Inherited Runners Scored - The Film


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
Salas 2.28 19 30 9 30% 75 2.60
Motte 2.25 17 56 18 32% 68 3.01
Boggs 3.56 24 17 3 18% 60.2 3.64
Lynn 3.12 12 2 0 0% 34.2 3.12
Sanchez 1.80 6 5 2 40% 30 2.04
Dotel 3.28 9 18 3 17% 24.2 3.47
Scrabble 3.97 10 12 4 33% 22.2 4.49
Franklin 8.46 26 5 3 60% 27.2 9.04
Batista 4.60 15 12 5 42% 29.1 5.25
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.  




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