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Winexp 5-28-06: The Best Hitting and Pitching Since 1957

Don't feel like discussing this bummer of a week. Instead, I'm going to roll out the current win expectancy contribution numbers and conclude with a quick discussion of the all-time great seasons since 1957. Yes, Retrosheet is in the house.

(What is win expectancy contributed? Also, search the archives for Winexp.)

This Year in Winexp

This Week                          

A's                             MLB        

Name            WXC     Plays                      
Frank Thomas    0.471   28      PIT Jason Bay       1.188   34
Barry Zito*     0.424   60      CHW Rob Mackowiak   0.912   17
Joe Blanton*    0.241   25      ATL Marcus Giles    0.858   32
Chad Gaudin*    0.211   5       PIT Oliver Perez*   0.853   58
Mark Kotsay     0.138   36      DET Cur Granderson  0.836   33
Eric Chavez     0.098   32      ARI Brandon Webb*   0.809   32
Brad Halsey*    0.089   26      PHI Ryan Howard     0.721   26
Nick Swisher    0.053   32      ANA Vladi Guerrero  0.682   28
Santi Casilla*  -0.020  7       MIL Prince Fielder  0.676   28
Kiko Calero*    -0.055  15      HOU Preston Wilson  0.657   35
Antonio Perez   -0.090  5       BAL Chris Ray*      0.644   17
Dan Haren*      -0.095  29      DET Craig Monroe    0.642   26
Bobby Kielty    -0.128  16      MIL Rickie Weeks    0.634   31
Jay Payton      -0.129  20      CHW Bobby Jenks*    0.611   18
Jason Kendall   -0.142  28      CIN Javier Valentin 0.605   6
Marco Scutaro   -0.154  7       PHI Ryan Madson*    0.592   57
Adam Melhuse    -0.169  5       BOS Manny Ramirez   0.592   24
Dan Johnson     -0.207  19      PHI Pat Burrell     0.589   27
Steve Karsay*   -0.207  15      FLA Mike Jacobs     0.588   26
Randy Keisler*  -0.224  14      ATL Kenny Ray*      0.549   18
Bobby Crosby    -0.286  31      NYM Jose B. Reyes   0.532   36
Mark Ellis      -0.337  23      DET Jus Verlander*  0.523   59
Ron J. Flores*  -0.354  8       NYM Darren Oliver*  0.516   16
Kirk Saarloos*  -0.455  61      KC  Andrew Sisco*   0.511   11
Huston Street*  -0.490  14      TOR Roy Halladay*   0.507   29
                                BAL Rodrigo Lopez*  0.502   25
                                PHI Chase Utley     0.473   36
                                OAK Frank Thomas    0.471   28

All Year                            

A's                             MLB        

Nick Swisher    1.937   212     STL Albert Pujols   4.309   218
Barry Zito*     1.357   290     ARI Brandon Webb*   2.364   327
Eric Chavez     1.104   190     NYY Derek Jeter     2.293   230
Dan Haren*      0.789   298     CHW JA. Contreras*  2.148   230
Joe Kennedy*    0.635   61      NYM Tom Glavine*    1.959   294
Mark Kotsay     0.388   213     OAK Nick Swisher    1.937   212
Milton Bradley  0.332   85      PIT Jason Bay       1.909   231
J Duchscherer*  0.224   74      CIN Todd Coffey*    1.905   121
Kiko Calero*    0.140   89      BAL Chris Ray*      1.829   93
Brad Halsey*    0.094   181     TB  Ty Wigginton    1.728   196
Rich Harden*    0.037   123     BOS Manny Ramirez   1.713   201
Jay Witasick*   0.004   24      NYY Jorge Posada    1.699   147
Santi Casilla*  -0.020  11      STL Chr Carpenter*  1.672   279
Matt Roney*     -0.063  13      NYM Duaner Sanchez* 1.633   129
Chad Gaudin*    -0.123  72      PHI Ryan Howard     1.575   197
Randy Keisler*  -0.162  31      BOS David Ortiz     1.570   216
Steve Karsay*   -0.289  29      BAL Melvin Mora     1.551   228
Ron J. Flores*  -0.370  31      NYM Carlos Delgado  1.551   218
Joe Blanton*    -0.398  264     CHW Paul Konerko    1.541   217
Frank Thomas    -0.427  167     FLA Mig M. Cabrera  1.530   213
Marco Scutaro   -0.434  78      SF  Barry Bonds     1.521   166
Antonio Perez   -0.451  37      MIL Carlos N. Lee   1.509   220
Bobby Kielty    -0.462  66      COL Matt Holliday   1.498   206
Jay Payton      -0.504  157     TOR B.J. Ryan*      1.487   94
Dan Johnson     -0.511  145     LA  J.D. Drew       1.472   194
Huston Street*  -0.545  77      CHW Pablo Ozuna     1.444   66
Bobby Crosby    -0.569  181     COL Brad Hawpe      1.439   203
Kirk Saarloos*  -0.572  202     PHI Chase Utley     1.438   227
Adam Melhuse    -0.659  62      BOS Jona Papelbon*  1.435   95
Mark Ellis      -0.812  180     CLE C.C. Sabathia*  1.431   160
Esteban Loaiza* -0.968  95      PHI Aaron Rowand    1.422   145
Jason Kendall   -1.379  159     HOU Morgan Ensberg  1.409   224
                                CIN Ken Griffey Jr. 1.367   109
                                MIL Geoff Jenkins   1.357   218
                                OAK Barry Zito*     1.357   290

We welcome Frank Thomas to the land of positive contributions this week, and hail Zito and Haren for hanging in there.  It isn't a surprise that Crosby is drifting ever more negative, and Kendall has quietly passed Loaiza in the unhappy race for team anchor (and not a good kind of anchor).  But I hadn't quite realized Ellis was having such a bad time of it. It will be too depressing to look at his numbers, so I won't.

On the league level, I note that Pujols 5.0 continues to devour all in his path, like an unstoppable horde of Amazonian ants, all with five tools. A trio of outstanding starters (Webb, Contreras and Glavine) are gaining some ground.

Who?

Chris Ray becomes this week's highest ranked player I've never heard of. The last two, Todd Coffey and Duaner Sanchez were unfairly unreported set-up men who were lights-out all year in tough situations. Ray is a rookie closer who's already racked up a record of 1-0, SV 13, ERA 2.53, WHIP 1.13, 12 BB, 22 K. Obviously the issue is my ignorance as opposed to lack of media coverage, which I'm sure he's getting.  

1957-2005

Baby Winexp recently gained the ability to parse Retrosheet data. That means that suddenly Baby W can now analyze every game since 1957. There are certainly still some bugs left, so don't operate any heavy machinery with these results, but they seem plausible to me so far.  Here are the greatest individual hitting or pitching seasons since 1957 according to Baby W.

1980-2005                                    1957-1979              

2004 SFN Bonds           13.153  627         1968 STL Gibson*         13.196  1176
1985 NYN Gooden*         11.968  1104        1972 CLE Perry*          11.994  1370
2001 SFN Bonds           11.236  676         1965 LAN Koufax*         11.756  1310
2002 SFN Bonds           10.071  624         1963 LAN Koufax*         11.455  1215
1998 STL McGwire         9.919   679         1972 PHI Carlton*        11.382  1391
2000 COL Helton          9.762   687         1964 LAA Chance*         11.049  1103
1988 LAN Hershiser*      9.578   1082        1968 CLE Tiant*          10.451  991
2005 BOS Ortiz           8.923   711         1966 LAN Koufax*         10.282  1289
1995 ATL Maddux*         8.455   827         1966 SFN Marichal*       10.189  1183
1985 STL Tudor*          8.370   1076        1969 STL Gibson*         9.886   1296
1990 BOS Clemens*        8.315   944         1963 SFN Marichal*       9.660   1282
1984 DET Hernandez*      8.303   546         1963 MIL Spahn*          9.414   1037
1995 SFN Bonds           8.078   672         1963 CHI Ellsworth*      9.396   1140
1995 SEA E. Martinez     7.895   645         1968 DET McLain*         9.378   1306
1980 OAK Norris*         7.879   1154        1971 OAK Blue*           9.146   1223
1982 HOU Niekro*         7.696   1135        1972 OAK Hunter*         9.136   1161
2003 SFN Bonds           7.682   553         1968 NYN Seaver*         9.104   1120
1980 PHI Carlton*        7.631   1262        1976 CAL Tanana*         8.801   1188
2001 OAK Jason Giambi    7.405   674         1969 SFN McCovey         8.750   621
1992 CHI Maddux*         7.362   1095        1972 NYN Mcgraw*         8.750   427
1989 KCA Saberhagen*     7.351   1032        1976 OAK Blue*           8.719   1236
1982 MON Rogers*         7.242   1143        1969 DET McLain*         8.664   1319

I note that Pujols 5.0 has a 4.309 through about a third of the season. If he continues his unreal pace, he'd end up with about a 12.9, which would be up there with Bonds (2004) and Bob Gibson (1968) for the best seasons of the past 50 years.  

I don't have time right now to discuss these lists, but I do want to briefly note how many of the second list performances come from the late 1960s, which history-savvy fans will note was so dominated by pitching that they lowered the mound in 1969. In fact, the numbers for before 1979 will need to be recalculated since the win expectancies are calculated from historical data since 1979. But it's still interesting to look at the numbers.

Also, I was really pleased to see my childhood hero, Steve Rogers, checking in at #22 since 1980. He played for some terrible teams and some excellent teams, was always overshadowed by Steve Carlton, and only Expos fans and real baseball geeks know who he was. I was afraid that Baby W would think he was a complete zero, but he actually acquits himself as an excellent pitcher (though not a HoF candidate).

And now for just the A's.

1980-2005                                    1957-1979              

1980 OAK Norris*         7.879   1154        1971 OAK Blue*           9.146   1223
2001 OAK Jason Giambi    7.405   674         1972 OAK Hunter*         9.136   1161
2000 OAK Jason Giambi    6.946   661         1976 OAK Blue*           8.719   1236
1996 OAK McGwire         6.600   553         1971 OAK Hunter*         6.504   1122
1990 OAK Stewart*        5.603   1112        1968 OAK Nash*           5.977   929
1995 OAK McGwire         5.476   419         1970 OAK Grant*          5.682   489
1992 OAK R. Henderson    5.344   552         1974 OAK Hunter*         5.350   1266
1981 OAK McCatty*        5.236   752         1973 OAK Holtzman*       5.229   1217
1988 OAK Canseco         5.092   747         1976 OAK Torrez*         5.216   1113
1990 OAK R. Henderson    5.000   666         1968 OAK Odom*           5.079   1001
1991 OAK Canseco         4.954   687         1975 OAK Blue*           4.766   1174
1989 OAK Moore*          4.696   989         1972 OAK Holtzman*       4.680   1061
1990 OAK Eckersley*      4.608   267         1968 OAK Dobson*         4.369   948
2003 OAK Hudson*         4.386   972         1969 OAK Jackson         4.337   692
2002 OAK Tejada          4.359   721         1971 OAK Fingers*        4.225   506
1980 OAK Keough*         4.260   1081        1973 OAK Fingers*        4.175   534
1992 OAK Eckersley*      4.192   330         1973 OAK Hunter*         4.141   1055
1990 OAK Welch*          4.154   996         1972 OAK Odom*           4.070   827
1991 OAK Moore*          3.886   925         1973 OAK Blue*           4.037   1111
2002 OAK Hudson*         3.873   984         1969 OAK Odom*           3.848   995
1997 OAK Giambi          3.815   588         1975 OAK Fingers*        3.767   520
2005 OAK Street*         3.803   327         1974 OAK Blue*           3.714   1167
2002 OAK Zito*           3.795   950         1968 OAK Hunter*         3.590   974
1984 OAK Henderson       3.786   676         1969 OAK Bando           3.569   724
1982 OAK Henderson       3.716   820         1970 OAK Bando           3.561   657
1987 OAK McGwire         3.713   636         1975 OAK Lindblad*       3.424   516
1993 OAK R. Henderson    3.605   440         1974 OAK Holtzman*       3.332   1086
1990 OAK Honeycutt*      3.530   259         1975 OAK Todd*           3.236   496
1998 OAK Grieve          3.505   666         1968 OAK Krausse*        3.199   766
1983 OAK Henderson       3.497   727         1973 OAK Jackson         2.957   648
2002 OAK Mulder*         3.496   862         1974 OAK Jackson         2.940   627
2004 OAK Durazo          3.486   582         1972 OAK Fingers*        2.838   449
2001 OAK Chavez          3.472   600         1975 OAK Holtzman*       2.780   1123
1985 OAK Ontiveros*      3.471   285         1978 OAK Langford*       2.779   744
1998 OAK Stairs          3.438   588         1972 OAK Blue*           2.737   617
1995 OAK Henderson       3.380   524         1972 OAK Knowles*        2.624   276
2001 OAK Mulder*         3.338   935         1973 OAK Tenace          2.580   630
1989 OAK Stewart*        3.325   1103        1975 OAK Tenace          2.564   634
2004 OAK Chavez          3.293   584         1974 OAK Bando           2.498   602

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