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September 29, 2007 at 11:22 PM

Batista wins 16th

Wonders will never cease. A 16-win season for Miguel Batista gives him more victories than any of last winter’s crop of free-agent starters. No, wins aren’t everything. But if he doesn’t win 16, the M’s don’t come close to 87. Wins don’t mean nothing either. They do have value.
But the way Batista has gone about it does confound.
The 5-1 win tonight over the Texas Rangers was the first time all season he’s gone eight innings. He only went seven frames or more in six of his 32 starts.
So, how the heck did he win 16? The bullpen had something to do with it. But Jarrod Washburn had the same bullpen mopping up after him and won six fewer games. Washburn’s ERA and innings pitched were almost identical. Batista even had less run support, lowest on the staff.
No starter in baseball won even 15 games with a WHIP (walks plus hits to innings pitched ratio) as bad as Batista’s 1.52. Tim Wakefield was the only 15-game winner with an ERA higher than Batista’s 4.29.
One thing you can say about Batista: he bent without breaking.
He allowed three runs or less in 23 of his 32 starts, despite all those baserunners.
Going into tonight, he’d held opponents to a .242 batting average and .343 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position

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