What the heck are “pressure starts?”
I’m not going to re-re-re-rehash the AL Cy Young arguments here, but this thing from the Daily News’ Bill Madden -- Spink Award-winning Bill Madden -- begs to be highlighted:
I’ve not seen one sabermetric writer base the case for Hernandez on “adjustable pitching wins.” I’ve seen many make their case on oh-so-esoteric concepts like ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched. Run support is about as technical as it has gotten, and baseball fans have understood the concept of run support since, oh, the mid-19th century. To make this a thing about statheads and their “jargon” is ridiculous.
And it’s made even more ridiculous by the fact that Madden himself makes up a stat on the spot: “pressure starts.” What are those? No idea, because Madden doesn’t define them, even if he says that Hernandez is “the victim of having made zero” of them. I dare say that if the “sabermetric guys” just made up a stat like that and used to end the debate, QED, Madden would have a hissy fit. It’s OK when he does it, though.
But of course we know what he’s getting at here: Sabathia and Price play for teams that won a lot of games and they have a lot of wins themselves. Same old argument for wins, just dressed up with a different and -- Madden probably hopes -- less controversial title. Which is fine. He’s the Hall of Fame-honored writer. Let him do what he wants in such matters.
I’d just feel better about it all if he could explain how Sabathia and Price’s starts were so pressure-filled, what with both of their teams being all but assured of spots in the playoffs for the past couple of months.