Something I’ve always found interesting is that pitchers get to deduct unearned runs from their ERA but they don’t get to deduct runs from their ERA when their defense doesn’t make an easy play that they should have. In the past, I’ve highlighted more advanced ways to demonstrate to measure a pitcher’s value that factors out defense like FIP, xFIP, and others and I’ve also pointed out why this distinction between ERA and Runs Allowed/9 is a little bit arbitrary.
Below, for no other reason than to think about something we almost never think about, are the pitchers who have allowed the most unearned runs in 2013 and the pitchers who have allowed the highest percentage of their runs in an unearned run fashion (min 50 IP).
|8||Hector Santiago||White Sox||10||16.39%||3.43||133.2||61||51|
|6||Ryan Dempster||Red Sox||10||10.64%||4.79||157.2||94||84|
|2||Craig Breslow||Red Sox||4||25.00%||2.12||51||16||12|
I think it’s important to think about this because we all agree that a pitcher isn’t responsible for every run he allows, but he also isn’t without blame for all of them either. Earned and unearned runs are the traditional line we draw, but there is nothing that meaningful about such a boundary. These runs count against the team and plenty of unearned runs aren’t the pitcher’s fault.
Food for thought.