Jon Garland Blames CBP for Loss

Via Matt Gelb:

[Padres starting pitcher Jon] Garland: “This ballpark is a joke, in my eyes. But it’s something you have to deal with. There are good ballparks, and bad ballparks. Hitters love it here, and pitchers hate it. As long as this ballpark stands, it’s going to be like that.”

Garland gave up six runs on ten hits in seven innings of work. Walter Johnson he is not. To be fair, Garland didn’t pitch poorly and Jayson Werth‘s home run did look like an easy fly out. However, Werth’s homer was not aided by the dimensions of the ballpark but by the early June heat.

It seems every year, a few visiting players complain about the “bandbox” that is, supposedly, Citizens Bank Park. The reputation is unwarranted, however. Using ESPN’s park factors:

  • 2010: 1.20 (over 1.00 favors hitters), 8th in MLB, 5th in NL
  • 2009: 1.01, 16th in MLB, 10th in NL
  • 2008: 1.02, 11th in MLB, 7th in NL
  • 2007: 1.42, 1st in MLB

As you can see, in the last two and one-third seasons, Citizens Bank Park has been a hair above-average in terms of homer-friendliness. If Garland’s complaints were made in 2007, he may have a point. CBP has been playing rather fair.

Coming into tonight, Garland had a 2.15 ERA for the San Diego Padres, whose home games are played in Petco Park. Using the same park factors from ESPN:

  • 2010: 0.82, 23rd in MLB, 12th in NL
  • 2009: 0.72, 29th in MLB, 16th in NL
  • 2008: 0.74, 30th in MLB
  • 2007: 0.69, 29th in MLB, 15th in NL

Additionally, Garland’s BABIP was a paltry .258 and he had stranded 80% of base runners, about 10% higher than the average. Garland’s 4.50 SIERA is more than double his 2.15 ERA.

Looks like Jon Garland wants to have his cake and eat it too. If Citizens Bank Park is a “joke”, then so too is Petco Park.

Any time a pitcher wants to complain about CBP, they should ask “What would Armando Galarraga do?” As you know, Galarraga was on the verge of a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe — when replays showed he was clearly out by a full step — on an infield single. Instead of throwing a fit and yelling at the umpire, Galarraga simply smiled and retired the 28th batter for his complete game shut-out. He did not bad-mouth Joyce in the media; in fact, he shook Joyce’s hand when exchanging the lineup card the next afternoon.

As Joe Posnanski wrote:

Galarraga pitched a perfect game on Wednesday night in Detroit. I’ll always believe that. I think most baseball fans will always believe that. But, more than anything, it seems that Galarraga will always believe it. The way he handled himself after the game, well, that was something better than perfection. Dallas Braden’s perfect game was thrilling. Roy Halladay’s perfect game was art. But Armando’s Galarraga’s perfect game was a lesson in grace.

If Galarraga had given up that home run to Jayson Werth, would he have whined about it after the game to the media around his locker?

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6 comments

  1. Jason R.

    June 06, 2010 04:34 AM

    Living in SD I can tell you that I didn’t really understand how bad PETCO is till this year. It makes for the least exciting baseball for a fanbase that doesn’t care. You’d think that he’d be used to playing in an actual bandbox in AZ. Maybe that’s why he sucked and was a “huge steal for the Pads” this season. I’m convinced the Padres could bring in Adam Eaton and make him a star, anyone whose problem is the longball should do all they can to get signed here. Garland is as bad as he’s always been (well except those two good years), his park saves him. Note: I have no sabre to back this up, its just been obvious.

  2. Jeff

    June 06, 2010 11:14 AM

    Jon Garland is a little B###H. Don’t complain because you lost; your team was playing in the same stadium.

  3. Richard

    June 06, 2010 09:15 PM

    yes, those were amazingly whiny remarks from Garland…. would that some reporter had asked him, “so, how is it Grandpa Moyer gave up no homers in a CG win?”

  4. Bill

    June 07, 2010 09:19 AM

    Irony is, of course, that Petco is probably the most unfair park in the league in terms of run-scoring, while CBP is close to league-average.

  5. Richard

    June 08, 2010 09:27 AM

    Perhaps Garland would like to take back Gonzalez’ two homers last night? No? Interesting.

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