It has become a truism that pitcher wins and losses are not as meaningful as they have sometimes been treated. Still, Gregory Soto is taking a lot of heat for his 2-11 record. Is the heat justified? I thought I’d check into his losses and find out.
Loss 1: April 26 Soto entered with a 1 run lead against the Twins and lost on 2 unearned runs. Still, he went walk, wild pitch, walk, strikeout, single and error on Haase. Despite the error, you can’t walk the first 2 batters in the bottom of the ninth with a 1 run lead and expect to win. Deserved loss.
Loss 2: May 5 Soto entered in the 9th of a tie against the Astros. Single, walk, single, walkoff. You can’t expect any pitcher to hold the opponent scoreless, but it is demoralizing if you cannot get a single out Deserved Loss.
Loss 3: June 5. Soto entered in the 9th of a tie game and went strike (LeMahieu), lineout (Stanton), strikeout (Judge). They left Soto out for the 10th. Infield single got the Manfred Mann to third and then there was a sac-fly. Undeserved Loss.
Loss 4: June 16. Soto entered 1-0 game in the 9th and gave up 3 runs, all earned on a triple, a hit batter and 2 walks (not in that order) Deserved Loss.
Loss 5: July 26. Soto entered in the top of the 9th of a game the Tigers trailed 3-2. In the 9th, the Padres went K, K, grounder to pitcher. The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the 9th and left Soto in. Soto hit the first batter, Baez made an error on the 2nd, loading the bases with 0 out. Strikeout, HBP scores run, strikeout and then Soto was replaced by Foley who gave up a hit scoring 2. But for the error, Tigers are out of the inning with only the Manfred Mann scoring. Undeserved Loss.
Loss 6: August 7. Soto entered 0-0 game and, after getting the first batter and the third, had a complete meltdown (single by the second batter, double, walk, run-scoring walk, run-scoring walk, replaced by Foley who allows 5 more runs to score, 3 credited to Soto) Deserved Loss
Loss 7: August 11. Soto entered a tie game in the 10th, and went groundout, pop out, run-scoring single to short right-center, lineout. Only the Manfred Mann scored. Undeserved Loss.
Loss 8: September 4: Soto entered a tie game in the 8th and went groundout, walk, double, runner out at home, double. Deserved Loss
Loss 9: September 17: Soto entered a tie game in the top of the 11th, bunt single, single (Manfred Mann scores), strikeout, double steal, sac fly, fly out. Deserved Loss (more than just the Manfred Mann scored).
Loss 10: October 4, game 1: Soto entered a 6-5 game in the bottom of the 10th and went single (Manfred Mann scores), single, Sac fly to lose it Deserved Loss
Loss 11: October 5: Soto entered a 4-4 game in the bottom of the 9th and went fly out, walk, fielder’s choice and error on Soto, wild pitch, walk, single. Since it was his error, Deserved Loss.
By my opinion, Soto deserved 8 losses, only 3 of which involved blown saves. That does seem like a lot and it does suggest that he might be best as a 7th inning guy.
Lefties who throw as hard as Soto are rare, and it is my opinion that he should have a place on next year’s team. However, he should rarely be used in ties, as that is where his trouble seems to arise. He puts too many batters on base by hit by pitch (7, leading the team despite only pitching 60.1 innings) or by walk (his 5.1 walk rate was second on the team to Wily Peralta’s 5.6).