Inherited Runners Scored - a film about Tom Gordon's 1989 Rookie Year

Well, it's not really about Tom Gordon, but it does feature a lengthy analysis of Gordon's '89 campaign. I thought you guys would get a kick out of this film. It's about a baseball statistician who invents a stat called Inherited Earned Run Average, or IERA (there's some goofy statistical analysis on that after the jump).

It's an extremely low-budget film that I wrote, directed, edited and acted in. In addition to the discussion of Tom Gordon, it's got a lot of Royals memorabilia in it: keep an eye out for a 1980 Darrell Porter glass, an '85 Royals "The Crowning Episode" LP, and an '81 Topps Amos Otis. There's also a lot of drinking.

(a bit of a disclaimer: I am actually a Cardinals fan who also follows the Royals and I know you guys are none too fond of the Cardinals around here. I was born into Cardinals fanhood, but grew up in Kansas City and always loved the Royals. Except in October '85. Oh, if only the Cards hadn't let Dane Iorg slip away...)

Here's the film (click on the 720p setting for best quality):

So, I thought it would be fun to apply this made-up stat to the Royal's 2011 bullpen. Now, it's basically trying to incorporate inherited runs allowed by a reliever into their ERA. This would probably have been a great stat in the 80's, before sabermetrics. Like my character in the film, it's wallowing a bit in its own obsolescence. But, what the hell...

In the film, the formula for this fictional stat is 9 * (ER + Inherited Runners Scored) / IP

However, when I thought about this more, I realized that it doesn't take into account the percentage of inherited runners scored. So, I decided to multiply the inherited runs scored by the percentage of runners scored. So, then the formula is:

9 * (ER + (Inherited Runners Scored * Inherited Scored %)) / IP

Now, admittedly, this is kind of a ham-fisted stat that mashes ERA and IS% into one completely non-predictive metric. And I'm sure there are massive holes in my logic/math here.

And there are obviously much better stats to give us an idea about whether the Royals relievers will be good going forward, but I have to admit that I still glance at ERA for a general idea about a pitcher before I look at the walk rate, K rate, WHIP etc , perhaps more out of habit than anything else.

Here's the Royals' numbers:

Pitcher ERA ER Inherited Baserunners Inherited Runners Scored Inherited Scored % IP IERA
Collins 3.63 27 42 10 24% 67 3.95
Soria 4.03 27 10 5 50% 60.1 4.40
Crow 2.76 19 29 8 24% 62 3.04
Wood 3.75 29 28 9 32% 69.2 4.12
Coleman 2.87 19 39 5 13% 59.2 2.96
Holland 1.80 12 33 2 6% 60 1.82
Adcock (as reliever) 4.18 22 16 3 19% 47.1 4.29
Teaford (as reliever) 3.21 10 17 5 29% 28 3.68
1989 Tom Gordon (as a reliever) 3.14 23 33 16 48% 66 4.18

Nobody fairs nearly as poorly as '89 Tom Gordon, whose numbers jumped an entire earned run. In fact, nobody for the Royals was that bad with inherited runners (and Holland/Coleman were both excellent).

Anyway, the Royals bullpen looks like a strength again for next year, with Soria, Holland, Coleman, Collins, Crow (unless he's starting), and Broxton (if he's got anything left).

Hope you enjoyed the film...

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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