Since we've got a couple of baseball-less days before the WS, I thought I'd share with VEB this short film I recently made (and also hopefully provide some analysis of the Cardinals bullpen this year.) I thought you guys would get a kick out of this film. It's called Inherited Runners Scored and it's about a baseball statistician who invents a stat called Inherited Earned Run Average, or IERA. It also features a lot of drinking (and a Mike Shannon bottle opener). Here's the film (click on the 720p setting for best quality):
So, I thought it would be fun to apply this made-up stat to the Cardinal's 2011 bullpen (although I'm not sure how edifying it will be.). Now, this stat is basically trying to incorporate inherited runs allowed by a reliever into their ERA. This would probably have been a great stat in the 80's, before sabermetrics. Like my character in the film, it's wallowing a bit in its own obsolescence. But, what the hell, let's give it a whirl...
In the film, the formula for this fictional stat is 9 * (ER + Inherited Runners Scored) / IP
However, when I think about this more and try to apply it to the Cardinals' 2011 bullpen, I realize that it doesn't take into account the percentage of inherited runners scored. For example, Jason Motte gave up a lot of inherited runs (18), but he also inherited a shit-ton of runners (56). Therefore, I decided to multiply the inherited runs scored by the percentage of runners scored. So, then the formula is:
9 * (ER + (Inherited Runners Scored * Inherited Scored %)) / IP
So, admittedly, this is kind of a ham-fisted stat that mashes ERA and IS% into one completely non-predictive metric. And I'm sure there are massive holes in my logic/math here.
Obviously there are much better stats to give us an idea about whether our relievers will be good going forward, but I have to admit that I still look at ERA before I look at the walk rate, K rate, WHIP etc for a reliever, perhaps more out of habit than anything else. I don't think I would mind having this makeshift stat presented to me by some hack announcers on a TBS broadcast.
Here's the Cardinal's numbers:
|Pitcher||ERA||ER||Inherited Baserunners||Inherited Runners Scored||Inherited Scored %||IP||IERA|
|1989 Tom Gordon (as a reliever)||3.14||23||33||16||48%||66||4.18|
Nobody fairs as poorly as '89 Tom Gordon. Motte has the biggest disparity between ERA and IERA for the 2011 Cards. Making this table, I realized that I had blocked out just how bad Franklin and Batista had been this year. 26 earned runs in 27 and 2/3 innings for Franklin. Jesus.
It's been fun to watch this bullpen in the postseason and hopefully they keep it up for another week. I think with Motte, Salas, Sanchez, Lynn, Boggs, and Scrabble the Cardinals should have a really good, affordable bullpen for the next few seasons.