Game 23: Twins at Tigers

by billfer on April 28, 2007 · 66 comments

in 2007 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: The Tigers take on the Twins in an afternoon tilt today. The pitching match-up is Justin Verlander taking on Carlos Silva.

Last year the Tigers rocked Silva, as did many teams. The torched him for 9 runs on 3 homers in 3 2/3 innings. Of course Silva has been much better this year not allowing more than 3 runs in any of his 4 starts.

Verlander made 3 starts against the Twins last year, and allowed 2 run in 20 innings.

And continuing the streak, Placido Polanco swung 7 times and made contact each time last night. By my count that is 95 straight swings with contact.

Game Time 1:05

POSTGAME
: I was out and about for most of this one, so I heard parts of the misery on the radio. I went back and watched parts of the game later at night, and it was still pretty brutal. Yuck.

 
 

{ 66 comments }

colin April 28, 2007 at 12:15 pm

6 thru 9 hitters today: Casey, Monroe, Rabelo, Inge

Not much production out of those guys so far this year, hope to see em heat up

Jeff M April 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Rabelo again? Is Pudge hurt? I was surprised when he didn’t pinch-hit in the 8th last night.

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 12:47 pm

I was wondering the same thing Jeff. A couple games back it looked like he hurt himself running to second. I’m thinking it was more than it was made out to be at the time.

Nate April 28, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I’m pretty sure that they said last night that he fouled a ball off of his foot.

Eric Jackson April 28, 2007 at 12:48 pm

He’s out with a hurt foot, apparently it was hit with a ball a few games ago. So he wasn’t available to pinch hit last night.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070427/SPORTS02/70427042/1050/SPORTS03

Adam April 28, 2007 at 12:53 pm

We’d have four runs right now if Maggs hadn’t tried to hustle for that triple…hold him up at second then Guillen’s triple scores him, then Casey’s groundout scores Guillen… Then there’s only two outs.

EZ April 28, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Inge… he looks utterly lost. What does this guy need to do to get benched? When Neifi Perez starts looking like an attractive alternative you know its bad…

Inge should change his ‘coming up to bat’ music to Doris Day’s “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?”

Just 4 more K’s and Inge takes over the league lead from Adam Dunn. But at least Dunn is hitting .258….

Just two more K’s for Inge and he will match career hits with career whiff’s, both at a resounding .238 average. 590 hits. 588 strikeouts.

Or is that sample size too small?

Jeff M April 28, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Thanks for the link, Eric.

With No. 2 catcher Vance Wilson on the disabled list, manager Jim Leyland said that infielder Neifi Perez is the emergency backup catcher.

LOL

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:02 pm

I’m kinda nervous that we might get sweeped.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Swept.

Joey C. April 28, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Mauer just took control of the plate on that play. Great block.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Ok, remember the “scoring after Sheff gets a hit” streak? Still going. Even scored after Hunter dropped his popup.

Eric Jackson April 28, 2007 at 1:25 pm

With Rodriguez on the bench Rabelo needs to step up. His at bats couldn’t look much worse than they already do.

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm

anybody else think that was a bit nitpicky of the umps?

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Weird. Don’t think I’m gonna watch anymore.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Oh man. DeJesus Crisp.

Nate April 28, 2007 at 1:37 pm

What exactly happened? All gameday shows is “On-Field Delay.”

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:37 pm

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is …

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Nate: Ledezma and Leyland both ejected

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Ledezma and Leyland got tossed within twenty seconds of each other.

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:40 pm

what did Ledezma do? Anyone know?

Nate April 28, 2007 at 1:41 pm

On what grounds? Gameday still isn’t providing any information.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:43 pm

This would be a whole lot easier to take if we’d ended up winning yesterday.

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:46 pm

true words Adam. I’m thinking Leyland got ejected intentionally to try to light a fire under these guys.

Nate: I have no idea why Ledezma was ejected but Leyland was for arguing Ledezma’s eject a bit too passionately.

On run scored because of the blocking Ledezma was called for; that’s what started this mess.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:54 pm

The streak might end right here…

Adam April 28, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Yep. Darn.

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Did billfer forget to reset the clock when it was DST? The post times are an hour off of what they should be.

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 1:58 pm

polanco is hot today!

charlie April 28, 2007 at 2:06 pm

unfortunately it is starting to look like the special year is just that and not the start of a string of them. half the lineup hitting less than 200, the bullpen struggling…. we look better on paper than on the field and the games are played on the field. hopefully we don;t struggle for too long.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Yankees have lost 7 in a row. Just be glad we’re not doing that.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Yet.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Polanco has swung 3 times tonight, and has gotten a hit each time. 98 swings.

Jason April 28, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Yeah, thats a good call Charlie. 3 weeks into the season is plenty to judge how the next 6 months of the summer will go? What’s your next prediction? That Sheffield – a lock hall-of-famer and career .300 hitter – will be sent down for a AAA assignment? The Tigers are going to be absolutely fine.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:28 pm

A five run deficit isn’t insurmountable.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm

99 swings.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:34 pm

And, with the first pitch outs award…Magglio.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Jason: 6 months of summer?

Ed in OR April 28, 2007 at 2:36 pm

6 mos includes the post season

Adam April 28, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Jason: No such thing as a “lock” hall of famer.

charlie April 28, 2007 at 2:41 pm

well jason we’ll see. i like to be a believer too but something is not right with this team at the moment and it’s not just one or two players. we are starting to look like the indians did last year.

David April 28, 2007 at 2:43 pm

OK, the Yanks have gone .400 so far this year you think they’ll do that? Our bull-pen has blow I think all of our games but 2, do you think that ratio will be the same come september?

It really hurts to watch when it happens, but I know they will come around, they have too much talent not to.

And all of you brandon inge bashing loser, look at last year

Before the ASB he hit right around .200 and after he hit around .300

It has been the same way with Monroe for years.

As long as we are over .500 going into June I’m not worried at all.

And if for some odd reason one of our guys is still stinkin’ it up by the trading deadline, we will be able to get a guy or two.

The game is not won or lost in April, the Twins showed that last year, and the Athletics show that every year.

Jason April 28, 2007 at 2:46 pm

There is also no such thing as a season which is won or lost by April 28th. Ask the 2006 Twins.

Adam April 28, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Well, that was a game. Our first blowout…and it comes 23 games in. Previously I believe our worst loss came from the O’s – a 6-2 four run loss.

However, I could be very, very wrong.

Jim April 28, 2007 at 5:53 pm

Only loss of the season by more than four runs

Adam April 28, 2007 at 10:12 pm

I am, however, very very right. Thanks Jim.

EZ April 28, 2007 at 10:41 pm

David,

Yeah, Look at Inge last year…. He led the Tigers in whiff’s in the post season at a .340 cliip. He led the teams in errors in the post season (you remember the post season? The post season with all of the pitching errors? Yeah? Well Inge still lead the team in errors). He had 22 errors and 123 whiffs in the regular season last year. In order for Inge to only average 123 whiff’s this year he has to go the next 60 ab’s without a strikeout. Let that sink in. Yeah, keep harping on last year.

Yes, it is only April, but it only takes ONE extra loss to lose a division, remember last year (as you like to write)? And right now Inge is costing us many games.

To not acknowledge this absolutely unacceptable play and defend him by pointing to last year’s decidedly average stats is blind in the extreme.

If you want to throw in more meaningless “just look what he did last year stats” why not include his spring training this year?This is where he hit .258 in 62 AB’s with ZERO homeruns and a strikeout average of .307. OH, and by the way, he lead the team in whiff’s this spring as well.

A change has to be made. We are bleeding out too many games in a brutal division. Inge is killing us, and really, there is no longer any excuse, even for the Rose Colored Glass Inge Posse.

Are other players struggling? Yep, you betcha. But Inge’s play is beyond struggling and into true LAUGHER area.

Seriously.

If this guy was a GM his name would be Matt Millen. Enough. We need to win now, and he his bringing nothing to the table. Not even his vaunted “range” can make up for these embarrassing offensive numbers.

And his range is smoke and mirrors when you consider how many times he has been saved on bad throws by Polanco and Casey. As of today that number stands at 6 errors saved…

David April 29, 2007 at 1:45 am

You tell me I’m wrong for brining up last year and then you do it yourself…

The guy is a phenom at third, and yes he has alot of errors, but as far as fielding goes errors are a very rudimentary statistic.

The guy has as good if not better range and throwing strength than any other thirdbaseman/SS on the planet, granted sometimes it is alittle of line, or sometimes he cant field it cleanly but both are usually due to incredible plays that he cant quite complete.

He was on ESPN web gems last summer, the summer before day in and day out.

You talk about his strikeouts? We’ll yes he does K alot, but there are alot of statistics you can use to value a players offensive worth.

To me there are two great and basic ways to calculate a players worth adding his total bases, walks and SB’s together and subtracting the caught stealing and also subtracting GIDP*2 and dividing the entire thing by PA.

Another method I believe determines any players worth is their runs scored + RBIS, because when it comes right down to it, thats what wins ball games.

Using the first method this year he has .3294, contrast that with Casey .3059 or Shef .2941.

In the second method he rates better than Casey also.

How is his range smoke and mirrors? Where in the heck do you get 6 from?

Inge is not killing us, I don’t know if you’ve ever played but its a team sport.

Right now I agree he is not doing that well, but he happens to be my Tiger and I think he will adjust, also there is no chance that we would have made the playoffs without a guy like him last year stopping big innings.

Strikeouts btw although are something, in my mind and in guys minds like Bill James they aren’t that significant. Also Inge tends to be one of the Tigers who normally has one AB at least/night in which he tires out the pitcher for the rest of the team. Whats the difference between striking out to lead off an inning and popping a ball up? or grouding out? There isn’t one.

Our bullpen has blow 8 (count em’ eight) games so far this year, last year we blew 24 if I’m counting correctly (including the final game of the year that Kenny blew)

That means that so far we’ve gone through 14% of the regular season, and our bullpen has let us down every 2.875 games, compared with once every 6.75 last year.

But, the season is very young (we haven’t even gotten through april) and you cannot blame a part of the team, if we would have hit better, if our bullpen would have pitched better, if we would have fielded better we would be better off.

Every faccet of the game combined makes or breaks a team, what Inge does with his glove whether you see it or not, nullifies at least if not adds to what his bat has lacked.

You harp on other stats from spring training that have no bearing on the season.

Who thought comming into this year that Inge would hit like Polanco or Mauer? no one

He probably could hit for a higher average and lose some of his power which in a previous post I mentioned is what he did a few years back when he hit .287.

In my mind personally, I think the two biggest problems we have on the team right now are Sean Casey and not having Kenny.

I am upset as you seem to be, but I have learned from watching losing season after losing season that you can’t let it ruin your day and go ranting.

I have faith in Inge, I have faith in the Tigers. They proved they were a good team last year, and they will be a good team this year.

Adam April 29, 2007 at 2:37 am

I don’t think Inge’s problem is strikeouts as much as it is him not hitting.

Sure, sometimes he looks completely lost at the plate, and might as well be that guy on your intramural softball team who swings at pitches above his head, but often in the very next at-bat he fouls off four or five pitches and then launches a ball into some outfielder’s glove. So strikeouts, to me, aren’t as important. So you strike out…OK, Granderson strikes out a lot. Didn’t he lead the team last year in that? 174 strikeouts for 596 at-bats? That’s like .290. He only batted .260, and Inge batted .253 with 128 strikeouts in 542 at-bats. That’s only a .236 strikeout average.

This year, Inge has 28 strikeouts and Granderson has…wait, 25? That can’t be right. If he’s striking out so much, he must have a lower average, right? Not if .280 is low. (True, Granderson does have 20 or so more at-bats, so Inge truly is doing worse, but who’s to say that he’s going to strike out ten more times by the time he gets 90 some at-bats?) So, here’s the deal. Inge’s strikeouts aren’t helping him, but they aren’t the thing that are keeping him at .122. What’s doing that are the balls he actually puts in play.

Anyone who’s been watching him sees him ground out to the left side a lot and fly out to the left side. He’s hitting balls hard, but too high and not far enough. The difference between him and Granderson, say, is that Granderson drives the ball and keeps the ball in line drive territory. When’s the last time you’ve seen Granderson pop-out? Inge? A lot. It’s harder to field balls that are driven at you or near you at a lower, faster angle. Ask any pitcher who’s not Kenny Rogers. What makes these line drives easier to field is some kind of prior contact with an outside force, to slow the ball down – the ground. Granderson grounds out, as well as do many good line-drive hitters, as well as do many bad line-drive hitters – like Inge.

All I’m trying to say is that SO’s as a statistic are fine, but aren’t anywhere near as valuable as tracking a player’s groundouts and flyouts and GIDP. You could strike out half of your at-bats and still be a .300 hitter. You’re not, however, going to be a .300 hitter if you don’t know what kind of swings GET you hits. And right now, that’s what I think is hurting Inge the most.

Adam April 29, 2007 at 2:44 am

To whit – one more item.

EZ, if you’re going to count “almost errors,” you must also count all of the “almost-hits” Inge has had taken away from him. Which puts his batting average significantly higher and makes your whole standpoint a little less credible.

Which is why you can’t count “almost errors.” Please, please don’t keep adding to that six you already have every time you see Casey or Polanco make a good play. They’re expected to make good plays – no one gets little gold stars on their helmets when they make their manager proud … they just get punished when they don’t. And at this point, I believe Inge would have fifty times as many gold stars than he has errors.

Adam April 29, 2007 at 2:52 am

To whit: Another item. Mentioning the World Series/Playoffs, and Inge’s errors – him having more than the rest of the team? All of the pitching errors were pretty well spread out, i.e. – the pitching staff had what, five? In five games in the WS? But those five don’t all go to one guy named Pitcher, even though it’s one position.

Even if Inge had less than those five, (I don’t think he did) he’s still only one position. And you all remember the Scott Rolen-running-him-over play, right? That was two or three errors right there.

Mike R April 29, 2007 at 3:33 am

I know I should put this in the minor league wrapup, but Billfer was going to find out why Maybin hasn’t been in the lineup for Lakeland (and I didn’t seem him post this yet) but Danny Knobler’s reporting it’s because of a stiff back.

David April 29, 2007 at 4:12 am

Nice points Adam, I tried to forgot the Rolen SNAFU.

One more I’ll point out, the guy is not going to hit a buck 20 all year, his 0-20 to start the season didn’t help, but he will (like every hitter) go into hot and cold streaks.

They had a great few minutes of maybe 20-30 of his top plays last year on youtube.

Heres a nice site to browse through if you have some time on your hands, go look at last year or the year before etc. and look at how many runs he has saved. They don’t show every great play but they show enough.

http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/multimedia/tp_archive.jsp?c_id=det&ym=200607

Sam April 29, 2007 at 6:34 am

In 2004 when Inge batted .287 he hit line drives all over the field. He hit a HR every 31.4 abs.

He has seemed to fall in love with the HR and now all he does is try to jerk the ball out to LF. That is refelected by his HR every 20.1 abs last year (with a .253 average)

He is an easy guy to pitch to. Low and away and he will either miss of hit a lazy fly ball to LF. I would love to see him go back to using all parts of the field and not worry about HR’s.

He has to make an adjustment, because the league has caught up with him.

As far as fielding consider in the last 2 years (2005-2006), he had almost 800 assists. A-Rod playing about the same amount got to 550. I could care less if he made 40 errors a year he is a great at 3B defensively. (btw – he has 9 more errors than A-Rod during the same time)

-Sam

billfer April 29, 2007 at 7:35 am

Sam – I agree with this. He became a pull flyball hitter last year and while his homer numbers went up, the rest of his offense has suffered.

EZ – we’re going to have to disagree on his defensive value. I also think your saved error metric is bunk. I understand the intent, but any first baseman worth anything should be picking 3/4′s of the throws that short hop. So to count every one as a saved error is garbage. If that is the case, then every time a fielder has to take a step in any direction or do anything out of the ordinary it should be counted similarly.

Offensively he’s been miserable.

Bob S. April 29, 2007 at 8:42 am

EZ, although Inge is doing more than his fair share,the lackluster performance to date has been a collective effort,with Leyland leading the way.Followed closely by the (sorry true believers)overrated bullpen and the veteran ineffectivness of Sheffield and Casey.At least Inge is able to redeem himself somewhat in the field,although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe the tradeoff is worth it considering his anemic offensive production.

Rings April 29, 2007 at 9:14 am

You guys are funny, crawling all over yourselves to make excuses for Inge.
EZ may be a bit over-the-top, but you guys have to admit that Inge is, in every measure, a disappointment.
Do the Tigers have lots of problems at the moment, many of which are more important? Yes.
But Inge has NEVER been a good hitter and he’s never lived up to his promise as a fielder, making too many silly plays to go along with his highlights. He’ll have another 20+ E season to go with the “range,” which, as of yesterday had him ranked 7th in total chances among 3B and 8th worst (tied) in total E’s.
“ESPN Web Gems appearances” has absolutely NO bearing on a player’s value, so this also is “bunk.” In fact, a highlight play is, in many ways, easier than a routine play – you dive and if you snag it, great, if not, oh well.
The strikeouts are not good, but, as has been pointed out in the Grandy example, doesn’t have to be bad.
More to the point, he has 6 RBI (three of which are himself on his 3 HR) and 32 LOB, so he’s delivered less than 10% of his opportunities to bring home runners. He’s simply failing at a tremendous rate to even move runners up, much less knock them home or do anything positive with the bat as we’re 15 plate appearances from the magic “100″ sample size to judge his season’s performance.
He’s 30. He’s not going to get any better. And while there are other, perhaps more pressing issues on this team, some of you also need to reexamine your defense of a guy who just plain isn’t getting it done and in no way deserves the ten-mile long rope that’s been given to him to hang himself.

As one final reminder, the Twins caught fire last year when they made some drastic lineup changes mid-season, replacing guys who alse were not getting it done.

EZ April 29, 2007 at 10:19 am

Bilfer,

We will have to agree to disagree on Inge’s defensive value. I don’t like it when people put words into my mouth, so I will be careful here, please correct me if I am wrong. But I would say that your belief about Inge defensively is that he is one of the top two at his position in the AL and he should be considered for a gold glove. I have him as above average defensively, but not gold glove material. However, he has gotten much better about making routine plays over the last 3 seasons, I will admit. I have never once said he does not make outstanding plays, he does. The differences between your assessment and mine is your belief in his range factor and my contention that you overvalue his range, and that range factor itself is overrated.

Further, there are two componants to having a great arm 1) arm strength 2) accuracy. I agree that most firstbasemen should field bad throws 3/4 of the time. I would go so far as to say 90% of the time. But what isn’t considered is the frequency that firstbasemen need to make these plays. My contention is that while Inge does have a cannon of an arm, he is not accurate as some imagine. Evidence (not final proof) of this is the amount of times Inge has to be saved by other fielders (Polanco and Casey). You may call it bunk, but to me it is evidence of questionable accuracy.

If we agree to disagree on his defensive value, then we will have different idea’s of where offensive production needs to be in order for Inge to be of value to the team. Clearly my contention is that this year his offensive woes are vastly overshadowing his defensive value. I won’t put words in your mouth, but will ask you: Is his defense this year making up for his offensive numbers?

David,

You have managed to blend some stats together and say “Look, Inge is doing better than Sean Casey”. Well, we aren’t discussing Casey, but if we were I would say that Casey isn’t doing well and we should bring up Shelton. Comparing Inge and Casey is like saying that Hitler was more evil than Mousolini. Yep, they are both evil, and they both needed to go. Same with Inge and Casey, both need to go.

You failed utterly to actually look at Inges’s numbers this year and then you say “Look at Casey”. Better to look at Casey as a means to defend Inge? Interesting defense of Brandon’s play.

Saying Inge’s strikeouts are good because it tires out the pitcher. Wow. Trully, wow. Never heard that one before. I really don’t know what to say to that.

Thanks for saying that baseball is a team game. I am glad Inge is your Tiger. Casey happens to be one of my three favorite Tiger’s. Yet I put the TEAM first by saying Casey’s play isn’t up to snuff, we need to put someone in there that will help the team. You seem to put Inge first by saying he is tiring out pitcheers with his brilliant Make Them Work To Strike Me Out, That Will Make Them Tired Battle Plan and this helps the team we don’t need an upgrade.

Adam,

I just don’t know what this means: “So, here’s the deal. Inge’s strikeouts aren’t helping him, but they aren’t the thing that are keeping him at .122. What’s doing that are the balls he actually puts in play.”

I am not trying to be an ass to you, I just don’t know what you are saying. I am also lost on your quote “Granderson grounds out, as well as do many good line-drive hitters, as well as do many bad line-drive hitters – like Inge”

I am pretty lost on your Granderson versus Inge comparrison. Yes, Granderson has a lot of strikouts this year, but I can live with those becuase he his hitting other balls all over the park. Inge is striking out, then striking out some more, then flying out weakly. So, again in my opinion, Inge is hurting the team and Granderson has been a real benefit. Did I just help your strikeout argument? I am really not sure because I am a little lost on what you are trying to say.

Inge is not helping us, and there needs to be a change to help in the win colum. My suggestion: Polanco at third, Infante at 2nd. Inge as late inning defensive replacement, moving Polly back to second. Infante’s bat is wasted with Inge’s endless K’s.

Bob S. April 29, 2007 at 11:34 am

Damn,you guys take your baseball seriously here.That’s the first time I’ve seen Hitler or Mussolini mentioned in a discussion of baseball,or any other sport with the exception of the 1936 Olympics.
Some of you have been hitting the orange koolaid too hard.I don’t think anyone here wants to see Inge or Casey fail,they both seem like genuinly good guys and Inge in particular deserves credit for riding out the storm,but at this point neither one of them should be regulars on a contending team,especially at first and third base where run production is part of the job description.

Adam April 29, 2007 at 11:56 am

EZ: I’m just saying strikeouts aren’t as important as one can try to make them.

Like I said, a player could technically hit .300 while striking out half the time – whereas, if he only hits the ball into playable situations (groundouts, flyouts) he could never strike out and still be well under .200.

I’m just tired of people saying “Oh, he’s striking out at a .340 clip,” because a lot of players who ARE worth their salt do that, and it doesn’t bother you. So you’re not looking at the right thing. If you want to look at something meaningful, make it the balls he DOES hit, and puts into the air for easy outs. That’s something that we can all see and understand the value (devalue) of.

If you’re arguing the difference between what you consider a bad player and a good player, don’t compare them in areas where they are equal and say that’s why the bad player is bad. That was the use for my Granderson comparison.

Charlemagne Street Cleaner April 29, 2007 at 12:04 pm

orange koolaid is electric man, try some…man….

Bob S. April 29, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Hey man,I would man,but then,like,you know,there’s the risk of confusing Brandon Inge for Mike Schmidt,or Jim Jones for the Messiah,or a hole in the ground for…

billfer April 29, 2007 at 12:26 pm

EZ – My take is that there are 4-5 elite defenders right now playing 3rd base with a pretty big dropoff after that. All are GG worthy and I have Inge in that grouping. Also – I have never used range factor to support my argument. It lacks context. I do value several play-by-play methods of calculating range in which Inge always ranks at or near the top.

I think over the last 2 years his outstanding defense combined with slightly below average offensive numbers make him a little above average.

Nobody can play defense good enough to make up for how bad Inge has been offensively this season. I also don’t expect him to continue to hit in the low 100s.

Adam April 29, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I really want to say one more thing…Sorry.

The idea that one can’t make a pitcher work in a strikeout is “bunk.”

You get less out of a first-pitch-swinging Magglio flyout than you do out of a nine-pitch, 3-2 count while fouling balls off by someone like Thames or Pudge or (ok, even Inge).

9 or 10 pitches is almost ten percent of a pitcher’s workload – and to waste that on one guy, who ends up striking out? How is that laughable?

Rings April 29, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Adam…it’s rediculous to say he’s making pitchers “work”. Yes, if his K’s were tough 8-10 pitch AB’s, but the vast majority of his K’s are hopeless 3-4 pitch variety. Quite simply, he’s become an easy out.

Adam April 29, 2007 at 7:29 pm

Even a 3 pitch at-bat is of more use than a 1 pitch at-bat.

It’s ridiculous to say that it’s not, even at a small level.

If a pitcher gets all first pitch outs, he has thrown the minimum 27 pitches. If he gets all strikeouts, he’s thrown at least 81.

27

Nate April 29, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Adam, given that the average plate appearance is less than 4 pitches long, I really think you have to reach base for a long plate appearance to really have an effect on the pitcher.

Suppose your leadoff hitter has a 9 pitch PA: if (1) it ends in an out, and (2) is followed by two at-bats of average length also ending in outs, the pitcher has only thown about 17 pitches (9+4+4), just slightly more than the major league average for pitches/inning last year (16.3, if I remember that right).

Now, suppose your leadoff hitter has a 3 pitch PA: if (1) it ends in a hit, and (2) is followed by three at-bats of average length that end in outs, the pitcher has thrown about 15 pitches (3+4+4+4), or only about 2 pitches less than he would have, if the leadoff hitter had struck out after a 9 pitch at-bat.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the importance of long at-bats is overstated, if those at-bats end in outs. Even three seven pitch PA in a row — an event I’d imagine is rare, given that PA of seven pitches or more comprised only 7% of MLB PA last year — would result in a 21 pitch inning, or only about five more pitches than the average inning. So, yes, the hypothetical Brandon who strikes out everytime at the plate tires the pitcher out more than the hypothetical Brandon who grounds the first pitch to the shorstop every PA, but either Brandon will tire out the pitcher more if he actually gets on base, no matter how many pitches it takes him to do it, because he increases the number of batters that the pitcher faces in the inning.

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