Cubs Score Big—For Lopez

Victory aside, it must have been a frustrating night for Randy Wells and Matt Garza.

Both tough-luck starters watched from the bench as the Cubs’ offense torched the Reds for 12 runs on 16 hits.

The 12 runs scored Monday night ties the Cubs’ season-high set against the Brewers on June 16 and provided more than enough offense for Rodrigo Lopez (5-6) to pick up the win despite allowing five earned runs and four longballs through 5.1 innings–Not exactly your quality start.

That’s clearly unfair from a pitcher’s standpoint considering Wells and Garza both tossed seven strong innings on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, but ended up with a combined five runs of support and two no-decisions.

However, it’s just another reminder that a starter’s win/loss record isn’t the best indicator of how well a guy is actually pitching.

To do that…I first look at ERA, then innings pitched followed by quality starts. Consider those numbers and it’s apparent Ryan Dempster (10-11) and Matt Garza (8-10) have been far better than their win totals indicate, likely to the tune of four or five more deserved wins for each pitcher, maybe more. 

Randy Wells’ (7-4) record better reflects his actual performance, but is construed by the fact he missed nearly two months on the DL, which eliminates the losses he likely would have earned pitching under the the same lack of run support Dempster and Garza have experienced all season.

Lopez, meanwhile, has failed to last more than six innings over his last 10 starts. His ERA is a inflated 5.04 and he’s been extremely hittable allowing 108 knocks over 85.2 innings pitched. Still, he only trails Wells in the win column by two and Garza by three.

Very misleading, indeed.

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