Sunday, May 18, 2014

Your 2014 Giants: 9th Rotational PQS

As long time readers know, I've been studying and analyzing PQS for a long time (for new readers check out the label "PQS" or see the links I set up to the right showing the final analysis of the past three seasons).  I had the occasional thought on this but finally thought of it early enough in the season to quickly compile the data then update it every game, making the data collection less onerous.  I was wondering if anything could be seen by checking out each turn of the rotation and how the starters collectively did as a group in each turn of the rotation.  This is a first in a series I plan on doing this, though at this point, I'll probably be writing when there is something interesting to say, so right now, I don't know if I'll be writing about every turn of the rotation or just certain ones.

As for what I've been collecting, in addition to PQS organized by groups of five starts, I'm also looking at the average for the last N starts, for N=5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 (roughly a month).  I might check higher N's later, but I thought this would be a good start.

ogc thoughts

This is the 9th turn of the rotation for the team.  They are at 49% DOM and 22% DIS, both good but not great, though closing in on that (great is >50% DOM, < 20% DIS).  And remember, this is the whole rotation that is good, nearing great, not just one pitcher doing that.

The rotation had early problems in their first five turns of the rotation, with that bad first turn of the rotation and another bad one in the 4th.  Since then they have been on an upward trend, despite having Petit pitching for a starter in three starts, attaining one DOM, one DIS, and one Middle (there was never an official name given to this PQS score of 2 or 3), bringing down the average.  Still, it has slowly improved to the point where in the last two turns of the rotation, the Giants are at 60% DOM and 0% DIS, great averages, a team will win a lot of games playing at this level.

Looking at the averages for N starts, given the improvements noted above, I thought I would note some of the trends for these averages, stated in terms of the number of averages over 60% DOM and under 20% DIS, which has been the dividing lines for prior Giants rotations in terms of monthly and annual average performances.

Because of up and down DOM starts, it has varied between one and two averages (out of the 6 being captured now) but with Vogelsong's great start today, this is the second straight week of 60% DOM, pushing it to three averages at 60% and another one getting close (at 56%).  Without the Petit starts, the starting rotation has a 50% DOM overall right now.

Because of so many DIS starts early on, the averages have been running high, above 20% easily.  The 8th turn of the rotation was just the second one to feature 1 or less DIS starts in a turn, and this 9th turn is just the third.  Last week, only one of the six were under 20% but with two straight turns without a DIS start, five of the six averages are under 20% now, and the sixth (the 30-game average) is at exactly 20%.  While DOM starts are no guarantees of a win (though pretty good), DIS starts are generally pretty good guarantees of a loss (from my playoff study of PQS starts, roughly 80% for each, that is, 80% chance of win with DOM, 80% chance of a loss with DIS).

And it could get better if our top of the rotation gets themselves into a groove.  As we all know, Hudson has been the one steady starter for us (no DIS starts yet, plenty of DOM, 62.5%).  Vogelsong has gotten himself into great shape, with 4 DOM starts out of the last 5 and no DIS.  Lincecum has also been strong, with 5 DOM starts in 7 (elite 71% DOM), though with some DIS starts thrown in.

However, Bumgarner and Cain has been up and down so far this season, they would have a two game streak of DOM then non-DOMs before two more DOM then non-DOMs.  On top of that, Bumgarner has had a team high 3 DIS starts (tied with Lincecum, so some more recent vintage great Timmy, bad Timmy).   If they can get into their usual good grooves, this rotation could be unstoppable, much like the Dodgers last season in July/August, except that the Giants could be doing that all season long if everyone can stay healthy.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, things can turn on a dime sometimes with PQS, so we will see if Lincecum and Vogie can continue to do well.  On top of that, Hudson had his recent hip issues, so we will see if his old body (his words in many interview) can handle the stress still, or if he'll be up and down as well.  Plus, Cainer and Bum, this could be their new level of performance.  Cain, I thought was back at the end of last season, but he's been off so far this season.  Bumgarner, I could excuse one or two starts, because it was his first season opener and another was in Colorado, but the ace is suppose to be able to shrug those off, and he didn't.  But it could also be learning curve for him.  So we will see.

Still, things are on an uptrend, they are lookin' good.   They just now have to rinse and repeat.   Let me know if any questions pop up, I'll try to answer them.  

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