Wednesday, May 18, 2011

we may NOT hit your starting pitching, but...

my favorite stat of the moment is pitches per plate appearance (p-pa).

no, it's not pretty to watch a batter have an 8 pitch (or so) at bat....  but the more i see the red sox being patient in their at bats, the more i think this patience is a virtue we might be able to ride into the post season.

as it stands now, the sox are averaging nearly 4 (3.97) pitches per plate appearance.  if we say, on average, a pitcher throws about 100 pitches per page, that's around 25.2 batters per game, meaning, the average starting pitcher will struggle to make it through the rotation 3 times.

you want to put your bullpen up against our offense that early in the game?

the yankees are averaging 3.95, while the rays are down to 3.88.

in terms of the sox lineup, we have 4 batters in the top 40 for p-pa.    we have 4 hitters below 4 p-pa (ortiz is actually 3.97, but that's close enough for me):

- jed lowrie: 3.81, hitting .320
- jacoby ellsbury: 3.73, hitting .302
- adrian gonzalez: 3.68, hitting .327
- carl crawford: 3.66, hitting .208

so, 3 of those 4 are hitting over .300; those same 3 are 1, 2 and 3 in terms of highest batting average for the sox, so we'll take it.

carl crawford...  well, what can i say.

i would love to know what our batting average is against starting pitching vs. bullpen (minus closers and plus closers).  anyone know where i can get that stat?

i'd be willing to bet p-pa is a stat worth watching this year, and a key part of the red sox plan for making it to the post season.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that the Sox have been constructed in this way for some time now, although it's nice to see this backed up by the numbers. After all, it's part of the reason that the Sox/Yanks games take so long - simply too many damned pitches!

    I think of it as the Sox taking the best that a team has to offer and then feasting on the soft underbelly of the bullpen.

    The only problem as I see it is that in the post-season the starting pitching is that much better, and so the strategy seems to have failed them in the last few years without a Gonzo-type power masher. Regardless, it's a very intelligent way to run a baseball team; I'd wager good money that p-pa is a key stat in the Theo scouting plan.