You can't tell people to kill themselves and then expect them to remember/care about anything else you said. You and bad_luck can yell and scream all day that wins and losses don't give any indication of pitching performance, and I'm guessing that means you've never pitched. Stat guys - and I'm pretty much of a stat guy - tend to work off the belief that every plate appearance can basically be taken in a vacuum and the same statistical probabilities of events should exist. This just isn't true. You and bl constantly ignore or insult the people who have repeatedly mentioned that certain elite pitchers are capable of throttling back when their teams put together decent leads, at which point 6 innings of 3 or 4-run ball might be more valuable than 4 innings of shutout ball. Nevertheless, this is an absolute fact, and can, in fact, be statistically proven. You say pitching performance consists 100% of preventing runs. To an extent this is true, but only to the extent to which it maintains a lead or at least an opportunity to win a game. Let's go right back to the example I alluded to but didn't specifically outline above. Say your team scores 6 runs in the bottom of the third. Now all of a sudden it's better for your team if your starting pitcher finishes the game and gives up 4 runs, saving your entire bullpen, than if he gives up no runs but only gets through the 6th or 7th inning. So now pitching performance isn't just about preventing runs, it's also about eating innings and saving your own and your teammates' arms. You can pretend Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia don't pitch to contact more when they have a 4+ run lead, but statistically it's true. If you don't believe me, you can work through their stats and watch their K and BB rates as a function of lead/defecit - both go down as the lead gets bigger, in either direction actually. If you're probably going to lose the game anyway it's also better to just try to finish some innings. You can also look at ERA as a function of team lead and you will find that the 3 I mentioned, as well as a number of other pitchers both modern and historic, give up more runs when their teams score more runs. There is a meaningful correlation between runs allowed and run support on a game-by-game basis on a yearly and career basis if you pick innings-eating aces. You can ignore these numbers forever if you want to, but when other people aren't willing to and you shout how stupid they are and that they should kill themselves, it's not them that wind up looking like idiots.