The Indians Did Have Maybe the Best Pitching Staff Ever

The Dodgers snapped out of it. After an extended slump, the Dodgers did manage to snap out of it, and so they finished with baseball’s best record. The Indians ultimately had to settle for simply having the best record in the American League. And yet, one might consider the Indians to be baseball’s best team. They had easily baseball’s best second half. They had easily baseball’s best run differential. They had easily baseball’s best BaseRuns record. You could say it’s all just recency bias, but, recently, the Indians have been almost literally unbeatable. It’s quite a difficult thing to exaggerate.

The Indians this season could field, and the Indians this season could hit. More than anything else, however, the Indians this season could pitch. They could pitch when games were beginning, and they could pitch when games were concluding. It was a pitching staff without a clear weakness. According to WAR, Indians pitchers were better than the next-best staff by about seven wins. According to the other version of WAR, the one based on actual runs allowed, the Indians pitchers were again better than the next-best staff by about seven wins. Turns out these Indians weren’t just the best in 2017. They’re the best we’ve seen in a long, long while.

I just wrote about this a few weeks ago. My apologies if you don’t like when a subject is repeated. Yet I’m coming back to this for two reasons. One, the regular season is now actually over, so all the numbers are final. No more extrapolating or projecting out. And two, this is kind of important, at least as fun facts are concerned. This isn’t something just about how, like, the Nationals were pretty good at running the bases. This is about the Indians pitching staff being perhaps the best one ever. In baseball, “ever” is a long time. I mean, I guess in existence, “ever” is an even longer time, but there’s been a lot of baseball, is the point. And what is baseball if not the sum of its own history?

I went back to 1900. I looked at all the individual team-seasons. Here are the top 10 pitching staffs, sorted by WAR per 162 games.

Best-Ever Pitching Staffs
Team Year WAR/162
Indians 2017 31.7
Braves 1996 29.5
Braves 1994 28.8
Braves 1997 28.5
Yankees 2003 28.4
Yankees 2002 28.4
Phillies 2011 28.1
Braves 1999 27.8
Braves 1995 27.2
Cubs 1970 27.1

Indians, first place. This is out of a sample of 2,490. Let’s do the familiar thing with the numbers: the difference between first and second is 2.2 wins. The difference between second and ninth is 2.3. What’s driving this? The Indians finished with a team FIP- of 75, meaning, by the peripherals, they were 25% better than average. The previous best FIP- for any team was 80. That’s a fairly enormous gap, as these things go.

The WAR shown above is somewhat theoretical. It strips out, for example, matters of timing. There’s also RA9-WAR, which considers runs that have actually happened. Here is the same table, only this time showing RA9-WAR per 162 games.

Best-Ever Pitching Staffs
Team Year RA9-WAR/162
Cubs 1905 39.2
Cubs 1906 39.0
Cubs 1909 38.0
Cardinals 1944 37.1
Yankees 1939 37.1
Indians 2017 35.4
Braves 1974 35.2
Braves 1993 34.2
Cardinals 1943 33.9
Cubs 1907 33.5

Now we find the Indians in sixth, instead of first. That might be less sexy, but then, the most recent team with a better mark played baseball in 1944. Jackie Robinson debuted in the majors in 1947, and so began the so-called Integration Era. By this version of WAR, the Indians had the best pitching staff since the Paris Peace Treaties. It’s been more than 70 years. That’s a lot of baseball history being overwritten. See, the Indians finished with an ERA- of 74, which also stands as the sixth-best, and the best since 1910. For the record, last year’s Cubs finished at 75. That run-prevention unit was also absurd.

As a compromise, this table goes 50/50. So here’s one more top-10, taking the midpoint of each team’s WARs.

Best-Ever Pitching Staffs
Team Year Blend/162
Indians 2017 33.6
Braves 1997 30.9
Cubs 1909 30.7
Phillies 2011 30.4
Cardinals 1944 30.2
Braves 1974 30.2
Braves 1993 30.0
Braves 1999 29.9
Dodgers 2003 29.5
Braves 1995 29.4

The Indians go back to first, by a healthy margin. I’m not saying it’s true beyond any reasonable doubt the Indians had the best pitching staff ever. I’m just saying, if you have a counter-argument, the argument for the Indians is fairly convincing. They’re the best ever by our flagship pitching statistic. If you put more weight on actual runs allowed, they’re the best of at least the Integration Era. By ERA, there have been better teams, but those teams played under dramatically different conditions. Since baseball more inclusively opened its doors, no team has done what the Indians just finished doing.

The numbers are right there. There’s no hiding from them. And yet, I suspect this is a somewhat unpopular opinion. You don’t see many people calling this the best pitching staff ever. How could it be better than, say, those Braves staffs from the 90s? Between Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, the Braves had three first-ballot Hall-of-Famers. The Indians can’t compete with that. But, well, allow me to break things down. Let’s look at all the Braves seasons from 1993 through 1999. They were all great! In this table, a comparison between those Braves and these Indians.

Braves vs. Indians Comparison
Team Split ERA- FIP- IP
1993 – 1999 Braves Overall 80 83 9617.1
2017 Indians Overall 74 75 1440.2
1993 – 1999 Braves Starters 77 81 7035.2
2017 Indians Starters 79 77 951.1
1993 – 1999 Braves Relievers 87 88 2581.2
2017 Indians Relievers 64 72 489.1

The Braves had amazing starters, and they threw 73% of all the innings. Indians starters, meanwhile, picked up just 66% of the workload. But look at the relievers. By ERA-, the Indians are better by 23 points. By FIP-, the gap is still an enormous 16. And Indians relievers threw the other 34% of the innings. Indians relievers were used more heavily, and, as a collective, the bullpen was spectacular. Look at that again — Indians relievers combined for an ERA- of 64. Pedro Martinez’s career ERA- was 66. The Indians simply didn’t use bad pitchers. They didn’t have any.

The Braves are remembered fondly in part because they stayed together for so long. They were dominant year after year after year, and the Indians are still working on that. But in terms of individual dominant seasons, the Braves are held in such high esteem because the best pitchers on the roster were some of the best pitchers on the planet. Those Braves were top-heavy, but that’s great for their perception, because staffs are often evaluated by their best weapons. The 2017 Indians didn’t function like the Braves of the 90s. There’s terrific top-end talent, sure, but there’s also just so much more depth, and more reliance on the relievers. Less was asked of the starters. Part of it’s just because of the era. Part of it’s because of how the team’s been constructed.

The Indians’ pitching staff doesn’t have three first-ballot Hall-of-Famers. It might not have a single Hall-of-Famer at all. In that sense, they have nothing on the best recent years from the Braves. Yet pitching staffs aren’t evaluated by the number of Hall-of-Famers they include. You don’t win games by having Hall-of-Famers. You win games by preventing runs from scoring. Top to bottom, the Indians did that better than the Braves did. The Indians did that better than anyone’s done, for an extremely long time. Pitching staffs nowadays are more complicated than ever, because of how starters have lessened in importance. But also, everything’s still wonderfully simple. You either keep runs off the board, or you don’t. The Indians did. You couldn’t ask for any more.

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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RonnieDobbs
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RonnieDobbs

The Indians have the staff which embodies the current pitcher WAR formula more than any in history. This makes sense as WAR is built around modern eras, not those of the past. The Indians are a low walk / high K staff which is why they are in 1st place for WAR. A handful of years ago, teams wanted their starters to pitch deeper and Ks don’t fit that mold. The Indians didn’t even lead the league in quality starts, which seems like a good enough stand-alone measure of a starting rotation. Without a special rotation, I am going to look elsewhere for the best staff in history. I think most discussions about historic staffs are exactly about the hall-of-famers on the staff – otherwise we are just looking at a print-out of numbers and that’s only really good for writing headlines. The fact is that “best ever” conversations are supposed to be fun – there are no right answers. If you are lucky you might learn something you didn’t know or re-live memories from the past. Sabermetrics often miss that mark as it is too often simply, insert_player/team_name had the most insert_stat_here in insert_year.

I would argue that WAR gives way too much value to relievers, which is what I think we see here. They do have the WAR-centric skillset of K-BB. Anything beyond that is hard for a machine to evaluate. I am not saying that K-BB is bad, but there is a lot more to pitching than striking guys out (see Braves staffs). Numbers folks want to find ways to call that “luck” or luck’s cousin, “sequencing”. Maddux and Glavine were good at being lucky. I will easily buy the Indians as the best staff this year, but I don’t buy them as a historic group. I don’t worship WAR and I encourage others to think outside of the box that we are creating, just to break – maybe its more like a pedestal…

HappyFunBall
Member
HappyFunBall

I think most discussions about historic staffs are exactly about the hall-of-famers on the staff

I think you are generally correct about how people think.

That being said, a pitching staff is a lot more than the three best guys. Quibble with the numbers or the methodology, sure, but to say that you only care about the top of the staff is to say that you’re not answering the same question.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

Sure, the back-end definitely counts! I am sure the shaky back-end of the Indians staff helps them here as the bullpen gets more innings as racks up WAR. It is probably pretty clear that I enjoy the history of the game, it’s great players and their achievements – I would imagine that many hardcore fans do think in those terms. I agree that I have a different viewpoint. This number that Jeff presents is not wrong, it just isn’t an accurate way to look at history for me. For me, we can talk about right now, which we are already doing, or we can reflect on 50 years of history – I find that to be much more interesting.

thetireswings
Member
thetireswings

Is the “shaky back-end” of the staff the three guys who each had more than 2.0 WAR and started a combined 66 games? (Clevinger, Tomlin, & Salazar).

Their rotation used only 7 guys all year, and one of those guys (Merritt) only started 4 times. That alone is stellar. They only had one reliever exceed any of the core 6 starters in WAR. Of the Indians 31.7 pitching WAR, 22.6 was from the starters.

So yes, the back-end counts, and it’s because they were very, very good.

Taximike
Member
Taximike

“I am sure the shaky back-end of the Indians staff helps them here as the bullpen gets more innings…”

Actually, Cleveland relievers pitched the fewest innings in the AL, and 2nd fewest in the Majors.

RonnieDobbs
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RonnieDobbs

My mistake. I am just looking at high level stats and making guesses.

isavage
Member
isavage

The Indians don’t have a shaky back end of their staff. That’s sort of the point. And the top end, Kluber and Carrasco, is obviously every bit as good as peak Maddux and Glavine. Kluber should win the Cy Young, and Carrasco was one of the top 4 starters in the league by just about any measure. For any pitcher who threw over 100 innings in the AL, the Indians have 5 of the top 11 in k/9. Their top 5 starters are in the top 19 in the league in FIP. They have 3 of the top 10 in ERA.

I think part of the problem is you can’t wrap your head around the fact that someone like the Braves was an NL team. If you put the Indians pitchers in the NL where they faced a pitcher their strikeouts and ERA would look even more ridiculous.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

Its shaky if you want to talk about a historic staff. All of those back-end guys were in some jeopardy of losing their jobs at points this season. Sure, it compares well to the rest of the league in 2018, which is what this “historic” staff is all about.

isavage
Member
isavage

The only reason pitchers on their staff might have been in jeopardy of losing their jobs is because they were pitching for Cleveland, who had 6 good starting options when Salazar wasn’t on the DL. The Indians #6 starter had a 3.19 ERA and 3.41 FIP in the 2nd half. Their #7 starter threw 20.2 innings on the year with a 1.74 ERA and 3.06 FIP. Who are you even referring to, Bauer? Of the 5.24 ERA but 4.06 FIP in the 1st half? Bauer would be the best pitcher on multiple different major league teams, for Cleveland he’s really their #4 or #5 starter (Clevinger is better than Bauer, and Salazar is better than Bauer when he’s healthy)

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

That’s revisionist history. Salazar, Clevinger and the rest of them did lose their jobs. This is also the first point in history where Bauer’s job is safe. People have been clamoring for him move to the bullpen since he has been in Cleveland.

cowdisciple
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Member
cowdisciple

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone criticize WAR for overvaluing relievers. Most critics seem to think it undervalues them drastically because it doesn’t account for leverage.

jlewyckyj
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Member
jlewyckyj

Maybe the argument is that they allow inherited runners from SPs to score? Well, for RA-9 WAR that is. I dunno, kinda grasping at straws here.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

RP have an easier job than starters. They also have a WAR-friendly job description – strike this guy out, leave game after/before any adversity. Using the same tool is problematic for me. If RP begin to tire, they are done. They don’t even have to face opposite-handed hitters in many cases. They don’t have to worry about ever throwing their third best pitch or the next time through the order. There is a good reason that busted position players recoup a shred of value through moving to the bullpen. Its the easiest job description in baseball. When you treat a staff as one big unit that pitches 9 innings, the team that deploys more RP should accumulate more WAR if you have the bullpen to do it – and this is a staff built around the bullpen. I do think that WAR overvalues RP for sure… relative to SP.

thetireswings
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thetireswings

I think this is totally wrong. If I understand the definition of WAR correctly (https://www.fangraphs.com/library/war/calculating-war-pitchers/) relievers, if anything, are penalized for the fact that their “replacement” is often someone already at the major league level – that is, another pitcher already in that team’s bullpen. They are “rewarded” for often pitching in higher leverage situations though. All of this has been taken into account in the formula. This is why the stat allows us – even if not perfect – to compare players across positions.

Also, stats aside, I’d say that relievers and starters have the exact same job: getting outs, preventing runs, preventing baserunners.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

I don’t know how WAR works with RP. You could certainly be right. If you say you are then I believe you. I just always figured that it must be kooky as every year lots of very replaceable guys accumulate value. I figured the only way they could have value would be to compare them to SP. I was just trying to guess at how this staff could be special by any metric.

I do not agree that RP and SP have much in common at all in terms of job description. One has to work through tough situations and one gets to pass them off to a guy with a better match-up. The minor leagues are full of players that could provide relief innings, but very few real starters.

isavage
Member
isavage

Again, it’s scaled to league average, so when you’re looking at reliever WAR, you’re comparing them to OTHER RELIEVERS who have an equally “WAR-friendly” job (which means it can’t really be WAR-friendly). So a replacement-level reliever is going to be a guy who still does a pretty good job of striking players out, etc. Like Kelvin Herrera for the Royals was pretty much a replacement level reliever this year

soddingjunkmail
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soddingjunkmail

>This makes sense as WAR is built around modern eras, not those of the past. The Indians are a low walk / high K staff which is why they are in 1st place for WAR. A handful of years ago, teams wanted their starters to pitch deeper and Ks don’t fit that mold.

Sure, but unpack that statement a bit. Teams use pitchers differently these days. But just why do you think they made that change? To be less effective?

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

For one, the league changed around them. Everybody strikes out more. That alone inflates WAR over previous eras. I am not sure pitching staffs are better these days – they are just different. It’s not like this staff had some historic ERA or anything like that. Newer isn’t better in every case. My two cents – radar guns have led to more arm injuries and forced bullpen usage. Perhaps guys don’t learn how to pitch the way they used to. When your ticket to MLB looks like a triple-digit radar gun reading, you know what you have to do.

I don’t think things are better these days, just different. I don’t buy this as the inevitable course for pitching staffs, just the current situation. In the future, when the game changes, people will act like that is the pinnacle of the evolution of the game. I am always saying that using WAR in a historic context is a bad idea – that’s all it boils down to for me.

emh1969
Member
emh1969

“For one, the league changed around them. Everybody strikes out more. That alone inflates WAR over previous eras.”

No it doesn’t. There’s a fixed amount of WAR available every year (depending on the number of teams/games). And Fangraphs splits WAR between pitchers and hitters by the same percentage every year. Baseball Reference does the same.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

As I have said a few times, they just match the arbitrary metric better than other teams and respective eras. This gets hard because I am replying to 10 different angles at one time. I was more responding to the implication that modern staffs are better than older staffs. The question was, why do teams K more guys… something like that. I think I could form a coherent, more relevant reply here, but I am stretched too thin. Even if WAR is fixed among pitchers, the weight of Ks would allow a team to horde more of the WAR than in previous generations. Things were obviously more balanced in the past, which is what this article is about. It does appear to be a huge input, too high I am sure. I will admit that I am learning a bit about WAR in these comments.

isavage
Member
isavage

WAR is meant to be used in a historic context. What would you use, ERA? You think comparing pitchers before the mound was lowered versus a watered-down, pre-integration league by ERA is better than comparing them by WAR? The inputs in WAR are scaled to league average, so something like league strikeout rate shouldn’t actually inflate WAR, since everyone in the league is going against those same hitters who are striking out more.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

I wouldn’t compare one generation to another. the whole thing has a very elitist feel to it. Enjoy the game. Follow it for decades and enjoy it all. Why would anyone want to declare a generation better than another, other than to write a headline?

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

“Sure, but unpack that statement a bit. Teams use pitchers differently these days. But just why do you think they made that change? To be less effective?”

This is the key point here. What RonnieDobbs wants to argue is that because there’s alignment between current best practices and what we understand to be good there will be some recent teams will look better.

This is technically correct, but it’s hard to understand why it’s worth getting worked up about it. The teams appear better because they *are* better, precisely because their practices align well with what we know works.

The only way this is an issue is if there is some radically different formula that gets value better than FIP-based WAR. So far there isn’t*

*SIERA is better, but SIERA and FIP mostly agree.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

We are creating metrics to affirm current practices. I don’t think this is healthy for the game. This is the recipe for speeding down a path, potentially in the wrong direction. I don’t believe that 2017 MLB is better than 1997 MLB. The OBP revolution was real, but beyond that I think sabermetrics is mainly grasping for straws – which is how you find something eventually. I think if you had previous modern era teams play 2017 teams they would split the games, despite what anyone here thinks – I wouldn’t be shocked if the older teams won more than they lost. I am not sure what other readers think about that point. I have a lot of problems with calling one era better than another. What does this say about the players that built this game? I watch modern baseball and I don’t think its better, its just different. I would say that modern players are less baseball-skilled, but they have better measurables. I am sure that modern bullpens would give older players some fits, but the small-ball, professional at-bats would give those same hard-throwing poor-command arms a lot of problems. It would be fun to watch. Rather than just talk down on the greats from the past, I want to recognize that they were legitimately great by any standard.

Neil
Member
Neil

“We are creating metrics to affirm current practices.” What? Dear god, no, I hope not. To influence or change current practices? Maybe. To understand and compare what seems otherwise incomparable? For sure. But not to affirm, in general, not when these metrics find so much to critique in current on-field and back-room practices.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

If you created a metric and it wasn’t flattering to the current era, then it would be discarded. I see it all the time. When a metric is created, they look at the list of players that it floats to the top, that’s probably the most important test. The end result is just a bunch of alternative metrics that all tell the same story – which is the story that you want to tell. You would literally tweak the inputs and weights to make a metric match up with what is already out there or your narrative if it didn’t. I think that modern metrics rarely tell baseball people anything that they don’t already know. Statistics are used by people to support their own narrative all the time. That’s not unique to baseball! Statistics can be used to unearth things or to simply support an argument. Numbers are objective, the methodology and people who use them are not. I don’t accept that we are viewing some higher-order evolution of the game. Sabermetrics are just a tool for analysis that people can use or misuse as they choose – the idea that this is the path to baseball enlightenment is flawed IMO. If this was about 2017, then I would have nothing to say about it. I don’t like WAR, but that wouldn’t even warrant a comment. My issue is that any methodology which calls the Indians staff (same starters and closer as last year’s non-historic group) the best staff of all time is wrong. Go ahead and disagree, but citing arbitrary metrics ins’t terribly compelling to me. If you like them, then that is great for you! How will you feel about the next “best stat” that comes along?

Abomb1018
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Member
Abomb1018

You’re getting dangerously close to “fWar is a conspiracy to make the 2017 Indians look like the best staff ever” territory.

Hughes
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Member
Hughes

Who’s talking down the past? Our current practice affirming metrics as you call them still show Ruth as the best player to play the game.

Generational talent still looks like generational talent with these metrics. Heck you could say people in this generation are finally playing by the advise and approach used by Ted Williams. That is pick your pitches where you’re good at hitting them, not just any pitch, and add a bit of loft. Part of of his legendary talent is taking a walk.

Pitchers aren’t just throwing heat without command. Cleveland rained down and away on the Blue Jays last ALCS crushed offense historically hard. Teddy was only a .250 hitter in that region of the strike zone vs .344 overall. His career was murdering pitchers slightly above the middle 1/3 of the zone.

RonnieDobbs
Member
RonnieDobbs

The article… If this is the best staff of all time, then what does that say about baseball history? That is a fine point about Ruth. I personally would never even consider comparing segregated baseball to today.

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

RonnieDobbs, I see where you’re coming from but this just isn’t correct in this case.

People do create statistics to validate current practices, but new metrics also push people to align their practices with what works. No one created FIP-based WAR to judge today’s pitchers the best in MLB history, especially since WAR is scaled for era.

AJS
Member
AJS

“What RonnieDobbs wants to argue is that because there’s alignment between current best practices and what we understand to be good there will be some recent teams will look better.

This is technically correct, but it’s hard to understand why it’s worth getting worked up about it. The teams appear better because they *are* better, precisely because their practices align well with what we know works.”

I fundamentally disagree with this.

For example, do Carrasco’s stats look good because he only faced 227 batters the 3rd/4th time through the order, while Glavine in 2002 faced 298? How much worse would Carrasco be if he had the usage pattern of a pitcher from 15 years ago?

The goal of WAR is to normalize across eras, but if usage has changed, then you’re not really making fair comparisons.

Darkstar61
Member
Darkstar61

That makes zero sense

Carrasco was dramatically better at keeping runners off base the first time he faced them, so the 3rd or 4th time he (Carlos) would have faced batters was pushed much later in the game than 2002 Glavine was.

So are you arguing we should penalize Carrasco for pitching so much better than Glavine to start the game?

First time thru order:
.202/.267/.357/.625 – Carrassco ’17
.268/.333/.432/.765 – Glavine ’02

Second time:
.244/.295/.368/.664 – Carrasco
.236/.313/.351/.664 – Glavine

Third time:
.271/.307/.452/.759 – Carrasco
.253/.325/.419/.745 – Glavine

Forth time:
.200/.250/.333/.583 – Carrasco
.344/.476/.563/1.039 – Glavine

That is a .066 point difference between their respective OBPs for the first time they faced the order. Had Tom been able to do what Carlos did the first time thru his number of 3rd & 4th times faced would have dropped dramatically. And as you can see, Carrasco was ironically just as good to better than Glavine the 2nd, 3rd and 4th times he faced guys, so…

Also ironically;
6.25 – Carrasco ’17
6.24 – Glavine ’02
That is their respective number of Innings Pitched per game

…and all of this ignores the fact that Carrasco did it in the AL with a DH instead of facing an automatic out in the 9th slot. Think that might make it easier to get thru the order for Glavine? Despite that advantage, he didn’t – he faced hitters a 3rd and 4th time more often (and performed worse doing it) despite averaging the same exact number of innings per start

…and it’s off-base to begin with as a pitcher is heavily rewarded for keeping a replacement level guy off the Field. That is why relievers have such a hard time getting a high WAR; they leave too much time on the mound to be filled by the theoretical replacement guy. So a starter pitching 200 innings of even league average will have a much higher WAR by default. Similarly, a shutdown starter not pitching very often/long will have a decreased WAR to account for the replacement guy he would theoretically be turning the game over to. Want an example, compare:
Geo Gonzalez – 201 IP, 3.93 FIP, 3.3 WAR
Brad Peacock – 132 IP, 3.07 FIP, 3.4 WAR
The two were no where close to equal in performance yet ended up equal in value solely because Geo pitched 70 innings more than Brad. Coming out of the game/not staying healthy dramatically decreases your WAR, not improves it

…and all of that is completely besides the point anyway considering we are talking about the entire teams performances (“current best practices {of the team}”), not the performance of one individual guy. Even if the starter comes out of the game earlier, the rest of the team still needs to get the lineup out in the same order the starter left it

yamborma
Member
yamborma

For someone who is so steadfast in Cleveland NOT being the best staff of all time, you’re using words/phrases like guess, I don’t know much about/I don’t know how, my mistake, I’m sure, etc to describe your “analysis” a little too much.

So instead of constantly replying with something you pulled out of your you-know-where and having to acknowledge you don’t understand a stat or aren’t familiar enough with the Indians staff after, maybe just chalk this one up as an L and agree to disagree.