Red Sox

Nation STATion: Dissecting Dice-K

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Nation STATion: Dissecting Dice-K

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Daisuke Matsuzaka is most likely done with the Red Sox. And while there are still some die-hard Dice-K defenders, most of Red Sox Nation has had enough.

Watching Dice-K pitch over the last four-plus seasons has been somewhat akin to being at a mediocre buffet where you eat and eat, but every now and then, just when you think you cant stand any more, you taste something delicious, and you queasily continue noshing.

Lets go to the buffet line:

105 starts
Since 2007, Matsuzaka had four more starts than Brad Penny, three more than Jair Jurrjens, one more than Nick Blackburn. He had two fewer than Jonathan Sanchez and Tim Wakefield, four fewer than Tim Hudson and five fewer than Jamie Moyer and Jeff Suppan. He had the same number as Ricky Nolasco and Doug Davis.

Dice-K four times won four starts in a row, and although he never won three consecutive starts, nine times he won two starts in a row.
622.2 innings pitched
Since 2007, Dice-K pitched 5.2 innings more than Gil Meche and a third more than Jair Jurrjens. He pitched three innings less than Jorge de la Rosa, five innings less than Brett Myers and 9 innings less than Kevin Correia. His two longest consecutive shutout innings streaks were 15 and 13.1. Other than that there were no stretches of zeroes longer than eight innings.

49 wins
Since 2007, Dice-K had one less win than Zack Greinke and Tim Hudson, one more than Fausto Carmona, and the same as Ryan Dempster, Ryan Wolf, and Scott Baker.
He had 33 wins in his first two seasons.

30 losses
Since 2007, Matsuzaka had one less loss than Josh Beckett, Jeff Francis, and Tim Lincecum, one more than Jair Jurrjens and Ricky Nolasco, and the same as Carl Pavano, Jake Peavy, and Brad Penny. He was 18-3 in 2008 and 4-6 in 2009.

.620 winning percentage
Since 2007, Matsuzakas winning pct. was just .010 less than Chris Carpenter, .009 less than Yovani Gallardo, and .001 less than Justin Verlander, .010 more than Felix Hernandez, Tim Hudson, and Jake Peavy, and the same as Phil Hughes and Mike Mussina.

ERA: 4.25
Since 2007, Dice-Ks ERA was .08 less than Rick Porcello's, .06 less than Ricky Nolasco's, .05 less than Brad Penny's, and .01 less than Bronson Arroyo's. It was .01 better than A.J. Burnett, .04 better than Joe Saunders, .06 better than Javier Vasquez, and the same as Jamey Wright. In 2008, his ERA was 2.90; it was his only season with an ERA under 4.40.
WHIP: 1.397
Since 2007, Matsuzakas WHIP is .072 better than Edwin Jackson, .071 better than Mike Leake, .038 better than Gio Gonzalez, .021 better than Anibal Sanchez, and .007 better than Justin Masterson. It was .008 worse than Brad Penny, .038 worse than Clay Buchholz, .045 worse than A.J. Burnett, and .055 worse than Carlos Zambrano. It was the same as Brett Tomko. In his first two seasons (15-12, 18-3), his WHIP was the same: 1.324.

He faced 2704 batters and surrendered:
367 singles
132 doubles
6 triples
64 homers
301 walks (4 IBB)
31 HBP

His innumerable full-counts actually can be enumerated; there were 393 of them.

The games that Dice-K pitched seemed endless. His appearances were measured in hours and minutes, not in innings pitched:
35 games pitching less than 5.0 innings: 7-15 record
91 games pitching at least 5 innings: 49-21
71 games pitching at least 5.1 innings: 42-15
66 games pitching at least 5.2 innings: 38-14
60 games pitching at least 6 innings: 36-12
41 games pitching at least 6.1 innings: 27-7
38 games pitching at least 6.2 innings: 27-4
31 games pitching at least 7 innings: 22-3
13 games pitching at least 8 innings: 10-0
1 game pitching 9 innings: 1-0

Even though the majority of his appearances were brief in terms of innings, there was no shortage of pitches thrown:
102 games throwing 60 pitches
100 games throwing 70 pitches
98 games throwing 80 pitches
90 games throwing 90 pitches
74 games throwing 100 pitches
35 games throwing 110 pitches
6 games throwing 120 pitches

His effectiveness, or lack thereof, was never a reflection of the hits he surrendered:
3 games allowing 1 hit: 3-0, 5.47 ERA
12 games allowing 2 hits: 6-3, 1.77 ERA
9 games allowing 3 hits: 4-2, 1.84 ERA
16 games allowing 4 hits: 7-3, 1.93 ERA
15 games allowing 5 hits: 10-1, 5.47 ERA
21 games allowing 6 hits: 11-6, 4.28 ERA
7 games allowing 7 hits: 2-4, 6.23 ERA
13 games allowing 8 hits: 2-6, 7.97 ERA
5 games allowing 9 hits: 2-2, 6.52 ERA
4 games allowing 10 hits: 2-2, 8.34 ERA
1 game allowing 12 hits: 0-1, 9.53 ERA

Please notice the difference in ERA when he surrendered over four hits.

It was indeed a combination of hits and walks that would make the difference between a good and bad outing seem so tenuous:
9 games allowing 0 walks: 6-2, 3.68 ERA
15 games allowing 1 walk: 7-4, 4.57 ERA
22 games allowing 2 walks: 13-6, 3.77 ERA
27 games allowing 3 walks: 13-9, 4.73 ERA
15 games allowing 4 walks: 3-5, 4.64 ERA
12 games allowing 5 walks: 4-2, 3.00 ERA
3 games allowing 6 walks: 2-1, 5.74 ERA
1 games allowing 7 walks: 0-0, 10.38 ERA
2 games allowing 8 walks: 1-1, 3.72 ERA

Its almost inconceivable that his lowest ERA was in games when he allowed five walks in an outing and in the two games in which allowed eight walks his ERA was significantly lower than in the 15 games that he walked one.

I wish Matsuzaka a good recovery and a long life of health and happiness, but Ill be honest, I cant eat another bite.

Sayonara.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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