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04.20.08 postgame BOS 6 TEX 5


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#1 Noah

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:44 PM

There will be plenty of talk about the amazing comeback, as there should be, but I wanted to talk about Wakefield. He pitched marvelously today, outside of an ill-timed Milton Bradley HR. He managed to throw only 18 balls in 8 innings of work. With all the talk here about Red Sox pitchers walking so many guys, I think it's hilarious that the 41 year old knuckleballer goes out there and puts on an absolute clinic in pounding the strike zone.

#2 TFisNEXT


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:00 PM

Wakefield definitely pitched better than the 5 runs indicated. That aside, the hugest part of his outing was probably pitching a scoreless 7th and 8th inning where the 'pen might have been normally used, and allowed us to get back into a seemingly hopeless game after the ill-timed mistake pitch to Bradley in the 6th.


I thought Tito did a pretty good job with the bench. He seemed determined to not use 'Tek, which was even tougher once Manny was ejected, but he got Pedroia in there for a crucial AB late. The kids really stepped up today. Impressive comeback considering no Manny in the late innings. Also gotta give props for Papi hustling down the line after Kinsler made a great stop on his hit.

#3 67WasBest


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:05 PM

There will be plenty of talk about the amazing comeback, as there should be, but I wanted to talk about Wakefield. He pitched marvelously today, outside of an ill-timed Milton Bradley HR. He managed to throw only 18 balls in 8 innings of work. With all the talk here about Red Sox pitchers walking so many guys, I think it's hilarious that the 41 year old knuckleballer goes out there and puts on an absolute clinic in pounding the strike zone.


When the other team is swinging at your first pitch nearly every time at bat you aren't going to walk many. Wake threw only 86 pitches in 8 fine innings of work.

#4 Redkluzu


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:07 PM

Wakefield definitely pitched better than the 5 runs indicated. That aside, the hugest part of his outing was probably pitching a scoreless 7th and 8th inning where the 'pen might have been normally used, and allowed us to get back into a seemingly hopeless game after the ill-timed mistake pitch to Bradley in the 6th.


Wake's pitch count was also low throughout the game, pitched late into the game, 8th inning, and had 5 strike outs. Loving Lowrie and Casey had some good at bats.

EDIT-- posting at the same time

Edited by Redkluzu, 20 April 2008 - 04:08 PM.


#5 There is no Rev


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:08 PM

I very much agree. Millwood v. Wakefield, a win and no relief work by anyone except Paps.

You always want to win games with your best guy throwing his best stuff with your best lineup in there for the whole game; if you can't win those you're kind of a lost cause anyway. Winning games like these, though, is what puts a team in control over the course of a season. Great stuff.

#6 Blessyouboys84

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:16 PM

Winning games like these, though, is what puts a team in control over the course of a season. Great stuff.


I couldn't agree more. This was a great team win.

If you're looking to answer the question "Why do we watch?", you don't need to look much further than today's game.

#7 jtn46


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:35 PM

It's rare that bases loaded walks are that exciting.

Really, Wilson didn't pitch that poorly. Hung a slider to Papi, Pedroia jumped on a pretty well spotted low and away fastball and drove to right center, and Drew and Casey just had flat out terrific PA's. Casey laid off a nasty 1-2 slider and some high inside fastballs.

#8 syoo8

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:37 PM

Great win today. WPA graph very similar to last year's "Mother's Day Miracle."

Their respective WPA graphs:

Today:
Posted Image

Mother's Day:
Posted Image


... to continue the Lugo-bashing from the 4/19/08 Game Analysis Thread,

Lugo hitting .273
His sole hit today was of the infield-variety, which means his "non-infield hit" BA is... .151. Ugh.

Glad to see Wakefield get the win today, despite giving up 5 runs. Sometimes it pays off to be an innings-eater.

#9 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:42 PM

What Red Sox fans are seeing is the effect of drafting kids from great college programs that come up and know how to play the game. Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Lowrie, all Pac-10 guys who played against each other many times, have been playing high quality pressure games for years, get better every year through hard work, and have not seemed to be particularly effected by the circus atmosphere in Boston. Talent aside, these guys always seem to be where they are supposed to be, never stop running, and fight until the last out is made.

It is a joy to watch baseball when it is played this way.

#10 Archer1979


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:50 PM

I very much agree. Millwood v. Wakefield, a win and no relief work by anyone except Paps.

You always want to win games with your best guy throwing his best stuff with your best lineup in there for the whole game; if you can't win those you're kind of a lost cause anyway. Winning games like these, though, is what puts a team in control over the course of a season. Great stuff.


Flip side is that they got CJ Wilson up to 29 pitches and saddled him with a no-out appearance. Getting to closers like that can be a factor in the next game.

What was impressive in that eighth was you had the lefty closer come in to face three lefties out of next five in the lineup and Ortiz, Drew, and Casey absolutely ground out those at bats. Very nice hitting by all three.

#11 sheamonu

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:51 PM

Tremendous job by Tito, who managed to play a tense game like that and still rest his bullpen (thanks to Wake) and keep Tek fresh for a morning start tomorrow, while giving Pedroia the better part of the day off. That said, there are last at-bat wins where you feel like "there is no way we should've won that one" and ones where you say "Thank God, cuz there is no way we should've lost that one". This fits in the latter category. Fifteen hits, three times the bases were left full, I'm not sure we ever did get more than one hit with someone in scoring position and well into double figures for men left on. But in the end, justice prevails.

#12 ragnarok725

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:59 PM

When the other team is swinging at your first pitch nearly every time at bat you aren't going to walk many. Wake threw only 86 pitches in 8 fine innings of work.

True, but you're also not likely to have many Ks. The fact that he got 5 Ks on a day when Texas seemed determined to swing at the first pitch and early in the count speaks to the movement he had. That was a really interesting approach they took - basically taking on the knuckle ball early in the count. It seems predicated on the idea that he throws an easier knuckle ball to get ahead than he does when he's ahead in the count. Does Wake have two knucklers? Can he control how much movement there is on it? I have no idea.

#13 joyofsox


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 05:17 PM

Why in the world did Ron Washington let Wilson pitch to Ortiz?

Putting the tying run on first seemed like a good gamble to take considering the drop in talent from Tiz to Thurston. And even if Tito counters with Pedroia, Texas still has a 5-3 lead, 2 outs, men on 1st and 2nd.

Pitching to Ortiz was much more bone-headed than Girardi's decision to have Mussina face Manny back on April 12. That move could be debated back and forth, but this one today was a no-brainer.

Thanks, Ron!

#14 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 05:22 PM

I thought a key part of the game was Millwood being left in to start the 7th with a pitch count over 100 at the time. The first two hitters reached, and the Sox got the deficit down to a manageable 3. I can understand Washington wanting to avoid his pen as much as possible, but Millwood had been living dangerously, pitching with runners on, and escaping jams all day and evidently didn't have anything left. Perhaps if the pen gets a clean inning, they don't give up quite as many runs.

edit:

Why in the world did Ron Washington let Wilson pitch to Ortiz?

Putting the tying run on first seemed like a good gamble to take considering the drop in talent from Tiz to Thurston. And even if Tito counters with Pedroia, Texas still has a 5-3 lead, 2 outs, men on 1st and 2nd.

Pitching to Ortiz was much more bone-headed than Girardi's decision to have Mussina face Manny back on April 12. That move could be debated back and forth, but this one today was a no-brainer.

I disagree. You can reasonably expect a PH for Thurston, and at this point I think you approach Ortiz not as a 1000 OPS guy but as a decent hitter, not that different from, say, Youk; you could argue that Ortiz has been hitting a lot of ground balls, too. And you had platoon advantage, whereas you would not against the PH.

People who heard Tito postgame: did he say whether Manny's "day off" has been taken care of thanks to the 2nd inning ejection? Hopefully he just told Manny to go home and have a nice relaxing afternoon and evening.


Also, I should thank whoever it was that posted in Friday's game thread that tickets were being dropped for this game. I got to attend and it's easily the most exciting game I've had the privilege of seeing in person. We were standing and screaming for the last two innings.

Edited by Kevin Youkulele, 20 April 2008 - 05:35 PM.


#15 ToeKneeArmAss


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 05:49 PM

I thought a key part of the game was Millwood being left in to start the 7th with a pitch count over 100 at the time. The first two hitters reached, and the Sox got the deficit down to a manageable 3.


Totally agree - Millwood was within 5 pitches of his season high. Washington knew he was going to the bullpen in the 7th - why he didn't start the inning with a reliever is beyond me.

On a different topic, it feels to me like we've been living dangerously on the basepaths but getting away with it. Pedroia's dash in the 8th is a case in point - already in scoring position in a tie game with two outs, he takes a terrible chance and luckily makes it to third. If the tag/lunge had been successful, we might still be playing (or have lost this game).

Manny's done that a couple of times - I remember a second-to-third-with-2-outs on an outfield bobble that he just beat, plus running through a DeMarlo Hale stop sign to score earlier this year as well. Ellsbury's lead-off triple the other day was a poor judgment play IMO, and Varitek getting caught in a rundown btwn 3rd and home with runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out on the chopper in front of the plate was a bonehead play too.

I'm all for being aggressive, but these are just plain bad choices. Hasn't cost us a game yet that I recall, but the pattern is disturbing.

And ... this was a great comeback!

#16 yecul


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 05:55 PM

When Pedroia PH I was surprised at the subsequent defensive alignment in the top of the next inning.

Pedroia at 2B, Lowrie at 3B, and Youkilis out in LF seemed to make more sense than putting Lugo out there.

A very minute point and certainly not a bad option, just surprising.

The Rangers had a pretty good game plan against Wakefield and really could have blown it open. It's hard to credit Wakefield with the low pitch count when the opposition's approach directly led to it. Note that this isn't a criticism of Wakefield as he didn't get knocked out in the 3rd or anything like that. 5 runs isn't ideal, but giving 8 innings compensates for the "extra" run or two above acceptable.

#17 satyadaimoku


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:07 PM

Why in the world did Ron Washington let Wilson pitch to Ortiz?

Putting the tying run on first seemed like a good gamble to take considering the drop in talent from Tiz to Thurston. And even if Tito counters with Pedroia, Texas still has a 5-3 lead, 2 outs, men on 1st and 2nd.

Pitching to Ortiz was much more bone-headed than Girardi's decision to have Mussina face Manny back on April 12. That move could be debated back and forth, but this one today was a no-brainer.

Thanks, Ron!

Nah. This is a no-brainer going the other way. With a 2 run lead, the runs you need to worry about are run #2 (the tying run) and run #3 (the go-ahead run). I think Ortiz is much more likely to score from first base than he is from the plate, especially given the way he has been hitting recently and given the tough lefthander on the mound (and it was pretty predictable that the Sox would PH Pedroia rather than let Thurston hit). So run #2 is more likely to score if there is an IBB. And of course an IBB brings the go-ahead run to the plate, which makes run #3 much more likely. The only way you would walk Ortiz in that situation is if you felt that Ortiz had a better chance of hitting a home run than Pedroia had of getting an extra base hit, and that just isn't true.

Edited by satyadaimoku, 20 April 2008 - 06:08 PM.


#18 Oil Can's Liver


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:45 PM

Manny ejected early.
Sox leave a 11 on the bases through 6 innings.
Sox down 5-0 after 6.
Kevin Cash, Thurston, Lugo in lineup.
Sox win?

Very impressive. I am giddy looking ahead to when Tito eventually benches Lugo permanently in favor of Lowrie. Where is the break in that lineup? The future is very bright...very fuggin bright.

#19 OttoC


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:58 PM

When Pedroia PH I was surprised at the subsequent defensive alignment in the top of the next inning.

Pedroia at 2B, Lowrie at 3B, and Youkilis out in LF seemed to make more sense than putting Lugo out there.ideal, but giving 8 innings compensates for the "extra" run or two above acceptable.

That's what I predicted and like you was surprised. Lugo has played all three outfield, which I had not realized until I checked his career fielding stats (17 g, 59 inns).

#20 someoneanywhere

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 07:12 PM

Not in any way to shave down a great win, an inspiring win in some ways -- but I do want to chime in with a critical point and one that shows that there will be work to do.

Here's the PBP from the 6th:

Youkilis singled to center.
Drew struck out.
Casey singled to left, Youkilis to second.
Cash struck out.
Lugo infield single to short, Youkilis to third, Casey to second.
Ellsbury popped out to shortstop Young.


For those of you not watching or listening, Jacoby's out was a first-pitch pop up. In the previous inning, the Sox had loaded the bases and left all of them. So I think I know what Jacoby is thinking there: he is thinking Millwood will try to get ahead of him with a meatball, especially since he wiggled off in the 5th.

But that's the wrong approach. In general, the other reason to open up on the first pitch is if it is one you can drive: you better not, in other words, turn loose to get a mere single. (Think JD against Vazquez in 2004.) Down 5 with a pitcher working into his second inning of trouble, even the boppers should get selective. But for a speedster like Jacoby, who can get on base in a ton of ways short of a hard hit ball, the proper move there is to work Millwood a little bit. For me, it was the one moment in the game where I thought anxiousness and youth and frustration were all evident. I'd love to know whether and what Magadan said to him.

Edited by someoneanywhere, 20 April 2008 - 07:13 PM.


#21 bd11

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 07:30 PM

Why in the world did Ron Washington let Wilson pitch to Ortiz?

Putting the tying run on first seemed like a good gamble to take considering the drop in talent from Tiz to Thurston. And even if Tito counters with Pedroia, Texas still has a 5-3 lead, 2 outs, men on 1st and 2nd.

Pitching to Ortiz was much more bone-headed than Girardi's decision to have Mussina face Manny back on April 12. That move could be debated back and forth, but this one today was a no-brainer.

Thanks, Ron!

Disagree. Why put the lead/winning run at bat and the tying run on base? And Wilson really pitched Ortiz well and only gave up an infield single. With Moose skipping Manny for Youk was a no-brainer, this one was not.

#22 LondonSox


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 04:15 AM

Manny ejected early.
Sox leave a 11 on the bases through 6 innings.
Sox down 5-0 after 6.
Kevin Cash, Thurston, Lugo in lineup.
Sox win?

Very impressive. I am giddy looking ahead to when Tito eventually benches Lugo permanently in favor of Lowrie. Where is the break in that lineup? The future is very bright...very fuggin bright.


Cash, Thurston, Lugo and 2 rookies in the line up (batting 1 and 2 no less). No Manny and Papi sub the Mendoza line.

That's pretty impressive stuff.

I think Lugo has played in the OF at the dodgers but I think it's very interesting that Lowrie went to SS over Lugo for a one run game, at least reasonable confidence in his abilities. When Cora is healthy it would be a shame if Lugo got on the DL for a bit so we can see how the kid does. Not going to happen probably of course

#23 InsideTheParker


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 07:23 AM

Aren't these late-inning wins from the Red Sox the result of the fact that even the Red Sox have difficulty hitting really good pitching (which even second-rate pitchers like Millwood can summon up from time to time), but go to town (often by standing still and taking walks) off sub-par pitching?

If a sub-par starter faces them (i.e., Mussina) they can score early, and better do so, in case the relievers (i.e., Chamberlain and Rivera) are better than the starter.

I don't think that Wilson was awful yesterday. He has an ERA of 2.25, compared to Papelbon's 2.70.
But he's not good enough for a patient line-up like Boston's. He has a history of walking people, and undoubtedly the Sox were depending on that:

Of the 17 American League pitchers who had at least 10 saves last year, only Francisco Rodriguez walked more per nine innings (4.54) than Wilson.


mlb.com

#24 norm from cheers

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 07:30 AM

I am travelling and caught only highlights on ESPN. My question:
does Manny face a suspension or fine for being ejected for objecting to a strike call?

Watching the game on my Blackberry (and posting here on same)brutally slow and minimalistic.

I liked what Casey was quoted today in the Globe regarding the win. (Paraphrase) "I have been on teams waiting to lose, this team is waiting to win."

It will be interesting if this carries over to todays am game.

#25 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 09:12 AM

I am travelling and caught only highlights on ESPN. My question:
does Manny face a suspension or fine for being ejected for objecting to a strike call?

Watching the game on my Blackberry (and posting here on same)brutally slow and minimalistic.

I liked what Casey was quoted today in the Globe regarding the win. (Paraphrase) "I have been on teams waiting to lose, this team is waiting to win."

It will be interesting if this carries over to todays am game.

I don't think a suspension for Manny is likely at all. The argument wasn't very long, and he didn't bump the ump or anything like that. He was actually ejected pretty quickly; either Emmel was pissy or Manny said something particularly bad.

#26 JimBoSox9


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:05 AM

Aren't these late-inning wins from the Red Sox the result of the fact that even the Red Sox have difficulty hitting really good pitching (which even second-rate pitchers like Millwood can summon up from time to time), but go to town (often by standing still and taking walks) off sub-par pitching?

If a sub-par starter faces them (i.e., Mussina) they can score early, and better do so, in case the relievers (i.e., Chamberlain and Rivera) are better than the starter.

I don't think that Wilson was awful yesterday. He has an ERA of 2.25, compared to Papelbon's 2.70.
But he's not good enough for a patient line-up like Boston's. He has a history of walking people, and undoubtedly the Sox were depending on that:


I think you're seeing the right things and drawing the wrong conclusions. Everyone has difficulty hitting really good pitching, I don't see the Sox as struggling overly much in this regard. The offensive philosophy of taking pitches leads to scenarios where the Sox are cycling through the opposing pitching staff faster than average; not neccessarily even getting to see the worst pitchers in the bullpen, but getting to see more of them. Simple fact: the more pitchers you force a team to use against you, the greater the chance you get to face someone who simply doesn't have their good stuff that day. The Sox are just grinding down pitchers.

P/PA:
Pedroia 3.83
Ellsbury 4.08
Drew 4.19
Lowrie 3.94 (relatively SSS, but he's been playing at the same time the offense has been clicking, so probably relevant)
Ortiz 4.14
Ramirez 4.12

To wit, Kevin Youkilis is 7th on this team in P/PA! Ortiz hasn't been a quick and easy out even when in his slump. Ellsbury's P/PA and BB%, I can't even find the words to describe how impressed I am with him. His peripheral stats (P/PA, K/BB, SB rate) are so much better than last year I can't image how he can keep it up.

#27 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:40 AM

Side note- but I've always wondered how valuable a stat P / PA is since it doesn't take into account if the result of the AB is an out or not. For example, I'd prefer a 3 pitch AB resulting in a hit than a 6 pitch AB resulting in an out. Is there any consensus on a stat that incorporates this...maybe P / Out?

#28 Kevin Youkulele


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:24 AM

Side note- but I've always wondered how valuable a stat P / PA is since it doesn't take into account if the result of the AB is an out or not. For example, I'd prefer a 3 pitch AB resulting in a hit than a 6 pitch AB resulting in an out. Is there any consensus on a stat that incorporates this...maybe P / Out?

I think the point of P/PA is to address whether a player is patient or a hacker. Looking at P / out will tell you about how many pitches the guy consumes, but a lot of the information about discipline will be lost in the noise from things like BABIP and umps' zones.

edit: that said, you can convert P/PA to P/out pretty easily by doing this: (P/PA)/(1-OBP) since outs = PA x (1-OBP) (assuming you're willing to ignore sac bunts).

#29 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:29 AM

Side note- but I've always wondered how valuable a stat P / PA is since it doesn't take into account if the result of the AB is an out or not. For example, I'd prefer a 3 pitch AB resulting in a hit than a 6 pitch AB resulting in an out. Is there any consensus on a stat that incorporates this...maybe P / Out?

The point of a statistic is not to tell you everything, it is to tell you something useful. Obviously P/PA is not everything, but in combination with other measures it tells you something about the skill set of a player. Jack Cust is better than Vlad Guerrero at driving up a pitcher's pitch count. That is true, and that is to Cust's credit when you are comparing him to Guerrero. That said, Vlad has a few things on his side of the ledger as well.

#30 JimBoSox9


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:41 AM

Side note- but I've always wondered how valuable a stat P / PA is since it doesn't take into account if the result of the AB is an out or not. For example, I'd prefer a 3 pitch AB resulting in a hit than a 6 pitch AB resulting in an out. Is there any consensus on a stat that incorporates this...maybe P / Out?


I'm not sure I agree. The result of an AB being a hit or out is important at that particular moment, but can be misleading when evaluating the future. There's just too much luck involved in where a batted ball lands. The 3 goals of every PA should be:

1. Put the best ball to hit of the AB in play.
2. Make hard contact
3. Make the pitcher work.

Two outs, nobody on in the first, tough pitcher on the mound, I'd probably prefer a long AB resulting in an out than a short AB resulting in a single. You're right about P/PA not accounting for the result, but there are already plenty of stats that evaluate the results. P/PA is a good tool to give the result-based stats a slightly different context, i.e. that Ortiz is working pitchers hard even sub-Mendoza.

#31 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:01 AM

Here's an example....

Andrew Jones is 4th in the league in P / PA at 4.45. Has he really been working a pitcher with his 159 / 274 / 286 line? Or is he just walking (10 BB) and whiffing (22 K's) a lot?

Has he really been better at working the pitcher than a guy like Pedroia, who has a P / PA of just 3.83, but a line of 337 / 398 / 470?

Ultimately, I think the stat is just a measure of what it is...literally how many pitches a batter is seeing on average. I don't think it's necessarily demonstrating how hard the pitcher is being worked. If it is- it's only on that batter vs pitcher level which doesn't seem that relevant in regards to the big picutre.

#32 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:03 AM

Two outs, nobody on in the first, tough pitcher on the mound, I'd probably prefer a long AB resulting in an out than a short AB resulting in a single. You're right about P/PA not accounting for the result, but there are already plenty of stats that evaluate the results. P/PA is a good tool to give the result-based stats a slightly different context, i.e. that Ortiz is working pitchers hard even sub-Mendoza.

This is nuts. The best way to make a pitcher work is to keep from making outs. Every out in the bank for the pitcher brings him that much closer his team batting. An out, no matter how long it takes, is not as good as not making an out.

#33 yecul


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:18 AM

Ultimately, I think the stat is just a measure of what it is...literally how many pitches a batter is seeing on average.


Thanks professor!

#34 DJnVa


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:24 AM

Two outs, nobody on in the first, tough pitcher on the mound, I'd probably prefer a long AB resulting in an out than a short AB resulting in a single.


That's ludicrous. As long as you are assuming the next hitter does his job reasonably well there's no downside to a hit. Now, there's a subtle but important difference since you are giving the outcome of the short AB as a hit. That's not the same as swinging early in the count.


Ultimately, I think the stat is just a measure of what it is...literally how many pitches a batter is seeing on average. I don't think it's necessarily demonstrating how hard the pitcher is being worked.


Again, you're trying to put too much thought into it. Yes, Andruw's line sucks, but *at least* he is seeing a lot of pitches. It's not an end-all, be-all, it's another tool. If a guy is going to hit .330/.400/.500 you don't care too much. But if he's hitting .180/.240/.300 at least he can do something to help.

#35 JimBoSox9


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:51 AM

That's ludicrous. As long as you are assuming the next hitter does his job reasonably well there's no downside to a hit. Now, there's a subtle but important difference since you are giving the outcome of the short AB as a hit. That's not the same as swinging early in the count.


You're right-that was going way to0 far. The outcome of the hit is always better, but the outcome of the out could still be an AB that is graded a more quality AB.

Edit: typo

Edited by JimBoSox9, 22 April 2008 - 11:52 AM.


#36 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 12:29 PM

With regards to how much P/PA reflects a quality AB or not, I decided to take a quick look at team P/PA numbers vs team Runs Scored. Now, this is this year's data, so SSS caveat applies but it was interesting. I'm planning on taking a little time to do this with 2007's data next to see if we can get some meaningful corrolation or a meaningful disconnect, but when I run this years numbers to date we get the following lists in the AL. From most P/PA to least, and then most RS to least.

[codebox]RS P/PA


BOS BOS

CHA OAK

LAA CLE

TOR TOR

SEA CHA

TB NYA

OAK BAL

NYA TEX

BAL SEA

DET DET

TEX MIN

CLE KC

MIN TB

KC LAA[/codebox]

So at first glance it appears as though there is some corrolation between how many P/PA a team takes and how many runs they score, but it could be a SSS issue or random coincidence. The corrolation isn't terribly strong, but a little more than half of the teams fell in a similar (within 4 places) place from one list to the other. I'll do both the AL and NL from 2007 and post that in a bit.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 22 April 2008 - 12:31 PM.


#37 tims4wins


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 12:39 PM

So at first glance it appears as though there is some corrolation between how many P/PA a team takes and how many runs they score, but it could be a SSS issue or random coincidence.

Well, teams that score more runs are likely to have more offensive talent. More offensive talent could mean that pitchers are slightly more afraid of throwing the ball over the plate and are therefore prone to having higher pitch counts against those teams. Furthermore, better offensive teams tend to have higher OBP's, which is based in part on walks. Good offensive players draw walks; walks drive up pitch counts. So it becomes another chicken and egg question: does a player draw a lot of walks because he is a good hitter, or is he a good hitter because he draws a lot of walks?

#38 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 12:56 PM

That's a good point t4w. And in my searching for a site that will provide me with 2007's P/PA numbers by team, I came across an interesting article that sort of addresses what we're talking about here. Here's a link: http://baseballanaly...ging_taking.php

Some of the interesting tidbits...

Pertaining to what you just said.

Data from 2000-2004 confirmed that a higher P/PA correlates strongly with OPS as you would imagine, and since OPS is a good proxy for run production, players who see more pitches are on average better contributors.

And on the correlation between P/PA and type of contact.

Interestingly, I also found that there was a weak correlation between P/PA and hitting fly balls and line drives, and a negative one for hitting ground balls and popups. Players who see more pitches are often more feared by pitchers because of their power and so this certainly plays a role.


On players who see less P/PA and fouling off pitches.

Although it at first surprised me, players who see fewer pitches tend also to foul off a greater percentage of the pitches they do see. After a moment's thought though, this is clearly because they take so many fewer pitches.

On weaker hitters being attacked in the zone more.

Certainly over-aggressiveness at the plate is a major contributor to these low percentages of taking pitches as those of us who saw Aaron Miles play (and bat second during much of the time I might add) last year can attest. However, it's important to keep in mind that pitchers also challenge hitters who are perceived to be weak and so in some at-bats the hitter has little opportunity to take a ball.


He also talks about a stat he created called PD (Plate Discipline) which is kind of interesting.

Finally, we'll look at a derived statistic I call Plate Discipline or PD. Simply put, this statistic is a measure of the ratio of pitches taken for balls to pitches swung and missed at or fouled off where 100 is league average.

Observations on the good in that list.

This is an interesting list and is populated with players who have high walk-to-strikeout ratios as in Brian Giles (119/64), Luis Castillo (65/32), and Chipper Jones (72/56). However, it contains other players whose BB/K ratio is right around 1.0 such as Oscar Robles (31/33). The difference is that players like Robles also took a greater percentage of pitches for strikes.


And the bad.

No strangers on this list as it contains lots of impatient and free swingers. Although Jorge Cantu didn't quite make the list (PD of 65), David Appleman has a nice piece on him at THT that reveals that by the end of the season he was swinging at 37% of the pitches out of the strike zone.


So, nothing in there that really answers any of the questions being asked here, but some interesting talking points. And since I can't find team P/PA stats from 2007 and need to get back to work, I figured I'd offer this up as a substitute for what I promised.