Out of the Box: Strange Brew

At some point, one wonders whether a continued statistical oddity is more than a mere fluke.

I'm talking about Dave Bush, in particular. For the second consecutive season, he's performing substantially better in WHIP than ERA. Sure, his performance hasn't been close to that of his 2006, but once again, he's ranking nearly 40 spots higher in WHIP (1.34, 48th in MLB) than ERA (5.48, 87th). Compare that to his 2006, when he ranked seventh in WHIP (1.14) and 49th in ERA (4.41), and one can't help but be curious why he still isn't faring better in ERA. A one-year fluke is one thing, but back-to-back years?

A closer look at Bush's numbers, though, might reveal the cause: He's actually shakier pitching with runners on base than with no one on. In 48 games (46 starts) as a Brewer, Bush has allowed a .244 batting average and .669 OPS pitching from the windup (no one on); those numbers rise to alarming .295/.846 rates pitching from the stretch (men on).