The "Quality Start"

During Friday's telecast, Dick & Bert discussed the Twins rotation and their consistency in putting up quality starts again and again. Because some national baseball "experts" (Dibble and Kennedy for one, although I love their show) simply don't seem to get it, citing "6 IP / 3 ER is a 4.50 ERA, which isn't very good", I decided to do a little research on the 2008 Twins season and quality starts.



Overall for the season, our starters have made 73 quality starts (QS) in 136 games. That's a 54% clip.

In those 73 QS, we have a record of 50-23 (.685). In the remaining 63 non-QS, we have a record of 26-37 (.413). Pretty large difference, it's a testament to our offense that we've managed to win as many of the non-QS games as we have. I suspect in years past we'd be much worse off.On the other hand, I also suspect our winning percentage in QS is a bit lower than other years due to our suspect bullpen.

We've also been really consistent month by month. Between 52 and 57% each and every month. Improving in August, which is also nice.

April: 14 for 27 (52%)
May: 15 for 28 (54%)
June: 15 for 28 (54%)
July: 13 for 25 (52%)
August: 16 for 28 (57%)

Breaking down the numbers, pitcher by pitcher. Also quite consistent. Blackburn and Baker are the best, but Perkins, Slowey and Liriano are not far behind. A bit surprising that we have such a good record in Baker's non-QS. He gets screwed by 1-0 games when he pitches lights out, but he also gets saved when he stinks. Interesting.

Blackburn: 16 for 27 (59%) - Team is 10-6 in QS, 3-8 in non-QS, 13-14 overall. 
Baker: 13 for 22 (59%) - Team is 6-7 in QS, 7-2 in non-QS, 13-9 overall.
Perkins: 12 for 21 (57%) - Team is 9-3 in QS, 5-4 in non-QS, 14-7 overall.
Slowey: 11 for 22 (50%) - Team is 10-1 in QS, 3-8 in non-QS, 13-9 overall.
Hernandez: 11 for 23 (48%) - Team is 10-1 in QS, 4-8 in non-QS, 14-9 overall.
Bonser: 6 for 12 (50%) - Team is 3-3 in QS, 2-4 in non-QS, 5-7 overall.
Liriano: 4 for 9 (44%) - Team is 2-2 in QS, 2-3 in non-QS, 4-5 overall. 3 for 5 since coming back in August.

Finally, relative to the league, our 73 QS puts us at 7th in the majors, 4th in the AL behind the Angels (79), White Sox (77) and Indians (74). Good company.

Bottom line, we've got a nice rotation here. Consistent, gives us a chance to win game after game. Now if we could only say the same about the offense and bullpen...


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