Mets pitchers and Quality Starts

Posted on August 18, 2010 by

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The Mets’ offensive troubles have become the story of the season and have overshadowed some terrific pitching performances. How many times have pitchers ended up with no-decisions in games where they pitched brilliantly? Here is a chart of all Mets starters, their Quality Starts and decisions in those games.

Name Quality Starts QS Record
Johan Santana 16 9-0
Mike Pelfrey 13 10-1
Jonathon Niese 13 7-3
R.A. Dickey 13 7-3
Hisanori Takahashi 6 3-1
John Maine 3 1-1
Oliver Perez 2 0-0
Pat Misch 1 0-1
Fernando Nieve 0 0-0
Totals 67 37-10

In 2010 Mets pitchers have gotten a decision in 70 percent of their Quality Starts. The two outliers in this regard are Santana and Pelfrey, who have gotten decisions in 56 and 85 percent, respectively. Additionally, this year Mets pitchers have a .787 winning percentage in Quality Starts. Again, the two outliers are Santana and Pelfrey, who have winning percentages of 1.000 and .909, respectively.

Many have bemoaned Niese’s bad luck in his last three outings, in which he allowed just 3 ER in 21 IP and did not receive a decision. But both Niese’s percentage of decisions in QS (77%) and his record in QS (.700) are right in line with what the Mets have done as a team this year.

But how does the Mets’ efforts in QS in 2010 compare to previous years? Here are the same numbers for 2009:

Name Quality Starts QS Record
Johan Santana 17 10-6
Mike Pelfrey 15 6-3
Livan Hernandez 12 7-2
Tim Redding 8 2-1
John Maine 7 6-0
Nelson Figueroa 5 2-3
Fernando Nieve 4 3-1
Oliver Perez 3 1-0
Pat Misch 3 2-0
Jonathon Niese 2 1-0
Bobby Parnell 2 1-0
Totals 78 41-16

In 2009, Mets pitchers got a decision in 73 percent of QS and had a .719 winning percentage. They got a higher percentage of decisions and a worse winning percentage than what we’ve seen this season. And Maine plays the roll of Pelfrey, winning nearly every time he threw a QS. This is not very good news for those predicting big things for Pelfrey going forward.

Here are the 2008 numbers:

Name Quality Starts QS Record
Johan Santana 28 14-5
Mike Pelfrey 20 9-5
Oliver Perez 16 8-1
John Maine 11 8-2
Pedro Martinez 6 4-1
Nelson Figueroa 2 1-0
Claudio Vargas 2 1-1
Jonathon Niese 1 1-0
Brandon Knight 0 0-0
Tony Armas 0 0-0
Brian Stokes 0 0-0
Totals 86 46-15

And here is the chart for 2007:

Name Quality Starts QS Record
Tom Glavine 23 13-2
John Maine 17 13-1
Orlando Hernandez 17 9-0
Oliver Perez 16 11-3
Jorge Sosa 7 5-1
Mike Pelfrey 3 1-1
Brian Lawrence 1 0-0
Pedro Martinez 2 0-1
Jason Vargas 0 0-0
Chan Ho Park 0 0-0
Dave Williams 0 0-0
Phil Humber 0 0-0
Totals 86 52-9

Adding the three full seasons and the one partial year, the Mets have 317 QS with a 176-50 record. They get a decision in 71 percent of the team’s QS and have a winning percentage of .779 when their starter goes at least 6 IP and gives up 3 ER or fewer.

Compared to the last three seasons, the 2010 Mets have the lowest percentage of decisions when their starter gives a QS. However, their winning percentage in QS is better than both 2009 and 2008. What Santana has experienced this year is not unheard of, as Orlando Hernandez had virtually the same number of QS and the exact same winning percentage in 2007 as Santana does this year. Pelfrey winning nearly every QS also has a match in recent Mets history, as Maine did it the three previous seasons.

Just because a pitcher like Niese throws some strong games where he gets a no-decision does not mean he is unlucky. Actually, Niese has more decisions than the average Mets starter given his number of QS, although his winning percentage in those games is below average

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Posted in: Perspectives