Nerdy stat guy 1: As a pitcher Cliff Lee is CLEARLY superior to Zack Greinke.
Nerdy stat guy 2: Yes I completely agree with the following colossal exception: Before the fourth inning, after a road loss, in a domed stadium. Then it’s great to be Greinke!
— Moneybart episode, The Simpsons
If you saw this Simpsons episode, you probably remember the scene — Lisa went to the back of Moe’s Tavern to find a little SABR convention going on. They were having this talk, where one was saying that Lee was better, and the other said it was true except, well, you see it above — before the fourth, after a road loss, in a dome.
Well, you knew that at some point I was going to look it up, right? I mean … it had to be done. Cliff Lee? Zack Greinke? A nerdy stat like that? OF COURSE I’m going to look it up. The only surprise is that it took this long.
I went back to 2008. I did not have to go back any more. It turns out that Zack Greinke pitched six games in domes after road losses (I counted retractable roof stadiums like Toronto and Seattle). And, by pure coincidence, Cliff Lee ALSO pitched six games after road losses.
I was praying for The Simpsons’ statistic to be right. I figured they had 50-50 shot at it, and I figured that maybe, just maybe, some geek on the staff looked it up just to be sure.
Zack Greinke in domes before the fourth inning after road losses: 18 innings, 12 earned runs, 6.00 ERA.
Cliff Lee in domes before the fourth inning after road losses: 18 innings 0 earned runs, 0.00 ERA.