Using Advanced Metrics on The Machine Part 2

The 1975 Reds’ pitching staff gets ions less in way of coverage. It’s for good reason though, they were a middle of the pack staff at best.

Don Gullett, Gary Nolan, Pat Darcy, Fred Norman, and Jack Billingham each threw over 100 innings. None of them were overly impressive by FIP standards, although Gullet boasted an excellent ERA and Nolan walked nobody.

Saying the entire staff was middle at best is not entirely fair. The bullpen was pretty fantastic, the rotation was not. Clay Carroll, Randy Eastwick, Will McEnaney, and Pedro Borbon were the relievers with at least 40 innings pitched. Here is their strikeout per nine ratios:

Carroll 3.81
Eastwick 6.1
McEnaney 4.75
Borbon 2.09

Borbon’s was actually the second lowest rate amongst qualifiers, just behind Ken Sanders of the Mets (1.67/9). Some overpowering relievers existed but not like they do in present times. To gain some perspective: the fifth highest ratio then was in the low-8s. Today the fifth highest ratio is nearing 12.


The Reds pen just didn’t strike anyone out. As you can see below on the graph, it illustrates that they actually struck the least percentage of total batters faced out. The good news is they refused to issue free passes either:


No other team is below 6.5%, and the Reds are at 5.1%. That’s a pretty impressive commitment to making the batter put the ball into play in order to reach base.

Combine an offense that loves walks with a pitching staff that hates them, and you get a pretty nifty team.

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Mike B.

Positive or negative ions’ less coverage?

It’s true about the relative anonymity of that staff–though I recognized every position player in the earlier post, I’m familiar with only a few of these pitchers.