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Strikeouts Newsbeat

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Don’t fix baseball, even if it’s broken

Today’s all-or-nothing baseball is too one-dimensional. There are too many strikeouts… Also, too many of the hits are home runs. It was imprecise for Crash Davis (Kevin Costner’s character in “Bull Durham”) to say that strikeouts are “fascist,” but he was right that they are “boring,” a… And “on average, you have to wait [3 minutes and 45 seconds] between balls put in play — 41 seconds longer between movement than 20 years ago.” Steals (hence pitchouts), sacrifice bunts, hit-and-run plays — interesting things for fans — are becoming rarer…

NattyBoh Posted: July 15, 2018 at 10:30 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, george will, shifts, speed-up-the-game, strikeouts

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Scherzer throws second immaculate inning

Scherzer struck out the side on 9 pitches for the second time in his career.

This seems more likely today than a 3 pitch inning.

bunyon Posted: June 06, 2018 at 01:27 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, scherzer, strikeouts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sullivan: Baseball’s Hardest Thrower Gets the Second-Fewest Strikeouts

Most counterintuitive observation of the day?

Or ever?

Part of this is easy to understand. Why doesn’t Hicks strike more batters out? Just look at the walks. He’s wild. Been better lately, but still wild. Hicks’ overall strike rate ranks in the sixth percentile. Batters are better when they’re not behind in the count. If you don’t have command, you want to at least have control.

Another factor here is that Hicks doesn’t throw a hard four-seamer. Rather, he throws a sinker, and while it’s a hard sinker, sinkers in general are more hittable. This year, four-seamers at 95 or harder have allowed a contact rate of 76%. Meanwhile, sinkers and two-seamers at 95 or harder have allowed a contact rate of 81%. Not all sinkers are created alike, and, of course, someone like Zach Britton can get whiffs on a sinker all day long, but the movement tends to just be more contact-friendly. We know that because it’s what the numbers have always suggested. A rising four-seamer can appear to be deceptive. Sinkers are thrown lower, and they drop closer to the bat path.

As you’d imagine, there’s still another factor. Hicks doesn’t exclusively throw his fastball — he also has a breaking ball around 85. But it’s not a slider he controls very well. I looked at pitcher swing rates, league wide, when they throw non-fastballs. The swing rate against Hicks’ non-fastballs ranks in the 1st percentile. Almost the lowest rate in the game. Which could be a good thing, if Hicks could reliably spot his slider around the zone edge. Instead, Hicks has been a fastball pitcher without a pitch for hitters to chase. As noted earlier, major-league hitters are exceptionally good, and they can time any existing fastball provided they don’t have to worry about anything else.

It seems bizarre for Hicks’ strikeouts to be where they are, just given his arm strength. And yet we should remember we’ve seen hints of this. Chapman has forever been a strikeout machine, because he’s paired his four-seam fastball with a dangerous slider. Yet Brian Ellington averaged almost 100, and he posted underwhelming strikeout rates. Ditto last season’s Joe Kelly. Ditto 2016’s Mauricio Cabrera. Cabrera’s fastball actually averaged over 100. He struck out 19.8% of opponents. Josh Collmenter struck out more batters than that. Hicks is the most extreme data point in both directions, but baseball has been telling us for a while that velocity doesn’t equal punch outs. Not, at least, at the velocity levels we’ve observed.

 

Stormy JE Posted: May 23, 2018 at 06:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, fastballs, jordan hicks, strikeouts, velocity

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Olney: Have big swings, big flies and big whiffs broken baseball?

This will be the 11th consecutive year that the league-wide K/9 record will be broken and likely will be the first season ever to have more strikeouts than hits.

The sport-wide batting average is dropping, diminishing the number of sustained rallies and perhaps feeding into the hitters’ collective effort to hit homers—and the strikeouts.

“It seems like every night this season, you get a notification on your phone that somebody is taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning,” one staffer said at the ballpark here Saturday.

This was not a baseless observation. According to Langs, there have been 16 no-hit bids of at least six innings this year. There was a total of 24 six-inning no-hit bids in the entire 2017 season.

Bored Posted: May 06, 2018 at 10:27 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: buster olney, strikeouts

Monday, April 16, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser

“I guarantee you he didn’t just get three pitches and three strikes like his old man,” said O’Rourke.

He can afford a laugh, since he has dusted Cruz in fundraising by taking in an eye-popping $6.7 million in the first three months of this year. That’s more than twice the $3.2 million gathered by Cruz, whose tally counted money from multiple campaign entities including a political action committee.

O’Rourke won’t take PAC money, a stand that’s expected to put him at a fundraising disadvantage as the general election nears. He said Saturday that he and his supporters are “doing this 100 percent the right way. There are no political action committees, no corporations.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:18 AM | 1328 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, politics, strikeouts, texas

 

 

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