The Strike Zone Won-Lost Record Pt I

March 30, 2009

Radio Station KZWL

            It understates the case to say that strikeouts and walks are the foundation of a pitcher’s record.   They are more than that.  Strikeouts and walks, to extend the analogy of the structure, are more like the foundation and framework of the career.   Yes, there is more to a skyscraper than its iron frame; there are interior and exterior walls, there are floors and carpets and elevators.   It is the framework that gives shape and substance to the whole. 

            On the occasion of the retirement of Curt Schilling, it occurred to me to wonder what the won-lost record would be that was equivalent to his strikeout/walk ratio.   Obviously Schilling has a very good career won-lost record—216-146, plus 11-2 in post-season—and obviously he had an even better strikeout/walk ratio.   If you stated his strikeout/walk ratio as a won-lost record, I wondered, what would it be?

            Once we reach the point of posing that question, the way to get the answer is surprisingly obvious.   Strikeouts must be expressed as wins, and walks must be held responsible for losses.   For every 18 innings pitched there must be one win and one loss.   The way to translate strikeouts into wins, then, is simply to divide the pitcher’s strikeouts by two times the league average of strikeouts per 9 innings (which is the league average of strikeouts per 18 innings.)   To express walks as losses, divide the pitcher’s walks by two times the league average of walks per 9 innings.   Doing that for the league as a whole, the strike zone won-lost record has to be essentially the same as the actual won-lost record.

            That’s all there is to the method; there is no six pages of formulas necessary this time to explain the details.  That’s it.   I’ll get back to Schilling in a few pages, but first let’s create context by looking at some other pitchers.    Ervin (Nice Hair) Santana in 2008 struck out 214 batters.   The American League average was 6.64 strikeouts per nine innings or 13.28 strikeouts per eighteen innings.  214 divided by 13.28 is 16.11, so we credit Santana with 16 “strike zone wins” (which I would call KZW if I didn’t despise acronyms.) 

            Santana walked 47 batters, and the American League average was 3.32 walks per nine innings, or 6.65 walks per eighteen innings.   47 divided by 6.65 is 7.07, so we charge Santana with 7 strike zone losses (KZL).  His strike zone won-lost was 16-7, which happens to be the same as his actual won-lost record.  

            There were only three major league pitchers in 2008 (162 or more innings) whose strike zone won-lost records duplicated their actual wins and losses:

Pitcher

W-L

SO

BB

KZWL

Ervin Santana

16-7

214

47

16-7

Gil Meche

14-11

183

73

14-11

John Danks

12-9

159

57

12-9

 

            Only those three pitchers had exactly the same strike zone won-lost records as actual wins and losses, but at least half of major league pitchers must be said to have had similar strike zone to actual won-lost records.   There were 88 major league pitchers in 2008 who pitched 162 or more innings.   This is the data above for 44 of those pitchers—in all cases a fairly similar actual to strike zone won-lost log: 

Name

Team

W

L

Pct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWpct

Arroyo,Bronson

Reds

15

11

.577

163

68

12

10

.542

Backe,Brandon

Astros

9

14

.391

127

77

9

11

.449

Baker,Scott

Twins

11

4

.733

141

42

11

6

.627

Billingsley,Chad

Dodgers

16

10

.615

201

80

14

12

.554

Blanton,Joe

Phillies

9

12

.429

111

66

8

10

.454

Burnett,A.J.

Blue Jays

18

10

.643

231

86

17

13

.573

Bush,David

Brewers

9

10

.474

109

48

8

7

.529

Cabrera,Daniel

Orioles

8

10

.444

95

90

7

14

.346

Danks,John

White Sox

12

9

.571

159

57

12

9

.583

Eveland,Dana

Athletics

9

9

.500

118

77

9

12

.434

Garza,Matt

Rays

11

9

.550

128

59

10

9

.521

Greinke,Zack

Royals

13

10

.565

183

56

14

8

.621

Guthrie,Jeremy

Orioles

10

12

.455

120

58

9

9

.509

Hamels,Cole

Phillies

14

10

.583

196

53

14

8

.646

Haren,Dan

Diamondbacks

16

8

.667

206

40

15

6

.718

Jimenez,Ubaldo

Rockies

12

12

.500

172

103

12

15

.452

Jurrjens,Jair

Braves

13

10

.565

139

70

10

10

.495

Kuroda,Hiroki

Dodgers

9

10

.474

116

42

8

6

.577

Lackey,John

Angels

12

5

.706

130

40

10

6

.619

Lannan,John

Nationals

9

15

.375

117

72

8

10

.445

Lilly,Ted

Cubs

17

9

.654

184

64

13

9

.587

Maholm,Paul

Pirates

9

9

.500

139

63

10

9

.521

Meche,Gil

Royals

14

11

.560

183

73

14

11

.556

Millwood,Kevin

Rangers

9

10

.474

125

49

9

7

.561

Nolasco,Ricky

Marlins

15

8

.652

186

42

13

6

.686

Olsen,Scott

Marlins

8

11

.421

113

69

8

10

.447

Parra,Manny

Brewers

10

8

.556

147

75

11

11

.492

Peavy,Jake

Padres

10

11

.476

166

59

12

9

.581

Redding,Tim

Nationals

10

11

.476

120

65

9

9

.477

Robertson,Nate

Tigers

7

11

.389

108

62

8

9

.466

Rogers,Kenny

Tigers

9

13

.409

82

71

6

11

.366

Sabathia,CC

Brewers

17

10

.630

251

59

18

9

.679

Santana,Ervin

Angels

16

7

.696

214

47

16

7

.695

Santana,Johan

Mets

16

7

.696

206

63

15

9

.618

Sheets,Ben

Brewers

13

9

.591

158

47

11

7

.624

Shields,James

Rays

14

8

.636

160

40

12

6

.667

Smith,Greg

Athletics

7

16

.304

111

87

8

13

.390

Snell,Ian

Pirates

7

12

.368

135

89

10

13

.428

Suppan,Jeff

Brewers

10

10

.500

90

67

6

10

.399

Wakefield,Tim

Red Sox

10

11

.476

117

60

9

9

.494

Weaver,Jered

Angels

11

10

.524

152

54

11

8

.585

Wellemeyer,Todd

Cardinals

13

9

.591

134

62

10

9

.516

Wolf,Randy

Astros

12

12

.500

162

71

12

10

.530

Zito,Barry

Giants

10

17

.370

120

102

9

15

.367

  

            And, of course, in some cases they don’t match.   In 2007 Daisuke Matsuzaka was one of those three or four pitchers whose strike zone won-lost record (15-12) was exactly the same as his actual record.   In 2008, however, his actual won-lost record went up to 18-3, while his strike zone won-lost record went down to 12-14.    (Will the real Daisuke Matsuzaka please stand up, and could it please be the one who pitches in the WBC?)    The two pitchers whose actual won-lost records were most UN-like their strike zone won-lost records were Dice-K and Aaron Harang:

Name

Team

W

L

Pct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWpct

Matsuzaka,Daisuke

Red Sox

18

3

.857

154

94

12

14

.451

Harang,Aaron

Reds

6

17

.261

153

50

11

7

.602

 

            There’s a complication I haven’t dealt with yet.   The traditional scoring system has to assign every pitcher approximately one decision—one win or loss—for every nine innings pitched.   Our system doesn’t have to do that, and sometimes doesn’t.   If a pitcher strikes out and walks a lot of batters, we credit him with more decisions. 

            We could, of course, easily adjust this disparity out of existence—but do we want to?    A pitcher who strikes out and walks hitters is exercising much more control over the outcome of the game than is a Livan Hernandez/Carlos Silva type pitcher who (overstating the case) just puts the ball over the plate and starts the action.   There is a very good reason to assign them more wins and more losses.  They earn them. 

            This actually turned out really neat, a serendipitous discrepancy.   Livan Hernandez in 2008 pitched 180 innings—20 games—but had only 67 strikeouts, 43 walks.   We credit him with only 5 wins (4.99), but charge him with only 6 defeats (6.41).   Pitching the equivalent of 20 complete games, he is credited with only 11.40 strike zone decision. 

            We can state this as a “Power Index” by simply dividing the strike zone decisions (11.40) by the expected decisions (20)—or, if you prefer, by multiplying the strike zone decisions by 9, and dividing by innings pitched.   Hernandez’ Power Index in 2008 was 0.57—the third-lowest of any major league pitcher working 162 or more innings.   These are the highest and lowest power indexes among major league starting pitchers in 2008:

 

Highest

Name

Team

IP

SO

BB

Decisions

Power Index

Matsuzaka,Daisuke

Red Sox

167.7

154

94

25.73

1.381

Perez,Oliver

Mets

194.0

180

105

28.10

1.304

Volquez,Edinson

Reds

196.0

206

93

28.22

1.296

Snell,Ian

Pirates

164.3

135

89

22.56

1.236

Lincecum,Tim

Giants

227.0

265

84

31.14

1.235

  

Lowest  

Name

Team

IP

SO

BB

Decisions

Power Index

Maddux,Greg

Dodgers

194.0

98

30

11.36

.527

Byrd,Paul

Red Sox

180.0

82

34

11.29

.564

Hernandez,Livan

Rockies

180.0

67

43

11.40

.570

Cook,Aaron

Rockies

211.3

96

48

13.83

.589

Blackburn,Nick

Twins

193.3

96

39

13.09

.610

 

            Of course, I’ve developed Pitcher Power Indexes before, but I rather like this one.   I think this may be a better way to get a power index for a pitcher than the methods I have previously used.   Some people will object, as they always do, that in this system issuing walks increases a pitcher’s power index.   “Walking people doesn’t make a pitcher a power pitcher,” they will say.   “Getting strikeouts and weakly hit balls makes a pitcher a power pitcher.   Walking people just means that you can’t find the strike zone.”

            Fair enough, but that’s a semantic issue.   When a pitcher walks a batter or strikes him out, he is taking control of the outcome away from the fielders—a type of power.   If you don’t want to call it Power Index don’t call it that, but I think we have a clear concept of what we’re measuring.

            Most pitchers who have long careers

            a)  start out with a power index over 1.00,

            b)  have a power index less than 1.00 at the end of their careers, and

            c)  have a career strike zone winning percentage which is similar to their actual winning percentage.  

            Let’s look at a few pitchers’ careers.    Because his career has such a classical form, we’ll start with Warren Spahn:

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPct

Power Index

Spahn

1942

0

0

.000

7

11

1

2

.381

1.505

Spahn

1946

8

5

.615

67

36

9

5

.648

1.026

Spahn

1947

21

10

.677

123

84

17

11

.592

.873

Spahn

1948

15

12

.556

114

77

15

11

.579

.888

Spahn

1949

21

14

.600

151

86

20

12

.628

.966

Spahn

1950

21

17

.553

191

111

23

15

.609

1.177

Spahn

1951

22

14

.611

164

109

21

15

.581

1.067

Spahn

1952

14

19

.424

183

73

21

11

.665

.997

Spahn

1953

23

7

.767

148

70

17

10

.627

.918

Spahn

1954

21

12

.636

136

86

16

12

.579

.901

Spahn

1955

17

14

.548

110

65

12

9

.570

.796

Spahn

1956

20

11

.645

128

52

14

8

.633

.700

Spahn

1957

21

11

.656

111

78

11

13

.472

.792

Spahn

1958

22

11

.667

150

76

15

11

.564

.815

Spahn

1959

21

15

.583

143

70

13

11

.555

.748

Spahn

1960

21

10

.677

154

74

14

12

.546

.859

Spahn

1961

21

13

.618

115

64

11

10

.520

.700

Spahn

1962

18

14

.563

118

55

11

8

.556

.633

Spahn

1963

23

7

.767

102

49

9

7

.536

.559

Spahn

1964

6

13

.316

78

52

7

10

.416

.845

Spahn

1965

7

16

.304

90

56

8

10

.441

.784

Career

 

363

245

.597

 

 

285

213

.573

.855

  

            Spahn, with a career record of 363-245, had a strike zone won-lost record of 285-213, a career power index of .855.    Spahn’s best strikeout/walk ratio, relative to league norms, came in the season when he had a career-high 19 losses—but then, anyone can see the real 1952 won-lost record is just a fluke.  Roger Clemens:

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPct

P Index

Clemens

1984

9

4

.692

126

29

12

5

.729

1.14

Clemens

1985

7

5

.583

74

37

7

6

.559

1.15

Clemens

1986

24

4

.857

238

67

20

10

.676

1.07

Clemens

1987

20

9

.690

256

83

21

12

.642

1.06

Clemens

1988

18

12

.600

291

62

27

10

.733

1.23

Clemens

1989

17

11

.607

230

93

21

14

.595

1.25

Clemens

1990

21

6

.778

209

54

18

8

.699

1.04

Clemens

1991

18

10

.643

241

65

21

10

.689

1.01

Clemens

1992

18

11

.621

208

62

19

9

.679

1.03

Clemens

1993

11

14

.440

160

67

14

9

.596

1.09

Clemens

1994

9

7

.563

168

71

14

9

.594

1.23

Clemens

1995

10

5

.667

132

60

11

8

.579

1.21

Clemens

1996

10

13

.435

257

106

21

14

.597

1.28

Clemens

1997

21

7

.750

292

68

23

10

.700

1.11

Clemens

1998

20

6

.769

271

88

21

13

.623

1.31

Clemens

1999

14

10

.583

163

90

13

12

.519

1.21

Clemens

2000

13

8

.619

188

84

15

11

.572

1.15

Clemens

2001

20

3

.870

213

72

17

11

.598

1.13

Clemens

2002

13

6

.684

192

63

15

10

.613

1.25

Clemens

2003

17

9

.654

190

58

16

9

.629

1.05

Clemens

2004

18

4

.818

218

79

16

12

.581

1.17

Clemens

2005

13

8

.619

185

62

14

9

.599

1.00

Clemens

2006

7

6

.538

102

29

8

4

.640

.94

Clemens

2007

6

6

.500

68

31

5

5

.523

.89

Career

 

354

184

.658

 

 

389

229

.630

1.13

 

            Clemens’ best strike zone won-lost record was in 1988.   In this chart we can see, as we can observe in other ways, that in the 1993-1996 period when Clemens had a won-lost log of just 40-39 and was perceived to be no longer a top-flight pitcher, his strike zone winning percentages remained near .600.   And Greg Maddux:

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPct

P Index

Maddux

1986

2

4

.333

20

11

2

2

.506

.956

Maddux

1987

6

14

.300

101

74

8

11

.435

1.111

Maddux

1988

18

8

.692

140

81

12

14

.476

.936

Maddux

1989

19

12

.613

135

82

12

13

.475

.920

Maddux

1990

15

15

.500

144

71

12

11

.531

.892

Maddux

1991

15

11

.577

198

66

17

10

.621

.921

Maddux

1992

20

11

.645

199

70

17

11

.600

.955

Maddux

1993

20

10

.667

197

52

17

8

.668

.838

Maddux

1994

16

6

.727

156

31

12

5

.720

.759

Maddux

1995

19

2

.905

181

23

14

3

.798

.734

Maddux

1996

15

11

.577

172

28

13

4

.751

.621

Maddux

1997

19

4

.826

177

20

13

3

.817

.608

Maddux

1998

18

9

.667

204

45

15

7

.693

.776

Maddux

1999

19

9

.679

136

37

10

5

.672

.620

Maddux

2000

19

9

.679

190

42

14

5

.720

.706

Maddux

2001

17

11

.607

173

27

12

4

.753

.635

Maddux

2002

16

6

.727

118

45

9

6

.575

.685

Maddux

2003

16

11

.593

124

33

9

5

.652

.572

Maddux

2004

16

11

.593

151

33

11

5

.697

.680

Maddux

2005

13

15

.464

136

36

10

5

.655

.633

Maddux

2006

15

14

.517

117

37

9

5

.615

.607

Maddux

2007

14

11

.560

104

25

8

4

.675

.523

Maddux

2008

8

13

.381

98

30

7

4

.617

.527

Career

 

355

227

.610

 

 

263

151

.635

.744

 

            Maddux’ strike zone winning percentage peaked in 1997 at .817, when his actual winning percentage was .826.    This was the seventh-best Strike Zone Won-Lost percentage of all time, among pitchers pitching 150 or more innings.   We’ll run a list of the top seasons at the very end of part 2 of this article.  

            Maddux, being not a power pitcher, is assigned fewer decisions, and thus has no twenty-win seasons, by this method, but has a better winning percentage than either Spahn or Clemens.  Maybe I should do a not-so-good pitcher to balance the scales.     Mike Morgan: 

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPct

P Index

Morgan

1978

0

3

.000

0

8

0

1

.000

.898

Morgan

1979

2

10

.167

17

50

2

8

.200

1.092

Morgan

1982

7

11

.389

71

67

7

10

.416

1.057

Morgan

1983

0

3

.000

22

21

2

3

.404

1.110

Morgan

1985

1

1

.500

2

5

0

1

.202

1.412

Morgan

1986

11

17

.393

116

86

10

13

.442

.938

Morgan

1987

12

17

.414

85

53

7

8

.482

.640

Morgan

1988

1

6

.143

29

23

3

4

.424

.785

Morgan

1989

8

11

.421

72

33

6

5

.546

.667

Morgan

1990

11

15

.423

106

60

9

9

.496

.788

Morgan

1991

14

10

.583

140

61

12

9

.557

.809

Morgan

1992

16

8

.667

123

79

11

13

.451

.877

Morgan

1993

10

15

.400

111

74

9

12

.444

.914

Morgan

1994

2

10

.167

57

35

4

5

.455

1.100

Morgan

1995

7

7

.500

61

34

5

5

.474

.666

Morgan

1996

6

11

.353

74

47

5

7

.436

.865

Morgan

1997

9

12

.429

103

49

7

7

.514

.808

Morgan

1998

4

3

.571

60

39

5

6

.452

.774

Morgan

1999

13

10

.565

61

48

5

6

.431

.729

Morgan

2000

5

5

.500

56

40

4

5

.443

.829

Morgan

2001

1

0

1.000

24

17

2

3

.402

1.011

Morgan

2002

1

1

.500

13

9

1

1

.427

.596

Career

 

141

186

.431

 

 

117

141

.453

.838

 

            Another star: 

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPCT

Power Index

Koufax

1955

2

2

.500

30

28

3

4

.456

1.588

Koufax

1956

2

4

.333

30

29

3

4

.420

1.177

Koufax

1957

5

4

.556

122

51

12

8

.601

1.782

Koufax

1958

11

11

.500

131

105

13

16

.450

1.628

Koufax

1959

8

6

.571

173

92

16

14

.534

1.794

Koufax

1960

8

13

.381

197

100

18

16

.532

1.725

Koufax

1961

18

13

.581

269

96

25

15

.629

1.393

Koufax

1962

14

7

.667

216

57

19

9

.688

1.368

Koufax

1963

25

5

.833

306

58

26

9

.745

1.007

Koufax

1964

19

5

.792

223

53

19

10

.666

1.177

Koufax

1965

26

8

.765

382

71

32

12

.725

1.190

Koufax

1966

27

9

.750

317

77

28

14

.661

1.161

Career

 

165

87

.655

 

 

215

131

.622

1.340

  

            Koufax’ .745 Strike Zone Winning Percentage in 1963 was the highest in the majors, and his .725 in 1965 was the highest in the majors.   It could be, however, that this understates his contribution, for two reasons.   First, he was working a huge number of innings—over 300 a year.  And second, since his “power” number was high, he was exercising a great deal of influence over what happened in those innings.  There is an argument that the “value” here is measured not by the percentage, but by the separation between Strike Zone Wins and Strike Zone Losses.   If we compare Koufax with a pitcher pitching the same number of innings in 1965 but with half the strikeouts and half the walks, we could argue that Koufax was twice as valuable.   Not entirely selling out to this argument, but. .. .Koufax’ impact was to move his team 20 games over .500 while he was on the mound, which they were, essentially:   We can compare him with Juan Marichal, who had sensational strike zone winning percentages every year, and who had the second-best strike zone winning percentage in the majors in 1965.

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPCT

Power Index

Koufax

1965

26

8

.765

382

71

32

12

.725

1.190

Marichal

1965

22

13

.629

240

46

20

8

.719

.859

 

            In terms of Strike Zone Winning Percentage Marichal was almost the same as Koufax, but, because Marichal was doing this at a lower power level, he was exercising less control over the outcome of the games.    Koufax was pushing the team 20 games over .500, and he wound up 18 over.   Marichal was pushing his team 12 games over .500, and he wound up 11 over.    The meaningful difference is the margin.   Clemens in his career was +160 in Strike Zone Wins (389-229) and +170 in actual wins (354-184).   Maddux was +112 and +128.   Koufax was +84 and +78.    Not everybody matches that well. 

            Another guy who wasn’t great, Pat Rapp: 

Pitcher

Year

W

L

Pct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPCT

Power

Rapp

1992

0

2

.000

3

6

0

1

.209

1.110

Rapp

1993

4

6

.400

57

39

5

6

.437

1.052

Rapp

1994

7

8

.467

75

69

6

11

.357

1.113

Rapp

1995

14

7

.667

102

76

8

11

.402

1.029

Rapp

1996

8

16

.333

86

91

6

14

.317

1.110

Rapp

1997

5

8

.385

92

72

7

10

.391

1.083

Rapp

1998

12

13

.480

132

107

10

16

.398

1.239

Rapp

1999

6

7

.462

90

69

7

9

.437

1.016

Rapp

2000

9

12

.429

106

83

8

11

.433

1.010

Rapp

2001

5

12

.294

82

71

6

11

.368

.917

Career

 

70

91

.366

 

 

64

100

.390

1.065

 

            And another guy who was, Tom Seaver: 

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPCT

Power Index

Seaver

1967

16

13

.552

170

78

15

14

.518

1.007

Seaver

1968

16

12

.571

205

48

18

9

.658

.868

Seaver

1969

25

7

.781

208

82

17

12

.582

.977

Seaver

1970

18

12

.600

283

83

24

12

.674

1.102

Seaver

1971

20

10

.667

289

61

27

10

.731

1.144

Seaver

1972

21

12

.636

249

77

22

12

.647

1.169

Seaver

1973

19

10

.655

251

64

23

10

.707

1.019

Seaver

1974

11

11

.500

201

75

20

11

.647

1.154

Seaver

1975

22

9

.710

243

88

24

13

.655

1.180

Seaver

1976

14

11

.560

235

77

24

12

.666

1.184

Seaver

1977

21

6

.778

196

66

18

10

.647

.967

Seaver

1978

16

14

.533

226

89

22

14

.617

1.235

Seaver

1979

16

6

.727

131

61

13

10

.573

.935

Seaver

1980

10

8

.556

101

59

10

10

.509

1.050

Seaver

1981

14

2

.875

87

66

9

10

.461

1.042

Seaver

1982

5

13

.278

62

44

6

7

.450

1.056

Seaver

1983

9

14

.391

135

86

12

13

.484

.981

Seaver

1984

15

11

.577

131

61

13

10

.571

.849

Seaver

1985

16

11

.593

134

69

13

10

.552

.872

Seaver

1986

7

13

.350

103

56

9

8

.519

.870

Career

 

311

205

.603

 

 

337

215

.611

1.038

 

            We can see, then, that the strike zone won-lost record is not divorced from reality—rather, that it connects to the pitcher’s performance, that it shows winning pitchers as winners and losing pitchers as losers, generally speaking.   This brings us back to Curt Schilling.

Pitcher

Year

W

L

WPct

SO

BB

KZW

KZL

KZWPCT

Power Index

Schilling

1988

0

3

.000

4

10

0

2

.190

1.179

Schilling

1989

0

1

.000

6

3

1

0

.543

1.048

Schilling

1990

1

2

.333

32

19

3

3

.503

1.100

Schilling

1991

3

5

.375

71

39

6

6

.499

1.430

Schilling

1992

14

11

.560

147

59

13

10

.568

.883

Schilling

1993

16

7

.696

186

57

16

9

.634

.946

Schilling

1994

2

8

.200

58

28

5

4

.515

.969

Schilling

1995

7

5

.583

114

26

9

4

.687

.970

Schilling

1996

9

10

.474

182

50

13

8

.641

1.029

Schilling

1997

17

11

.607

319

58

23

8

.735

1.115

Schilling

1998

15

14

.517

300

61

22

9

.710

1.041

Schilling

1999

15

6

.714

152

44

11

6

.658

.861

Schilling

2000

11

12

.478

168

45

12

6

.680

.783

Schilling

2001

22

6

.786

293

39

21

6

.782

.940

Schilling

2002

23

7

.767

316

33

23

5

.831

.974

Schilling

2003

8

9

.471

194

32

14

5

.752

1.009

Schilling

2004

21

6

.778

203

35

16

5

.750

.833

Schilling

2005

8

8

.500

87

22

7

4

.660

1.032

Schilling

2006

15

7

.682

183

28

14

4

.764

.821

Schilling

2007

9

8

.529

101

23

8

3

.687

.660

Career

 

216

146

.597

 

 

237

106

.690

.947

 

            Schilling, like most pitchers, has strike zone won-lost records that mirror his actual won-lost records in many seasons—14-11 and 13-10, 16-7 and 16-9, 22-6 and 21-6, 23-7 and 23-5, etc.    However, Schilling’s career Strike Zone Winning Percentage, .690, is the best we have seen so far—better than Spahn, Clemens, Maddux, Koufax or Seaver.    It’s a whopping .055 better than Greg Maddux’, which was the best we had seen before now. 

            It is not the greatest of all time.   It is the fifth-greatest of all time.   And, at +131 wins, Schilling also surpasses any of the other pitchers we have seen in won-loss margin, except Roger Clemens. 

            These are the top ten pitchers of all time, in terms of career Strike Zone Winning Percentage: 

First

Last

W

L

WPct

KZW

KZL

KZWPCT

Power Index

Dazzy

Vance

197

140

.585

354

149

.704

1.527

Cy

Young

511

316

.618

464

203

.696

.816

Christy

Mathewson

373

188

.665

347

154

.693

.942

Walter

Johnson

417

279

.599

499

222

.692

1.096

Curt

Schilling

216

146

.597

237

106

.690

.947

Pedro

Martinez

214

99

.684

242

112

.683

1.145

Lefty

Grove

300

141

.680

356

166

.682

1.192

Dizzy

Dean

150

83

.644

177

84

.678

1.195

Deacon

Phillippe

189

109

.634

140

67

.677

.713

Carl

Hubbell

253

154

.622

257

123

.676

.952

 

            Any time you’re on a list with Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove and Carl Hubbell, you’re doing OK, unless perhaps it is a graveyard map.   All of the top ten are in the Hall of Fame except Schilling and Pedro Martinez, who aren’t eligible, and Deacon Phillippe, who was a very effective pitcher a hundred years ago but with an extremely low Power Index.

            The most remarkable strikeout/walk ratios of all time belong to Dazzy Vance.   We’ll start with Dazzy when we pick this up tomorrow.

 
 

COMMENTS (1 Comment)

evanecurb
Really cool stuff. These stats meet the effectiveness tests: Easy to understand, meaningful, and the results of the data make sense logically.
12:57 PM Mar 31st
 
 
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