Brad Penny’s record right now is 15-4 (should have had win #16 today, but the Bull blew it), and that got me thinking: hey, that’s pretty good. There’s no question that Penny is having a career year, and has finally developed into the ace he always had the potential to be. (Aside: passioniate love or hate for Hee-Seop Choi aside, can there really be any question that we got the better of the LoDuca deal now? Granted, DePo did screw up a little by not being 100% sure he had a replacement catcher after Charles Johnson backed out, but trading an over-30 catcher for a young ace – and a potential 30-homer bat, even though that didn’t work out – is never a bad idea.)
Career year and all, Penny’s still not going to win the NL Cy Young - Jake Peavy has been insane this year. Even Brandon Webb’s not catching him, and he did his best Hershisher 1988 impression. But in a roundabout way, that brings me back on topic.
Just how good of a season is Penny having?
I took 5 seconds to look up Sandy Koufax’s stats, in hopes of comparing, and stopped immediately, because holy crap. We’re talking “Bo Jackson in the original Tecmo Bowl” quality silly stats, in case you’ve forgotten. I’d quote the insane WHIP, the redonkulous ERA’s, but I couldn’t even do them justice – just go here and gawk for yourself.
ERA+, 1958-2007, non-Koufax division
1. Hershiser, 1985 – 172
2. Brown, 2003 – 169
3. Brown, 2000 – 167
4. Sutton, 1972 – 161
5. Penny, 2007 – 159
Well, that’s pretty impressive. Remember, ERA+ is comparing against the rest of the league in that season (100 being average), so while his 2.82 isn’t close to what those guys put up, the 2007 National League’s average ERA is a good bit higher than what it was in those seasons, which is the most effective way to compare across eras. His WHIP and K/9 comparisions are decidedly less impressive – in fact, Penny himself has had seasons where he’s done better in both of those categories, but he’s obviously done a much better job of ensuring that the runners he does put on aren’t coming around to score.
By pretty much all measures, Penny’s one of the top 3 starters in the NL this year with Peavy and Webb. What’s been especially impressive has been his consistency; he’s given up more than 3 earned runs only 4 times all season – and the Dodgers even won 2 of those games anyway. I especially enjoyed that stretch in May & June when he gave up 1 earned runs or less 11 out of 12 times. I believe he also came in 3rd in the Forth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, though that remains unconfirmed.
Wait a minute: I forgot the most important stat of all. Brad’s gone from Alyssa Milano to Eliza Dushku. Now that‘s a season for the ages.
Well done, Brad. Keep up the good work.
On a probably more important note, what a kick in the balls today. What’s with Broxton giving up homers lately?
2.5 out of the wild card. 5.5 out of the division, with Monday off to prepare for a monstrous series vs. San Diego. Anyone still want to play in October? Now’s a good time to show it.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness