Thursday, August 27, 2009

Joel Pineiro's Remarkable Turnaround

Joel Pineiro won again tonight to move his record to 13-9, and it looks like the Cardinals are a lock to win the NL Central (9 GM up). He is having his best year since 2003, when he went 16-11 for the Mariners.

His W-L (13-9) and ERA (3.11) are good, but not spectacular (although he is 8-1 with a 2.47 ERA since late June). It is some of the other numbers, plus the degree to which he turned them around from last year that are so amazing.

He has had a stunning turnaround in several key numbers since last year, especially in HR allowed:

2008: 7-7, 5.15 ERA, 22 HR, .97 G/F, 2.1 BB/9
2009: 13-9, 3.11, 6 HR, 1.70 G/F, 1.0 BB/9

Walks
He is only allowing 1 BB per 9 IP, which is best in the league. He is also 5th in K/BB at 4.39, and he does not strike out many hitters (84 SO, 170.1 IP)

As of today: 1.0 BB/9, 160+ IP: Since 2000
2003 David Wells (Yankees)
2004 David Wells (Padres)
2004 Jon Lieber (Yankees)
2005 Carlos Silva (Twins)
2009 Joel Pineiro (Cardinals)

WHIP
2008: 1.44 - 87th
2009: 1.10 - 5th (Haren, Carpenter, Lincecum, Vasquez, Pineiro)

Ground Balls/Fly Balls
In 2008, he was 37th in ML (min. 100 IP) in Ground Ball/Fly Ball Ratio.
In 2009, he is #1 in the ML, by a long shot. By itself, allowing more ground balls doesn't mean anything, except that he was allowing a lot of home runs last year.

Joel Pineiro: 1.70
Derek Lowe 1.35
Aaron Cook 1.34
Rick Porcello 1.31

Home Runs
2008: 22 HR, 148.2 IP (1.3 HR/9 - 90th out of 108 pitchers w/ 140+ IP)
2009: 6 HR, 170.1 IP (.3 HR/9 - fewest HR of any starter in baseball)

If his season ended today, he would be the first pitcher since Greg Maddux in 1994 to allow only 6 HR in 160+ IP.

As of today, he is the 18th pitcher with 160 IP, 1.0 BB/9, .3 HR/9, but the 1st since Babe Adams in 1920. Other pitchers on the list include Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Cy Young.

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