Still scratching my head over how some of you seem to think a w-l record tells you anything about how a guy threw. All a pitcher does is try to prevent runs. That's his job.
When I ask what you can tell me about the performance of two 12-12 guys from the same season (who was better? were they good? bad? average?), I don't get serious replies because the answer is obvious-that stat literally tells you nothing other than, "They were probably not the worst or best pitchers in MLB history."
When I ask about closers, people say using w-l record to evaluate relievers is dumb (and I agree).
What about two guys, same team, who had every stat identical (if you can think of a stat... they were equal) ... except one guy was 10-15, and the other was 22-7. Do you think one guy was better than the other?
The fact that you can't give a straight reply to what w-l tells you in those cases should tell you a lot about how much meaning the stat has. Those cases literally use only the w-l stat--wtf does it tell you? Nothing. The replies seem to say "The TEAM won more when Some Dude was on the mound, even though he gave up more runs on average than Another Guy." That may be true, but use your brain--is that a reflection of pitching performance (preventing runs) or run support? You guys can make up all the stories you want about Jack the Crafty Veteran Who Really Bared Down When He Had To being a better pitcher than The Reckless Rookie Who Threw Too Hard, but if rook consistently gave up less runs per 9, he was the better pitcher. Period.
You guys say the object of the game is to win. You're right. That's the TEAM'S job. The pitcher's job is to prevent runs, which is why looking at things like ERA is informative (though not the whole story).However, looking at a team stat (wins) says nothing about a pitcher's job performance (preventing runs).
I can only conclude that you are mixing up a team stat (wins) with a player stat (preventing runs), you disagree that a pitcher's sole job is to prevent runs, or you're just nostalgic about the win stat. I hope it's the latter. If so, I understand. I remember Welch winning 25 or 27 or whatever and thinking it was badass. I wish staffs would go back to 4-man so we'd see normal amounts of 20+ game winners again. I'd love to see a 30-game winner. But using it as a measure of performance? As stated, it doesn't tell you anything. At all. The only time it even sheds ANY light is a freakish outlier, like a 25-game winner on a 67-win team.