Siberian Baseball

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No need to worry about Wood... right?

As I watched the celebrations at Wrigley at a restaurant downtown with Frankie tonight, it dawned on me that I was retroactively nervous about Kerry Wood's appearance hours after the game was over.

The playoff spot was clinched along with the division. The corks had been popped. Even the lowliest benchwarming scrub was being asked what it all meant by fawning local television reporters.

I was still cringing slightly when contact was made on Wood's pitches. It's nothing against the guy, but it just seems like he enjoys whittling down leads to within a run before closing the door. This isn't good for the mental health of most fans.

However, after being through season after season as a fan, I'm well aware of the tendancy to blow things out of proportion over the the course of 162 games. Things are rarely as good or bad as you think.

At the time, I made the mental note to pull the actual stats for Wood this season and see just where he stacked up over the course of 2008.

Final count? Wood converted on 32 of 38 save opportunities. That's six blown saves spread out over the course of the season, give or take a rest for a finger blister or two. When I see it laid out like that, it's not so bad.

Also entering into the mix are an average of 7.59 hits per nine innings and 11.39 strikeouts per nine. There's also the 16.31 pitches per inning average (compared to the gold standard of closers, Francisco Rodriguez, who is averaging 17.4 pitches per inning, that seems stellar).

While we're on the K-Rod comparison track, he's responsible for seven blown saves this year (59 of 66 opportunities). When breaking down the pitches per inning stat, there are no relievers, period, in the top 100 this season.

I guess not many closers are missing bats in 2008.

Why don't I feel much better?

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