Thursday, December 08, 2005
Buehrle's Second Half Troubles
Way back in June, I had noticed that Mark Buehrle had a very good start to the season, which was consistent with his performance over the last several years. However, it appeared to me that Buehrle was having trouble in the second half of the season.
It looks like the pattern repeated itself this year. After my post on June 18, Buehrle's performance declined, although not terribly.
As of June 18th, Buehrle was 8-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 108 innings with 16 walks and 67 strikeouts.
The rest of the season, Buehrle went 8-7 with a 3.47 ERA in 129 2/3 innings with 24 walks and 82 strikeouts.
There are a couple of potential reasons for this. One is that players simply have hot streaks during seasons; Buehrle's streaks all seem to come in the beginning of the season. The other is that Buehrle tires during the season and needs more in-season rest. Buehrle strikes me as someone who would not admit to needing more rest; but it may be worth giving him some extra days off down the stretch each season.
The splits you show are characterized by a 50% increase in home runs allowed, a 30% increase in walks (but still to a low, low number), and a marginal decrease in strikeouts. The increase in home runs could be fatigue, or it could simply be the slight increase in the ball's carrying power due to summer weather...