Earlier this year, I came up with a list of five pitchers who have losing records, but -- based on their underlying performances -- shouldn't.
Surprisingly, you have screamed for more. Though I don't like to repeat myself, I also don't like when people scream at me. So if the only way to stop the screaming is to repeat myself ... Well, I've come up with a list of five pitchers who have losing records, but -- based on their underlying performances, shouldn't ...
Tim Lincecum (3-4) - He's not (quite) leading the National League in strikeouts, like he usually does. He does have a 2.36 ERA, which would be the lowest of his illustrious career. Lincecum has not been blessed with particular good hitters as teammates, over the years. But somehow he entered this season with a 56-27 record and two Cy Young Awards.
Has Lincecum's luck finally turned? Perhaps. More likely, though, his awesomeness will continue to trump luck and poor-hitting teammates, and he'll finish this season with at least 15 wins. As usual.
Cliff Lee (2-4) - Granted, Cliff Lee's ERA (3.84) isn't as good as Roy Halladay's (2.21). Or Roy Oswalt's (3.09). Or Cole Hamels' (3.19). It's better than Joe Blanton's (5.50), but then it's supposed to be. Still, for a guy with the fourth-best ERA in his own rotation, Lee's having a pretty excellent season, striking out five times more batters than he's walked, which is pretty excellent. There's an excellent chance that he won't be one of the Phillies' four 20-game winners this season, but there's also an excellent chance that he'll win more than one times as many games as he loses.
Daniel Hudson (4-5) - Hey, at least he's 9-for-9, decision-wise. He's not Brandon Beachy or Tim Stauffer or one of those other guys who leave just the thinnest of footprints upon the record books. But Hudson deserves better than this, especially considering his strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.0000 to infinity) and the empirical truth that he's given up exactly two home runs in exactly 58 innings.
One of my Favorite Baseball Facts: Since the Chicago White Sox traded Daniel Hudson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson, Hudson has pitched just as well as Jackson while getting paid less money to infinity. It's just something to think about, in case anyone ever offers to trade you Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson (or vice versa).
Brandon McCarthy (1-4) - McCarthy also used to pitch for the White Sox. In fact, he and Hudson were roommates, and they looked so much alike that sometimes they would switch uniform jerseys and pitch in the other's place without telling anybody, which is just another reason why you shouldn't completely trust Baseball-Reference.com.
Fortunately, now they're in completely different leagues, and so unless you're watching a black-and-white TV it's easy to tell them apart. McCarthy didn't even pitch in the majors last season and entered this season with a 4.56 career ERA, but this season he's at 3.34 with the Athletics and has tossed a couple of complete games ... both of which, oddly enough, he lost. Which is definitely some sort of record, somewhere. The other thing about Brandon McCarthy is that he's not only on Twitter, but is actually worth following.
Tim Stauffer (0-2!) - If I didn't think it would look too weird, I would have placed the exclamation point after the zero. Or before, like our Spanish friends do. Because it's the zero that's a little shocking, considering the guy's started nine games and pitched really well in four of them and decently in three of them (the other two, he struggled but it wasn't his fault because the umpires were being really mean just because they're like that sometimes).
I'm sure Stauffer will win eventually -- his next shot is Sunday against the Mariners -- but then again it would be pretty keen if he finished the season 0-7 in 33 starts. That's something we could save, keep in a little box that we open only when we start feeling sorry for ourselves and need to remember just how capricious life can be, even for guys who make millions of dollars and have beautiful wives with long curly hair.