The Sportz Nutt Takes a Quick Looks at Why We Shouldn’t Always Trust the Numbers

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This is why you can’t always trust a number. This week, Shelby Miller went through his 18th winless game, and now finds himself with a 5-11 record. Sounds like an awful pitcher, doesn’t he?

He has an ERA of 2.62, 11th in baseball
He has a WHIP of 1.19, 27th in baseball
He has 7.8 K/9 rate, which is in between Above Average and Great
He has a 3.16 BB/9 rate, which is about Average

Why are those stats important? Well, he is not giving up a lot of earned runs, which means that he is doing his part ensure his team has a chance to win. He’s also keeping his walks and hits per inning low, which means there aren’t many base runners with a possibility of scoring. The K/9 rate and BB/9 rate means how many strikeouts he would have over a 9 inning stretch. The higher the K/9 rate, the more strikeouts he would have, which is a good thing. Vice versa, the lower the walks over 9 innings, the better for the pitcher.

All this being said, this is another example of how much wins are not as important in one’s overall record. Nathan Eovaldi has a 13-2 record, but has an ERA of 4.00 and a WHIP of 1.42, while striking out many fewer batters in 3 less innings. Drew Hutchison is one lucky pitcher in Toronto, as he has an ERA over 5 and a WHIP almost at 1.50, yet he has a 12-2 record. Jeremy Guthrie sits at 8-7, yet has an ERA ballooned at 5.62, a WHIP of 1.56 and only 69 strikeouts in 133 innings. Ouch.

You’ve got to feel bad for Miller, as he just tied a Braves’ record for most games without a win. But clearly, he’s doing his part.