What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Harrison says, "Read all about it. I got your BABIP right here."
I've lost count of all the posters on various forums who have dissed Matt Harrison over the past few seasons. Meanwhile Matt just keeps grinding the opposition...and his critics...into fine powder.
Today? He pitched 8 innings of 2 hit ball...collecting his 14th win... AND NOT ONE PERSON ON THIS FORM posted a single word even taking note of his work...including me me.
It's been Matt's story throughout his life. For whatever reason he easily gets lost in the crowd.
Today, a guy known for breaking bats and inducing ground balls was pitching on astroturf. Result? Matt permitted 1 moderately hit line drive single to right and a solo home run to some little 5'8" guy who is probably even more overlooked than Harrison.
The strike-out total was better today, although it must be noted that this Toronto group has been in something of a team-wide slump.
Matt is now sporting an ERA of 3.19. Go Matt! Go Rangers!
Easily the Ranger's most effective, reliable starter of 2012. I think he gets overlooked because the results seem more than the stuff. Exact opposite of many other pitchers whose results are less than their stuff.
Good write up ElvisMVP!
MrMan...I agree but I also think he gets overlooked because of his appearance and personality--neither of which are particularly compelling.
If Matt was pitching in the inferior NL...say in a run suppressive park like San Francisco....I could easily see him with a 17-4 mark and 2.5 ERA.
He's a big horse. He's consistent. He doesn't seem to ever have issues or injuries. He's got nice velocity and he keeps that ball down.
Maybe he's not a true TORP...but I love Matt Harrison.
The fact is that Harry has yet to silence his critics.
Today he dominated although there were several very well hit fly balls to the warning track in center field.
Bottom line is that we need to see more from Harry in order to trust him in a big game situation. I have no doubt that he will be on the postseason roster, but I don't think you can pitch out of trouble in the playoffs the way he does all the time during the regular season.
We need to see a lot less guys on base and a lot more guys striking out. Today was a good start. I have always rooted for Harry and I will continue to root for him as he ascends the mountain. I have no doubt he is capable of pitching lights out and I hope we see that during the rest of the season and beyond.
Its that damn rope that keeps your from climbing the way you are capable of climbing, its not until you feel like you are going to fall to your death that you perform according to your ability. Lets be realistic about what Harry has offered thus far so that he can get even better than he is now. Stop laying on the gush and lets actually see whether Harrison can become a dominant pitcher that we can trust in big games.
Joe, as I've said on many occasions, pitching in Arlington is like pitching on Mars. Frankly it's a joke. With Ranger players you have to look at their road numbers.
And pitching on the road in the face of opposing crowds is is a great test for a pitcher. How has Matt done?In 2011 he did this on the road:6-4, 2.99 ERA 1.22 WHIP
In 2012 he has done this on the road:10-4 W-L, 3.05 ERA 1.20 WHIP
About the WHIP...I'd suggest that Matt erases so many base-runners via DP...that his functional WHIP is more like .9 That man has a pair. Look at how little variance there is between those two years!
Matt doesn't need to "become" a dominant pitcher. He IS a dominant pitcher. Will he need to have better success in the playoffs? Of course. I say we best find out. He simply has to be one of our top 2 starters come October.
With Matt...forget about counting strikeouts. Count broken bats and 80 foot grounders. It's exactly how Maddux coaches those boys.
I'd like to see a comprehensive assessment of Harry's peripherals. I don't have a great grasp of that stuff but I'd be interested in a post here by someone who does.
It's going to take some serious digging and some assumptions because the defense-independent metrics don't necessarily like a guy who doesn't pile up the Ks. Harry might be the prototype of the kind of pitcher that the advanced metrics don't know what do do with. Of course, I'm saying this after three scotches and I haven't bothered to look at his metrics, but there you go.
I actually like Matt's personality. I realize guys like Holland are more attractive to casual fans, but honestly, Derek could take some pointers from Matt. We need less talking and more doing from the Dutch Oven. For example, I'm not sure I care that much how you FEEL about your last outing. I don't give a shit if you feel horrible as long as you go out the next outing and lock down the opposition.
Harrison's consistent success confounds those who take a rigid saber-metric view. He's not a high strike-out guy and the WHIP isn't elite. He's going to give up more ground ball singles than most pitchers...but he erases so many of them via ground-ball DPs.
One day some of these SIERA/DIP guys will better appreciate how all contact coming off the bat is not created equal.
Hopefully he gets rewarded financially this winter for his efforts. Hopefully his playoff run this fall will make it a very easy decision for management to lock him up.
I didn't know the Blue Jays were so critical of Harrison. Take that ye bastards.
"Most Fans" I don't agree with your sentiment at all. I love saber. But I view the advanced metrics simply as additional tools to help best reach player assessments. Some people view those numbers as the final unassailable verdict. That's where I disagree.
Conversely.... eye ball tests without the confirmation of empirical data like OPS+ lead Ron Washington to roll Michael Young into the line-up every day.
Who the hell is Matt Harrison?
Most Fans, I think you have something there. Watch the game. Don't even pay attention to the score. It's just another stat. Some nerd with a paper, pencil and computer telling you who won. I'll bet you hated the Beverly Hillbillies episodes where Jethro was doing "cipherin'"
"Harrison's consistent success confounds those who take a rigid saber-metric view."
I wouldn't say that Harrison defies sabermetrics. His ERA is outperforming his SIERA for 2 primary reasons. 1) SIERA is defense independent. Harrison has a high GB rate and pitches in front of a v. good IF defense. If he pitched in front of an avg. defense, his ERA would be higher. 2) Harry's strand rate this season is 78.2%. That's 6.3 percentage points higher than his career # and way higher than league avg. The strand rate luck dragon has treated Harry favorably. I doubt that will continue. Starting pitcher's don't pitch frequently so even a full season of data might not be a large enough sample to eliminate the element of luck. CJ Wilson looked like a CY Young candidate until the AS break b/c he had a .240 BABIP. The BABIP luck dragon turned against Wilson after the AS break. His BABIP is now .276, and just ask Angels fans whether CJ still looks like a CY Young pitcher.
The one metric that is tough to explain for Harry is the HR/FB rate. It's been very low for 2 seasons. If you look at pitchers who've thrown 1,000+ innings, very few have HR/FB rates as low as Harry has put up for 2 seasons. It's a select list of mostly HOFers or future HOFers. Guys like Clemens and Pedro and Verlander and Cain and Lee. Most of these guys have/had swing and miss stuff that Harry doesn't have. I suspect that Harry's HR/FB rate is unsustainable. I just don't think he's in that kind of HOF company. We'll see.
At some point you have to include if the pitcher nuts up when the going gets tough and runners are on base. Matt has done this. I don't think luck can lat 2/3rds of the season. It is the same reason CJ is no longer here. CJ had great numbers, but lost his nuts in pressure situations.
Not hearing a lot of "let's trade Harry" talk lately. He was usually the jewel in the crown for every hypothetical trade this past off-season.
I still think Dutch's long term deal is going to be a good deal for the Ranger, but I sure wish we'd have locked up Harry too. His price has gone up after this year.
"Harry might be the prototype of the kind of pitcher that the advanced metrics don't know what do do with."
Harrison has a Matt Cain profile.
Low HR/FBLow HR/9ERA like him better than FIP/xFIP/SIERRAFIP likes him better than xFIP/SIERRA because it gives him some credit for HR surpression.
It would not surprise me at all if, for fairly predictable reasons, he outperformed his peripherals for his entire prime period of his career.
"I don't think luck can lat 2/3rds of the season."
For a hitter, it's hard for it to. Easier for a pitcher, who only plays in 33ish games a year.
I can see where you're coming from on the Matt Cain / Harrison comparison. But I don't see them as very comparable:
1) Cain pitches half his games in a major HR supressing park. The opposite of Harry. So you'd expect his HR/FB rate to be lower. This season, Harry has a pretty normal HR/FB rate away from RBIA, it's very low at home. That suggests some luck due to v. small sample.
2) Cain has a K/BB of 2.84 or above over the past 3 years (and over 4 this year). Matt Harrison dreams of achieving that.
3) Cain's ERA is outperforming his SIERA by .53. Harrison is outperforming his SIERA by 1.12.
I like the fact that Harry doesn't seem to have those meltdown innings like Holland. I think he's a solid pitcher who will do well in front of our defense if he keeps his GB rate up. That said, he's had a lot of strand rate luck this year. And his HR/FB rate is oddly low given the park he pitches in and the fact that the type of pitchers who usually have HR/FB rates that low are big K guys like Roger Clemens.
I think Harrison lives right and he's been rewarded for it.
The key to Harry's success has been touched on by Joey in the past. He's in the top 5 or 10 in baseball when it comes to fewest hard hit balls allowed. That leads to a sustainably low BABIP IMO.
"fewest hard hit balls allowed"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but RFan doesn't have a metric for that.
I like empiricism...and that's why I distrust some of the advanced metrics as they are currently constituted. If they were to inculcate an appropriate value for well struck balls...FIP/Siera could soar as meaningful measurements.
ESPN now offers something I would call "a start". My principle complaint is that ESPN currently measures it as a Boolean instead of say a scale of 1-5 or 1-10.
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.