Ok, so I know I am definitely into tracking how the team does win/loss-wise by starting pitcher more than most other people. I actually care about this more than the pitchers W/L record - although in Ubaldo's case this year they are the same :) But I digress.
Let me start with my main point - the Rockies are at 29-27, not where we expected them to be. I believe there are two main reasons for this:
#1 - Getting a 1-7 record out of Greg Smith's 8 starts this year. Absolutely killing the overall record.
#2 - DLR going on the DL. The Rockies were 3-1 in his four starts this year, after going 18-4 in his last 22 starts last year. That is a lot of wins to try and replace.
So, the Rockies currently sit at 2 games over .500. The first table shows the breakdown by starting pitcher. Obviously Ubaldo has been saving our bacon so far, but it also shows something else very interesting - how absolutely horrible we were with Greg Smith starting. We were 1-7 in his 8 starts, which works out to a 20 victory season if he made every start for us (the horror of that thought!)
Even a .500 level pitcher would give us 3 more wins, putting us at or near the top of the NL in wins. So, Smith's starts have almost singlehandedly put us in the hole we are in. You can see the stabilizing impact of Chacin's and Francis' starts, keeping us much closer to .500. Also, Hammel has picked it up after going 0-4 in his first four starts.
|2010||TW||TL||+/-||162 win pace|
Ok, so for some historical context. Last year, the Rockies finished 92-70, or 22 games over .500. How did we get there last year? Well, here's the 2009 table below. Surprisingly, due to their slow starts, Ubaldo and Cookie only contributed to 2 of those 22 games combined. You can see DLR, Hammel, and Marquis being the big contributers, DLR leading the way at 8 games over .500 over the season.
Also, you only see 7 starts in the "other" category FOR THE WHOLE YEAR - it's hard to remember how incredibly resilient our starting pitching was in '09, and how remarkably consistent as well.
|2009||TW||TL||+/-||162 win pace|
Ok, for a little fun, I put together the 2009 table post June 3, at which point the Rockies were at 20-32 (we need a catchy nickname for this date, as we are always referencing it). During this timeframe the Rockies were 34 games above .500 - yes that is correct, their 72 wins led baseball, and were 9 more than the 2nd best Giants in the NL at 63 wins. This table looks more like the Rockies we have come to expect - Ubaldo and DLR dominating, strong pitching across the board. The Rockies were an UNBELIEVABLE 18-4 in DLR's last 22 starts last year - for all the abuse he gets on the Row, I think people forget how incredibly spectacular the Rockies have been with DLR on the bump. And the Rockies were a 100 win pace team with four of their five starters - that's why our expectations are so high for this team. They really were a sick team post 6/3.
|>6/3 '09||TW||TL||+/-||162 win pace|
So to summarize, I think replacing Greg Smith with the equivalent of .500 pitching puts us back on pace to be among the leaders in wins in the NL - too bad we had to suffer through eight of those starts, but he's gone now. Getting DLR back anywhere close to the way he pitched for the last year before he got hurt could put us back to outpacing the rest of the NL in winning percentage, as we did last year post June 3rd.
Once we get all five starters humming, the wins will come - tell everyone to get off the ledge and stop worrying!