From this point the graph shows a better relationship to pitch count and Game Score. Throughout this study I used two landmark games to serve as a guide of whether this GS+ made sense. The two games were Red Bartlett's 58 pitch game (lowest for a 9 inning game which had a Game Score of 83) and Kerry Wood's highest 9 inning Game Score (105 with a pitch count of 122). The graph above currently shows just well pitched games not a team's yearly pitching performance. I will get into this analysis later but for any system it would have to make the games that Red Bartlett pitched (58 pitch complete game versus Kerry Wood's 105 all time best pitched game) look somewhat comparable. With the adjustment factor above Bartlett's game score becomes 116 and Wood's game becomes 70. Therefore although the method looks promising it adjusts the Game Score a bit too far out of whack to make it a logical extension of the Game Score framework.
The second adjustment factor that match the indicators I set out was something I called "Extra Outs" which basically takes the pitch count (normalizing it to 9 innings) and then dividing it by 3 (min for a strikeout...give pitcher's some credit for the pitches they aren't really throwing!). In this instance I graphed normalized pitch count versus Game Score to check the reality of this method. For Game Score you get the following:
If you look add the first adjustment factor and add it to the graph you get this:
Again you see a nice linear relationship between Game Score and pitches thrown. The outliers include Bartlett's 58 pitch game with a Game Score of 116 (on the low end) and Randy Johnson's 160 pitch 8 inning lost at Texas when he had 18 strikeouts and a 76 game score (top end of graph). Now adding in the second adjustment factor ("Extra Outs") you obtained the following:
And the new GS+ top 10 ranks them this way:
Three of the original top 10 still make it. Problem with most high strikeout pitchers is that they throw a lot of pitches. So with the best pitched games the GS+ seems to be a good fit for pitching but going back to my original question how would Aaron Cook's 74 pitch complete game stack up (and how would one team's adjusted Game Scores look)? Also remember we gave each pitcher a break when normalizing their pitched games by using three pitches, what about normalizing to what their actual pitches per out? Stay tuned as Part 3 will look into this...