FanPost

Mulligan ERA-- A What if Scenario

EDITOR'S NOTE: Lost in the shuffle over the offensive collapse and the Perfect Game.  Promoted from the FanPosts. - WC

 

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Last week, there was a post on this site discussing how good Jamie Moyer's ERA would be if the two innings where he gave up five runs each were removed. It got me to thinking-- even the greats have bad innings (I am sure Doc Halladay would like the sixth inning of last Sunday's game back), that raise their ERAs. What would happen if they were allowed a mulligan or two?

This led me to the concept of Mulligan Earned Run Average-- MERA-- an entirely new creation. This figure is determined by removing both the two worst innings (or partial innings) over the course of the season, along with two innings in which they gave up no runs (in order to shave off two of their best-- the goal is to force us to look closer at the typical run of the mill events over the course of the season. Calculations were run for each member of Phillies rotation. J.A. Happ (ERA 0.00) was left off both due to the impossibly small sample size and the fact that he has not given up an earned run. I also left Nelson Figueroa out, as his sample size as a starter was too small to be predictive.

In addition to determining the new ERA numbers, I determined the degree to which this recalculation affected the pitcher's ERA, as this percentage seemed to be indicative of a high ERA being caused by a couple of bad innings as opposed to a tendency to give up runs. While Jamie Moyer received the greatest benefit of any full time starter (ERA 4.55, MERA 3.20 for a 30% change), Joe Blanton received the most benefit (ERA 5.06, mERA 3.52, for a 36% change), this is probably due to a small sample size. Roy Halladay, with a 28% drop in his ERA (ERA 2.22, mERA 1.60) showed the third largest drop, followed closely by Cole Hamels with a 27% drop (ERA 3.92, mERA 2.86). The lowest percentage change, by far was that of Kyle Kendrick, with a 23% change, from a 5.66 ERA to a 4.37 mERA. This makes sense given his propensity to give up several runs over the course of a game.

Below is the math behind the numbers. I was amazed at the amount of change that was caused in general by the impact of one or two bad innings. It will be interesting to look back at these numbers later in the season, and see if the ERA trends closer to the median as innings are added and hopefully bad innings are avoided, or if true ERA is more predictive of player performance.

 MERA

Halladay
4/5/2010- 7 innings pitched, 1 earned run (1 in first)
4/11/2010- 9 innings pitched, 1 earned run (1 in the 3rd)
4/16/2010- 8 innings pitched, 1 earned run (1 in the 4th, 1 in the 8th)
4/21/2010- 9 innings pitched, 0 earned runs
4/26/2010- 7 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (****2 in the 1st****, 1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 6th, 1 in the 7th)
5/1/2010- 9 innings pitched, 0 earned runs
5/6/2010- 7 innings pitched, 1 earned run (1 in the 7th)
5/12/2010- 6.1 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (1 in the 1st, 1 in the 7th)
5/18/2010- 9 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 6th)
5/23/2010- 5.2 innings pitched, 6 earned runs (1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 4th, ****4 in the 6th****)

Total Innings Pitched: 77
Total Earned Runs: 19
ERA: 2.22

2 Worst Innings
4/26/2010- 2 run 1st
5/23/2010- 4 run 6th (2/3 of an inning pitched)

MERA
Innings Pitched: 73.1
Earned Runs: 13
MERA: 1.60

Percent Change: 28%

Hamels:
4/7/2010- 5 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (2 in third)
4/12/2010- 5.2 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (1 in the 2nd, ****3 in the 3rd****)
4/18/2010- 8 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 9th)
4/23/2010- 6 innings pitched, 6 earned runs (****5 in the 4th****, 1 in the 5th)
4/28/2010- 6 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (1 in the 5th, 3 in the 6th)
5/4/2010- 8 innings pitched, 1 earned run (1 in the 9th)
5/9/2010- 5 innings pitched, 3 earned runs (3 in the 5th)
5/16/2010- 6.2 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (2 in the 6th)
5/21/2010- 7 innings pitched, 1 earned run (1 in the 1st)

Total innings pitched: 57.1
Total earned runs: 25
ERA: 3.92

2 Worst Innings
4/12/2010- 3 run 3rd
4/28/2010- 5 run 4th

MERA
Innings Pitched: 53.1
Earned Runs: 17
MERA: 2.86

Percentage Change: 27%

Kendrick:
4/8/2010- 4 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (3 in the 1st, 2 in the 4th)
4/14/2010- 1.2 innings pitched, 6 earned runs (3 in the 1st, 3 in the 2nd)
4/20/2010- 8 innings pitched, 0 earned runs
4/25/2010- 5 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (****5 in the 5th****)
4/30/2010- 5 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (3 in the 3rd, 1 in the 5th)
5/5/2010- 7 innings pitched, 0 earned runs
5/10/2010- 6 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (1 in the 1st, 1 in the 3rd, 2 in the 5th)
5/17/2010- 8 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (1 in the 1st, 1 in the 5th)
5/22/2010- 4.2 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (1 in the 4th, ****4 in the 5th****)

Total Innings Pitched: 49.1
Earned Runs: 31
ERA: 5.66

Two Worst Innings:
4/25/2010- 5 Run 5th inning
5/22/2010- 4 Run 5th inning

MERA
Innings Pitched: 45.1
Earned Runs: 22
MERA: 4.37

Percent Change: 23%

Moyer:
4/10/2010- 6 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (****5 in the 3rd****)
4/17/2010- 6 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (****5 in the 1st****)
4/22/2010- 6 innings pitched, 0 earned runs
4/27/2010- 6 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (2 in the 2nd, 2 in the 5th)
5/2/2010- 6 innings pitched, 5 earned runs (3 in the 1st, 2 in the 4th)
5/7/2010- 9 innings pitched, 0 earned runs
5/14/2010- 6.1 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (3 in the 2nd, 1 in the 7th)
5/19/2010- 7 innings pitched, 2 earned runs (1 in the 3rd, 1 in the 7th)
5/25/2010- 5 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (1 in the 1st, 1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th)

Total Innings Pitched: 57.1
Total Earned Runs: 29
ERA: 4.55

Two Worst Innings
4/10/2010- 5 run 3rd
4/17/2010- 5 run 1st

MERA
Adjusted Innings Pitched: 53.1
Adjusted Earned Runs: 19
MERA: 3.20

Percent Change: 30%

Blanton:
5/3/2010- 6.2 innings pitched, 4 earned runs (1 in the 3rd, ****3 in the 7th****)
5/8/2010- 6 innings pitched, 3 earned runs (3 in the 6th)
5/15/2010- 7 innings pitched, 5 earned runswm (1 in the 5th, 1 in the 6th, ****3 in the 7th****)
5/20/2010- 7 innings pitched, 3 earned runs (1 in the 5th, 2 in the 7th)

Total Innings Pitched: 26.2
Total Earned Runs: 15
ERA: 5.06

2 Worst Innings
5/3/2010- 3 Run 7th (2/3 of an inning)
5/8/2010- 3 Run 6th

MERA
Innings Pitched: 23
Earned Runs: 9
MERA: 3.52

Percent Change: 36%

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