Monday, October 25, 2004

Pedro's Paternity Test

He says the Yankees are his daddy, but let's take a look and see if there are advantages to be had off of Pedro other than by wearing pinstripes.

First, I looked at the typical left/right splits. No difference. (700 OPS allowed vs. left, 696 vs. right.) Next, I looked at his breakdown on inning by inning and pitch count breaks. Similar to Roy Oswalt, Pedro is most vulnerable during his first 15 pitches of a start.

Pitches 1 through 15 - .333/.360/.657, 1017 OPS
Pitches 16 and up - .223/.294/.361, 655 OPS

In fact, Pedro only gave up 17 home runs during the regular season. Nine of those, or 53%, came during the first 15 pitches of his starts!

Another noticeable split is his home and away numbers.

Home - .219/.275/.366, 645 OPS
Road - .257/.323/.432, 755 OPS

I don't tend to put much emphasis on home/road splits, since a single season can be misleading. For example, take a look at what Pedro did at home and on the road from 2002 through 2004.

Home - 3.03 ERA, .221 average allowed, 279 innings
Road - 2.67 ERA, .215 average allowed, 324 innings

Is 2004 a fluke? Did he tend to face tougher teams at home? Was the weather unusual in Boston this season, thus shifting his stats? I don't know. We simply have to hope that the trend continues in Game 3.

There are some other indications that Martinez might be hittable during this series.

Pre All-Star - 9-3, 3.67 ERA, .232 average allowed
Post All-Star - 7-6, 4.17 ERA, .244 average allowed

In the 2nd half, his walk rate increased. Of course, so did his strikeout rate, but nonetheless - a 4.17 ERA over half of a season is an indicator of someone that might be worn down.

Finally, from an anecdotal standpoint, we hear that Pedro is worse in the cold as opposed to warmer temperatures. Is that true? It may be, but the stats I have access to don't bear it out.

2002 through 2004

April - 3.30 ERA, .199 average allowed
May - 3.36, .240
June - 3.21, .228
July - 2.41, .202
August - 2.24, .225
September - 2.92, .219
Playoffs - 3.71 ERA (average information not available)

Wouldn't you expect a guy that has trouble in the colder weather to have much worse numbers in April and September? Even his playoff ERA is skewed by this season, in which he has a 5.40 ERA due to the Yankees spanking him around. Prior to this year, he had a career 3.07 ERA in October against playoff caliber teams. If that's having problems in cold weather...well, I'd like to see Jason Marquis have those kinds of problems should he get another start this year.

Overall, Pedro is still tough. He does appear to be wearing down this year, but he is still striking out a lot of batters and doesn't give up many extra base hits. He appears to be worse on the road this year, and very susceptible to getting hit hard very, very early in his starts. If the Cardinals are going to beat this guy, they are probably going to need to score off of him early, and get another awesome start out of Suppan.


At 7:29 AM, Blogger Cardsgem said...

If the Cards want to win this world series it has to start tonight. If they lose tongiht in all honestly the series is pretty much over. Yes we see it is poisslbe to come from 3-0 to win, just don't see it happening twice in the same post season.

So we need to pound pedro into the ground tonight.


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