clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AYW Special: Our Pitching E.R.A with Varitek Behind the Plate Vs VMart`s

There is a trend I have been noticing recently watching our starting pitching. It would appear that they pitch better (with a few exceptions... I`m looking at you JB) when Jason Varitek is behind the place versus when Victor Matinez is calling the pitches. 

I hope you will follow below the fold and take a look at the results when we run the numbers, understand why we should not resign Martinez if we want to catch back up to the Devil Rays (man I just can`t stop calling em that, old habits and wishful thinking I guess) and why Jason Varitek is now and will always be the Captain of the Red Sox.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Just how good is Jason Varitek at calling a baseball game? While his offensive numbers were absolutely unbearable last year (and a good part of the year before) which seemed to point that the direction best moving forward for the Sox would be to find a younger, more offensively productive catcher. Sure sounds good on paper. But a catcher (much like a pitcher) is very special in the game of baseball, and I think that is overlooked more than it probably should be.

But first understand that Varitek has always had a methodical way of dismantling a batting order, studying each hitters individual weakness` and guiding our strong arms through it. How many no-hitters has the Captain of the Boston Red Sox called? 4 of them, more than anyone in the history of baseball. And with the bit of rest that having a Vmart on the roster allows, his offensive numbers are bearable..and exciting again.

So back to the premise of my diary, just how good is our staff when El Capitan is behind the mound?

First lets take a look Jon Lester`s starts with Vmart behind the plate:

APR 06 NYY 0 0 7.20 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 5 4 4 0 3 4 94-53 8-3
APR 12 @MIN 0 1 7.20 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 9 4 4 0 3 5 107-59 7-2
APR 18 TB 0 1 8.44 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 7 7 7 2 3 5 104-63 9-4
APR 23 BAL 0 0 6.23 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.2 4 0 0 0 4 7 113-69 7-2


That is an average ERA of 7.26, so how did Lester pitch with the Captain behind the plate?

APR 28 @TOR 1 0 4.71 1 1 0 0 0 0 7.0 1 0 0 0 2 11 119-75 6-2


That is a verifiable difference, and with Vmart not compensating with the bat (and hell even if he was hitting like Nomar back in `99 I would still put him at DH and start Varitek behind the plate) he has become damn near worthless and a liability. I mean at this point Ricky Henderson could steal a base on him (and I dont mean young Ricky, I mean like right now we could pinch hit Ricky Henderson and I think he would have a damn good shot at stealing a base on Vmart).

So where do the Red Sox go from here? How long are they going to have that embarrassment behind the plate calling the games, allowing base runners-gone-wild and going 0-fer at the plate more often than not?

Well they can start by not even considering resigning VMart and maybe have a contract similar to Wakefield`s (if Tek would agree) for Jason while he continues calling games behind the plate and mentoring a real replacement.

And as a little side note here are a couple facts from

--- In 2009, Jason led ALL A.L. catchers in Catcher ERA with a 3.87 mark.

--- Although Victor Martinez assumed the role of the starting catcher during the late 2009 season, the pitching staff ERA of 3.87 when Jason was behind the plate was much better than that of his successor (5.22 with Martinez).