Overheard at the Ballpark, 7/14/2003:
Woman: “The Blue Jays have a catcher named Wilson, too!”
Man: “Is he as cute as ours?”
Much is made of Dan Wilson’s defensive abilities, game calling, yadda yadda. I was curious, though, after seeing Meche get roughed up in a Dan Wilson start again: does Meche pitch better for Davis than Wilson?
Meche to Davis: 3.53 ERA, 82 IP, 82 H, 32 R, 13 HR, 26 BB, 58 K — 23% H rate, 7% BB rate, 16% K rate, 4% HR rate
Meche to Dan: 4.09 ERA, 66 IP, 56 H, 23 R, 9 HR, 21 BB, 48 K — 20% H rate, 8% BB rate, 17% K rate, 3% HR rate
There’s not a lot of difference there in what the pitcher has control over. I think the gap in ERAs is some luck, but also Davis’ superior arm picking off runners while Dan has, uh, not so much been picking off runners.
You would think that for all the praise heaped on Dan that there would be some kind of clear impact his veteran leadership might have on Meche… but there isn’t. Both catchers see the balls they call for put into play at almost exactly the same rate, and the rate those balls go for hits is low for both, but a 3% gap there isn’t enough to be significant, because that’s the defense at work once the ball’s in play.
If I had the time, I’d look at that and see if there were particular defensive alignments that affected this, but… enh. Dan isn’t any better than Ben at calling games, and he’s certainly no better at controlling the running game.
New Big Board… welcome back, Kaz Sasaki.