Royals Nightly
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Game 99- Devil Rays 10, Royals 1 (35-64)
So when I watch Gobble trying to retire major-league hitters without even one decent pitch, I see a pitcher who’s either 1) not healthy, or 2) been told to throw high-school caliber fastballs. Either way, he’s in trouble. -Rob Neyer

After traveling along at something near OK, Jimmy Gobble's season has quickly taken a turn into Brian Anderson territory. In his last three starts, Gobble's HR:K ratio is 8:5; which wouldn't be good if it was a walks/K ratio. Gobble's line tonight against the Devils:

4.2 IP 10H 8R 8ER 0BB 0K

Think about that. He wasn't wild (he threw 52 strikes to 30 balls), he was just hittable as hell. As has been discussed before, the Royals defense isn't doing him any favors- hard hit balls almost always become doubles against this team. Gobble's already been historically toothless (second lowest K/9 rate of all time before tonight), and it appears he is getting worse.

Strikeouts, as an analytic tool, serve two purposes. First, they're valuable in themselves, the higher a pitcher's K-rate and K/BB ratio the better job the pitcher is doing stopping the batters in a way he can directly control (Ks, BBs, HRs). Secondly, and somewhat more importantly, the K rate reveals, generally, the quality of the pitcher's "stuff". Going forward, theres nearly a higher correlation between K-rate and future ERA as there is between current ERA and future ERA. Simply put, good pitchers strikeout batters much more than they walk them. Theres a couple different routes to this situation (say, Randy Johnson v. Greg Maddux), but either way, Gobble isn't headed there.

I don't know if he's injured, but (aside from a general, I don't want anyone to be hurt way) it would be half-way decent if he was, for if not, there is some other serious problem here.

Ohh... and those lovable Royal bats... No walks, one triple, one run. That pretty much sums it up.

Batting Average Watch:
Buck: .149
DeJesus: .208


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