Despite this great throw from Hunter Pence saving Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies from a first and third situation with one out, his team still found a way to lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night. This means that despite nine starts of typically dominant Cliff Lee pitching, the spindly and stoic left hander has yet to attain a pitching win this season.
On one hand, this doesn’t matter, because pitching wins are an antiquated measurement of things so far from within the realm of a pitcher’s control that it’s rendered completely meaningless.
However, in the same thinking that suggests we are what we propose to be, you can make an argument that pitching wins are important because a vast array of baseball fans who simply don’t know any better still put an emphasis on counting up the number of times other players scored more runs than a pitcher allowed.
I think of a pitching win in similar terms as win probability added, with an admission that the win category is more arbitrary. If you’ve ever watched a baseball game before, you know that a starting pitcher, who has more to say about the outcome of a given game than anyone else on the field, wants to see his hard work put to good use. So, if the team comes out ahead, he’s happy, and if his team comes out behind, he’s sad. I get my nose out of joint when people refer to total wins and losses as evidence of a pitcher’s skill level, which any thinking person would agree is ridiculous.
Anyway, that”s a heck of a throw from Hunter Pence.