View Full Version : Royals Challenging a Gil Meche myth

08-20-2008, 10:11 AM
Good read. I still say hes not a true #1 guy, but hes a solid innings eater.


Challenging (maybe) a Gil Meche myth
Gil Meche starts tonight, and there's a perception by some that he's just good enough to lose a ballgame for you.

Lot of this comes from last season, when he was 9-13 despite a 3.67 ERA -- that's 128 ERA+, if you're counting.

And a lot of that came from getting 3.92 runs of support per game, which ranked 97th among the 101 pitchers with 140 or more innings.

This year he's getting 4.42 runs per game (79th among 102 pitchers with 120 or more innings), but is 10-9 for a last place team that -- kids, put on your earmuffs -- has lost 10 of its last 12, and is securely in last-place with the exact record it had a year ago at this time.*

* Sounds like grounds for a post in the near future, no?

I still hear that perception, though, that Meche is the kind of pitcher who will give up leads as soon as he gets them, and pitch his team to a one-run loss no matter if they score two or six times.

Funny thing about perceptions, too. If you hear them, and they make sense, you start to look for them, and once you start to look for them, more times than not, you find them.

There are very good cases to be made that a pitcher's win-loss record is about the most worthless stat you could look at aside from his batting average.

But there are also smart baseball people who put value in pitchers being able to keep their teams in ballgames, of pitching to the score and doing it in a good way -- not in the, my-team-scored-three-so-I'll-give-up-four way.

So, continuing something of a trend here, I decided to see if there was a way to figure out if the statistics back up a perception.

And, continuing something of a trend here, I'm not sure if what I found proves a point, but I did the math so you're stuck with it.

OK, the point of this exercise was to find out if Meche was more likely to give up runs after the Royals scored for him, because that seems to be one of the knocks.

So I went back through the wonderful baseball-reference.com through each of his starts, and figured that overall, he's given up runs in 45 of the innings he's pitched, and put up the zero in 114.

That means, in any given inning, Meche is going to surrender a run 28.3 percent of the time.

Then I went back and figured how likely Meche was to give up a run when he took the mound immediately following the Royals scoring for him.

The Royals have scored at least one run in 40 innings with Meche in the game. He's given up at least one run in the opposing team's next chance 11 times.

That works out to 27.5 percent, so the difference is practically non-existant and if this little exercise means anything and if my math is correct (and I don't have to tell you that neither of those are sure things) hopefully we've shown that Meche, at least this season, has not pitched to the score in a bad way.

Here's a bonus Gil Meche stat: he's 7-1 with a 2.83 ERA, 70 strikeouts, 31 walks, and 70 hits in his last 13 starts (82 2/3 innings).

As best I can tell, that ERA is tied for fifth in the AL over that span.

Meche has had his rough spots, but nearly two years into his contract, you'd have to say he's been worth the money when you consider the market.

08-20-2008, 10:15 AM
I'd say that on a good team Meche is probably a solid #3 starter. Only a very few teams would have him as a #1......well, maybe only one team would have him as a #1.

08-20-2008, 10:40 AM
I like the Royals... at least you know where you stand.