During tonight’s Yankees-Blue Jays game, the YES Network flashes the Red Sox-Orioles score. Michael Kay mentions Daisuke Matsuzaka’s 14-2 record this year, but calls it “shaky.”
I agree. This is good.
Kay then explains it is shaky because Matsuzaka “walks six batters a game.”
Having looked at precisely zero statistics and without the advantage of preparation, I am 100% positive this is wrong.
Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched 121 2/3 innings this year, in which he has allowed 72 walks. Basic number-crunching reveals that he allows 0.59 walks per inning, and 5.31 per 9 innings. Mind you, 5.31 BB/9 does not mean Matsuzaka walks 5.32 per game, which would be somewhat close to what Michael Kay is saying. It just means that if he were to regularly pitch a complete game, he would allow 5.31 walks.
Kay is arguing that Matsuzaka allows six walks per start. Matsuzaka has started 21 games this season, which means on average he pitches 5.79 innings per start. This means that he allows 3.41 walks per start, which means that Michael Kay is wrong.
I am going to dance on Kay’s grave a little bit more. Let’s ignore the fact that every reputable baseball website shows that Matsuzaka’s BB/9 is less than six, rendering Kay’s statement mathematically impossible. Let’s focus more on the fact that spending 30 seconds looking at Matsuzaka’s game log shows that he has walked six batters or more in three starts this season. Therefore, Kay’s statement has been true 14.28% of the time this season.