Saturday, May 23, 2009

Do the Mets Choke When Santana Pitches?

The Mets can't seem to get a break when it comes to public opinion. Yes, they have lost the division title two years in a row in the last couple of weeks of the season. But that has to do more with specific circumstances than with the whole idea of "choking" which is how they have been described. Certainly, the Steve Phillips debacle last Sunday night when he took it upon himself to trash the Mets' best players didn't help. But aside from all of that, one trend has been noticed and that is that the Mets seem to play tighter when Johan Santana pitches and the numbers seem to back it up, at least from the fielding aspect of things.

When Santana pitches for the Mets, he yields more unearned runs than any other Mets pitcher. And the numbers aren't even close. Here is the breakdown of the Mets' starters with their Runs/Earned Runs/Earned Runs as a percentage of Runs:

  • Santana: 14/8/57%
  • Livan: 25/25/100%
  • Maine: 25/23/92%
  • Pelfrey: 21/21/100%
  • Perez: 24/24/100%
  • Niese: 7/7/100%
  • Figueroa: 3/3/100%
  • Redding: 1/1/100%

The team as a whole has an earned run percentage as a percentage of runs at 88%. If you take away home runs, because a fielder can't do anything about them, then only five of Santana's 11 (non-homer) runs have been earned. That's astounding. And it was the same last year:


  • Santana: 74/66/89% without homers: 51/43/84%
  • Pelfrey: 86/83/97% without homers: 74/71/96%
  • Perez: 100/91/91% without homers: 76/67/88%
  • Maine: 70/65/92% without homers: 54/49/90%
  • Martinez: 70/68/97% without homers: 51/49/96%
  • Entire Team: 92% without homers: 90%

Those numbers seem to indicate that the Mets' fielders seem to play tighter and botch up more plays when Santana is pitching than any other Mets' pitcher.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Bizarre, you'd think they'd be looser when he pitches. I know I'd feel a helluva a lot better with my ace on the mound than someone like Mike Pelfrey, who apparently never learned how not to balk.