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Ryan Dempster leads baseball with a 1.02 ERA … and has zero wins

May 9, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Ryan Dempster Getty Getty Images

Ryan Dempster threw seven innings of one-run ball against the Braves last night, which actually raised his MLB-leading ERA to 1.02.

He’s gone at least 6.2 innings in all five of his starts, allowing 1, 2, 0, 0, and 1 earned runs … and has zero wins to show for it.

Hopefully most HBT readers know how we feel about the silliness of pitcher “wins” at this point, but Dempster is another extreme example of how misleading and misguided the statistic can be.

He’s allowed four earned runs in 35.1 innings, yet the Cubs have lost all five of his starts while scoring a grand total of eight runs. Last night he exited after seven innings with the score tied 1-1 and then reliever Kerry Wood took the loss.

With any kind of decent support from the bullpen and lineup Dempster could easily be 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA and everyone would be talking about him as the season’s breakout pitcher. Instead he’s 0-1 with a 1.02 ERA and … well, all he gets is this blog post.

Oh, and here’s an amusing stat considering Dempster has allowed just four earned runs all year: Already this season there have been 22 instances of a pitcher allowing four or more earned runs in a game and earning the “win.”

  1. anotheryx - May 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    He just doesn’t know how to win!

    • tjwilliams - May 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Seriously. He pitches in the National League. They give him a bat. Where are the runs, Ryan? Go out and drive some in.

    • thefalcon123 - May 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      It’s true. He’s forgotten how.

      It sometimes happens to pitchers. Nolan Ryan knew how to win, but he just forgot how to in 1987. Sure, them mom’s basement nerds like to point out that Ryan lead the league in ERA, K’s, K/BB and his 8-16 record was more likely caused by having an offense in which Kevin Bass was the best player…but don’t listen to them. Ryan just didn’t know how to win that year. Jack Morris would have won 30 games for that team.

    • CJ - May 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      beat me to it.

    • drewsylvania - May 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      And me. “He sucks! He can’t pitch to the score!”


    • amaninwhite - May 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      How awesome would it be if Dempster ends up with under 10 wins and an ERA under 2. That would be the greatest main-stream vs. stat-geek battle yet!

  2. stlouis1baseball - May 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    That is a tough thing to swallow for Dempster. You bring it every game…and nothing to show for it.

  3. mybrunoblog - May 9, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Reports out of Chicago say Dempster is scheduled to throw his glove into the crowd after his next start and then act surly toward the reporters who ask him about it.

  4. sir1389 - May 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    While I agree wins statistics are a bit untruthful, I won’t complain that much because Lance Lynn is 6-0 in his first 6 starts with a 1.4 ERA, only 6 earned runs in 38.2 innings, a 37/11 K/BB ratio, a .168 AVG against, and a .85 WHIP. Also btw 4 of those starts were on the road.

    • drewsylvania - May 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      You won’t complain because ?

    • paperlions - May 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      The important thing is that the Cardinals are 6-0 in his starts….I wouldn’t care if Lynn’s “record” was 0-0 as long as he is pitching well and the Cardinals win the games.

  5. steelymcbeam6 - May 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I can tell why you. It’s simple, one word…..cubs

  6. Utley's Hair - May 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Wait…ERA means something…?

  7. icanspeel - May 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    That’s baseball for you.. you can see a pitcher throw some great games with 0 wins to show for it, then they give up 6 runs in a bad outing, but win because the offense scores 10.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      The former is called playing for the Mariners, the latter is playing for the Yankees.

    • bulldog12b - May 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      The Cubs don’t score 10 runs a game LOL

  8. mortymcfearson - May 9, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I hope he finishes with a 3-15 record with a 1.02 ERA and takes the Cy Young.

    • CJ - May 9, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      that would be all kinds of awesome, but won’t ever happen.

  9. agstoll - May 9, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I bet you can find several pitchers who gave up four earned runs in an inning and still got the win!

  10. thekcubrats - May 9, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Dumpsty, like Zito, ALWAYS has a run where he’s faking Cy level, then comes crashing down to earth and winds up league average or worse. I think it’s great that this time, he isn’t rewarded with W’s.

  11. great8brewer - May 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Zach Greinke is 13-1 at home, usless on the road. Pitched a shutout into the ninth today and gets a loss. Stats are always useless 😉

  12. rico7207 - May 9, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    His worse luck is being on a team with a rotten reliever like Marmol who should not even have a job. Put him in a Yankee uniform and he wins 20 easy!

  13. sabatimus - May 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Ladies and gentlemen, your 20XX (or 19XX, for that matter) Chicago Cubs!

  14. chuckleberry1974 - May 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    This will just make Dempster a great trade deadline candidate. Some borderline team with a good offense, and he could get them several wins.

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