Nationals Baseball: The 3 outcome guy has become the 2 outcome guy.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The 3 outcome guy has become the 2 outcome guy.

On twitter, Chris Coxen asked me about the recent strikeout article that ESPN did. You can see it here but I'm sure you've heard/read something similar elsewhere.

The gist of it is "batters strike out too much, that's why runs are down" (though they do touch on what I'll go through below) It's not that simple. Working the count is good. Starters are usually better than relievers, certainly better than middle relievers, and effectiveness does decrease as pitch count increases. So work the count and get the starter out as soon as you can.

The problem is that the purpose of working the count has been perverted. You should be working the count to get on base and the effect on the starter is a very nice secondary effect. Players now are working the count in order to get a pitcher out of the game and getting on base through a walk is no more important than it was before. The end result is a more pitcher friendly counts. Given our love for the all or nothing hitter that means a lot more Ks. Sure home runs are increasing (or more accurately staying high) but creating more outs is more detrimental than hitting home-runs is helpful (at least at the rates they usually happen). 

More outs + same men on base = less runs. Regardless if you can hit a few more bombs out of the park.

(Graphs over the last 31 years 1982-2012)


Anonymous said...

What's the deal, Harpo? Noticed you haven't mentioned ZNN in a while. Could it be that the All-Star bound pitcher is exceeding your low expectations? Could it be that he's actually a high-end, number one pitcher after all? Could it be that pure will can screw up a bunch of numbers every now and then?

Froggy said...

I agree with you anon and have said since early last year that ZNN is the best pitcher or on the staff.

All those fancy graphs look nice and all...

Anonymous said...

Well ... there wont be much guessing over the content of Harp's Monday Quickie this week.

Also, "Haren expected to go on the DL today" was a well-received tweet.