It has been observed casually that Zito may pitch better w/o Molina behind the dish. I decided to take a look at this and see if there was any merit.
I looked at the last 2.5 years of Zito's career (time/ Giants) and I compared component stats for Molina and Not Molina. I'm not really sure how to post a table unfortuntely... See if this works...
|Total Not Bengie||573||89||59||11||10.3%||15.5%||1.51||0.02||.74||4.18|
First: Some explaining. Because this data from BBR is by PA, or batters faced - not IP, I had to make an adjustment to get FIP and HR/9. To do so, I divded PA by 4.3 - which is approximately the league average # of batters faced per inning for qualified starters this year. While this probably shouldn't be used to compare these #'s to other IP based #'s, it's perfectly acceptable for comparing to each other - and I think fairly representative of the #'s in general.
What you see is that while the difference in BB% and K% between Bengie and Not Bengie is small, the difference in HR/9 is profound. This leads to a significant deviation in FIP.
Now, there certainly may be other factors at play - and it's entirely possible that this is all just an illusion - but its also possible that Bengie's pitch calling or some other element of his game is causing Zito to give up more home runs.
This has been observed by the casual fan and is somewhat supported by the statistical evidence. I think there is also a plausible cause for this in that Bengie does have control over pitch type and location.
EDIT: New Table. Zito, Cain, LIncecum, Sanchez.
|Total Not Bengie||573||133||89||59||11||10.3%||15.5%||1.51||0.74||4.18|
|Total Not Bengie||256||60||67||31||3||12.1%||26.2%||2.16||0.45||3.12|
|Total Not Bengie||1350||314||269||145||25||10.7%||19.9%||1.86||0.72||3.83|
|Total Not Bengie||341||79||66||47||4||13.8%||19.4%||1.40||0.45||3.92|
|Total Not Bengie||2520||586||491||282||43||11.2%||19.5%||1.74||0.66||3.85|