Cameron: C.C. Sabathia and pitching to the score

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on April 19, 2013:

Since Clubhouse Confidential is an off-season only show, the MLB Network has created a new show called MLB Now, where Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds frequently disagree on differing topics. On yesterday’s show, the two briefly discussed the value of pitcher wins, as you can see in this clip below.

In that segment, Harold Reynolds cites CC Sabathia as an example of a pitcher who pitches to the score, noting that he performs differently when the game is on the line than when he’s just trying to get outs and has some runs to give up. While one will never be able to definitively prove or disprove the intent of a pitcher, given that we are left to only measure what they do rather than what they are thinking, Reynolds’ claim is testable. If Sabathia pitched dramatically better in close games than with a big lead, it would show up in the data.

It does not.

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Originally published: April 19, 2013. Last Updated: April 19, 2013.