Interestingly enough, this question touches on a hot topic in the increasingly silly debate between “old school” baseball people and “saber-metric” guys. It seems to me that the point we ought to all take from this is that pitching wins can sometimes be misleading because they involve a number of factors outside that pitcher’s control. That does not mean, however, that wins never mean anything or that we ought to automatically discount an impressive total in that category. That brings us to Colorado Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa.
For his 2013 campaign, De La Rosa is 16-6 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. He has 111 K’s against 59 walks. More significantly, he has a 2.76 ERA in 81.2 innings at Coors Field. Most impressive: he has surrendered only three home runs at home against seven on the road. Whether that involves some good fortune or not, that is a darn impressive mark and it ought to bring De La Rosa’s accomplishments this season some extra attention.
Drew Goodman, the play-by-play man for ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain, advocated for De La Rosa on Twitter recently:
If national baseball pundits are going to discredit offensive #’s at #Coors field then hand out extra credit to De LA Rosa’s hm record 10-1
— Drew Goodman (@ROOTSPORTS_DG) September 5, 2013
One might be inclined to see that 10-1 record at home and automatically assume that De La Rosa is on the plus side of a bunch of high scoring games. I would point you again to that sub-3.00 home ERA and the fact that he has only allowed three home runs at home. Three Coors Field home runs in 81.2 innings! That man has earned those 10 wins.
In the 21 years that the Colorado Rockies have existed, opponents and pundits have discounted the team’s offensive accomplishments because of the hitter-friendly environment at both Mile High Stadium (their home the first two years) and Coors Field.
Are the critics going to be fair and balanced in their evaluations?
De La Rosa not only shares the NL lead in victories (16) with Jordan Zimmermann of the Washington Nationals, but he is 10-1 with a 2.76 earned-run average at Coors Field.
So in this case, those pitcher wins matter, and we ought to cite them often as we celebrate the outstanding season from Jorge De La Rosa and advocate for him to get the credit and recognition that he deserves.