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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Are analytics to blame for Rays’ Kevin Cash pulling Blake Snell too early from Game 6 of 2020 World Series?

But in the top of the sixth inning, the Dodgers were about to get their third look at Snell, something that Cash wanted to avoid. Per MLB.com:

“The only motive was that the lineup the Dodgers feature is as potent as any team in the league. I felt Blake had done his job and then some. Mookie [Betts] coming around the third time through, I value that. I totally respect and understand the questions that come with [the decision]. Blake gave us every opportunity to win. He was outstanding. These are not easy decisions. ... I felt it was best after the guy got on base—Barnes hit the single—I didn’t want Mookie or [Corey] Seager seeing Blake a third time through. As much as people think that sometimes, there’s no set plan. This organization’s tremendous about giving the staff the trust to make in-game decisions to give us the best chance to win. I respect what unfolded today was pretty tough.”

Cash’s argument about no set plan doesn’t hold up when looking at the numbers. The top of the Dodgers’ lineup — Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Justin Turner — were 0-for-6 with six strikeouts against Snell on Tuesday.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 08:53 AM | 154 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blake snell

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   101. Howie Menckel Posted: October 29, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5986497)
bump a starting pitcher too early
   102. Ron J Posted: October 29, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5986564)
#94 I took a detailed look at career platoon splits quite some time ago. I don't think I could sign for MGL's belief that everybody has the same platoon differential. I can tell you though that single year platoon splits have no real signal and that the players with the most extreme splits tend to moderate over time.
   103. JJ1986 Posted: October 29, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5986566)
Are there righties who have reverse platoon splits over long careers?
   104. Walt Davis Posted: October 29, 2020 at 06:00 PM (#5986570)
Strange responses to my Betts' post. Would be nice if folks responded to the actual questions raised.

1. Betts didn't just have bad numbers against LHP, he had a substantial change in two key components -- K-rate and power. The Frank Thomas example ... he too had a huge jump in K-rate. He had a drop in power but still had one XBH per 18 PA ... Betts had 1 in 64 PA. Betts did not suffer a BABIP drop while a big chunk of Thomas's drop that year was a drop to a 240 BABIP compared with a LHP BABIP of about 340 before that. Give him his standard BABIP and that line becomes about 300/400/450 which would still be bad by Frank Thomas standards but not terrible and well within random variation. Betts did not have particularly bad BABIP luck.

2. I asked for platoon-road splits -- i.e. how he did against LHP in Fenway vs how he did against them on the road. I know fully well how to find H/R splits.

3. Fenway is a fine HR park for RHB, it kills LHB HR. (Or more specifically based on what I found quickly online, it's neutral to LF, kills to RF. If you want it more specifically, it kills to CF and RCF. Pesky's pole is a cheap shot of course but it gets quite deep quite quickly after that.

https://swishanalytics.com/mlb/mlb-park-factors

4. I can't find any of the stuff on at what point a change "starts to mean something" for different stats. My memory is that a change in K-rate starts to have reasonable predictive value sometime around 75 PA but that could be wildly off -- I don't trust my memory, no reason you should.

Now if somebody wants to track down players that have cratered in terms of K and power then bounced back (there must have been many), that would be a counter-example. If somebody knows where to find platoon-road splits, that would be great. If somebody knows where #4 is hiding, that would be great too.

Meanwhile, 64 PA is about half a month. The worst month of Betts' career was his very first one in Apr 2015 at 230/313/345. Even then, the K-rate was 17% and the XBH rate at 6%. He was just as bad in Aug 2017 at 223/328/330 but with more BB than K, a K-rate around 13%, an an XBH about ever 14 PA. His BABIPs were 261 and 250 respectively relative to his standerd 312.

Those are nothing like 200/313/218, a K-rate of 23% and of course 1 XBH in 64 PA. Maybe if we gave him another 64 PA he'd have brought that all right. But it sure looks to me, small sample or not, that something was legitimately wrong. It's probably fixable so won't have a long-term effect and I wouldn't make an in-game playoff decision based on it yet but 1 XBH in 64 PA is really, really, really bad.

Statistically, we talk about "effect size" which basically is the magnitude of the estimate relative to the random variation in an estimate. The problem with small samples is that the random variation can be quite so, in small samples, you can only reliably detect really big differences. Going from 1 XBH per 7.9 PA to 1 per 64 PA is a massive change.

That said, the chances that at least one batter in the league has such a 64-PA stretch is presumably pretty high and we've cherry-picked Betts after the fact because he was such a batter. So no, I won't be surprised if he's back to standard Betts vs LHP next year and I would be stunned if he somehow manages just a 218 SLG against them next year. But something was wrong.
   105. spycake Posted: October 29, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5986581)
I didn't get to watch the end game too closely -- do you all think Urias was going to come in, regardless of whether the Dodgers were up 2-1 or trailed 1-0?
   106. spycake Posted: October 29, 2020 at 07:21 PM (#5986586)
Unlike Carpenter in 2011, there is zero chance Snell could have made 1 run in the first inning stand up. Oh, he may have done what Anderson couldn’t and pitched out of the 6th, but soon after he would have been out of there. He just has never been trained to pitch deep into games.
That's fair. More than than going deeper, I think I wanted a little more margin for error for the incoming reliever -- 2 outs would have been great, and/or nobody on base. (If either of those conditions were true, Anderson's performance would have left the game tied at the end of the inning, at worst.) I think a few of the other questionable SP hooks this postseason came with 2 outs too.

With no offense, Rays still likely lose, but it would have been a little more entertaining to watch -- maybe the Betts HR in the bottom of the 8th becomes an iconic moment rather than just an insurance run!
   107. Ron J Posted: October 29, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5986609)
#103 From the study I did two decades ago -- career platoon splits 1984-97

Bill James used the following definitions (using OPS as the unit of measure):

+176 or more Extremely Large Advantage
+126 to 175  Large Platoon Advantage
+76 to 125   Normal Platoon Advantage
+26 to 75    Small Platoon Advantage
+25 to -25   No Real Platoon Advantage
-26 to -75   Reverse Platoon Advantage
-76 or more  Significant Reverse Platoon Advantage 


Career
Bats
                                     Both Left Right
Extremely Large Advantage             12
%  14%   3%
Large Platoon Advantage                8%  27%  13%
Normal Platoon Advantage              17%  24%  29%  
Small Platoon Advantage               34%  27%  41%
No Real Platoon Advantage             29%   8%  12%
Reverse Platoon Advantage              -    -    2%
Significant Reverse Platoon Advantage  -    -    1


I counted the players who reached the majors as switch hitters and abandoned it in the extremely large group. Note that roughly 1/5 of all switch hitters were in effect platoon players.

I don't have the raw data any longer so I couldn't tell you who was in any group.

EDIT: Though I recall Andy Van Slyke and Lou Whitaker as having among the largest platoon splits in that time frame.
   108. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 30, 2020 at 10:09 AM (#5986649)
#85 I know about his 2019 splits too. See the Frank Thomas splits I posted. A two year crater in a bigger sample size. Platoon splits are inherently extremely noisy.


are you not guilty of the very same reasoning that we are criticizing in this thread?

This thread: Points out the logic failure in taking Snell's overall statistical performance and not giving much credence to the more recent, smaller sample.

You're reasoning. On average hitters don't have reverse splits. I will ignore the smaller more recent sample that is in stark contrast to the norm.

Incredible. YOU cant make this up.
   109. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 30, 2020 at 10:11 AM (#5986650)

Poorly designed and understood analytics can and does tell you to do batshit crazy things.


says the guy who insists that elite defenders won't save you more than 10 runs in a season.
   110. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5986652)
says the guy who insists that elite defenders won't save you more than 10 runs in a season.

I'm pretty sure I've said the range is +/-20, which is in line with all the research I've seen.

Over a career, a +20 average is unlikely, b/c a guy won't be at his peak for 15 years.
   111. Ron J Posted: October 30, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5986656)
#108 I'm trying to find a polite way of saying this. Do you honestly think Mookie Betts has become sub-pitcher in his ability to hit RHP? I don't. Never happened before in the history of baseball than an elite RH hitter has suddenly lost the ability to hit LH pitchers.

Do you think Blake Snell was worth going a little further with (even though he's been consistently somewhat less effective the third time through)? I do, though I'd have had him on a very short leash as he seems to be a guy who isn't effective with less than his best stuff -- and can tire quickly.

The point Rally made about Archer's workload is one that I hadn't considered (and evidently the Rays hadn't either) and helps make the case for sticking with Snell. This isn't a typical case for third time through. Snell's thrown fewer pitches and Archer had been worked harder than was typical for him.
   112. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5986721)
interesting post elsewhere about a game where the Dodgers trailed, 1-0, in the 6th inning of Game 6 with the 8-9-1 hitters coming up and an effective starting pitcher still in the game who had thrown only 69 pitches and allowed just one hit+walk.

Austin Barnes got the first hit of the inning, Justin Turner made the second out, and Corey Seager had the second RBI as the Dodgers took the lead 2-1 in a game they would go on to win, 3-1.

why yes, we are talking about the Astros, Justin Verlander, and the 2017 World Series and all of the parameters above - as well as Tuesday's game.

the Astros left Verlander in and the Rays took Snell out, but little else changed.

heads the Dodgers win, tails.... the Dodgers win.

:)

   113. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 30, 2020 at 05:02 PM (#5986724)
Interesting - not sure if this has been posted here yet, but this Twitter thread pretty much demolishes the argument that Snell's dominance through the first 5 innings was enough to predict continued success in the game.

I'm not saying that settles the issue, but it does at least settle that part of it pretty well.
   114. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: October 30, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5986729)
Seen only scattered mentions of this, but the context of the whole discussion has to be pulling Snell for Anderson to face Betts. Anderson has been terrible, and pulling Morton for Anderson in Game 7 against the Astros was almost as bad. Just watch the guy pitch. He was gassed. He said, after the game, that he was gassed.

Add this to the fact that Betts had terrible numbers against LHP and had looked awful. It's not Snell v. no Snell, it's Snell vs. Anderson, and there was no way that anyone who had seen both pitch in the previous week could argue that Anderson had a better shot. Therefore, it was a clear imposition of numbers derived from a statistical aggregate over far more relevant observational data. That's just bad science and bad managing.
   115. SoSH U at work Posted: October 30, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5986731)
Interesting - not sure if this has been posted here yet, but this Twitter thread pretty much demolishes the argument that Snell's dominance through the first 5 innings was enough to predict continued success in the game.


And Snell was much worse than average. His ERA in the sixth inning the other night was 27.00*.

My issue is less with Snell vs. any specific reliever, but the fact that you're just replacing a legitimately good pitcher who hasn't thrown a lot of pitches with a series of worn down and/or mediocre ones, even if a few of them had some spiffy ERAs in the short-sample season. Not a one of those guys is really that good.

*Mr. Kurcon makes a strange argument in the comments. He says it "doesn't include the men left on base." It does if they scored.

   116. BDC Posted: October 30, 2020 at 05:45 PM (#5986732)
Are there righties who have reverse platoon splits over long careers?

In addition to Ron J's numbers, just running a B-Ref search (which is only complete back into the 1960s) finds only six players with >3000 PA and reverse splits as RHB vs. LHP, and all are switch hitters (Roy White, Pete Rose, Omar Vizquel, Eddie Murray, Tim Raines, and Ted Simmons).

Alex Rodriguez was basically even (OPS .931 vs. RHP, .928 vs. LHP, and B-Ref sees both as a 100 tOPS+, but he's the leader here among true RHB in a very long career, with (just barely) a reverse split.

Between 2000 and 2999 PAs, still a long career when you figure that's just against LHP, there are several switch hitters but also some true RHB with reverse splits against LHP: by tOPS+ Adam Jones 90, Bob Boone 94, Bobby Bonds 99. Joe Adcock, in incomplete data, is at 96, which seems odd for a slugger in that mold but maybe no odder than any of the other guys. These reverse splits are still very rare in careers of that length.

Between 1500 and 1999 PAs, Mike Sweeney, Billy Hatcher, and Gus Triandos are all at 93, the lowest in that set among true RHB.



   117. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 30, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5986734)
By the way, when did "shoving" become a term for pitching very well? I had never heard that before this week. It's terrible.
   118. BDC Posted: October 30, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5986740)
I thought Earl Weaver might have popularized "shoving" in Manager's Corner, but re-listening to it it seems that Timmy Stoddard was actually "sticking."
   119. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: October 30, 2020 at 07:05 PM (#5986741)
Wow, that's really striking. Assuming twitter guy's numbers are on, it turns out that pitching well for five innings is not especially predictive of continued success. ERA of 0.62 to ERA of 3.86. I guess the next step is to figure out what the expected ERA for the guys in the study was prior to their games, in order to figure out the relative change to the expected performance of a pitcher who is cruising through five innings. Then take your expectations for Snell going into the game, and adjust them by that amount to get an expected ERA for innings >5. Compare that to expected ERA for Anderson (or whomever) to find out if it was a good move or not.

I've got to say, though, that the numbers in that twitter thread are very surprising. Did not see that one coming.
   120. Ron J Posted: October 30, 2020 at 08:42 PM (#5986749)
#119 Neither did I. I expected them to be less effective than they had been in the game to that point but still very good. Doesn't change my mind that I'd be going batter by batter.
   121. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2020 at 08:43 PM (#5986750)
as we have seen in a number of postseason games in recent years, the... well, it's not exactly opportunity cost, but maybe a cousin, doesn't always seem to get its due.

seems to be broad consensus here on how stupid it was to bring in a gasping Anderson in that spot.

but even if you go with a reliever who can still fog a mirror so early, there's still a lot of outs to go - and once the pitcher is done for the night, he's done for the night. so a) what happens in the 9th or 10th and b) how many bullets have you spent that won't be available for Game 7?

hard to believe it's only been a few years since Showalter sat on Britton all night. now, managers can't dispose with pitchers fast enough.

removing Snell there has to have in its consideration set the fact that quality replacements in the game/series are not unlimited.
   122. baxter Posted: October 31, 2020 at 01:36 AM (#5986792)
113 Thank you; extremely interesting.

As one of the posters in that thread pointed out, in Snell's previous start he looked great and then the wheels came off. Snell did not get to 5 innings in that one.

Comeback is, as others noted, Snell is still a better choice than Anderson, one poster noting that the "Snell" era is about half a run an inning; Anderson averaged a run an inning, so still better w/Snell
   123. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 31, 2020 at 01:47 AM (#5986793)
#108 I'm trying to find a polite way of saying this. Do you honestly think Mookie Betts has become sub-pitcher in his ability to hit RHP? I don't. Never happened before in the history of baseball than an elite RH hitter has suddenly lost the ability to hit LH pitchers.



THe issue is one of statistically significant sample size. we have 197 PA vs LH last year and 64 this year.

Is 261 PA significant or not? thats the issue.

ITs really not relevant The History of Baseball if 261 is significant. And if 261 is not significant well The History of Baseball is still not relevant.
   124. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 31, 2020 at 06:44 AM (#5986796)


4. I can't find any of the stuff on at what point a change "starts to mean something" for different stats. My memory is that a change in K-rate starts to have reasonable predictive value sometime around 75 PA but that could be wildly off -- I don't trust my memory, no reason you should.


Well lucky for you I bookmarked it. Here from fangraphs:

https://library.fangraphs.com/principles/sample-size/

And your memory is right on! 60 AB for batters and 70 AB for pitchers on the K rate.

So walks and KO stabilize pretty quickly. ba and slug need more AB. So for Betts we're not yet there to say his reverse split is real.

BUt one thing I dont get is why it says ISO stabilizes at 160 AB but ba and slug and obp nowhere near there. over the last two seasons its something like .150 vs LH so its really bad.


   125. Ron J Posted: October 31, 2020 at 09:54 AM (#5986801)
#123 Dear lord no. The standard deviation of results in a sample that small is huge.

EDIT: Or to put it another way, it's really unlikely that DJ LeMahieu has become a 177 OPS+ hitter. Or even a 145 OPS+ hitter (his results over 871 PAs)

Smaller samples?

I did a study a while back that looked at the same hitters in consecutive months with at least 90 PAs. The study parameters would largely eliminate injured players (though of course you will get some players playing through nagging injuries). 1471 player months in the study

I got a standard deviation of 49 points of BA, 57 point of OBP and 117 points of SLG

Guys sometimes don't hit for a month or two. What's happening with Betts vs LHP is just that.
   126. Greg Pope Posted: October 31, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5986803)
Assuming twitter guy's numbers are on, it turns out that pitching well for five innings is not especially predictive of continued success. ERA of 0.62 to ERA of 3.86.

I think that MGL (maybe with Tango?) did a study quite a while ago and his conclusion was that the best predictor of a pitcher's success in a given inning was his past performance in that inning. There was basically no correlation with the prior innings in that start. It goes against what we have been taught, that some days a pitcher has it and some days they don't.
   127. Greg Pope Posted: October 31, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5986804)
replacing a legitimately good pitcher who hasn't thrown a lot of pitches

Has anyone tried to factor in tiredness as it relates to the third-time penalty? In other words, yes pitchers do worse the third time through, and we think it's familiarity. But at some level they're more tired than they were the first and second times through.
   128. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5986806)
Has anyone tried to factor in tiredness as it relates to the third-time penalty? In other words, yes pitchers do worse the third time through, and we think it's familiarity. But at some level they're more tired than they were the first and second times through.


In that twitter thread referenced, pitchers who threw fewer than 76 pitches had a better ERA 3.69 than pitchers with more than 76 (4.12). Obviously, more study would be needed, but tiredness no doubt plays into the third-time penalty.
   129. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 31, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5986807)
On Effectively Wild, where I heard about the aforementioned Twitter thread, Ben alluded to research that, in his view, showed pretty convincingly that the penalty is more due to familiarity than tiredness, but he didn’t specify what it was.
   130. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5986811)
Besides tiredness I would think you'd want to know how the runs were distributed. Were 170 pitchers lights out, 15 ok, and 21 imploding?

Also not sure why ERA is being used.

Then you also have to compare what you can expect out of Snell vs what you can expect out of his replacement.

It doesn't matter if you expect Snell to give up 10 runs if you expect his replacement to give up 13 runs.
   131. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5986813)
Tango would tell you to use wOBA.
   132. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 31, 2020 at 01:30 PM (#5986819)
On Effectively Wild, where I heard about the aforementioned Twitter thread, Ben alluded to research that, in his view, showed pretty convincingly that the penalty is more due to familiarity than tiredness, but he didn’t specify what it was.

I think it would also matter how the hitters had fared against the pitcher the first two times. Were they adjusting and starting to hit the ball hard? Or were they K-ing feebly and making weak contact.
   133. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2020 at 02:36 PM (#5986826)
On Effectively Wild, where I heard about the aforementioned Twitter thread, Ben alluded to research that, in his view, showed pretty convincingly that the penalty is more due to familiarity than tiredness, but he didn’t specify what it was.


I'm curious how they would be able to determine when a pitcher is tiring.
   134. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5986829)
I'm guessing looking at amount of pitches vs how many times seen.
   135. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5986830)
I recall people talking about the 2016 world series and how hitters got to see these unbelievable relievers more than once a series so they were getting to the relievers. Of course you have the same problem in that by getting used a lot they're getting more tired as well.
   136. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5986845)
hitters got to see these unbelievable relievers more than once a series so they were getting to the relievers.

they don't call them "failed starters" for nothing!
   137. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5986847)

I'm guessing looking at amount of pitches vs how many times seen.


That's probably it, but that doesn't tell us who was tiring and who wasn't. I don't see how it's measurable to the point you can isolate what is third-time through vs. truly tiring.
   138. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 31, 2020 at 07:34 PM (#5986861)
Assuming twitter guy's numbers are on, it turns out that pitching well for five innings is not especially predictive of continued success. ERA of 0.62 to ERA of 3.86.
The only thing I would want to see in that sample is how many pitches they had thrown. Again, Snell only had 73.
   139. BDC Posted: October 31, 2020 at 09:47 PM (#5986893)
If familiarity were a big, separable factor, you'd expect that ace pitchers BITD who faced given teams 5-6 times a year or more would be sitting ducks later in the season. But I'm not sure that was true. Robin Roberts did better earlier in seasons, for instance, but Warren Spahn's best two months were August and September. Obviously the theory is that you get more comfortable with a pitcher on the day in question, and you see a lot of different pitchers in a season, but professional hitters would remember what facing Warren Spahn was like over a period of months or indeed years.
   140. Ron J Posted: November 01, 2020 at 12:36 AM (#5986921)
#139 Not widely understood, but until sometime in the 1990s pitchers used disguises so the fact that a team might have faced Spahn 5 times already didn't really matter.
   141. villageidiom Posted: November 01, 2020 at 06:53 AM (#5986926)
Has anyone tried to factor in tiredness as it relates to the third-time penalty?
I've looked at this a few years ago by only looking at 2nd time through the order for pitchers who made it at least into the 3rd time, and 3rd time through the order for pitchers who made it at least into the 4th time, figuring if they were allowed to face the top of the order again they were probably not viewed at the time as being tired. IIRC the TTOP was at least cut in half, if not vanished entirely. I'll have to dig up that work.
   142. McCoy Posted: November 01, 2020 at 07:02 AM (#5986927)
One thing I just noticed is that the twitter guy didn't filter for hits. So it would be interesting to see how many hits through 5 his group was giving up and also if there is any correlation between the runs given up in the 6th and the amount of his given up in the first 5 innings
   143. McCoy Posted: November 01, 2020 at 07:07 AM (#5986928)
Re 141. I've seen something similar. MGL would tell you there's some bias in doing that and he's probably right. I recall MGL looking at it the other way and basically finding that managers don't really do a good job identifying who still has it and why doesn't. He looked at things like pitchers who got through 24 batters and what they did on the 25th and such.
   144. McCoy Posted: November 01, 2020 at 07:13 AM (#5986929)
For me the best way to study this would be to look at Snell's velocity, spin rate, and location accuracy. How much had it declined? What would be his expected performance needed on his current level of those traits entering the 6th? How fast can we expect him to deteriorate from that level?

Then compare that to what could we expect from his replacement.
   145. sunday silence (again) Posted: November 01, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5986942)

If familiarity were a big, separable factor, you'd expect that ace pitchers BITD who faced given teams 5-6 times a year or more would be sitting ducks later in the season.


But its familiarity of a different kind, isnt it? It has to do with what is happening in the stadium on that particular night. Adjusting to the light, the lengthening shadows, the background effect, and the pitchers stuff. Im guessing it has more to do with thaat.
   146. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 01, 2020 at 03:25 PM (#5986948)
But its familiarity of a different kind, isnt it? It has to do with what is happening in the stadium on that particular night. Adjusting to the light, the lengthening shadows, the background effect, and the pitchers stuff. Im guessing it has more to do with thaat.

The first three of those factors would apply to all pitchers, starters and relievers. They would imply that hitters should hit better in late innings than early, regardless of who's pitching. Is that true? I've never heard that.
   147. sunday silence (again) Posted: November 01, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5986961)
oh yeah I get what you are saying Snapper. I think you're right. I just meant that its not familiarity by seeing someone pitch 5x over the course of a month. Although maybe batters could get better over a season.
   148. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: November 01, 2020 at 06:57 PM (#5986967)
The first three of those factors would apply to all pitchers, starters and relievers.


It would, but I would think individual pitcher tendencies play into that as well: release point, pitch selection, spin rate, pitch movement. Combine that with environmental factors and I could see why familiarity with a specific pitcher on a given day could help. Of course, if the pitcher has filthy stuff that day, it might not matter.
   149. Greg Pope Posted: November 02, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5987021)
Familiarity can also depend on the pitcher, though. A starter who has 2 plus pitches, and 1 decent 3rd pitch might have shown everything he has to the batters the first 2 times through the lineup. But a pitcher with 3 plus pitches and 1 decent 4th pitch, plus the ability to throw their fastball 3 different ways, might have some new things he can show the 3rd or even 4th time through.
   150. spycake Posted: November 02, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5987030)
For me the best way to study this would be to look at Snell's velocity, spin rate, and location accuracy. How much had it declined?
Snell's first couple pitches of the 6th signaled a velocity drop, but I suspect it would have rebounded a little bit if he had continued further into the inning. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-defense-of-kevin-cash-pulling-blake-snell-in-the-world-series/
   151. spycake Posted: November 02, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5987032)
Of course, if you're looking at pitches like that, Anderson was also the wrong choice to come into the game: https://theathletic.com/2166248/2020/10/28/rays-blake-snell-world-series-game-6-nick-anderson/
Anderson wasn’t the same in 2020 as he was in 2019. All year he’d had less movement and velo, and as that trend worsened, so did his results. After the game, Anderson even admitted he didn’t feel great.
   152. McCoy Posted: November 02, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5987037)
I'm basically doing this by hand as I don't have the time to work through and setup retrosheet based databases but let me just say Justin Verlander was a beast in 2019 during the 6th inning in a game that he was dealing. Verlander in 2019 had 10 games where he went into the 6th inning allowing 1 run or less and striking out 6 or more hitters. In those 10 6th innnings he gave up a grand total of 1 run and 3 hits and all 6th innings were complete. He allowed 1.08 runs through 5 in those 10 games and allowed .9 runs in the 6th.
   153. McCoy Posted: November 02, 2020 at 01:49 PM (#5987039)
Chris Sale on the other hand gave up 6 runs in nine 6th inning games in which he was dealing heading into the 6th in 2019.
   154. McCoy Posted: November 02, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5987040)
Gerrit Cole was a beast in 2019 as well. 0 runs allowed in nine 6th innings.
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