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Entries in Chicago White Sox (32)


Killing the Win won't kill Max Scherzer

For those of you who are not on Twitter, get on Twitter. There is a trend that was started not too long ago by MLB Network's, Brian Kenny. That trend is aptly titled, "Kill the win." And it is a sentiment that I fully endorse. Especially in the cases of pitching analysis, projection and, in November, hardware handouts. 

Pitchers rarely actually deserved his team's "win." But I think even Brian Kenny would agree that when Clayton Kershaw, in his Opening Day start for the Dodgers, threw a complete game shutout while driving in his team's only run that day with a home run, truly earned the "W" next to his name. 

But in most cases, pitching wins are silly.

Let me show you what I mean. 

Let's compare two pitchers:

  • Pitcher A is fly ball pitcher and has a slight upper hand in the strikeout department.
  • Pitcher B is getting more outs on the ground but is better at limiting free passes. 

Neither of them is separating himself from the other, and are close enough to be considered similar. 

Let's go a little deeper 

  • Pitcher A has an advantage in OPS against by 82 points. Which is pretty significant.
  • But he also has a BABIP-against that is 43 points higher than Pitcher B, also significant. 

Luck has played a major factor in the success of Pitcher A.

And not to spoil the surprise, but that .248 BABIP-against is 56 points below Pitcher A's career average. Just saying.

Let's go a little broader


The wins and losses should be a telling sign of, at least, who Pitcher A is. If you haven't figured it out, Pitcher A is Tigers starter, Max Scherzer

Pitcher B, is Chris Sale

Why is it important that I compare these two pitchers?

Because Max Scherzer is the front runner for the American League Cy Young Award. And rightfully so. He has been dominant all season long. But Sale has been almost equally as dominant.

The biggest difference is run support. 


  • The Tigers average 5.9 runs per game when Pitcher A Scherzer is on the mound.
  • When Pitcher B Chris Sale makes a start for the White Sox, the Pale Hose average 3.1 runs per game.


Who would you rather pitch for? 


  • The White Sox have scored two runs or less in support of Chris Sale eight times this season in 24 starts. That's more than one-third of his starts.
  • That has happened only twice in the 26 games that Max Scherzer has started. 



  • The Tigers have scored more than five runs 17 times in support of Scherzer.
  • Chris Sale has received similar support only seven times this season.


Unfortunately for Sale, this is a matter of circumstance. He pitches for a bad team. The White Sox have the third worst record in baseball, and are only four games better than the Giancarlo Stantons Miami Marlins. Chris Sale would have had to have pitched like Clayton Kershaw this season to overcome what is one of the weakest offenses in baseball (they rank 29th in baseball in runs).

But aside from ERA - and maybe WHIP - Cy Young voters aren't going to be worried about whether or not Sale's K% was on par with Scherzer's when they fill out their ballots at the end of the season. They are going to see the numbers "19-1" and "9-12."

For as far as the BBWAA came when they handed the CYA to Zack Greinke and Felix Hernandez in 2009 and 2010, respectively, they still have a long way to go before they would look at two pitchers like Sale and Scherzer and find any similarities. 

Kill the win? 

Maybe not "kill it." But I would advocate beating it until it is in a vegetative state and unable to sway awards voters one way or another.


Peavy changes his Sox

There was a time when Jake Peavy was one of baseball's premier pitchers.

With the Padres from 2003-08 

  • Peavy was 80-55 (.593) for mediocre Padres teams that 473-500 (.486).
  • He had a 3.14 ERA and a 1.166 WHIP.
  • He allowed 7.6 hits per nine innings.
  • He allowed 0.9 homers per nine innings.
  • He walked 2.9 per nine innings while averaging 9.0 whiffs per nine innings. He had a 3.12 walk to whiff ratio.
  • He was a Cy Young Award winner once and an All-Star twice. 

The White Sox were hoping to capture his Padres success

That why on:

Now, the Red Sox are hoping to recapture his Padres success

But 2013 is not 2008

  • Batters hit .229 against Peavy in 2008. They had a .299 OBP and they slugged .345
  • Righties hit .194 against the righty, lefties .263.
  • His fastball averaged 92.6, peaking at 96.4.
  • Batter hit .239 against his slider.
  • He threw 35 cutters and batters hit .200 against them.

  • Batters have hit .244 against Peavy in 2013. They have a .285 OBP and they slugged .439.
  • Righties hit .218 against the righty, lefties .265.
  • His fastball averages 90.5, peaking at 94.2.
  • Batters hit .357 against his slider.
  • He's thrown 265 cutters and batters hit .286 against them.

With the White Sox from 2009-13 

  • Peavy was 36-29 (.554) 
  • He had a 4.00 ERA and a 1.155 WHIP.
  • He allowed 8.2 hits per nine innings.
  • He allowed 1.1 homers per nine innings.
  • He walked 2.2 per nine innings while averaging 8.0 whiffs per nine innings. He had a 3.66 walk to whiff ratio.
  • Last season, he was an All-Star. It was the only season in which he reached 20 starts in a season.

This season Peavy has allowed 14 homers

While he's not the only pitcher who has allowed 14 dingers, take a look at some of the other pitchers who have done it as well.

14 Gophers
Jake Peavy .439 14 80.0 13 4.27
James Shields .369 14 148.1 22 3.09
Max Scherzer .336 14 143.1 21 3.01
Jordan Zimmermann .373 14 141.0 21 3.19
Scott Kazmir .419 14 105.0 19 4.11
David Price .404 14 103.0 15 3.57
Erik Bedard .435 14 103.0 19 4.28
Created by on 7/31/2013


Peavy was not a cheap acquisition for Boston

Not only does Boston assume the rest of Peavey's salary (he's signed through 2014 at $14.5 million), but they gave up three low-level prospects and an important trade chip in Jose Iglesias.

Forget the inflated Iglesias batting average, the Tigers don't need bats. He is a spectacular fielder who may do for Detroit what Orlando Cabrera did for the 2004 Red Sox when he was picked up on July 31, 2004 and has the ring to prove it.

The White Sox needed Peavy to pitch like an ace.

The Red Sox don't need that.

They just need Peavy to stay healthy and keep the ball in the park, pitch like a number three, and then his new Sox will do the rest.


Casper Wells, Skip Schumaker Put up Zeros in Blowouts

When a position player takes the mound late in a lopsided game, it's usually a brief moment of levity during an otherwise miserable night (assuming, of course, the emergency hurler doesn't blow out his arm trying to throw the fastest recorded pitch in major league history, a la Jose Canseco). Unlike Jose, White Sox outfielder Casper Wells and Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker didn't embarrass themselves on the bump -- both threw a scoreless inning yesterday, and both showed low-90s velocity to boot. Given the struggles of their teammates who actually get paid to pitch, you couldn't blame Wells and Schumaker for wondering, "What's so hard about this, guys? Here's a closer look at their impressive emergency outings.

Casper Wells: 1 IP, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 H, 0 ER vs. Indians

Like a ghostly apparition, Casper is often in a major league clubhouse one second and gone the next. The former Tigers farmhand has passed through Seattle, Toronto, Oakland and the South Side -- just this season. If the whole hitting thing doesn't pan out, the former two-way star at Towson showed he could have a future on the mound.

Wells threw 13 fastballs out of 16 total pitches, averaging 89.8 MPH and topping out at 93.4 MPH. He also tossed in two changeups and a nasty 84 MPH breaking ball on the inside corner that Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera swung over for strike three. Wells mostly buzzed Indians hitters with high heat, throwing 11 pitches (69 percent) in the upper third of the strike zone.

Casper Wells' pitch location vs. Indians on 6/28/13


Skip Schumaker: 1 IP, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 H, 0 ER vs. Phillies

While Wells is a mop-up pitching neophyte, Schumaker is a grizzled veteran. Last night's outing was Schumaker's third pitching appearance in the majors, as he also faced the Dodgers while with St. Louis on August 23, 2011 (1 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 H, 2 ER) and the Rockies earlier this year on April 29 (1 IP, 0 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER).

Schumaker doesn't have Wells' formal pitching pedigree -- he made just a handful of appearances while in college at Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara -- but he showed plenty of zip last night, too. He threw 15 fastballs out of 24 total pitches, sitting at 89.4 MPH and reaching 91.1 MPH. Skip struck out Philly's Humberto Quintero swinging on a 90 MPH four-seamer thrown belt high and over the middle of the plate. That's gotta wound a hitter's ego, no? Schumaker also scared the bejesus out of John Mayberry Jr. with 91 MPH heater thrown high and inside.

His secondary weapon was a changeup with good separation from his fastball (80.1 MPH average), and he tossed a pair of high 60s-low-70s curveballs as well. You know, just so the position player with experience at all three outfield spots and second base and a 90 MPH fastball could show he's not a one-trick pony.

Skip Schumaker's pitch location vs. Phillies on 6/28/13

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