Your 2016 Giants: Peavy Rough Start and Turnaround

It was just reported that Jake Peavy had something heavy on his mind throughout spring training and the season:  a crooked financial advisor stole around $15M from his investments.
ogc thoughts

I wondered if it might have distracted him much, so I looked at his game by game stats, and it broke down evenly into 7 games each, suggesting that he was bothered in some way:
  • First 7 starts:  Giants 2-5, 8.47 ERA in 34.0 IP, 52 hits, 13 BB, 31 K, 1.067 OPS, .405 BABIP
  • Next 7 starts:  Giants 5-2, 2.82 ERA in 38.1 IP, 30 hits, 9 BB, 28 K, .556 OPS, .264 BABIP
He actually struck out more per IP in his first seven starts where he did very poorly, than he did when he was very good.  Perhaps the theft gave him anger and he was overthrowing, much like him in the playoffs.  Overall, his ERA is 5.47, and given that, 7-7 Giants record is pretty good then.

His average GameScore would suggest that he didn't do that well, as he averaged 46.7.  And that matches up with his 5.47 ERA.  Using the GameScore W/L methodology, Peavy was 6-6-2 ties, and that matches up with how the team did.

However, looking at PQS, overall he has a 50% DOM vs. 21% DIS, which is good (DIS could be lower, but that's tolerable, especially for a back of rotation starter).  And in his last 7 starts, he had 6 DOM and 1 DIS, which is excellent.  What this suggests is that he has pitched better than his results so far.

And empirically that seems right to me.  He was having a bad Timmy start to the season.  He would be doing well then suddenly it's batting practice and a crooked number is on the scoreboard.  And that could come from not having the best focus, say, if you just lost a ton of money to someone you had trusted, and wondering what you are going to do now, and so you throw mostly well, but then lose that key pitch at a key time.

So his numbers would look good in some ways, horrible in others, particularly BABIP and OPS.  A 31 K/13 BB ratio is actually OK.  And his K/9 was around 8, which is pretty good.  But 7 HR in 7 games will hurt when you only pitch on average less than 5 innings per game, as he did in that first seven starts.  He only gave up 1 HR in the next 7 starts, and while his K went down, his BB went down even more, for an even better 28 K/9 BB ratio.

That has been his pattern the past number of years:  start off the year badly, like it's the end of his career time, then suddenly the light goes on and he's dominating and winning a lot of games for us.  If he can continue that 2.85 ERA for the rest of the season, combined with what Bumgarner, Cueto, and Samardzija has been doing, we should be in very good shape.  And when Cain returns, if he can find his form like he did before injuring himself, we should be in great shape.