Sunday, September 22, 2013


Just a quick, quick note this AM, as we are going to go on the lam again (perhaps unduly influenced by our recent reading of Dan J. Marlowe's ferocious 1962 tome The Name of the Game is Death, a nasty cup of cappuccino frosted on top with the 1969 sequel One Endless Hour...) but kudos to the Red Sox' Clay Buchholz for finally taking one on the chin yesterday.

Not that we really wish Clay any ill will (sorry, no poll data being created to let y'all vote on whether we really mean that...!), but if he'd continued his amazing run all the way to the end of the season and wound up with a 13-0 record, it might have produced a seriously strange dilemma in the minds of the BBWAA (known for being seriously strange upon occasion, and with a penchant for ongoing dilemmas).

Even the hoary war-horse WAR would have been in a bit of a pickle. It's almost always used as a counting stat, but if Clay had wound up with, say, 5.5 WAR in just 110 innings of work (as you doubtless know, Buchholz went 93 days between starts due to neck and elbow issues), that rate of WAR/IP would have been hard to ignore, as it dwarfs the rates of Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Hisashi Iwakuma and the latest entrant in the "Kill the Win" sweepstakes, Annibal Sanchez (the current possessor of the ERA+ lead).

"Get off your knees, son, and stand tall. You've made the world
a better place, and Lord knows we all"
The BBWAA voters will probably wind up giving Clay a few votes--despite missing three months, he was a palpable contributor to the Red Sox' 2013 success (Boston is 13-2 in his starts, which by our back-of-the-envelope calcs is worth between six and seven extra wins over what we all somewhat nebulously call a "replacement" pitcher). But if he'd been 13-0, there would have a great deal of mystique in that won-loss record that just might have been too irresistible to not have come into play--which would have made him the perfect combination dark horse pick/stalking horse for the Love Pie™ brigade.

Better not to muddy the waters (unless you are on the south side of Chicago), so thanks to Clay B. for keeping this brouhaha on the simplistic side.