Casey’s Statistical Follow-up Series: Who is the 2015 MLB Stopper of the Year?

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

By Casey Boguslaw

In part three of my statistical follow-up series, I cover a stat I came up with last year and followed closely throughout the year. A stopper is a starting pitcher of a game where there team has lost the previous three or more games. A stopper has the possibility of reversing any losing streak and simply “stopping” the bleeding. Who was the 2015 MLB Stopper of the Year?

Below are the 2015 stopper stats. A few items to point out before the individual player results: The St. Louis Cardinals had the least stopper attempts of all teams with only six, but that is what you get with a 100 win season. The Philadelphia Phillies led the league with 42 attempts. The Cardinals also led with a 1.86 ERA in team stopper stats, also logically correct since better stopper stats means less attempts. The Braves had the worst ERA with a 6.16 ERA. League-wide pitchers won 46.04% of their stopper stats, so it was more likely for a team to lose their next game if they were on a three-plus game losing streak.

*W/L numbers are team results; the starter didn’t necessarily earn the stat. Pitchers had to at least have three attempts to qualify*

Pitcher ERA W L
Archer 0.00 0 3
Arrieta 0.29 4 0
Kershaw 0.36 2 1
deGrom 0.70 4 0
Greinke 0.94 3 1
Harvey 1.01 2 2
Fernandez 1.13 3 1
Wacha 1.35 2 1
Ramirez, E. 1.46 3 1
Verlander 1.52 3 1
Kluber 1.54 3 0
Norris 1.65 3 0
Hernandez 1.67 3 1
Nola 1.73 2 2
Gray, S. 1.82 3 2
Price 1.90 2 1
Corbin 2.08 2 1
Samardzija 2.25 5 1
Porcello 2.30 2 2
Miley 2.37 2 1
Lewis 2.49 2 2
Eovaldi 2.55 3 0
Heaney 2.60 2 1
Syndergaard 2.65 1 2
Iglesias 2.70 1 4
Heston 2.72 1 5
Morgan 2.73 2 2
Gausman 2.82 3 1
Lester 2.86 2 1
Wood 2.93 2 3
Bauer 3.00 1 2
Haren 3.00 3 3
Odorizzi 3.00 3 0
Shoemaker 3.00 3 1
Shields 3.15 5 1
Salazar 3.20 2 1
Phelps 3.20 1 2
Bettis 3.22 3 1
Pomeranz 3.31 2 1
Estrada 3.38 2 1
Cashner 3.43 1 2
De La Rosa, R. 3.46 4 2
Anderson, Co. 3.48 2 1
Eickhoff 3.50 1 2
McHugh 3.55 3 2
Walker 3.57 2 1
Chen 3.58 4 1
Burnett 3.60 3 0
Ross, T. 3.60 1 2
Scherzer 3.91 3 1
Happ 3.93 2 4
DeSclafini 3.96 4 4
Hamels 4.02 2 5
Nelson 4.03 2 5
Buchholz 4.05 2 2
Marquis 4.15 1 2
Bumgarner 4.18 1 3
Kazmir 4.26 1 4
Sanchez, An. 4.28 3 1
Koehler 4.29 3 6
Martinez, N. 4.30 3 1
Duffey 4.32 2 1
Peavy 4.33 2 3
Miller 4.42 2 4
Hudson 4.43 0 4
Sabathia 4.43 2 2
Hendricks 4.50 2 1
De La Rosa, J. 4.53 3 5
Tillman 4.58 2 4
Locke 4.63 2 2
Kennedy 4.64 4 4
Kendrick 4.68 2 2
McCullers 4.74 0 3
Jungmann 4.76 2 1
Teheran 4.80 6 3
Lincecum 4.86 2 1
Gonzalez, M. 4.95 2 6
Karns 5.04 1 3
Graveman 5.09 2 2
Danks 5.14 0 4
Harang 5.25 2 4
Zimmerman 5.25 3 1
Anderson, Ch. 5.59 3 2
Finnegan 5.63 1 2
Doubront 5.94 2 1
Bassitt 6.00 1 3
O’Sullivan 6.10 3 4
Gibson 6.11 1 2
Peralta 6.26 2 3
Leake 6.26 1 3
Colon 6.35 1 2
Rodon 6.64 3 1
Hale 6.75 0 3
Fiers 6.84 0 5
Gonzalez, G. 6.98 1 3
Pineda 7.02 0 3
Correia 7.07 0 3
Garza 7.23 0 4
Santiago 7.24 1 2
Richards 7.27 3 2
Simon 7.31 2 4
Sampson 7.66 3 3
Perez, W. 8.06 1 4
Lohse 8.27 1 3
Greene 8.59 1 2
Wisler 8.68 1 5
Lamb 9.75 0 3
Williams 9.77 0 4
Pelfrey 9.78 1 3
Rodriguez, E. 10.29 1 2
  • What is eye-popping right off the bat is much more than last year, the best stopper stats belonged to well-known team aces.
  • Archer, Arrieta, Kershaw, deGrom and Greinke, all Cy Young hopefuls towards the end of the season, had the five lowest stopper ERAs in the league.
  • Jake Arrieta wins Stopper of the Year (maybe that’s what propelled him to the NL Cy Young) with a perfect 4-0 record in stopper appearances and a 0.29 ERA. He also pitched 31 innings, nearly averaging eight innings for a team who presumably was desperately wishing to avoid using their bullpen. Chris Archer is the hard-luck loser as he did not allow a run in any of his three stopper appearances but somehow the Tampa Bay Rays lost all three of those games. Jake deGrom has to be mentioned as well with a perfect 4-0 record but “only” a 0.70 ERA.
  • There are a lot of excellent candidates for worst Stopper of the Year but my vote goes to Jerome Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies. Williams went 0 for 4 with a 9.77 ERA. He only managed to pitch 15 2/3 innings in the four starts, less than a four inning average per start.
  • Worst stats for an ace? Might be Madison Bumgarner who only won 1 of 4 tries and had a 4.18 ERA in his appearances. Cole Hamels – last year’s Stopper of the Year – took a hit and went 2-5 with a 4.02 ERA. Six of the seven happened with the Phillies, but his one with the Rangers – 6 innings pitched, 6 earned runs.
  • Some other surprise numbers? Justin Verlander with a nice bounceback year – 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA. Jeff Samardzija saw his most success in stopper opportunities – 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Casey’s Statistical Follow-up Series: Who is the 2015 MLB Stopper of the Year?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s