Tim Lincecum and Major League Baseball's 10 Most Misleading Statistics
Unfortunately for Lincecum, the words "pitched fabulously" and "earned the win" have not gone together very often this season. Despite a 2.69 ERA on the season and a fantastic 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, Lincecum has only a 10-9 record for the low-scoring San Francisco Giants.
Thus, Lincecum's win-loss record is misleading; he is actually having a terrific season.
Let's have a look at the top ten misleading statistics of the 2011 season.
10. Brandon Morrow's ERA
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Brandon Morrow is actually the best pitcher in baseball that no one has ever heard of.
For reasons that remain to be seen, Rogers Centre in Toronto has in recent years become a preposterous hitter's park.
Perhaps no player has been hurt more by this than Morrow, who has a 5.95 ERA at home compared to a 2.97 ERA on the road, for an overall ERA of 4.51.
Meanwhile, he is leading the league in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.5, and has allowed very few hits (108 in 119.2 innings) and home runs (nine).
Morrow may be the best-kept secret in baseball.
9. Zack Greinke's ERA
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For some bizarre reason, Zack Greinke has been pitching lights-out but has a terrible ERA.
After today's win against the Astros, Greinke now has a 10-4 record but a 4.21 ERA. Considering the fact that he has 134 strikeouts and only 25 walks in 107 innings, his ERA should be much lower.
The problem: he has allowed 14 home runs this season. Nevertheless, Fangraphs.com projects his defense independent ERA to be 3.02.
8. Ryan Howard's RBI
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Ryan Howard has spent the 2011 season with a batting average in the .240-.250 range and an OPS in the low .800s. And yet, he leads the NL in RBI.
Of course, Jimmy Rollins is having a resurgent season, Shane Victorino is having a career year, and Chase Utley and Placido Polanco have hit well in their respective times in the third hole.
If Joey Votto were batting cleanup for the Phillies, he'd be over 100 RBI by now.
7. Andre Ethier's Fielding Stats
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Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers has eight outfield assists and no errors in 2011.
He's having an amazing year, right?
Ethier's lack of errors more likely represents his lack of range in the outfield, while his outfield assists are a red herring, more likely representative of the number of hitters willing to attempt to run on Ethier than of runners gunned down in the ordinary course of baserunning.
6. Mark Teixeira's Home Runs
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One must be curious about Mark Teixeira's season.
He is hitting just .251, but he is amongst the league leaders in home runs with 32.
Don't be fooled: 20 of those 32 home runs have come at home, and Teixeira literally appears to be taking the year off when it comes to road games.
5. Nelson Cruz's . . . Everything
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Nelson Cruz is as pure a product of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as any we've ever seen.
16 of his 24 home runs, 48 of his 72 RBI, and 30 of his 47 runs scored have come at home.
Meanwhile, he is hitting .244 with a .735 OPS on the road this season.
4. Madison Bumgarner's Won-Loss Record
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With a 3.71 ERA, 124 strikeouts and 32 walks in 138.1 innings, and only seven home runs allowed all season, Madison Bumgarner is currently 6-11.
He is on pace for one of the most misrepresentative win-loss records of all time.
3. Chase Headley's Overall Numbers
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Chase Headley's numbers are ordinary on their face.
The San Diego Padres third baseman is hitting .292 with a .380 OBP and a .787 OPS on the season.
But on the road in 2011, Headley has hit .333/.404/.470.
Headley has taken over from Adrian Gonzalez as the poster child for "the Padres must do something about that stadium."
2. Jose Reyes' Triples
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Jose Reyes has been having a terrific year all around, and we don't take that from him.
But Reyes's historic triples pace (he currently has 16 after about 100 games played) is more a product of spacious Citi Field than it is anything Reyes is doing.
In home games in 2011, Reyes has nine doubles and 12 triples, while on the road he has 17 doubles and four triples.
It is clear that Citi Field is turning doubles into triples for Jose Reyes in 2011.
1. Lance Berkman
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Here is the most mind-blowing statistic of 2011:
Lance Berkman, in what has been a terrific comeback season, currently leads the National League with 28 home runs.
But check this out: 21 of Lance Berkman's 28 home runs have come on the road in 2011!
It is absolutely unheard for a player to have such a home-field home run disadvantage.
What Berkman is doing may be historic.
And if the Cardinals go to the playoffs, it may be an MVP-caliber season.