Short post this week as I just got back from a seven day cruise in the Caribbean! Needless to say, I didn't think much about anything except which direction the sun was facing and where the bar was.
From the Stat of the Day blog, I came across this nugget from Steve Lombardi. In short he was looking at the NY Yankees starting pitching and wondering just how bad they've been from 2004 - 2008. At first he was looking for starting pitchers who had started 90% of the time and had at least 28 starts and an ERA+ of greater than or equal to 110. He then dropped this to 100 to compare to the Red Sox over the same time period and Yanks had 7 solid seasons versus the Red Sox's 14 (obviously the Red Sox have 2 world series rings over this time period)!
And therefore the question is how many solid seasons did the Roxs have over this time span? The answer is actually 6 (I was surprised!) with Jason Jennings 2006 season leading the way with an ERA+ 130. And to think we supposedly had an awful pitching year in 2008 and yet we had 2 solid pitching seasons from Cook at an ERA+ 117 and U-Ball at an ERA+ of 116. The other three came from Jeff Francis in 2007 with an ERA+ of 114, Cook in 2007 with an ERA+ of 116, and another Cook in 2006 with and ERA+ of 116 (look at Mr. Consistent....).
Of course while we had six solid seasons and the Yanks had seven over that span, the Yanks won 476 games while the Roxs only scraped by with 375. Although the Roxs were pretty pathetic in '04 and '05 (note Kennedy's ERA+ of 134 in '05 doesn't count because he didn't start 28 games). Yanks scored 4,470 runs over that time span with the Roxs scored only 3,993 (an average of almost 95 more runs a season). Outscoring your opponent can have its advantages especially when their pitching isn't better than yours!
All in all I guess I take comfort that in 2009 we do have a starting rotation of Francis, Cook, and U-Ball which is at least a good start...now we just have to find starters for the other 66 games (assuming the big three can get 32 starts each....)