Saturday, May 8, 2010

Looking at the Quality Start

Another quality start for a Pirates pitcher tonight. This time it was Jeff Karstens pitching well in a 2-0 win over the Cardinals.

No team has played by the theory of good pitching beats good hitting more than these Buccos.  I've been charting the outings all season and it breaks down like this.  Through 30 games, the Pirates have gotten 15 quality starts and 15 very bad starts.

I'm not that big on the quality start numbers, I prefer to go by the eye test.  I still look at the six inning pitched and three earned runs or less, but I prefer to go by "Did the starting pitcher give the team a chance to win today" theory.  Yes, I know, I'm an innovator.

Let's take a look.  When the Pirates receive a quality start, they are 13-2 as a team and their starters are sporting an impressive 2.55 era.  Paul Maholm has led the team with five of my quality starts, followed by Zach Duke with four and Brian Burres and Jeff Karstens with two a piece.

When the Pirates don't get a quality start, it's ugly.  They are 1-14 as a team and have an astronomical era of 12.24  Naturally, Charlie Morton leads the team with five non-quality starts, followed by Duke with three.

When this team gets good pitching, they are a fun team to watch.  If they get quality starts and can score just enough runs to win; then the power arms in the bullpen can really be effective.  I know it's a cliche, but all they need from their starters are six quality innings.  They currently have a effective late innings bullpen with Evan Meek in the seventh, Joel Hanrahan in the eighth and Octavio Dotel in the ninth.

It's been 30 games, so teams begin to show trends.  The trend of this Pirates team is the quality start.  They can hang around the .500 mark for a while if and only if the starting pitching continues to perform well.

Check back tomorrow and I will break down John Russell's tough decision that lays in front of him.  With Ross Ohlendorf coming back to the rotation on Monday, one of Karstens or Burres will be out of the rotation.  Both guys have pitched well and coming off their last outings. deserve to get the ball again.

Check out our post-game report, following tonight's win, featuring Randy Gore.  Click HERE

Until then.  Let's Go Bucs


  1. Amazing to think that they can compete if they pitch well. I gess that's baseball

  2. Yeah I don't think they are as bad as they led onto believe. Especially if Morton pitches like he's capable

  3. have to agree about the bullpen. I didnt like it on paper but they can be very effective

  4. well you can add another into your non quality start column. looks like another loss today