Mains: Comebacks need a comeback

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on May 14, 2019:

I’ve written recently about how, with starting pitchers responsible for fewer innings than ever, relief pitchers are catching up to, and in some cases surpassing, starters when it comes to counting stats like innings and strikeouts. However, I’ve also noted that in terms of rate stats, like strikeout and walk rates, the gap has been narrowing. In the case of ERA, it’s completely disappeared. Through Sunday’s games, the MLB-wide ERA is 4.29 for starters and 4.31 for relievers.


If relievers are doing worse relative to starters, we should be seeing more late-inning comebacks, right? Kenley Jansen has blown two saves already this year; he blew just four all of last season and just one in all of 2017. Going in to play Monday, the Tigers had 10 comeback wins, comprising 56 percent of the team’s total; last year they had 29 comeback wins, comprising 45 percent of their total victories.

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Originally published: May 16, 2019. Last Updated: May 16, 2019.