Every now and then I like to listen to Yankees games on the Radio. Not because I particularly like the broadcasting talents of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, but because sometimes the situation necessitates it. Like, for instance, when I'm walking home from work; or, when I've almost reached the point of stabbing myself in the ears with a pencil from listening to Michael Kay for too many consecutive game days. I suppose I could just turn the volume down, but I enjoy the company of Cone, O'Neill and whoever else is sharing the YES booth on a given night.
I'm sure this isn't news to anyone who's tuned into WCBS for a game, but after years of listening to John and Suz', I've noticed certain tendencies they have for saying some things "off the cuff," that aren't particularly grounded in reality. Well, that and jumping the gun on homerun calls (see: "That Ball is high...It is far...It is.......caught"). I don't put too much stock into this and take it with a grain of salt for the most part.
Having said that, my ears perked up the other night when Suzyn dropped a little tidbit about Mariano Rivera typically performing badly in August. At first, I shrugged it off, thinking this was another one of the duo's statements that they want the listener to believe, but are in fact not true. Then I thought about the fact that he has blown 3 saves this month, so I decided to have a look into this further. Could it be that August is just a bad month for Mo overall and Suzyn go this one right?
To begin with, I am looking at how Mo has performed over the past ten seasons, from 2003 to present day, excluding 2012 because of that little mishap in Kansas City, which ended Rivera's 2012 campaign. In addition, I am only looking at his ERA, innings pitched, earned run totals, and WHIP. John and Suzyn keep it pretty basic, and I will too for the purposes of this.
Rivera's ERA in August over the last decade sits at 2.88 on average, which is the second highest only to March/April (3.39). His lowest average ERA between the months of March and October comes in June with a 1.23 ERA. Maybe Suzyn is onto something here. Hmmmm....
Next, let's take a look at the workload by month. In August, Mo is averaging about 13.5 innings pitched. The only month which shows a higher number of innings pitched would be in June (13.6). July is up there too in IP with an average of 13.3. Mariano's IP is much lower in March/April (10.3), May (12.4) and even still in September/October (9.79). It does look like Mo is getting the majority of his work in during the summer months which makes enough sense. I wanted to look at IP to see if there was some correlation between innings pitched and its' effect on Rivera's ERA. It's interesting to note that although Mariano averages the same number of appearances in June and August (13) and has pitched pretty much the same number of innings, (13.6 in June vs. 13.5 in August) but his average ERA is much lower in June (1.23) as opposed to August (2.88).
Moving right along, let's look at how many runs Mo has allowed on average, per month over the last 10 years. Well, well, well. It appears that Susyn is right again! In August, Rivera has allowed 3.5 runs on average. This is the highest out of any month, by like, a lot. For comparison, he's averaged 2.6 in March/April, 2.4 In May, 1.7 in June, 2.8 in July, and 2.7 in September/October.
Lastly, I'd like to consider Mo's WHIP while discussing his performance in August as compared to other months. Mo's average 1.14 WHIP in August, is the second highest only to his March/April WHIP of 1.33! His lowest walks/hits per innings pitched (on average) come during the month of June at 0.90.
Well, damn. It looks like good ol' Suz' and John got this one right. Judging by these metrics, it does, in-fact, look like August is a down month for Mariano overall. Mo still has half of August to turn it around and hopefully, when he's brought in to close out the ninth, he can get the save, as he has countless times before. If not, September is right around the corner; a month more favorable to Mo.