Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Giants PQS: Updated to ASB

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the 2006 season as of the All Star Break, as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book.

Giants Starters' PQS for 2006 Season (as of July 9, 2006)

Matt Cain - (16 starts: 37.5% DOM, 37.5% DIS ): 3, 4, 1, 4, 5, 0, 1, 3, 3, 3, 0, 4, 5, 0, 5, 0
Brad Hennessey - (6 starts: 17% DOM, 17% DIS): 3, 2, 3, 1, 2, 4
Noah Lowry - (12 starts: 17% DOM, 17% DIS): 3, 1, 3, 2, 5, 2, 3, 0, 2, 4, 3, 2
Matt Morris - (17 starts: 47% DOM, 12% DIS): 3, 4, 3, 1, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 5, 5, 2
Jason Schmidt - (18 starts: 67% DOM, 0% DIS): 3, 5, 4, 3, 5, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 3, 3
Jamey Wright - (17 starts: 29% DOM, 18% DIS): 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 4, 0, 3, 0, 3, 3, 2, 2, 4

Giants overall - 38% DOM, 16% DIS out of 86 games started

NOTE: I think technically, under the system, Lowry's first start and Morris' start where he promptly got ejected, should count against their totals, but I think under the extenuating circumstances, they should not, basically because this system tries to ferret out how the good performances by a starter and none of those games were zeros because of a poor performance. Lowry got injured early in the game; and Morris got ejected early in the game.

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The Giants starters overall have been pitching well in their games. A DOM near or above the 40% mark is indicative of good pitching; above 50% is great and above 70% is elite. A low DIS is also indicative of good pitching. So, generally, the Giants pitching has been doing OK this season and has been bordering on good overall:
  1. Schmidt has been very dominating for the first half of the season and he has returned to near elite status, nearly joining those with a DOM greater than 70%. And he has not even had one disaster start yet. He's returned to his dominating ways in time to become a free agent. Sabean has said that the Giants are looking to try to re-sign Schmidt in the off-season but I'm not sure if it's to honestly try and re-sign him or to get the draft picks in compensation.
  2. Morris continued to improve, continued to throw dominant starts, in a nice ending to his first half. As a result, he has brought up his DOM% to 47%, which has been his range (40-49%) for the last few years of his career, after he had his arm problems and had to become more of a finesse pitcher. Being a hyper-competitive personality, he probably was too amped up to control his pitches - I noticed that he couldn't really strike out a lot of batters, not even once in a while, like he did in previous seasons, earlier in the season. Then with the June 9th game, he struck out 8, struggled some more, then got 7 and 6, before fizzling against the D-gers. If he can continue this uptrend, he could return to the more elite pitchers who DOM 50% or more of the time.
  3. Lowry, despite apparently doing well so far in the first half, it was just OK as the underlying PQS metrics says he is lacking in quality. Even in the seemingly well pitched games recently, he could not strike out the required number to get a PQS point. Compare that to last season, when he started off poorly, he still had 50%DOM/22%DIS in the first half of the season, which in retrospect was a sign of his dominance coming in the second half of the seasons (67%DOM/0%DIS second half), and now we have reached the half way point for this season. I don't know if he is pressing because of his newly signed big contract or if the injury affected him more than he thought or what, but he has not been himself at any point this season and we need him to straighten things out after the break because we need him to be the dominating pitcher of 2005 in the playoffs, should we make it. Hopefully the rest will do him well, help his body, as well as clear his mind.
  4. Matt Cain was doing well early, with a few dominant starts, but maybe the lack of overt success (i.e. wins and low ER) got to him and he started messing around with his mechanics or something, leading to all the disaster starts. However, after skipping one start to work on his mechanics, along with a relief outing, he has pitched much better since then. His first 1-hitter was particularly good, though it didn't qualify as a dominating start because of the high number of walks and relatively low strikeouts, but that was against an Oakland team built to do exactly that so that probably wasn't all his fault. However, he was outstanding in his second 1-hitter (though "only" 8 IP). Unfortunately, he ended the first half with a fizzle as he sandwiched a nice game on July 1st with two stinkers on June 25 and July 6. Hopefully the time off will rejuvenate his mind more and he can be much more consistent in the 2nd half. Historically, he has improved as he gained experience with the league he was in, the Giants would have some awesome foursome if Schmidt, Morris, Lowry, and Cain can be cooking Dominating starts regularly.
  5. Wright was doing as well as could be expected, but he has fallen back to bad habits or something in June/July. Still, he is as advertised, someone who can deliver about 30-39% dominating starts, an average pitcher who will have his ups and downs - I had been hoping, per pre-season posts, that he could be more than that with San Francisco, pushing himself up to the 40-49% range that marks a good pitcher but so far he has not been able to deliver that yet. Maybe it takes a while for pitchers to get used to AT&T Mays Fields like the way batters have to spend some time there to get used to hitting there: on the road, he has a 3.82 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and .256 BAA, whereas at home he has a 6.61 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and .307 BAA. Fortunately, he's only the fifth starter and he has done well enough that he or Hennessey can be traded away with little risk to the rotation, in a package to get a good 1B or improve ourselves elsewhere.

The rotation is shaping out OK. Schmidt has been on a tear for a while now, Morris too. Cain has been tossing some incredible games, I can't wait for him to get consistent. However, Lowry and Wright have been struggling seriously, which will keep win streaks short.

But the Giants should be getting good performances overall going forward. With all the key hitters back in the lineup, the Giants could start climbing up the NL Western division towards first place over the next few weeks. Particularly with Winn entering the 2nd half, when he starts to turn things on, historically, during his career, and Bonds and Alou hopefully getting healthier during the ASB. In addition, Durham has been making up for his poor start, burning up the league for a while now. We just need Vizquel and Feliz to continue doing what they had been doing and the offense should start pounding the other teams regularly, boosting the pitcher's confidence in attacking hitters, it is a positive feedback cycle of good begetting good. Being only a few games out is nothing to make up with a good hot streak, though that is easier said than done since they haven't had one yet. But it should be a good 2nd half I think.

Methodology Explanation

Please look at my link to the side for my explanation of Baseball Forecaster's methodology.

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