Dodgers win 23 of Penny's 33 starts

The fact the Dodgers are looking for two new starters is no surprise, Brad Penny recorded 23 winning starts during the 2007 season and Derek Lowe had 17, Chad Billingsley 12 and Randy Wolf 11 but Wolf is gone and the remainder of the starters could manage 19 wins in their 59 starts combined. Pebbt's 23 wins puts him on the Los Angeles All-Time list.

We're talking about team won-lost record per start, not the actual record the pitcher put in the official guide. The theory is, if he pitches well enough to keep the opponents close and the team wins, even if he does not get the victory, he is credited with a "win."

Starters again enjoyed 6+ runs per win, 6.18 exactly, extremely close to the 6.45 runs per win enjoyed last season. However, the 2006 starters had an average of 3.30 runs in each loss, while the '07 staff fell of over a half run per game, posting 2.70 runs in team losses -- a whopping 3.4 runs per game.

Run support is certainly not an exact science. It records the number of runs each pitcher receives per start but the runs each starter gets are the teams final total, not runs scored while the starter was in the game.

And the team runs are equally deceptive. Pitcher a gets a loss in a 1-0 loss, or a 6-5 loss when he led 5-0 into the eighth and the bullpen destructed and lost the game or while pitcher be gets a win when their teammates rally for a 10-9 win. So like normal won-lost records, they do not indicate a true worth of a starter.

But the actual run support each pitcher receives goes a long way toward recording a winning season or suffering a number of disappointing losses. And with the Dodgers involved in 58 one-run games in 2007, an extra run every other game makes a .50 difference pretty big.

Jason Schmidt didn't have a stellar season, but he would have had to pitch like a Hall of Famer since he received only 2.50 runs per start.

Overall, the 2006 team scored 5.06 runs per game (820 on the season), second highest in Los Angeles history, and .83 runs more per game than the 2005 team. The 2007 team scored 4.54 runs per game (735 total runs), over that half-run we were taking about, That would easily drop an 88-74 record (2006) to 82-80 (2007).

On the following charts, it is easy to see the more runs a pitcher received, the more chance the team has to record a win. They might fluctuate from season to season but, for the most part, a pitcher who gets an abundance of runs, obviously finishes the season with an abundance of team wins. And generally a good pitcher seems to get the best out of his hitters over the length of the season.

The won-lost record pertains to each pitcher's starts.
 2007 Run support chart

               	  w-l     RS    st   runs  
Wells	          4-3    5.71    7    40
Penny	        23-10    5.15   33   170
Billingsley	 12-8    4.85   20    97
Loaiza	          1-4    4.60    5    23
Lowe	        17-12    4.59   32   147
Kuo	          1-5    3.50    6    21
Tomko	          5-10   3.47   15    52
Stults	          1-4    3.40    5    17
Hendrickson	  6-9    4.33   15    65
Schmidt	          1-6    2.50    6    15
  Totals	 82-80   4.54  162   735
Oddly enough, the beneficiary of the most runs provided was David Wells (5.71 runs) and Esteban Loaiza was fourth (4.60) Perez (6.00) per game. But the team was only 4-3 in Well's seven starts and 1-4 over Loaiza's five starting assignments.

Brad Penny, received 5.15 runs overall but a staggering 7.50 in the 20 wins recorded when he started. But then he was shorted in his 13 losses while the team scored but 2.90 runs each game.

Derek Lowe also had 17 team wins in his 32 starts and was given 6.82 per game. He, too, came up short with only 2.07 runs scored in each of his 14 losses. Loaiza won only one game and the Dodgers scored 11 runs during it.

The team won 12 games in Chad Billingsley's 20 starts scoring only a below average 6.18 runs. Hendrickson won six of 15 with 6.83 runs per game.

The vast disparity between winning run support (6.18) and losing run support (2.70) is the largest since we began tracking this statistic more than 20 years ago.

The charts below demonstrate the difference in runs scored in wins and losses and the corresponding results by each pitcher during his starts.
Run support - wins

     	          RS   wins   runs  
Loaiza	        11.00    1    11
Hendrickson	 6.83    6    41   
Lowe	         6.82   17   116
Wells	         6.50    4    26
Billingsley	 6.33   12    76
Penny	         6.13   23   141
Wolf	         6.09   11    67
Stults	         6.00    1     6
Schmidt	         5.00    1     5
Tomko	         4.60    5    23
  Totals	 6.18   82   516

  Losses    	 RS    loss  runs
Wells	        4.67    3    14
Loaiza	        4.00    1     4
Kuo	        3.40    5    17
Wolf  	        3.00    7    21
Penny	        2.90   10    29
Tomko	        2.90   10    29
Stults	        2.75    4    11
Henderson	2.67    9    24
Billingsley	2.50    8    21
Lowe	        2.07   17    31
Schmidt	        2.00    5    10
  Totals	2.70   80   219
> Koufax King
As might be expected,Koufax holds the all-time record with an unbelievable 34-6 record over his 1966 starts. Drysdale posted a 31-10 mark in 1962 and Koufax's 31-10 in 1965 is third overall. Penny entered the charts with his 23 win season.

Tom Lovitt of the 1890 Brooklyn Dodgers was 32-12, the only Brooklyn player to crack the 30-win mark. Kirby Higbe (29-9, 1941) and Jeff Pfeffer (29-12, 1916) won 29 times in their starts.

Los Angeles starts

34-6 Sandy Koufax, 1963
31-10 Don Drysdale, 1962
31-10 Sandy Koufax, 1965
28-13 Sandy Koufax, 1966
25-9 Orel Hershiser, 1985
25-9 Hideo Nomo, 2002
25-17 Don Drysdale, 1965
24-9 Orel Hershiser, 1988
23-15 Claude Osteen, 1966
23-10 Brad Penny, 2007

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