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Stat of the Day: Best and worst ERAs since the All-Star break

Sep 9, 2011, 3:01 PM EDT

Clayton Kershaw Getty Images

Justin Verlander has gone 10-1 in the second half to emerge as the clear front-runner for the AL Cy Young award, but his 3.00 ERA since the All-Star break actually ranks “only” 22nd among all pitchers with at least 50 innings.

Here are the MLB leaders in ERA since the break:

                    IP      ERA
Clayton Kershaw     75     1.44
Cliff Lee           66     1.76
Ian Kennedy         74     1.95
Ervin Santana       85     2.13
Tim Lincecum        67     2.16
Jon Lester          58     2.18
Jeremy Hellickson   61     2.37
Zack Greinke        74     2.42
Matt Cain           77     2.47
Tim Hudson          76     2.50

Not a whole lot of surprises on that list. Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee have been amazing all season, and along with Roy Halladay are basically neck-and-neck atop the NL Cy Young race right now.

And here are the worst ERAs since the All-Star break:

                    IP      ERA
A.J. Burnett        53     7.81
Brian Duensing      51     7.76
Trevor Cahill       55     6.67
Jason Vargas        59     6.56
Brad Penny          51     6.49

My favorite stat: A.J. Burnett has allowed 46 earned runs in 53 innings since the break. Kershaw has allowed 56 earned runs in 206 innings all season.

  1. Jonny 5 - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    “My favorite stat: A.J. Burnett has allowed 46 earned runs in 53 innings since the break. Kershaw has allowed 56 earned runs in 206 innings all season.”

    Not much of a Yankee fan huh Aaron??? LOL!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      Considering he also went out of his way to TWEET that specific info, I am guessing not. :P

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:24 PM

        Aaron is just pissed that even if the Twins had the Tiger’s record this year, AJ would have won in the ALDS. But given that AJ is in the dipsy dumpster, both are fantasies.

    • atworkident - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      Considering how much AJ Burnett makes, that is a great stat.

      • missthemexpos - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        Are Blue Jay fans still upset that Burnett opted out early from his Toronto contract to sign with the Yankees?

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Seeing BOTH Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain on that list just makes it all the more wonderful that the Giants are probably going to be home watching the playoffs this year. And before you ask…NO, I am not concerned with Kennedy and Greinke being on there.

    • Ace - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:09 PM

      Marcum isn’t too far off the list either, with a 2.64 ERA since the break. As a matter of fact, the Brewers’ pitching staff leads all of baseball with 2.98 ERA since the break. I still think the Phillies are the favorites, but those Brewers could still be awfully dangerous . . .

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Ace, the Phillies showed last night they are back in the 2008 form again. They can and will hit anybody. And even when they don’t, the office of Doc, Lee and Hamels will be on call to keep them on life support until they revive.

  3. Francisco (FC) - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Aaron is risking another pixie dust incident…

  4. seanmk - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    One of the main differences between CC and Verlander is their babip this year. CC is at .310(205 hits allowed) and Verlander is at .235(157 hits allowed). Previous year’s babip for Verlander are .286 .319 .296 and the tiger’s team babip for this year is .294. Going by FIP CC has 2.76 and verlander has 2.95. There is the beginning to your case for CC as Cy Young winner over verlander.

    Where CC’s case probably ends is that the team that has destroyed his Cy Young case is the Red Sox in which he has a 6.39 ERA in 5 games with him being 1-4. take out the red sox starts and CC is a clear choice.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      I thought we were evaluating this year’s performance….not FUTURE POSSIBLE performance… I find that as objectionable as factoring in their career ERAs into the equation.

      • Alex K - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        FIP is what happened. It just tries to exclude defense from the results to see how well a pitcher has controled the things he can control.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 9, 2011 at 3:56 PM

        You said it: “It just tries…” And I find that a questionable exercise. At the end of the day your pitcher NEEDS 8 other teammates to help him complete the outs. There are pitchers who specialize in trying to get grounders so his infield can complete the outs. Why would you want to penalize such a pitcher if he can induce weak grounders or double play balls?

      • Alex K - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        I phrased that wrong.

        What it specifically does is normalizes a pitchers BABIP and figures out what their ERA should be when you take into account their K’s, BB, HBP, and HR.

        Why would you want to penalize a pitcher with a terrible defense?

      • ftbramwell - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        A pitcher can control throwing ground ball after ground ball (See Maddux, Greg); and if the pitcher is throwing ground ball after ground ball, he’s doing his job no matter what FIP says.

        Also, FIP [fielding independent pitching] is a misnomer. Pitchers throw to catchers; catchers call the game, frame pitches for the umpire, and generally make pitcher’s lives easier.

        And please don’t respond by saying that pitchers have the ball and can throw any pitch they want to. In real life, things don’t work that way. If the pitcher and catcher aren’t on the same page, the pitcher is just not going to be as effective. Why else do some pitchers (i) strongly prefer to have personal catchers (See Maddux, Greg; Carlton, Steve) or (ii) refuse to throw to some catchers (See Burnett, A.J. in 2009)?

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        ftb – Well, that was Grumpy, and he always thought he deserved his personal pitcher.

  5. cup0pizza - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Kershaw=best pitcher in baseball

    • macjacmccoy - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      Verlander and its not even close. Which coming from a Philly fan means a lot.

      • Jeff M. - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        The numbers don’t seem to support that, my friend. Verlander IS good, but not the best.

  6. bloodysock - Sep 9, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    The surprise on the list is Ian Kennedy. I doubt many people expected the season he’s had – certainly not the Yankees.

  7. macjacmccoy - Sep 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    I think Hamels has pitched as good as anyone in the NL this year. In fact they had a stat up on MLB Network earlier today which showed that Hamels has been the best pitcher in baseball since last years All Star Game.

  8. proudlycanadian - Sep 9, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    I am surprised that Lackey is not in the top 5 of the second list.

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