John Smoltz and ERA

All the Roy Halladay to Boston talk is centered around a line that goes something like this: “Off-season signings Brad Penny and John Smoltz have disappointed. Smoltz especially with a 7.04 ERA and 1-4 record…”

Ignore the ERA and record, John Smoltz is fine. In 30 innings Smoltz has walked 5 and struck 28 out. Yeah, he’s given up a few home runs too, but his FIP is a steady 3.61 (3.82 xFIP) and tRA has him at 3.94 (4.81 tRA*) meaning he’s not giving up only sharply hit line drives. Still yet, his BABIP is .394 and his strand rate is 57.6%

Smoltz has had three starts with 5+ earned runs allowed, but look at the gamelogs from those games:

6/25: 5 IP, 7 H, 0 HR, 3 FB, 9 GB, 5 LD
7/6: 6 IP, 10 H, 0 HR, 7 FB, 13 GB, 4 LD
7/20: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 3 HR, 11 FB, 7 GB, 3 LD
7/26: 5 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 7 FB, 5 GB, 5 LD

All total: 21.2 IP, 35 H, 4 HR, 28 FB, 34 GB, 17 LD. The results don’t seem to meet the processes. Allowing more hits than usual is nothing new for this year’s Red Sox team. They lead the league in BABIP against. A little over 32% of balls put into play result in hits. The next highest team is the Diamondbacks at 31.2%. Until someone produces evidence otherwise, I’m going to notch Smoltz’ BABIP up to a porous defense rather than a new found ability to throw watermelons 90 miles per hour.

The Red Sox are interested in Halladay because it’s Roy Halladay, not because John Smoltz or Brad Penny are pitching poorly.

We hoped you liked reading John Smoltz and ERA by R.J. Anderson!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




newest oldest most voted
Matthew
Guest
Matthew

are you guys in love with the rex sox.. who cares about old man john smoltz

JZ
Guest
JZ

RJ is definitely not a Red Sox fan. He is the ace of DRaysBay.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Go rex sox