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Jon Garland Blames CBP for Loss

Posted By Bill Baer On June 5, 2010 @ 11:35 pm In Media,MLB,Philadelphia Phillies,Sabermetrics | 6 Comments

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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