The baseball season is a month old and while that keeps sample sizes still rather small, it’s always fun to look at what trends are beginning to appear. I discussed the concept of a “Stopper” before the season began and went over last year’s leaderboard. Let’s take a look at if certain pitchers are keeping up their successes or lack thereof from last year.
Even though the season is only a month old as of May 5th, all but three teams have had a losing streak of at least three games, requiring a Stopper. It was four before last night’s games but the Cubs lost for a third straight game in particularly disappointing fashion (for them). The remaining teams without a need for a Stopper – The Royals, the NL-leading Cardinals, and the smoking-hot AL-leading Astros.
As for the other 27 teams, they have all needed the use of a Stopper at least once and in some instances many more occurrences. The Giants and Brewers both have had a league-long eight game losing streak, going through their rotations more than one cycle.
Some other 2015 Stopper facts:
J.A. Happ is the only pitcher with three attempts, posting a mediocre 4.66 ERA and only being successful on one of the three attempts.
15 pitchers have had two attempts including three Brewers and two Phillies.
Of those 15, three have won both of their attempts with great numbers put up – Anthony DeSclafani (0.00 ERA) of the Reds, Nick Martinez (1.50 ERA) of the Rangers, and Felix Hernandez (1.29 ERA) after Monday night’s streak-busting performance.
The two arguably worst pitchers have been Mike Fiers of the Brewers (9.00 ERA, 2 Ls) and surprisingly, Cole Hamels of the Phillies (8.25, 2 Ls).
Hamels had possibly the best stats in 2014 so his poor start is at least eyebrow-raising. I gave Chris Tillman the crown however, but in his one start this season he allowed 7 ER in 4 1/3. So far the trends haven’t matched last year but we still have five more months to this baseball season. Even the Royals, Cardinals, and Astros will need a Stopper eventually.