Worst Jays Preview of All Time
Ah, spring is here! The Lilacs are blooming, the sun is shining, and Richard Griffin is setting up slam-dunks for abusive bloggers! From his latest mailbag:
Put it this way, if each of the Jays starting five matched his career high in wins, that would come to 71 victories; using Gus Chacin as the fifth guy because of his 13 wins as a high water mark. The bullpen won 17 games last year. So, if the relievers match that – 71 plus 17, hmm, carry the ought…that comes out to 88 wins.
That’s with Halladay matching his 22, then adding three 12’s for A.J. Burnett, Marcum and McGowan and Gustavo’s baker’s dozen. Of course, McGowan should win more, A.J. is always expected to win more, Gus won’t be in the rotation, and Doc has only ever won 20 games that one year. I guess that’s why they play the games, but it will be a struggle to win 92-95. The bullpen could add some to that 17.
I like how he starts to realize this might not be a particularly scientific result halfway through the second paragraph, but still can’t resist doing the math with an old-school stat like wins. But lordy, it’s just ugly, where to begin…
- The Bullpen won 19 games last year. The final total is only off by one because you have to take one win off of Marcum’s 12 as well because he got it while in the pen, but holy crap! He always does this! Give his editor a link to ESPN for crying out loud so we don’t have to read these little errors in every @#$%!! article.
- Those 19 wins were because the offense absolutely abandoned the bullpen late in games, hitting .252, .257, and .176 in the last three innings. No other bullpen came even close (ok, the Cubs) to such a terrible winning percentage with such a great performance. If the Jays can hit again, they’ll gain more than a few wins there. But ok, this all balances out with being really optimistic on the starter’s performances, right? Well…
- McGowan and Marcum started 25 and 27 games last year. So this best case scenario rotation we’re looking at just left out 18 games that someone’s gotta pitch. And as fun as it is to call A.J. a 12-game winner, that’s only because he was with a terrible Florida team or 10+ games short of a season pitching for the Jays.
So far from being a limit on how many games the pitching staff could win with career seasons, this is how many games the Jays rotation could win in 134 games. Hmmm, that’s 106 in a full season- might just do it!
Anyway, there’s no way to sort out this mess, but if we must look at wins, here’s something much more interesting. There were five teams in the league last year whose 1-2-3 starters won 45 games. They all made the playoffs. Do you think maybe Halladay/Burnett/McGowan could average 15 wins next year?