Pittsburgh Pirates’ right-handed starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is just the latest example of why pitcher’s W/L records are meaningless.
One of the oldest stats in all of baseball is a pitcher’s win/loss record. However, this is one of the worst stats not just in baseball but in all of sports. Every year in baseball, there are multiple examples of why pitcher’s win/loss records is such a terrible stat.
For example, look at Atlanta Braves’ right-handed starting pitcher Shelby Miller in 2015. In 2015 Shelby Miller averaged 7.50 K/9, 3.20 BB/9, and 0.57 HR/9 in 205 innings pitched. This resulted in Miller posting a 3.02 ERA, 3.45 FIP, and a 3.4 WAR in 2015. Despite this, Miller finished the season with a 6-17 record.
The reason Miller’s record was so bad is because the Atlanta Braves were abysmal in 2015. That is in no way, shape, or form Miller’s fault. A pitcher’s win/loss record depends way too much on what the rest of his team does to carry any credibility.
In 2016, Ryan Vogelsong has been an example of this. Vogelsong has made six starts for the Pirates and has pitched extremely well in these six starts. However, his win/loss record is just 2-3. And one of those wins came as a reliever.
In his six starts this season, Ryan Vogelsong has pitched 30 2/3 innings. In these 30 2/3 innings pitched Vogelsong is averaging 7.04 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9, and he has a 1.01 WHIP. He has also held opposing hitters to a .207 batting average, and a .277 wOBA.
All of this has resulted in Vogelsong posting a 2.05 ERA and a 3.96 FIP as a starting pitcher this season. Despite these strong numbers, Ryan Vogelsong has a losing record as a starting pitcher this season. Vogelsong, personally, is 1-2 when he starts this season and the Pirates are just 2-4.
Ryan Vogelsong has pitched at least five innings in five of his six starts, and the one start he failed to reach five innings in was because he left the game early due to injury. Furthermore, he has allowed one earned run or less in five of his six starts. And the one start he did not do that, August 15th against the Giants, he got the win despite allowing four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched.
In no world should Ryan Vogelsong have a losing record this season. In his starts he has been victimized by bad defense, lack of offense, and some times both. As I said above, a pitcher’s win/loss record depends way too much on what everyone around them does to carry any credibility at all.
Pitcher’s win/loss records is one of the least valid stats in all of sports. In my opinion, this stat has zero credibility whatsoever. Ryan Vogeslong’s record as a starting pitcher this season is an example of that. Personally, I live for the day people stop acting like pitcher’s win/loss record is a stat even worth discussing. Honestly, baseball should just get rid of this stat all together.