In part 1 of the series I dumped some big tables in here that looked at the rate at which teams threw a)strikes and b)the ball in the strike zone. Today we’ll continue along the same path, but we’ll start to differentiate based on count.
In 2008 teams pitchers through the ball in the strike zone (as defined by pitch f/x) at the following rates:
The table below displays how each team’s pitchers did in each count(click on the table to make it bigger):
My beloved Tigers are below the average across the board. Meanwhile the strike throwing Twins are considerably above average in terms of pounding the strike zone regardless of the count.
Let me pause for a moment to explain the coloring here. Redder colors denote higher values, greener colors lower values, and yellow in the middle. The deeper the color, the farther away from the mid point. (Excel 2007 can do this automatically under conditional formatting. I never had explored this int he 2007 version and I love it).
With the gradient explanation out of the way we can look for some trends.
Of course knowing what happens in a particular count is only part of the battle. It’s probably worth looking at how often each team was throwing in a given count (and while we haven’t gotten to the “what happens when the pitch is thrown part” it probably has a bigger impact on performance I’d guess).
Below is the percent of pitches thrown by each team in a given count, with the same lovely shading.
Some stuff I notice here:
None yet to speak of, except that if you’re behind in the count your pitching staff probably won’t fare well – but that is kind of a “duh” conclusion. I’m just presenting data at this point. Up next I’ll continue to dive into this and look at which staffs do the best job of getting hitters to go fishing by count.