Nightmare on the Mound

At some point you just have to feel like everything that can go wrong for the Pirates will go wrong- like last night. Paul Maholm is generally a decent enough pitcher. Through his first 14 starts this season he held a 4.20 FIP and a sub-4 ERA. If a pitcher’s beauty is defined by his FIP, then Maholm isn’t pretty anymore. Here’s how his first inning went last night (note that this was also Maholm’s only inning):

Elvis Andrus walked on four pitches
Michael Young homered
Ian Kinsler grounded out
Vladimir Guerrero walked on four pitches
David Murphy singled
Justin Smoak reached on a fielder’s choice
Matt Treanor flied out

What unfolded above resulted in a 2-0 deficit, which is bad but not completely insufferable. Maholm took the mound in the second down by a lone run and walked Julio Borbon on five pitches. The Rangers would catch a break on an error by Neil Walker. They would then singled in five consecutive plate appearances- 6-1 just like that. Dana Eveland would relieve Maholm and give up another run before escaping the inning.

All told Maholm racked up a -.439 WPA, a 2010 worst for the category. A quick glance through his game logs suggest Wednesday’s disaster is among the five or six worst starts of his career. The last time Maholm was this bad came in late May 2009 against the Cubs. He lasted four innings, allowing seven earned runs, walking three, and striking out two. For comparison, Maholm went one inning last night, allowed five earned, walked four, and struck nobody out. In both games he allowed only one home run and a hit for each run (unearned and earned alike).



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OremLK
Member
OremLK
6 years 1 month ago

Wish the Pirates and O’s would win some darn games so the ‘Stros would have a shot at Rendon.

We need him more!

element1286
Guest
element1286
6 years 1 month ago

Everything that could have gone wrong this year for the Pirates has. Church, Iwamura, and Morton have been disasters, Milledge looks every bit the 4th OF. And many good and decent prospects are getting injured, severely.

Just watching games, it seems they hit a ton of line drives right at people. Or end up with the tough luck double plays very frequently. I have no statistical basis for these beliefs, but it is just a feeling I get while watching them.

Bill
Guest
Bill
6 years 1 month ago

‘Cutch proved he can play this year and Jones has proven that last year wasn’t a fluke. Neil Walker has given the Buc’s hope. Evan Meek has also been a pleasant surprise. To see a team that has had everything go wrong, look at Baltimore. They would kill to be as good as Pittsburgh.

gorillagogo
Guest
gorillagogo
6 years 1 month ago

As bad as Maholm’s start was, a greater tragedy for the Pirates occurred yesterday when last year’s top pick Tony Sanchez had his jaw wired shut after getting hit in the face with a pitch.

Holla(r)
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

RJ – Just to add to the Maholm disasterpiece a bit, Nelson Cruz walked in between Murphy and Smoak in the first.

dhbooty83
Member
dhbooty83
6 years 1 month ago

element1286: I just took a quick look at the numbers, and it appears that Pirate hitters are actually really neutral when it comes to luck. Their BABIP as a team is .281 which is really pretty crappy; however, when you consider their team LD%, their expected BABIP should only be around .286. Basically they’re tied for the lowest percentage of line drives with the Astros. They’ve maybe been very slightly unlucky, but if so it’s by a statistically insignificant amount.

element1286
Guest
element1286
6 years 1 month ago

Isn’t there a better formula for BABIP than using just LD%? I know, as a team, they hit a ton of ground balls, which have a low hit expectancy.

I wasn’t really saying they were unlucky, I know they are bad. Just the feel that no matter what good happens, it will be out-weighted by some impending bad. But that is life with bad teams I guess.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
6 years 29 days ago

I thought this was going to be about AJ Burnett or Dontrelle Willis or …

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