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jmehta

Starters win games, bullpens win championships

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An unpredictable combination of hitting, starting and relief pitching, fielding and strategy wins games and championships.

I don't think playoff games changes the dynamic — only that it magnifies the importance of each game.

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I think the past champions winners have shown, it's dominating starting pitching that won the championships, and of course, having a sharp bullpen that can close out the games, is pretty good nail in the coffin.

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I think the past champions winners have shown, it's dominating starting pitching that won the championships, and of course, having a sharp bullpen that can close out the games, is pretty good nail in the coffin.

Billy Beane must think so also

Oakland's starting rotation with the addition of Lester is down right scary right now.

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An unpredictable combination of hitting, starting and relief pitching, fielding and strategy wins games and championships.

I don't think playoff games changes the dynamic — only that it magnifies the importance of each game.

I do think there is a bit of a different dynamic in the post season. You face far fewer weaker pitchers. You don't see the 5th starters, sometimes not even the 4th. There is less concern for resting guys so you see the top relievers that might only pitch one inning at a time during hte season pitch more than one inning. You see fewer innings by the back end guys in the bullpen, and most of the time you do see those guys, it is in games that have already been decided. (Minor exception for the rare long extra inning game, even then in the post season you will see the better pitchers pitch more, e.g. Byung-Hyun Kim in the 2001 WS). And of course to top it all off, you are facing elite teams that most likely have better pitching than average to start with.

I am totally ballpark guessing these numbers, but if pitchers are rated on a 0-10 scale and follow a bell curve in talent, then during the regular season, by definition, you see an average of a 5.0 pitcher all year. And if you look at leverage situations, you probably still don't see more than a 6 or a 7 average in close-game situations throughout the year.

I would guess that in the playoffs you see an AVERAGE of about a 7.5 for all post-season at bats, and if you throw out the occasional parts of postseason games where one team has a reasonably large lead and the game is mostly "decided", you are probalby looking at an 8 average.

That makes it a bit of a different dynamic. I think 1-run strategies can become more important in the postseason. I don't agree that starting is less important, but I do think that having lights out top-end bullpen guys is critical. I actually feel that having a high team onbase% is less important in the postseason than in the regular season because the good pitchers you are seeing simply not going to walk as many guys anyway. I think in the postseason, the importance of slugging% goes up and onbase% goes down.

Those are my opinions, anyway. I haven't researched them or tried to do any analysis to back them up. And, I'm not sure if it's possible because the sample size of postseason games is probably not large enough to "prove" anything statistically.

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Billy Beane must think so also

Oakland's starting rotation with the addition of Lester is down right scary right now.

How many times did Jack Morris get traded to win championships?

How many times did the Yankees bring back a starting pitcher after the ASG so they would be an arm for the WS?

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What if we turned this around. Can anyone name teams with bad bullpens that have won titles?

Hrm.

The 2012 Detroit Tigers had a reputation for a bad bullpen but it wasn't all that bad. Lost to the Giants though.

The 2009 Philadelphia Phillies had a bad bullpen but lost to the Yankees and Mr. Rivera & Co.

The 2003 neither the Marlins nor Yankees had a particularly good bullpen (aside from closers Rivera and Urbina).

Everyone else since the turn of the century had at least an above average bullpen.

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In the playoffs, do relievers start pitching more innings than starters?

No, but the run environment in the playoffs is lower so there are more high-leverage innings, especially in the late innings. But that's just one of a thousand different things that go into winning and losing.

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There's definite reason to consider a good bullpen matters more than good starting pitching in the playoffs.

On average, starter performance takes a huge drop the 3rd/4th runs through the opposing lineup, including even aces. The better the bullpen is, the sooner a manager can start playing the matchups game rather than leave the starter in through those runs. This can help over a small sample size and the amount of off days sprinked into October baseball ensures relievers will be a lot fresher than they are during the regular season. Those off-days don't make the 6th+ innings any easier on the arms of starters, who are usually following a regular-season schedule anyway, but they do keep bullpen performance high.

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No, but the run environment in the playoffs is lower so there are more high-leverage innings, especially in the late innings. But that's just one of a thousand different things that go into winning and losing.

Do runs late in games count differently than ones earlier in games? If performance is equalized, I'll take the guy that gives me more innings, as opposed to the guy that can pitch "high-leverage innings". There is a reason the best starters get paid ten times as much as the best relievers.

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Teams win games. Luck and good oportunities win championships. That is all.

You really need to take a look at some of the teams that have won championships. And how.

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