Burning Questions: What Is the Most Ridiculous Stat from This MLB Season?
I used to love video game MVP Baseball 2005. Where else can you hit an oppo-taco with Lew Ford or throw three consecutive perfect games with pre-renaissance Kyle Lohse? There was never such a magical place.
However, I eventually grew tired of the game because, as a person who never set the difficulty above "easy," the stats became too ridiculous. As a budding, angsty, tween stat nerd, I wanted the stats to more closely reflect reality (although Fake Barry Bonds' 128 home runs weren't too far off).
This 2014 baseball season is restoring my faith in that game. Some of the statistics that players are posting this year look as if they are coming straight out of my old Playstation 2 (rest in peace, little homie). But which of the stats from this year are the illest? We asked this question of the writers here at numberFire, and they gave their answers. If you have an answer of your own, you have three ways of hitting us up (we promise we're not being stalker-y). You can shoot a tweet to @numberFire, leave a comment below, or you can answer the question right here. Without further ado, let the ridiculousness commence.
Johnny Cueto's WHIP
Nick Friar's thoughts:
Johnny Cueto has always been an impressive pitcher throughout his career, but this start is unreal.
There's no question that, if the season were to end today, Cueto would be the NL Cy Young. His ERA is in the top five in the bigs among starters, and his fielding independent pitching (FIP) is an impressive 2.90. However, there's nothing more impressive than his Major League-leading WHIP of 0.74 among qualifying starters.
Up until Tuesday, he had gone seven or more innings in each of his starts, and never allowed more than five hits. He has held opponents to a .146 batting average while averaging only 2.1 walks per nine innings.
Cueto has allowed 39 hits through 10 starts. If he is able to maintain this pace over 30 games, he will allow 117 hits on the season, which would be the lowest total allowed by a pitcher who started at least 30 games in a season. In the same situation, he would allow 54 walks on the season, which is impressive, although it would not be a record setting total by any means.
Cueto’s start is going to be hard to keep up, but if he can continue to work into the seventh inning every game, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t continue to maintain good numbers the rest of the season.
Troy Tulowitzki's Home On-Base Percentage
Jim Sannes' thoughts:
Quick little poll from the crowd. Is Troy Tulowitzki a) a wizard, b) a demon or c) Pablo Sanchez in human form? There is no other explanation for the numbers he is putting up this season.
Tulo has come to the plate 90 times this season at Coors Field. Of those 90 times, he's recorded an out 36 times. Yes, 36. Total. The entire year. For comparison, in that same number of plate appearances, he has 16 extra-base hits (eight of which are home runs), 24 runs batted in, 27 runs scored and 13 walks to only 7 strikeouts. This gives him a .521/.600/.959 slash. Drop the mic, buddy, 'cuz ain't nobody sillier than you right now.
If we look just at his .959 slugging percentage, that would be the seventh highest on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) percentage in the entire league. And that's just his slugging percentage.
What's even better? This isn't even the best part for him hitting-wise this year. In three games at Chase Field (small sample size, I know; please indulge me), Tulo has a .556/.692/1.444 with two long-balls in just nine at-bats. The absolute illest for realest.
Jeff Samardzija's Wins vs. ERA
John Stolnis' thoughts:
This statistic must be accompanied with the caveat that the "win" statistic is a terrible way to judge how well a pitcher has pitched. No one should really be using it as an important pitching metric.
With that important sabermetric and common sense note established, how weird is it that Jeff Samardzija is the first pitcher in Major League history to go win-less in his first 10 starts of a season with an ERA below 2.00? In fact, Samardzija set the record three starts ago.
He's an overachiever.
The Cubs' ace right-hander currently has an ERA of 1.46 after those 10 starts, the latest a 4-2 loss to the Yankees in which he shut out New York for seven innings, only to see his bullpen blow things up late. So far this year, Samardzija has given up 0, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 0, 0, 2 and 0 earned runs. The Cubs have scored more than three runs just once when he's been on the mound so far this year, leading to his 0-4 record.
Sure, the "win" statistic is largely meaningless. Still, one would imagine Jeff would appreciate getting one of those "win" thingees at some point before his likely trade this July.