Thursday, August 09, 2007

Kip Wells, inconsistency and Pacman Jones

The player I think all of us in Cardinal fandom pegged as being destined to hold the ERA crown this year(for highest ERA of course—it would also be the 2nd straight year a Cardinal held this dishonor, after Jason Marquis last year) is beginning to turn it around. Since the All-Star break, he’s had all pretty good starts with the exception of his first trip to the mound post-All-Star break.

Before we get into comparing different runs of his season, let’s look at the stats from these most recent starts. In six starts since the All-Star break, the Kipper has posted an ERA of 3.48 and has gone 2-2 and has improved his K/BB ratio, which was 1.69 over that span. His strikeouts actually went down over the span, but his walk rate went down considerably. One other interesting stat over the span: 0.00 HR/9. He hasn’t given up any! It really didn’t seem to be his problem before(moreso the 97 hits and 47 walks he gave up in 92 2/3rds innings), but the zero homers is still an impressive improvement.

Now, to look at the other starts to give you perspective. Prior to the All-Star break, Kip appeared in 19 games, 15 of them as the starter before being bumped to the pen for his uber-suckiness. During that span, he posted an ERA of two and a half runs higher than his recent stretch at 5.92. His 1.51 K/BB ratio doesn’t seem as much of a jump from the 1.69 of recent starts, but as I said above, both his strikeouts and walks dipped since. The walks were a huge problem. At 4.6 walks per 9 innings, he was basically walking someone every other inning on average. Along with the fact that he was giving up more than a hit per inning, that spells disaster.

To compound this, if we go back to before Kip went to the bullpen(where he actually had pretty good success), then we see an even more brutal picture. From the beginning of the year to his last start before going to the pen, which was on June 14th, he posted an obscene 6.93 ERA with even more walks (4.9/9) and an even worse K/BB(1.36).

His streaks have been very interesting(including his most recent). It basically looks like it can be broken into 4 chunks. His early starts, the ten starts where we fell apart, his time in the bullpen(with one start thrown in there), and his recent post All-Star starts. Instead of analyzing each stretch further, I’ll just put his stats below and let you make what you want out of them:

Dates – ERA - Record

April 3rd to April 19th -- 3.12 – 1-3
April 24th to June 14th – 8.88 – 1-8
June 20th to July 7th – 1.12 – 1-0
July 13th to August 8th – 3.48 – 2-2

It’s 10 starts, so it’s hard to just throw that bad stretch out, but if you do, Kip has actually been pretty good. It feels really weird to type those words though, I must say.


Adam “Pacman” Jones must think everyone else is idiotic. On ESPN’s “First Take” this morning, he made the statement that his most recent trip into a strip club that resulted in yet another incident, was made because “I wanted to get something to eat—there weren’t even any girls in there.”

I know when I think, “Hey! I’m hungry!” My next thought immediately after hearing the belly gurgling is “Where’s the nearest strip club!”

The interview was obviously meant to be Jones’ way of trying to defend himself, but given his incredibly weak excuses, it’s really just shown how far from reality Adam Jones really is. You better soak up that time with your daughter, Pacman, because if you continue to behave in the way you do, one of these indictments will stick and you’ll find yourself convicted and in jail.

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