Some Praise for Strasburg’s First 100

Today will be the 101st start of Stephen Strasburg’s career, and after misinterpreting this tweet by Bos, I wanted to take a look at those starts:

As for the tweet, I thought he was saying that 1.31 ERA was what he did in ALL OTHER starts, and it sounded suspect to me. It’s not what he was saying.

Strasburg DeliveryBut who cares about that, here are some fun things I did with the numbers from Strasburg’s starts:

10% of his games sucked, the rest of the time he’s been great

  • Forget about his “16 worst” games, he only gave up gave up 5 ER or more in 10 games. In those games combined he has an ERA of 12.18
  • For the rest of his career, 90% of his starts, his ERA is 2.42

21% of his games were still bad

  • 79/100 games were 3 ER or fewer. Outside of that set his ERA is 8.46, a very similar number to what Bos was talking about
  • In those 79 games where he didn’t give up 4 ER or more, his ERA was 1.93
  • Yeah so basically 8/10 times he starts, his ERA is below 2

There’s just a ridiculous amount of lights out games

  • He’s given up 2 ER or fewer in 68 games. 68% of the time he started the Nats could have won by scoring 3 runs and having the bullpen shut the opponent down
  • In those 68 games his ERA is 1.52
  • He’s given up 1 ER or fewer in 46 games. His ERA in those 46 games in 0.83
  • He’s given up 0 ER in 20 starts. Not surprisingly, his ERA in those games is 0.00.

But perhaps my favorite, I picked an arbitrary but ho hum number, and checked out how he did in his best 50%:

  • In his 50 best starts, Strasburg’s ERA is 0.99. THAT’S HALF OF HIS STARTS!

Stras is a strikeout pitcher, let’s look at strikeout games

  • He has struck out 10 or more batters in 16 of his starts, and has an ERA of 1.43 in those outings
  • He’s struck out at least 8 in 42% of his outings – and his ERA in those games is 2.22. FORTY TWO PERCENT.
  • He’s struck out at least 6 in 68% of his outings for an ERA of 2.43 in those games

Now, of course the more he strikes out, the better his numbers are probably going to be. Less guys are probably getting on base, and he’s probably going longer. Still, 8 Ks in nearly half his starts? Sheesh

Strasburg isn’t always perfect, and he’s had his struggles this season. He’s already given up more HR than in any other season. I believe it’s because his offspeed stuff is so dominant that hitters sit on his fastball. So they hit it when he throws it and it isn’t perfect.

But overall, this guy has already had a great career. It’s insane to me that in fully half of his starts he has averaged giving up less than one single earned run. I’m excited to see what he’s gonna do tonight.

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