You Can Call Him King B

Best Single-Season K/BB Ratios for Selected Pitchers

Dan Haren, 2009: 5.87
Peek-A-Boo Veach, 1884: 6.20

Walter Johnson, 1913: 6.39

Cy Young, 1905: 7.00

Roy Halladay, 2010: 7.30

Clayton Kershaw, 2014: 7.71

Carlos Silva, 2005: 7.89  

Joe Blanton, 2015: 8.00 (15th all time)

 After his second win of the season, Blanton is seeing his bandwagon grow crowded. Newspapers everywhere, from the Kansas City Star, to the Topeka Capital Journal, to NBC Sports, are picking up on Joe's historic victory over Félix Hernández. JB "outdueled" and "outshined" the Cy Young winning Hernández, according to reports.

 Astonishingly, after only two spot starts and a few scattered relief appearances, Blanton leads the league in bgWAR.

How bgWAR Is Calculated

A lot of our readers have been intimidated by bgWAR, our measure of a player's overall value, and asked us about how it works. We had the same questions when we first heard about advanced stats. "How," we asked, "could some computer guys plug a bunch of mathematical numbers into some kind of mechanical Turk and find out how good players are?"

The Blangraphs editorial staff is more into stick-to-it-ive-ness than your fancy metrics.

For a long time, we trusted our eyes and hearts and ignored the numbers. It felt right, and we did fine that way. But as we looked at more and more players to compare Joe Blanton to, we needed to watch more and more games. We stayed up all night watching Mariners games to figure out whether Robinson Cano could equal Joe. We listened to the announcers' tones when they narrated Yovani Gallardo starts. There were 2340 games to watch, and eventually it was too much to keep it all straight. At this point, we realized we need a formula, and that the stats could help us as long as they were measuring all of the things that we saw when we watched.
If you are anything like us, you are skeptical when you see a complicated math formula, and we recognize that bgWAR looks just like one. The fact is that the bgWAR formula is not as complicated as it might seem, it has simply grown over time in a series of common-sense, logical steps. With each tweak and adjustment, the calculation of bgWAR got just a bit harder for the uninitiated reader to understand. Just like our wise scouts' knowledge grows over the decades until they can predict a player's entire career from just a single swing of the bat, our formula has been built up in a series of adjustments, additions, and alignments. And for the first time, here it is for everyone to see:


Current season leader: Joe Blanton.

The New Strategy

The Phillies aren't doing so well. It's time for a new strategy. If we're going to lose, why not do it in spectacular fashion? I have no ideas for what we can do as far as scoring runs- so let's focus on the pitching.
Yesterday the Phillies used Papelbon and Giles, their two best relievers, in a game they trailed by 5 runs and had essentially no chance of winnings. This was "to get them work". My idea is to ensure that they get work in useful opportunities by letting them start games. Teams are more likely to score runs in the first inning than in the second inning, this is due to a team trotting out their best hitters 1,2,3,4. In games we send out pitchers such as O'Sullivan, we should give them a head start by erasing their best hitters before they get a chance to tee off on our starters. There is an excellent chart which shows when runs are most often scored.
If we can reduce the % of runs scored in the first by using either Papelbon or Giles, and save one for the 9th inning we can maybe expect to reduce total scoring by 10% or so. Possibly saving the O'Sullivans from being seen more than once can increase the likelihood of them being more effective, also they will be less tired and can pitch later into the game. This may reduce the % of runs scored in the middle innings. The only position in which we will suffer is in the 8th inning. At this point we will have lost Giles or Papelbon, so we may see an increase in runs scored here. With our crop of young relievers (Diekman, DeFratus, Araujo, etc.) I'd take my chances with this strategy. I would even consider starting the game with Giles, and bringing in Papelbon the next time the 1,2,3,4 hitters arrive, completely flipping the order of our pitching.
I don't endorse this idea when we have pitchers like Hamels out there, and obviously we couldn't pitch this way every night or else or relievers would get over worked. But as of now they aren't getting enough work and are receiving worthless opportunities. Let's get our pitchers in there while the game is guaranteed to still matter!  Who knows, we might just take a few of them with us.

Game 7

We're still ahead of the Nats and Marlins, and look, Howard has the second highest batting average on the team!

Game 1: The Flip

Watch this awesome flip by Howard, I thought for sure this one was going to go over Hamels' head but it ended up being basically a perfect throw.

Opening Day!!

Here is a video of Ben Revere doing a back flip. Remember to enjoy watching the P's today!


In a piece published on, Jerome Williams talks about his gloves.

"Williams’ top choice is pink in recognition of his mother, but he’ll also be mixing it up with four different colors to put the spotlight on prostate, pancreatic, liver, and childhood cancers."

Our experts at BG have predicted in their prediction series "Jerome Williams will use 4 different colors of gloves..." as well as some other things.

Go blangraphs! Also, if anybody can mail us $20 we can buy and the busy internet traveler will no longer have to go the hassle of typing that wearisome blogger bit in the URL bar.

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