Friday, September 18, 2009

The Irrelevance of ERA

A pitcher's ERA (earned run average) is one of the key statistics used to judge a pitcher's quality. It is probably that CC Sabathia will lose the Cy Young this year to Zach Grienke because of the difference in their ERA's, even though CC has more wins.

But, watching the Yanks in Seattle tonight, I thought about how skewed that statistic can be. The Yankees have only gotten 2 runs so far (lead 2-1 at this point in the seventh). But if this game was being played at Yankee stadium they would have 5 or 6 runs. They have hit several balls that would have been out of the park at New Yankee Stadium , which went for harmless outs in Seattle. Swisher crushed one that was caught at the wall.

It is no wonder, with half his starts at Yankee stadium that CC's ERA is a little higher than pitchers like Felix Hernandez (pitching against us tonight) who pitches half his games in the cavern they call Safeco field.

I am not saying that ERA is insignificant. I'm just saying that since ballparks are so different, it is a statistic that will be skewed, like hitting stats in Colorado.

(One more thing, while I'm at it - the Yankees hit into more double plays than any team in the history of baseball - it is FRUSTRATING!!)

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