’s hitters with more pitches than Takahashi has).
      Takahashi simply isn’t going to continue to get by as a starter throwing 80% fastballs and changeups. These guys are a dime a dozen.

  4. Aaron Smalls is not analogous for several reasons. I’ll name two – 1. he has already established himself as a bad pitcher. 2. it is never ideal to have an example that is fictitious.

    This is how i look at it. We both acknowledge that Takahashi is pitching, currently, like an above average pitcher. You think that he will not sustain it. You think that his HR/FB ratio is too low, and that relying on a fastball/change-up for 80 percent of his pitches will backfire.

    While I understand that it is reasonable to think that this Japanese pitcher named Takahashi whom no one has heard of before this year will not succeed in the majors, I say that is pessimism.

    For your one HR/FB stat that suggest an eventual decline, I’m sure I could dig up some other obscure stats that will prove the opposite – for instance: his .313 BABIP. Now I say, that we treat Takahashi for what he is and not what we think he will become. While it is reasonable to think that some no name will eventually die down, there is little concrete evidence for that. So I choose to be optimistic (odd for a Mets fan), and I choose to treat Takahashi for how he is doing now, not how i THINK he will do in the future – and one HR/FB stat is not the be all and end all of this pitcher

  5. I’m sorry but I can’t agree with that. I’m not criticizing him for having “no name.” I’m criticizing him for being a two-pitch flyball pitcher with an unsustainable HR rate with no reason to suggest that that number will die down. Of course he’s pitching well now. But there is indeed evidence to suggest he will not continue to do so. What he is is a mediocre pitcher who’s overperforming. This is the thing with Mets fans. A flash in the pan, and they cry “Gold!”

  6. Takahashi is a 4 pitch pitcher who favors his fastball and change-up. It has worked for him so far, so why start throwing more breaking balls?

    And how does your HR stat trump my BABIP stat? It is important to note, too, that fly ball pitchers generally have lower BABIPs than do groundball pitchers, which makes me think that Takahashi’s BABIP must go down eventually.

    Your TWO arguments against Takahashi seem to be based more out of prejudice against a no-name Japanese pitcher than against anything else (basically you’re wrong and you’re a racist)

  7. He isn’t a 4 pitch pitcher. He’s throwing 80% fastballs and changeups. If he’s throwing 9% of both the slider and curveball, it doesn’t make him a four pitch pitcher. Those are not legitimate pitches he goes to. The HR stat trumps the BABIP stat because home runs simply mean more than any other hit. His HR rate is half of the average rate. If that evens out, he’ll give up twice as many home runs. That’s a HUGE change. He’s got no track record in the USA, and his stats and repertoire suggest he can’t continue to put up such good numbers. Easy with the finger pointing.

  8. What we’re ignoring is that Takahashi is not a ‘stuff’ pitcher. He is a command pitcher, and the fastball – change works for him.

    Regarding the HR stat – some pitchers just tend not to give up many home runs because of their stuff…this makes sense for a fines pitcher who knows how to keep the ball away from the middle of the zone.

    Question: Let’s say that Takahashi’s HR rate goes to an average 10% and his BABIP lowers to an average .280 – what would his resulting ERA be? …in your opinion

  9. So he’s more than mediocre than? Can we agree on that? He’s a middle-back of the end rotation guy (as of now)

  10. I mean as of now he’s an ace if you want to call it that. I’m saying with just an 89 mph fastball and a changeup, he’ll never stay this way. He’s six starts in. Six. Dime a dozen. Darrell Rasner says hi.

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