All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Throw the Bum Out - Hall of Fame Edition
2/16/2012 11:52 AM
I'm not arguing that Hunter should or shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame.  And I'm also not arguing that situational pitching doesn't happen.

Hunter's ERA is 3.26.  His adjusted ERA+ is 105.  Those aren't great numbers.  If you want to argue that those aren't true reflections of his skill because he pitched to the score, you'll need to show some actual evidence.

Other pitchers pitched in the same era as him, got lots of run support, pitched a ton of innings, and were still able to keep their ERA lower.  Jim Palmer, for example.  He pitched more innings in the same era, got exactly the same amount of run support (4.4 runs per game), averaged more innings per start, threw more complete games and more shutouts.  Yet his ERA is 2.86 and his ERA+ is 126.

By your logic, his numbers should have taken a hit because he was eating innings and pitching to contact.  But they don't.


2/16/2012 11:57 AM
Posted by MikeT23 on 2/16/2012 11:30:00 AM (view original):
Just saying that ranking around 40th in all-time career shutouts probably indicates decent stuff on at least 42 occassions.

FWIW, I don't think a guy with a shutout going is pitching differently regardless of the score.   If it's 8-0 in the 6th, I think pretty much everyone still wants the shutout. 8-1, maybe switch to finishing the game.   I don't think any amount of coaching/teammate ******** changes the pitcher's approach to getting his shutout.
Having good stuff and working within the strike zone as a general approach aren't mutually exclusive.

I don't really have an opinion one way or the other on him for the HOF, but the argument being made for explaining Hunter's average ERA is that he pitched to the score and his supporting stats took a hit - my only point is that you aren't going to find a basis in statistics for that by looking at career totals.
2/16/2012 12:07 PM
I was responding to this:

"That doesn't really answer the question of whether he was a guy who was capable of dominating"

I think most of us think of a shutout as a dominant performance.  It's not as obvious as 20 strikeouts or a no-hitter but, usually when you get a shutout, you have some pretty good stuff.   I guess you could argue that they hit 27 screamers right at someone and he was lucky but I think you and I both know that's a dumb argument.  42 shutouts is 42 shutouts.   The other team didn't score.
2/16/2012 12:18 PM

Fair enough, but this was all in the context of the conversation about whether he was a better pitcher than his overall stats indicated because he pitched to the score.  Put the word "consistently" in front of dominating if you need to.  He had 42 shutouts and still had a pretty average ERA for that era - so he was obvious inconsistent, and the question is whether that inconsistency was something he exercised a degree of control over.

2/16/2012 12:26 PM
Quite honestly, no amount of statistical data for one player is going to prove anything along this line.

But, if you agree that batters change their approach and fielders change their approach based on the situation, it's hard not to believe that pitchers wouldn't do the same thing.   Even coaches change their approach.    So, really, it would be arguing that every competitor on that field does something different based on score EXCEPT for the pitcher.    That would strike me as odd.

That's not to say Hunter was better or worse than his stats indicate, stats are what they are, but I find it hard to believe that he, like pretty much every pitcher in history, didn't say "Hit this.  We're up 9-1.  Your hit won't matter."    And I'm more likely to believe it happens more frequently to pitchers on good teams than bad ones. 
2/16/2012 12:34 PM
But how much consideration do we give hitters for situational hitting?

I never hear anyone say "Sure, he only hit .280, but that's because he's a really good contact hitter. He grounded out to first a lot on hit and runs trying to get a guy from first to third. He would have hit .320 if no one was ever on base for his ABs."

I totally agree with your argument, Mike...but as has been said, if someone is referring specifically to Hunter and his case for the HOF, the argument would need some measure of proof to back it up.
2/16/2012 12:34 PM
Ok, let's accept the premise that all pitchers change their approach depending on the situation..

So what?

Hunter's number still aren't very good relative to all the other pitchers that also change their approach depending on the situation.
2/16/2012 12:35 PM
I tend to agree that even going game by game isn't going to bring up anything conclusive, and you certainly won't get anything from career totals.

I absolutely believe in some degree of situational pitching, I just don't believe that one guy's numbers were so much more influenced by it than most/all others as to be able to call his ERA a product of it in comparison to others for the purposes of a HOF debate, which is what toddcommish basically said to touch this all off.  But if someone watched his career and is convinced of that, there's not much to be done with it.
2/16/2012 12:38 PM
Posted by Jtpsops on 2/16/2012 12:34:00 PM (view original):
But how much consideration do we give hitters for situational hitting?

I never hear anyone say "Sure, he only hit .280, but that's because he's a really good contact hitter. He grounded out to first a lot on hit and runs trying to get a guy from first to third. He would have hit .320 if no one was ever on base for his ABs."

I totally agree with your argument, Mike...but as has been said, if someone is referring specifically to Hunter and his case for the HOF, the argument would need some measure of proof to back it up.

Let me ask you this:   How big of a star is Jeter? 

People go on and on about the little things he's does.   And that includes giving himself to advance the runner by slapping the ball to the 1st base side of the bag.

Now, do I need to answer your question?

As for Hunter, I'm not sure he's in my HOF.   I've simply pointed out that, during a 10 year stretch, he completed a lot of games, threw a lot of shutouts and pitched a lot of innings for very good teams.  You don't do that if you're nitpicking at every batter.

2/16/2012 12:40 PM
But that's precisely why I initially said we can only really comment on players we've seen.

Someone who watched MLB and specifically Hunter in the 70s could say "The guy was dominating! He just happened to be given a lot of good leads and pitched to contact. I watched all his starts, and the dude was a HOFer."  But looking back now, all the rest of us can do is say "His numbers are very good at best. Not HOF worthy." That's why we just have to trust there was something that made them "Hall Worthy" at the time they were inducted, flawed or not.
2/16/2012 12:43 PM
His post-season ERA was almost identical to his regular season ERA.    Against the top teams, he held steady but not spectacular.  Seems to me that a lot of guys shutdown the turds during the year and get lit up by the better teams.  It shows in their post-season numbers.   It doesn't with his. 
2/16/2012 12:45 PM
Well, I saw Hunter pitch a few times.   He didn't "wow" me but he got people out.   I thought so much of him that I lost the autographed photo I had.

As somone who saw him pitch, I'm not sure I'm a good endorsement for his induction.
2/16/2012 12:54 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 2/16/2012 12:43:00 PM (view original):
His post-season ERA was almost identical to his regular season ERA.    Against the top teams, he held steady but not spectacular.  Seems to me that a lot of guys shutdown the turds during the year and get lit up by the better teams.  It shows in their post-season numbers.   It doesn't with his. 
Wouldn't that lead you to believe that his career ERA is indicative of his actual talent and that he didn't pitch to the score?
2/16/2012 1:49 PM

Nope.

ERA against everyone(good and bad) = 3.26
ERA against playoff teams(assuming only good) = 3.29

Which teams are more likely to get blown out during the regular season?  I'd say "bad teams".

2/16/2012 2:03 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 2/16/2012 1:49:00 PM (view original):

Nope.

ERA against everyone(good and bad) = 3.26
ERA against playoff teams(assuming only good) = 3.29

Which teams are more likely to get blown out during the regular season?  I'd say "bad teams".

I disagree.

132 innings trying to pitch as well as possible (not pitching to the score) = ERA 3.26 (BREF has his postseason ERA at 3.26, world series ERA at 3.29)
3449 innings maybe pitching as well as possible or maybe pitching to the score = ERA 3.26

I don't think that tells us much (132 innings isn't much of a sample) but if it tells us anything, Hunter's ERA when we know he pitched to the best of his ability was the same as it was for his career, which indicates that he did pitch to the best of his ability during the regular season.
of 79
All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Throw the Bum Out - Hall of Fame Edition

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.