Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Wednesday, October 03, 2012
After walking 14.5% of the time or more for five straight years, Albert Pujols’ walk rate has fallen to 9.4% in 2011 and 7.9% in 2012. Is this typical?
It’s quite uncommon. Albert is 32. Normally when a great hitter is 31-32-33, his walk rate will be 10-20% HIGHER than his career norms. . ..70% of the time or more. When it isn’t higher, it is generally just a little bit lower, and when it is NOTABLY lower, that is usually because the player has had an injury that has reduced his effectiveness as a hitter (like Ralph Kiner or Duke Snider.) ...
Pujols had extraordinary numbers of intentional walks in 2008-09-10. But this doesn’t seem very relevant. I compared Pujols’ walk rate to the other greatest hitters in history, MANY of whom presumably had very high intentional walk rates at ages 28-29-30, and I don’t see a similar pattern. Also, if you leave the intentional walks out of it, his walk rate has still dropped very significantly.
does anyone understand what happened to Daniel Bard?...
...if we knew what was wrong we would fix it. But Bard’s season is a good stand-in for the Red Sox’ season. Bard really wasn’t bad as a starting pitcher, early in the year; he wasn’ t great, but he wasn’t bad… But rather than getting better as he made more starts, he got worse. When we moved him back to the bullpen to get him on familiar ground, he got worse. When he went to the minors to get straightened out, he got worse yet.
In the past—not speaking of Bard so much as the Red Sox—in the past we have been able to build from small successes to larger successes. But this season we haven’t been able to do this; we have gone from small successes to smaller successes to struggles to failures, failure building on failure rather than success building on success. It’s been difficult.
I noticed that Chris Carpenter will enter the post-season will 0 wins. How rare is it for a playoff team to start a pitcher who finished the regular season with 0 wins?
I don’t BELIEVE that has ever happened, although I’m a couple of years out of date with my research. I remember researching the worst won-lost records for starting pitchers in post season play. . .over the years there have been a fair number of pitchers who started post-season games despite won-lost records like 5-7 and 6-9. My study found that those pitchers almost always LOST when they pitched in post-season play. Obviously there were ‘stenuatin’ circumstances; somebody felt that they were better than their won-lost record, they pitched well late in the season, whatever. But they lost.
On October 2, Tampa’s James Shields struck out 15 in a complete game 1-0 loss to Baltimore. His game score of 94 was the highest of any losing pitcher in a non-extra inning game…
With a couple of games to go, Mike Trout has 37 win shares, and Miguel Cabrera has 32… Is a five win shares difference generally enough to clearly define one player over another as the MVP?...
A six win share leads ORDINARILY is enough to make a player an obvious MVP. In 1999 Ivan Rodriguez won the AL MVP with 28 Win Shares although three players had 35 Win Shares, but that is the point: THREE players had 35 Win Shares, not one (and numerous others had 29-34 Win Shares.) I believe that the last time a player led by 6 Win Shares and did NOT win the MVP Award was 1998, when McGwire led Sosa 41-35, but Sosa got the trophy.
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