Category Archives: Statistics

B-R: Hit By Pitch vs Home Runs

This is cool. Andy at Baseball-Reference Blog says that there is a relationship between the number of home runs and hit by pitches in a given season. However, hit by pitches are higher in years when there either many home runs (retaliation) and few home runs (no clue).

I’m not sure if retaliation is the answer here — something just sounds off about that to me. I was under the impression baseball had done a good job cracking down on those sorts of HBP recently. Either way, it does seem that pitchers really will bean hitters more often in high and low-offense environments.

I’ve seen other studies where pitchers are more likely to hit batters when the weather is warmer, too …

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Postseason Win Probablility

Baseball-Reference’s Sean Forman introduces and explains the statistic Win Probability Added for the New York Times:

For postseason play, this statistic has the advantage of naturally taking into account clutch and unclutch performance because the context of the play is ingrained in the statistic. We can even create charts detailing how the win probability changes over the course of the game.

Interesting factoid I learned from reading this: By Win Probability Added (or, in this case, subtracted), Mets shortstop Rey Ordonez had the worst postseason of all time in 1999. Ordonez hit .132 with no walks and one extra base hit in ten games. Most of the damage was done in the Robin Ventura “grand slam single” game, when Ordonez went 0-6 and hit into a bases loaded double play in the sixth. I remember Rey Rey being an awful hitter, but sometimes it’s fun to look at his numbers and really remember how awful he was.

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About James Shields

James Shields is 13-15 with a 5.18 ERA this season. He is also the Rays #2 starter in the ALDS. This seems weird to a lot of people (and possibly to Shields himself).

That being said, as Ed Price points out, what I think Joe Maddon was trying to get at here, Shields is also 7th in the AL in the ERA-like statistic xFIP despite his ugly actual ERA. This implies that Shields has been somewhat unlucky in terms of fly balls turning into home runs, and balls in play turning into hits, among other things. He’s shown the ability to control the strike zone, but things outside of his control just maybe haven’t broken right. The Rays think he’s been pitching better than the results have shown.

I’m curious how this is going to work out. Shields has always had good peripherals, but his ERA has been higher than his FIP and xFIP for his entire career. Things like fly ball to home run rate and BABIP are subjected to a lot of randomness, but that randomness is sometimes overstated. They’re not TOTALLY random. It’s not a complete fluke that his ERA has been higher than his other numbers would suggest.

At the very least, I find it interesting that a major league team is not only willing to look past the surface numbers, but openly admits to doing so. So if you’re into that whole revenge of the nerds thing, I suppose you might want to root for the Rays and Big Game James tonight.

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Gunning for .300

You might have seen a study bouncing around the internet that says batters hit .463 when gunning for .300 on the last day of the season. It sounded like something funny was going on to me. This post from Sabermetric Research repeats the study, and does a nice job explaining why things might be more complicated than they appear.

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David Wright’s Defense

With one out and one on in the fourth inning of Friday night’s Mets-Braves game, Atlanta’s Matt Diaz rolled over a possible double play ball towards third. David Wright fielded the ball cleanly but threw low to second — the runner Derrek Lee was safe on Wright’s error, the batter Diaz was safe at first, the inning continued, and the Braves went on to erupt for six unearned runs. It was Wright’s nineteenth error of the season and his eleventh on a throw, both of which are leading figures for National League third basemen. The game had officially been changed.

So this got me wondering: Is David Wright a good defensive year as a third baseman, all things considered? Or a bad one? And how good or bad? If you’re anything like me, you hold your breath every time Wright fields a ball and double pumps . . . but he’s also won two Gold Gloves. There’s some evidence to be found for both sides. Click Here To Continue Reading

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Mets Pitchers by RBI Total

In honor of Mike Pelfrey’s go-ahead RBI single last night, this season’s RBI by a Mets pitcher leaders:

Pos PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
P R.A. Dickey 55 46 7 11 1 0 0 5 2 8 .239 .271 .261 .532
P Jonathon Niese* 62 50 3 9 2 0 0 3 8 26 .180 .293 .220 .513
P Mike Pelfrey 63 56 2 7 0 0 0 3 2 13 .125 .155 .125 .280
P Dillon Gee 5 5 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 2 .400 .400 .600 1.000
P Oliver Perez* 11 9 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 4 .111 .200 .111 .311
P Raul Valdes* 12 9 1 4 1 0 0 1 0 2 .444 .444 .556 1.000
P Johan Santana* 67 62 2 11 3 0 1 1 0 22 .177 .177 .274 .452
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/17/2010.

And the Mets all-time RBI by a pitcher leaders:

Yrs PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Dwight Gooden 11 837 730 59 144 15 5 7 65 13 131 .197 .213 .260 .473
Tom Seaver HOF 12 1139 975 70 146 17 5 6 60 80 355 .150 .217 .196 .412
Jerry Koosman 12 926 807 33 98 12 1 2 39 31 386 .121 .156 .146 .302
Sid Fernandez 10 577 495 27 94 14 2 1 31 12 183 .190 .211 .232 .443
Jon Matlack 7 541 441 32 57 3 0 0 23 57 217 .129 .230 .136 .366
Rick Reed 5 312 255 22 44 8 0 2 21 9 79 .173 .201 .227 .429
Tom Glavine 5 355 280 20 53 5 0 0 20 29 59 .189 .265 .207 .472
David Cone 7 455 399 26 62 8 0 0 20 16 87 .155 .193 .175 .369
Ron Darling 9 600 519 39 75 20 2 2 19 15 173 .145 .170 .202 .372
Steve Trachsel 6 334 284 19 44 5 1 1 17 8 85 .155 .180 .190 .370
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/17/2010.

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Mets Minor League Innings Pitched Leaders

Because the Mets suddenly have only three starting pitchers:

Age Lev ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
Michael Antonini* 24 AA,AAA 4.49 29 29 168.1 177 87 84 23 31 131 1.2 1.7 7.0
Dillon Gee 24 AAA 4.96 28 28 161.1 174 96 89 23 41 165 1.3 2.3 9.2
Mark Cohoon* 22 A,AA 2.57 26 26 161.1 142 56 46 7 32 131 0.4 1.8 7.3
Pat Misch* 28 AAA 3.23 23 23 150.2 150 61 54 11 24 99 0.7 1.4 5.9
Brandon Moore 24 A,A+,AA 3.56 27 25 149.0 139 72 59 13 41 165 0.8 2.5 10.0
Armando Rodriguez 22 A 3.08 27 27 146.0 116 61 50 5 46 152 0.3 2.8 9.4
Josh Stinson 22 AA,AAA 3.90 36 18 138.1 130 67 60 12 58 89 0.8 3.8 5.8
Robert Carson* 21 A+,AA 5.67 27 26 135.0 166 88 85 12 56 99 0.8 3.7 6.6
Collin McHugh 23 A 3.33 28 20 132.1 139 65 49 7 38 129 0.5 2.6 8.8
James Fuller* 23 A,A+ 2.19 24 24 131.1 118 46 32 3 38 124 0.2 2.6 8.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/15/2010.

Mark Cohoon, who just turned 23, was just named the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year and is the most interesting guy here . . . or at least he is to me. I suppose I shouldn’t presume to know what you find interesting. Maybe you like 28-year-olds who throw like Tom Glavine but gets results like Pat Misch. Anyway, Cohoon — no clue how to pronounce that — posted a 1.30 ERA in 13 A ball starts and a 4.18 ERA in 13 AA starts, though it looks like he was a bit unlucky in terms of balls falling in for hits during his time with Binghamton. He doesn’t throw hard, but he’s left-handed, doesn’t walk anyone, and keeps the ball down.

Here’s what Toby Hyde of Mets Minor League Blog had to say about Cohoon back in June:

How has Cohoon, whose fastball sits in the mid 80s (85-87) been so dominant? He’s thrown his curve ball to both sides of the plate and thrown it for strikes.  He can also throw his changeup for strikes, and keep SAL hitters way off-balance.  He also shows multiple looks with the fastball, employing a sinking two-seamer and a four-seamer with a little bit of cut.

Hyde goes on to rave about Cohoon’s pickoff move — anyone else thinking Mark Buehrle?

He was a 12th round pick in 2008, so he’s not a super prospect, but I’m calling it now: Cohoon is my dark horse pick for the 2011 Mets rotation. Maybe not at the beginning of the year — mostly because I’m not even sure he’ll get an invite to spring training — but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him given a shot at some point mid-season.

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Because We Don’t Have a Pennant Race to Follow

As much bad luck as the Braves have had, the Phillies have made up for. While going 32-15 over their past 47 to take the division lead (.681 W%. The Phillies are a good team, but a full season of .681 W% would mean 110 wins, which would rank among the greatest seasons ever post-WWII), the Phillies have outscored their opponents 212-168 (4.51 runs/game, 3.57 runs allowed/game). The Pythagenpat winning percentage for that run differential/environment is 0.604, or a 93-win pace, or 28-19 over 47 games. Yes, if baseball weren’t subject to the whims of random variation in scoring distribution, the Braves would’ve actually gained a half game on the Phillies over their last 46.

Good job by Capitol Avenue pointing out that while the Phillies may have caught the Braves, they didn’t necessarily play all that much better in doing so.

That, or it’s just rationalizing about a collapsing team. I know how that feels.

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Strikeouts Per 100 Pitches

Generally, people like to use K/9 to compare pitchers’ strikeout rates, but Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts instead looks at how many batters a pitcher strikes out per 100 pitches. In other words, it’s how efficient a pitcher is at striking out batters. Sort of. You have to get down to #45 to find your first Met, Jon Niese at 4.97K per 100 pitches.

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Posnanski: An Even Closer Look at the Count

No, not him. Joe Posnanski takes a look at hitter’s batting averages and OPSs based on the ball-strike count.

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