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Walks, Pitch Counts and Dice K


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#1 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:09 AM

Watching the game last night, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe we need to shed our pitching control paradigm when talking about Dice K (and perhaps others). Some points for discussion:

1. Are walks as damaging to pitchers who give up very little contact - especially long balls?

2. Do some pitchers need to throw a lot of balls in order to make their pitches more effective? Particularly with Dice K, are balls a necessary part of his repertoire?

3. Are there pitchers for whom pitch counts are set artificially low?

#2 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:29 AM

Watching the game last night, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe we need to shed our pitching control paradigm when talking about Dice K (and perhaps others). Some points for discussion:

1. Are walks as damaging to pitchers who give up very little contact - especially long balls?

2. Do some pitchers need to throw a lot of balls in order to make their pitches more effective? Particularly with Dice K, are balls a necessary part of his repertoire?

3. Are there pitchers for whom pitch counts are set artificially low?

Question 1 is pretty easy to answer by thinking about an extreme scenario: walks do not lead to runs unless something else happens (4 walks in an inning excepted). I'm almost positive that if you simulated games with various numbers of hits and walks, the increase in expected runs per walk would be a lot higher when the number of hits was also high. This is why K/BB rate is a good stat: A pitcher like Daisuke who walks a lot is still valuable as long as he also Ks a lot of guys. On the other hand, a pitcher who gives up more contact will be hurt more by his walks.

Question 3: given physiological variation, almost certainly. The rub is in trying to find out who it is, as the simple experiment has a tendency to destroy the arms of those for whom lower pitch limits are appropriate. Perhaps the biometric approaches being taken by the Sox (and others, presumably) will eventually provide an indirect way to address this (look at some index of muscle fatigue/shoulder stamina after set numbers of safe pitches and extrapolate) but it would be news to me if such a method already exists. Historical data can also lead you to take a guess, and Daisuke seems like a good candidate for extra stamina, but he did hit a wall last year down the stretch.

#3 OttoC


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:47 AM

The problem with working pitch-by-pitch data using Retrosheet event files for historical comparison is that there are a number of pitch codes that need to be eliminated from the string and others that need to be combined. While it is simple enough to write a parser to do this, the sheer volume of data makes it time-consuming. And, once you get the data into a useful format, you still are faced with the counting the elements of each string.
This is an example of a pitch string. As can be seen, simply taking the length of the string will give an erroneous total count of pitches.

SBFB+1>FFF>FX

Legend
+  following pickoff throw by the catcher
*  indicates the following pitch was blocked by the catcher.

.  marker for play not involving the batter
1  pickoff throw to first
2  pickoff throw to second
3  pickoff throw to third
>  Indicates a runner going on the pitch
b  ball
c  called strike
f  foul
h  hit batter
i  intentional ball
k  strike (unknown type)
l  foul bunt
m  missed bunt attempt
n  no pitch (on balks and interference calls)
o  foul tip on bunt
p  pitchout
q  swinging on pitchout
r  foul ball on pitchout
s  swinging strike
t  foul tip
u  unknown or missed pitch
v  called ball because pitcher went to his mouth
x  ball put into play by batter
y  ball put into play on pitchout


#4 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 12:54 PM

Watching the game last night, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe we need to shed our pitching control paradigm when talking about Dice K (and perhaps others). Some points for discussion:

1. Are walks as damaging to pitchers who give up very little contact - especially long balls?


I think on a micro-level, probably not. However, on a macro-level I'm going to say yes. This may tie into question three a little, but walks raise pitch counts, and higher pitch counts lead to more fatigue. More fatigue leads to two things: higher injury risk and diminished control. The injury risk goes without saying, and diminished control may lead to more walks and possibly more hits due to missing spots. I looked at Daisuke's career performance after 100 pitches and compared it to his performance before 100 pitches. The results may shed some light on this discussion.

Before 100 pitches
PA/K - 4.33
PA/BB - 10.6
PA/HR - 39.2
Line: .241/.325/.397
BAbip - .297

After 100 pitches
PA/K - 4.4
PA/BB - 9.2
PA/HR - 18.4
Line: .222/.308/.420
BAbip - .236

As you can see, his strikeout numbers are not affected and it takes one less plate appearance for a walk compared to before 100 pitches. The big number that jumps out at me is the home runs allowed per plate appearance. Daisuke has given up 5 HR's in 92 PA after 100 pitches compared to 23 before. One explanation for this can be that after 100 pitches, he has lost some velocity due to fatigue (or is more likely to hang a pitch) and/or he misses more spots, also due to fatigue. Batters are also slugging twenty points higher after 100 pitches. The .236 BAbip also indicates a little luck as well. All of this, I think, is the negative affect of walking batters, even if batters aren't getting much hard contact on him during the middle of the game. It raises Daisuke's pitch count, thus leading to more HR's the longer he is in. Also, the more HR's coupled with higher slugging percentage maybe indicates that batters are hitting the ball harder off him as his pitch counts go up (though I don't have enough, if any, hard evidence though to make that claim conclusive). The difference isn't so staggering that I see it as a major problem, but its clear that Daisuke is more affective before 100 pitches.

2. Do some pitchers need to throw a lot of balls in order to make their pitches more effective? Particularly with Dice K, are balls a necessary part of his repertoire?

I think its clear that pitchers have to throw balls in order to make other pitches more effective. But I think the location of where the balls are missing is important. Pitches like Joba's slider or Buchholz' curve are great because they break through the zone and end up as balls (if not swung at). And while this is merely anecdotal, it doesn't seem like Daisuke throws a ton of pitches that break through the zone and end up as balls. It seems as if they start out as balls and end up as balls. That is where I don't think throwing a lot of balls helps other pitches, because there really isn't that much deception, and also point (if not deceptive) in throwing them if they never had a chance to become strikes.

3. Are there pitchers for whom pitch counts are set artificially low?

I agree with Kevin Youkulele's assessment that given physiological variation, of course some pitchers have pitch counts set artifically low. The problem is finding out who is a candidate for higher/lower pitch counts and how to keep a pitcher healthy if they pitch higher pitch counts. I really don't know how to do this, so I'll just leave my answer there.

Edit: Clarity/added word

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 19 April 2008 - 05:36 PM.


#5 TheBenzingerGame


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 01:30 PM

I think its clear that pitchers have to throw balls in order to make other pitches more effective. But I think the location of where the balls are missing is important. Pitches like Joba's slider or Buchholz' curve are great because they break through the zone and end up as balls (if not swung at). And while this is merely anecdotal, it doesn't seem like Daisuke throws a ton of pitches that break through the zone and end up as balls. It seems as if they start out as balls and end up as balls. That is where I don't think throwing a lot of balls helps other pitches, because there really isn't that much deception, and also point (if not deceptive) in throwing them if they never had a chance to become strikes.


The fact that HR frequency increases after 100 pitches is intuitive, but it's interesting to see it in black and white like that - especially when contrasted to the other metrics. Thanks for that.

On the second question, you make some good points about the value of a deceptive ball, but I'm not sure that's what VAL's original question was getting at. A ball that travels through the zone with the possibility of inducing a swing is obviously valuable. However, so is a ball that 'never had a chance' to be a strike. A ball thrown out of the zone can still help set up a hitter by changing his plane of vision or his expectations.

The point VAL raises, I think, is whether some pitchers benefit more from this game of cat and mouse. Does Daisuke gain more from a fastball 'wasted' four inches off the plate than another pitcher would? Theoretically, I'd argue that a pitcher like Daisuke, with a fairly deep arsenal of pitches, probably would benefit more from 'wasting' a pitch, because he can then come back with any number of follow-up pitches.

On the other hand, I'm not sure it's a good idea to be wasting pitches when you're walking so many guys. :c070:

Another way of putting it: using all three balls of a given count is fine, and probably helpful to some pitchers, as long as you don't throw that fourth ball. Obvious, yes, but I think this is what VAL was asking. And, in the end, it ties into the pitch count question as well. If a high pitch count (even looking at per batter pitch counts) includes a lot of out-of-the-zone balls, but also a lot of Ks, perhaps it's all part of the plan.

#6 Ananti


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:33 PM

One thing we need to pay attention to is that for whatever reason, walks and strikeouts in the AL has been very strange so far this year.

Currently the AL average K rate per 9 innings is one pace to be the lowest since 1993, and the walk rates per nine innings is the highest since 2000.

So it's not just Matsuzaka, every pitcher is walking more and striking out less.

Yet despite all that, runs per game and homeruns per game is way down as well.

It's only 10% of the season, we'll see if this holds up.

#7 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:05 PM

The point VAL raises, I think, is whether some pitchers benefit more from this game of cat and mouse. Does Daisuke gain more from a fastball 'wasted' four inches off the plate than another pitcher would? Theoretically, I'd argue that a pitcher like Daisuke, with a fairly deep arsenal of pitches, probably would benefit more from 'wasting' a pitch, because he can then come back with any number of follow-up pitches.

On the other hand, I'm not sure it's a good idea to be wasting pitches when you're walking so many guys. ;)

Another way of putting it: using all three balls of a given count is fine, and probably helpful to some pitchers, as long as you don't throw that fourth ball. Obvious, yes, but I think this is what VAL was asking. And, in the end, it ties into the pitch count question as well. If a high pitch count (even looking at per batter pitch counts) includes a lot of out-of-the-zone balls, but also a lot of Ks, perhaps it's all part of the plan.


Thanks for the correction/clarification on VAL's question. I pretty much agree with everything you said. Because of Daisuke's deep arsenal, wasting pitches is fine. However, my main concern is not throwing that ball four. You make a good point about having it be OK to reach a three ball count, as long the pitcher has the ability to throw a strike.

I don't know if this is of any use since I don't know the league average, but in three ball counts, Daisuke walks 43% of batters (97 BBs in 225 PA). I looked at a few other "ace" type who aren't control artists (like Schilling or Maddux), and here are some of the percentages of walks in three ball counts:

Josh Beckett: 44% (343 BBs in 771 PA)
Johan Santana: 41% (368 BBs in 893 PA)
Roy Halladay: 38% (386 BBs in 1023 PA)
CC Sabathia: 41% (478 BBs in 1154 PA)
Roger Clemens: 39% (1342 BBs in 3444 PA)
Pedro Martinez: 38% (668 BBs in 1771 PA)

Again, I'm not sure how relevant this is since I just pulled a handful of pitchers who played in the same league and faced roughly the same competition (Pedro and Clemens notwithstanding - I just wanted to see their numbers). From that small sample of pitchers, Daisuke seems on the higher side, but really not by much. Also, none of these pitchers have the same type of deep repertoire that Daisuke has. So really, he is not all that bad at throwing a strike after reaching a three ball count. Maybe he gets to more three ball counts than most pitchers, thus giving the illusion of little control or wasting pitches? I don't know.

#8 syoo8

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:49 PM

I'm not sure if this qualifies as useless information, but I went through and tabulated how many 1-2-3 innings our SP have racked up so far in '08.

Matsuzaka 11 (out of 30 innings started)
Beckett 10 (out of 20)
Buchholz 6 (out of 15)
Lester 5 (out of 28)
Wake 3 (out of 17)

(Pap 4 out of 8)

This count is kind of similar to WHIP, I suppose. Beckett has thrown 50% 1-2-3 innings and is more dominant than someone like Lester who throws a 1-2-3 inning less than 20% of the time. Dice is around 35%.

#9 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:30 AM

Some good discussion here. A few more random thoughts ...

I didn't make a distinction in my earlier question between throwing balls and allowing walks and I probably should have. They are two separate things, although related. Throwing lots of balls that are close to being strikes are the province of the classic nibblers. I suppose Schilling in his recent form is a good example of that where the strike zone for them is about two inches to either either corner of the plate. Dice K isn't really a nibbler though ... he's launching all sorts of pitch variations with varying degrees of effectiveness. I suppose that makes it very difficult for a hitter to sit on a certain pitch so maybe he is death to guess hitters but maybe less effective against guys who are more reactive hitters. Of course it also makes it difficult for the casual observer to ascertain whether or not he is really playing cat and mouse with the hitters or just throwing stuff randomly (that would be a great question for Varitek sometime :bravo:)

I think one of my points was that there isn't necessarily a linear relationship between walk rates and runs allowed. As a group of all major league pitchers I think there certainly is, but there is also (I think) a sub group of effective pitchers for whom that relationship does not apply. I'm not quite sure how to prove this except maybe for guys like Sudden Sam McDowell or Nolan Ryan who are in a group of pitchers that Dice K clearly does not belong.

Scuba Steve made a great point about balls breaking through the zone. Some of Dice K's pitches do that, but he does seem reluctant at times to do that. I think it's important with those types of pitches to both use them in correct situations or to be extremely consistent with them. Lots of sinkerball pitchers, for instance break through the zone constantly, but the effective ones are consistent because there is nothing fatter than a sinkerball that doesn't sink (or a splitter that stays up in the zone - but there is a surprise factor there because a splitter is generally set up by fastballs while sinkerballers seem to throw about 90% sinkers). Lots of Dice K's pitches break from the outside in and I think that if you play that game, you do need to throw a lot of balls because you get killed when they drift over the middle of the plate.

The point about walks and strikeout rates so far this year is also very interesting. It could be a Questec phenomenon, but it's also possible that it is in some way also related to the Moneyball factor - that young hitters are being naturally selected based in some part on their plate discipline. Interesting ...

#10 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:43 AM

Currently the AL average K rate per 9 innings is one pace to be the lowest since 1993, and the walk rates per nine innings is the highest since 2000.


You can't look at "on pace" stats like that since offense is always lower in April than the rest of the year (weather, beginning of the year factor, etc.) If you compare April '08 to April 07, you'll see that there is no difference in offensive stats, and K rate is actually up slightly.

FWIW, the MLB hitting line is 257 / 331 / 401 with 1893 BB and 3375 K's in 20,619 PA. (9.2% BB, 16.4% K)

Last April, the MLB line was 256 / 330 / 402 with 2609 BB and 4888 K's in 28,759 PA (9.1% BB, 17.0% K)

#11 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 07:07 PM

Scuba Steve made a great point about balls breaking through the zone. Some of Dice K's pitches do that, but he does seem reluctant at times to do that. I think it's important with those types of pitches to both use them in correct situations or to be extremely consistent with them. Lots of sinkerball pitchers, for instance break through the zone constantly, but the effective ones are consistent because there is nothing fatter than a sinkerball that doesn't sink (or a splitter that stays up in the zone - but there is a surprise factor there because a splitter is generally set up by fastballs while sinkerballers seem to throw about 90% sinkers). Lots of Dice K's pitches break from the outside in and I think that if you play that game, you do need to throw a lot of balls because you get killed when they drift over the middle of the plate.


I've tried to look at some videos from when Daisuke played with the Lions to see if his approach was different from starting outside the zone and breaking the ball back in, and it was difficult to see since the only pitch on youtube was the 'gyroball.' However, on many of those, he liked to start lefties off the plate and break it back into the zone. I'm interested in two things with this approach, (1) who are some other MLB pitchers who use this approach, and (2) is this a good approach, especially for somebody who has the capability to throw pitches "through the zone?"

For the first question, I'd just like to look at some comparisons and for the second, its a wide open question, that I'd love to hear some SoSHers opinions on. I agree with VAL that if Daisuke sticks to the approach he uses, that he has to throw a lot of balls to keep batters true and to protect himself (Daisuke) from getting lit up; but this sorta loops back to the question(s) of wasting pitches, pitch counts, and walks. Would (could?) Daisuke be better starting pitches like his change and curve in the zone, and having them break out of the zone? Or should he stick to what he is doing now - start outside the zone and break his pitches in?

#12 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:52 PM

Would (could?) Daisuke be better starting pitches like his change and curve in the zone, and having them break out of the zone? Or should he stick to what he is doing now - start outside the zone and break his pitches in?

I'd be interested in other opinions too. I am generally of the opinion that Dice K is best left to do the things he does well, rather than trying to change him. This seems to be happening this season so far This probably means, though, that in order to be effective he will either be a six-inning pitcher, or the team has to allow him a higher pitch count. That would really go against the grain of conventional wisdom, but the 110-120 pitch limit does not have universal support among the pitching elite.

I often (almost certainly unfairly) compare him with Pedro. He has a similar repertoire to Pedro, but he lacks the command of his pitches that made Pedro the best pitcher in the universe during his four or five year zenith. We see glimpses of that command here and there, but normally for only a brief stretch of a few innings at a time. If he could capture that (and the confidence that goes with it) then there would be less need for "wasting" pitches. I think that's the direction that the Sox coaching should take, rather than trying to alter his approach.

#13 BG913

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 10:37 PM

Thanks for the correction/clarification on VAL's question. I pretty much agree with everything you said. Because of Daisuke's deep arsenal, wasting pitches is fine. However, my main concern is not throwing that ball four. You make a good point about having it be OK to reach a three ball count, as long the pitcher has the ability to throw a strike.

I don't know if this is of any use since I don't know the league average, but in three ball counts, Daisuke walks 43% of batters (97 BBs in 225 PA). I looked at a few other "ace" type who aren't control artists (like Schilling or Maddux), and here are some of the percentages of walks in three ball counts:

Josh Beckett: 44% (343 BBs in 771 PA)
Johan Santana: 41% (368 BBs in 893 PA)
Roy Halladay: 38% (386 BBs in 1023 PA)
CC Sabathia: 41% (478 BBs in 1154 PA)
Roger Clemens: 39% (1342 BBs in 3444 PA)
Pedro Martinez: 38% (668 BBs in 1771 PA)

Also, none of these pitchers have the same type of deep repertoire that Daisuke has.

Interesting - 4 thoughts:
1) You could probably also put a bunch of guys up here who aren't great who walk 40% of the guys that get to ball 3- the key question would be whether Dice-Ks BB/9 is the same as the aces listed above or higher?
2) Have no idea whether data is easy to find on bunches of walks too, but it doesn't seem like any of the guys above go out and walk the bases loaded like Dice-K can do sometimes. Scattering 4 walks over 8 IP is different than having all 4 take place in one inning - run probability is much, much higher the second way.
3) Often discussed but can't remember the data - does the fact that Dice-K seems to struggle more pitching with runners on make this a different calculation for him? Is it more important for him to keep the guy off base?
4) The adjacent thread on Dice-K and pitch type reveals that for all the hype about his "deep arsenal" he really has 4 pitches FB, cutter, slurve and change, and he throws the change about 5 times a game. The guy isn't really Houdini out there...

At some visceral level it comes down to are you reminded of Beckett when you watch Dice-K or Jon Lester? For my money he's about halfway between the two of them. Better stuff than Lester, but right now not in a league with Beckett or the other top guys. He's an ideal #2 starter for a good team that can score runs and has a reasonably deep bullpen to live with his 18-20 pitches/inning.

#14 gibdied

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 05:04 AM

3) Often discussed but can't remember the data - does the fact that Dice-K seems to struggle more pitching with runners on make this a different calculation for him?

I don't think that's a fact. The data doesn't corroborate it, anyhow. In his MLB career:

No one on: .245/.333/.423
Runners on: .218/.311/.363

#15 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:16 AM

I'm not sure I buy the argument that pitch counts shouldn't apply to Dice-K, or that the Sox should at least be more liberal with him in that regard. The performance suggests that he is adversely affected by fatigue. He was much worse in the second half of last season, especially with his control (3.3 BB+HBP/9 first half, 5.1 second half).

I think we are looking way too deeply into this, he's just a guy with control problems. When you are up by 5 or 6 runs, you need to let the offense get hits off you to beat you, but Dice-K still nibbles. I don't think it's part of any unique strategy or the way his ball moves, he just has issues throwing strikes and it's something he needs to get under wraps or else he's going to be leaving a lot of games in the 5th and 6th innings.

#16 xjack


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 09:56 AM

He has a similar repertoire to Pedro, but he lacks the command of his pitches that made Pedro the best pitcher in the universe during his four or five year zenith. We see glimpses of that command here and there, but normally for only a brief stretch of a few innings at a time. If he could capture that (and the confidence that goes with it) then there would be less need for "wasting" pitches. I think that's the direction that the Sox coaching should take, rather than trying to alter his approach.

I can't tell whether it's a lack of command or just his pitching style. He reminds me a bit of Nomo in that he'd rather issue a walk than throw the ball over the plate. Any Japanese baseball experts out there? Is this how a lot of top starters there pitch?

#17 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:53 AM

Finally have a chance to reply, but all fair criticisms BG913. I'll take a stab at a few:

Interesting - 4 thoughts:
1) You could probably also put a bunch of guys up here who aren't great who walk 40% of the guys that get to ball 3- the key question would be whether Dice-Ks BB/9 is the same as the aces listed above or higher?


This makes sense and when I get off work, I'll go and look at the some the numbers.

2) Have no idea whether data is easy to find on bunches of walks too, but it doesn't seem like any of the guys above go out and walk the bases loaded like Dice-K can do sometimes. Scattering 4 walks over 8 IP is different than having all 4 take place in one inning - run probability is much, much higher the second way.

Again, great point. However, I will argue that issuing more walks overall is still a bad thing, whether they come in bunches or scattered throughout the game, for reasons I stated a few posts above - namely pitch count issues. I'd have to go back through the game logs and see if Daisuke's walks have a propensity to come in bunches.

4) The adjacent thread on Dice-K and pitch type reveals that for all the hype about his "deep arsenal" he really has 4 pitches FB, cutter, slurve and change, and he throws the change about 5 times a game. The guy isn't really Houdini out there...


I wish we could have more information on why he has basically become a four-pitch pitcher when he was touted as a guy with aruond seven pitches during the posting process. Like all of us, I would like to see the change used more often, but I'd also like to see the variety of pitches he apparently has. If I remember correctly, that was part of the alure of Daisuke - the fact that he was unpredictable due to having so many pitches.

At some visceral level it comes down to are you reminded of Beckett when you watch Dice-K or Jon Lester? For my money he's about halfway between the two of them. Better stuff than Lester, but right now not in a league with Beckett or the other top guys. He's an ideal #2 starter for a good team that can score runs and has a reasonably deep bullpen to live with his 18-20 pitches/inning.


Well the main difference here is location and control. Beckett has a great ability to paint at 95 mph. And then to throw down the hammer with his curve ball. From Daisuke we have seen spurts of Beckett-like control (the first three innings of game 7 of last years ALCS come to mind), but he will never really be as successful as Beckett if he cannot attack hitters consistantly. For me, Lester is more about stuff and control. From time to time, Lester's stuff says #2/3 guy and at times it says fringe #5. Mix that in with poor control and Lester isn't close to Daisuke. I agree that he's in the middle, but a lot of guys are inbetween those two. I think Daisuke's stuff Beckett-like, but he right now he needs to learn how to control better and attack. But then again, ask discussed in this thread, maybe that is not his style? I'd like to give him some more time before I make any absolute claims about him, but so far I like what I see. Also, I'll add this one last thing, I think part of our problem is most of us bought into the hype of the "Japanese Pedro" and we may be dissapointed that we aren't seeing vintage Pedro out there. Our perceptions were skewed by all the hype (deserved or not) and now we expect #1 stuff. I'm thinking we should probably begin to look at Daisuke in a different light - as the good #2 starter you stated above.

#18 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:01 AM

I'd be interested in other opinions too. I am generally of the opinion that Dice K is best left to do the things he does well, rather than trying to change him. This seems to be happening this season so far This probably means, though, that in order to be effective he will either be a six-inning pitcher, or the team has to allow him a higher pitch count. That would really go against the grain of conventional wisdom, but the 110-120 pitch limit does not have universal support among the pitching elite.


VAL, I think you summed up a lot of it right here. I agree that completely agree that Daisuke should be left doing what earned him his fame and success. I'm not sure where to find them, but is there a way to find Japanese IP/game and pitch counts? I'd like to know what he averaged in Japan in both those categories. If he kept his pitch count around 110ish, yet averaged 7+ IP, then we know he is at least capable of doing the same here. But if he averaged 7+ IP while throwing 130+ pitches, then I think we should expect six innings or a raised pitch count for somewhat equal success.

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 22 April 2008 - 11:02 AM.


#19 Cuzittt


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 02:50 PM

VAL, I think you summed up a lot of it right here. I agree that completely agree that Daisuke should be left doing what earned him his fame and success. I'm not sure where to find them, but is there a way to find Japanese IP/game and pitch counts? I'd like to know what he averaged in Japan in both those categories. If he kept his pitch count around 110ish, yet averaged 7+ IP, then we know he is at least capable of doing the same here. But if he averaged 7+ IP while throwing 130+ pitches, then I think we should expect six innings or a raised pitch count for somewhat equal success.


One thing to at least keep in the back of your mind if you can find Japanese Pitch data is that while Japanese Baseball is the same game, there is a different mindset.

In other words, umpires are different (and from my minimal look at Japanese games, the strike zone is called differently), offensive philosophy is different (seems like more small ball and not as concerned with walks/driving pitch counts up)... and the big monkey, the 6 man rotation... which gives pitchers more rest between starts (and potentially allows higher pitch counts per game).

I think trying to get the pitch count data is a good idea. I am less certain we can take them and expect a direct translation to MLB.