Royal Blues

June 4, 2009 11:40 PM

Greinke was wrong, and why the 'W' is a dumb stat

After the last 6-game losing streak, Zack Greinke told reporters that this team is way too good to lose more than six in a row.

Color me shocked here, but he was wrong. The Royals lost their 7th straight, and Greinke is the last hope to keep the streak from reaching eight games tomorrow, then nine, then a dozen, then 19 - just like that awful 2006 team. (Yes, a 7-gamer turns me into a totally grumpy defeatist.)

Anyway, I didn't see all of today's game, so that's not really what this post is about. Wednesday and Thursday nights' Omaha Royals games were excellent examples of why it is irresponsible to judge a starting pitcher based solely on the number of wins he has.

Brandon Duckworth pitched eight shutout innings Wednesday night, and didn't give up a run. He struck out six batters and only needed 102 pitches to get through his outing. But, of course, the 'pen (in this case, just Victor Marte) coughed up a few runs and ruined the night for Duckworth. The offense didn't help, managing just one run against Round Rock starter Josh Muecke. It was another one of "those" games.

Tonight, Lenny DiNardo was Lenny DiNardo: One of the best pitchers in the league, but people don't seem to be noticing because he's not racking up the Ws. And he's not racking up the Ws because pitching 7.2 innings and giving up only one run isn't good enough for the Omaha Royals to win right now. No, apparently the only way for a pitcher here to get a win is to pitch the whole darn game himself, and make it a shutout.

Like Duckworth last night, DiNardo was pretty efficient, throwing 103 pitches in his 7.2 innings. But DiNardo didn't walk anyone, and he struck out nine.

Going into tonight, DiNardo had given up fewer hits than any other PCL starter (min. 50 IP), and second place was the VERY good Vin Mazzaro, who is now in the Majors. He ws tied for the 5th-fewest runs given up, and 4th-fewest earned runs. DiNardo has only given up two homers, which again puts him in the company of some fine pitchers. Oh, and he's only walked 10 batters, good for 3rd in the league.

In fairness, Round Rock's starter tonight was Bud Norris, who is up there with or ahead of DiNardo in all those categories. He also leads the league in strikeouts by a wide margin (although interestingly enough, the pitcher with the 2nd-most Ks is our own Bruce Chen, who deserves his own ranting post at some point).

But still. I am sick and tired of this losing crap. And "crap" was like the 17th word I tried typing there, after deleting words that are much less family-friendly but much more accurate. Being a Royals fan right now is NOT an easy job.  

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