HRs by Red Sox pitchers and men on base in 2013

OttoC

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SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2003
7,353
This is a listing of home runs given up by Red Sox pitchers and men on base during the 2013 regular season. ROB is obviously Runners on Base and you can see from the right-hand side of this table that the club did very well in not giving up homers while runners were on base. I did not bother to expand the sample of years for MLB averages of percentages of home runs with runners on because they fit very well with a much broader study I did several years back.

Well, the table did not work when I tried to preview it so I'll just list the percentages.
 
ROB  BOS     2007-10
--------------------
0    70.51%  57.29%
1    23.72%  28.72%
2    4.49%   11.38%
3    1.28%    2.62%
 

Ananti

little debbie downer
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2002
2,101
Los Angeles
What about % of batters faced with nobody on versus 1, 2 or 3 runners, could just be this year's team pitched more frequently with bases empty because they didnt' allow as many baserunners.
 

OttoC

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Dec 2, 2003
7,353
Ananti said:
What about % of batters faced with nobody on versus 1, 2 or 3 runners, could just be this year's team pitched more frequently with bases empty because they didnt' allow as many baserunners.
 
I don't know because I haven't gotten Retrosheet's 2013 data into a database yet.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Jun 26, 2006
8,167
Ananti said:
What about % of batters faced with nobody on versus 1, 2 or 3 runners, could just be this year's team pitched more frequently with bases empty because they didnt' allow as many baserunners.
 
2013: 0.031 HR/PA with none on; 0.017 HR/PA with men on base
2012: 0.030 HR/PA with none on; 0.032 HR/PA with men on base
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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Sep 9, 2008
26,435
AZ
This looks to me to be driven primarily by Lackey and Dempster.  Both had an abnormally high percentage of their home runs given up with no runners on base -- abnormally both in terms of league average and as compared to their career stats.  Of the 52 home runs they gave up, 43 were solos.  The rest of the team combined (discarding players who gave up 2 or fewer) gave up 91 home runs, of which 57 were solos.  Here are the numbers, where the first number is the home runs given up without runners on and the second number is the number given up with runners on.  None of this, of course, accounts for how often each pitcher pitched with men on base.  There is some variance there, as one might expect, especially for relievers.  But, by and large overall, 60/40 (bases empty to runner on), seems to be the general ballpark -- although Lackey was outstanding at keeping the bases clean.  There's more to be done here, and this is obviously a pretty blunt instrument, but based on a quick look, this phenomenon appears to be the result of the fact that most of the team as a unit was slightly better than average at giving up solos instead of multi-run HRs when they gave up HRs, but Lackey and Dempster give a very significant bump.  (Note that Peavy's numbers aren't included, because I could only find season numbers on fangraphs and so couldn't tell which of the six home runs he gave up as a Red Sox had men on base or bases empty).
 
Lackey 22/4
Dempster 21/5
Lester 10/9
Doubront 9/4
Aceves 6/3
Tazawa 6/3
Bailey 5/2
Webster 4/3
Uehara 4/1
Workman 3/2
Buccholz 2/2
Hanrahan 3/1
Breslow 2/1
Miller 2/1
Mortensen 1/2
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

Guest
we gotta get a better pitcher than I Am An Idiot, he's bringing down our collective averages.
 

seantoo

toots his own horn award winner
Jul 16, 2005
1,308
Southern NH, from Watertown, MA
Andrew said:
Is this just good luck or a change in pitching approach?
I have to believe it was an instructed approach to be more aggressive and attack the strike zone when no-one was on base. All pitchers are constantly reminded how important it is to get ahead of the batter and also to throw first pitch strikes. When no-one is on base the worst that can happen is a 1 run HR even if you make a mistake but even then batters usually don't capitalize on it. This makes so much sense to me that I'd be shocked if I'm wrong.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Sep 14, 2002
5,164
Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada
Montana Fan said:
I'd say it's more than luck.
 
In Pedro's 1999 Cy Young campaign, when he got screwed out of the MVP, he allowed 9 homers versus 313 strikeouts.  All 9 homers were solo. Talk about bearing down with runners on.  Still the best full season pitching performance I've ever seen.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/event_hr.cgi?id=martipe02&t=p
 
Arguably the best full season pitching performance anyone has seen