A couple of days ago, after another brilliant Tim Lincecum outing (a two-hit shutout of St. Louis), Mike and Mike said to go ahead and give him the ball as the NL All-Star team’s starting pitcher.
Although that’s not the right answer (correct answer: Dan Haren), it’s still acceptable to make a case for him to be the meaningless starter. 2nd in ERA (2.37), 2nd in WHIP (1.070), 1st in strikeouts (132), along with a 183 ERA+ and 36.9 VORP…still behind Haren in everything except strikeouts, but I can accept their pimping of Li’l Tim to get the call. It’s wrong, but it’s not horribly wrong. That’s what they were today, when they decided that Jason Marquis may be the correct choice.
Now, Marquis does deserve credit for having a solid half-season both by his standards and by those of Rockies pitchers, historically speaking. However, his 3.87 ERA doesn’t look nearly as impressive when you consider that two other Colorado starters also are sporting a sub-4.00 ERA. In fact, Marquis’s ERA is the highest of those three with Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez coming in about 0.10 of a point below M&M’s new NL ace.
As they were with Lincecum, the boys were fascinated by Marquis’s two-hit shutout of “baseball’s best team” (their words), the Los Angeles Dodgers. Of course, baseball’s best team went 14-13 in the month of June. But don’t let that get in the way of your analysis, guys.
The first thing they mentioned, not surprisingly, was the fact that Marquis now has 10 wins. Not mentioned was the fact that those 10 wins were only two more than Lincecum has. Golic, perhaps sensing the ensuing email flood if ERA was not mentioned, admitted that his ERA wasn’t as good as Lincecum’s (uh, ya think?) but used the Colorado excuse to play it off. Bad argument, but I’ll play along. Let’s take a look at Marquis away from Coors Field, shall we?
6-3, 3.50 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 30:17 K:BB ratio in 62.1 IP
Once again…respectable numbers. But worthy of being touted as a better pitcher this year than Timothy L. Lincecum? Uh…no. Road starts? Lincecum’s better. Night games? Lincecum’s better. Starts on days where the game-time temperature is 92 degrees with the wind blowing in from the south-southwest at 14.7263 miles per hour? Lincecum’s better.
Lincecum is the better pitcher. Period. No logical person can argue otherwise. Except…wait…Marquis has 10 wins! 10! And Li’l Tim, he only has eight! Pssht. He’s garbage. His ERA is a full 1.50 points better? Doesn’t matter. He’s not the gamer that Marquis is, obviously. Because Marquis has 10…1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10…wins! You stat geeks, you can’t measure grit, determination, gamer-ness, or the Eckstein Factor.
Of course, this season Dan Haren has been better than both of them. But he’s only got seven wins (or 22.5 percent of his team’s total wins), so he doesn’t even get into the conversation.