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June 11, 2005

Unit Measure

Some may believe that, today, Randy Johnson pitched his best game as a member of the New York Yankees, to date. But, just how good was he today?

Perhaps a good way to look at it is via some recent Game Score history for the Big Unit.

Game Score is a measure of pitching performance for starting pitchers. Developed by Bill James. The formula consists of eight parts:

1. Start with 50.
2. Add 1 point for each out recorded.
3. Add 2 points for each inning the pitcher completes after the fourth inning.
4. Add 1 point for each strikeout.
5. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.
6. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed.
7. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed.
8. Subtract 1 point for each walk.

Consider this pitching line:
8.1 5 2 1 2 7

The game score for the performance shown would be 72 (50+25+8+7-10-4-2-2).

Today, Randy's Game Score was 76.

And, actually, Johnson's already done better than that this season. On April 24th, Randy registered a Game Score of 78 for New York.

OK, I'll agree that 76 and 78 are pretty darn close. So, what about last year? How many times was Randy Johnson above 76 in a game?

In 2004, Randy Johnson had a Game Score of 76+ ten times. And, on five other times, he was above 72. So, last season, Unit was over 72 in 43% of his starts.

Now, here's an interesting thing: In 2004, eleven of those fifteen 72+ games came after June 28th. Perhaps it is true that Unit needs the warm weather to start heating up?

I'm starting to feel better about him this season.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at June 11, 2005 10:38 PM


I wonder if Johnson would prefer pitching to Flaherty? It worked nice this time around and if I was Torre I would try it agin in five days to try and find some sort of pattern.

Is Posada helping the offense that much anyhow?

Posted by: hoho at June 13, 2005 03:37 PM

I have been screaming for months to give Flaherty closer 2/5 of the playing time.....Posada is not a big threat behind the plate, in the batters box and especially on the basepaths.

Flaherty should catch Johnson and Pavano.

Posted by: Phil at June 14, 2005 10:03 AM