Part of CSNPhilly.com


« Report: Hamels, Myers engage in clubhouse spat | Main | What's happened to Howard in the World Series? »

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Comments

Anyone else see this article? This cracks me up.. a few weeks ago they were reducing ticket prices because they could not sell tickets to a Yankee game. All of the sudden they are 50,000 faithful!

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091103&content_id=7609532&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Let's get into these ba$tards!

If Roger Clemens were still in pinstripes, he'd already have thrown a bat at Chase.

(Repost) CJ, you're right. I saw postseason numbers on Scott Lauber's blog. And the numbers are up and down. Here's what he wrote:

In case you’re wondering, Pettitte will be making his sixth career postseason start on short rest and first since 2003. Here’s how he fared in the previous five:

Oct. 13, 1996: ALCS Game 5 at Baltimore — 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Oct. 24, 1996: World Series Game 5 at Atlanta — 8.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K
Oct. 6, 1997: ALDS Game 5 at Cleveland — 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Oct. 8, 2000: ALDS Game 5 at Oakland — 3.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Oct. 19, 2003: World Series Game 2 vs. Florida — 8.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 K

Larry Bowa should probably shut up about the Phillies. What did he have to say about the Dodgers second straight whiff in the NLCS?

I wonder if Bowa realizes he just destroyed 20 years of goodwill from Philadelphia with his stupidity?

Respect before comments: 100% for a guy that was a big part of a WS Champ for us

Respect after: 0%

Pettitte scares the bejesus out of me.


I guess the harm in Bowa's kicking up this dust is that it casts dispersion on our hitting abilities. As though the only reason we get good hits is b/c we know what pitches are coming. It would seem highly unlikely, since it appears Yankees catchers are transmitting all signs via mound visits, anyway!

And BTW, Ryan Howard in particular stinks, should we be stealing signs. Can't even hit the pitch he knows to be coming.

If I were a Yankee fan, I'd be livid if they Yanks weren't trying to steal / analyze the Phillies signs. What a non-story.

A-Roids "staged looks of intensity." JW, that is exactly what I saw in last nights game. He puts on a goofy fake tough guy face. He's just a weird dude.

Guys that are truly intense don't need to put on a face to show people that they are intense (see Utley and Lee).

So Petitte's last start on short rest in the playoffs was all the way back in 2003 and most of them were when he was at least 10 years younger.

So in other words, they basically provide almost zero insight into how Petitte will respond tomorrow night.

I shouldn't have tried to use a big word. I have no idea whether it's aspersion or dispersion. Boy do I feel dumb. But you get the meaning.

And I'm sure every team does try to "steal" signs. It's not illegal. Frankly, I found Charlie's response quite funny. "No we aren't stealing signs. We ARE trying."

Yep, basically, MG.

If there really is a camera in CF for stealing signs, that's pretty dodgy but, short of that, I GD hope they're trying to steal their signs.

As for Bowa, near as I can tell, he's been an a$$hole his whole life. Doesn't change my opinion of him one bit.

Man Bowa should just shut the @!#% up. As much as I loved him as a player here (and even somewhat as a manager), I am beginning to see him for the real f*ckhead that he is.

Otherwise, I find it very intriguing that Andy Pettitte hasn't had a post-season start on three days rest in 6 years, especially with the commitment that Yankees' management has made to the 3-man rotation this post-season.
I guess those extra random days off in the ALDS and ALCS did the Yankees some favors in allowing Burnett and Pettitte a nice extra day in between starts to recuperate.

This is a HUGE risk by Girardi starting Pettitte on 6 games. Well, actually, let me rephrase: it has been a huge risk for Girardi to set up his entire pitching staff as he has done this entire post-season. As I have said previously, you can get away throwing pitchers on three days rest against only certain teams; however, a good offensive team like the Phillies will hammer you for that. Throwing a 39 year old pitcher in the twilight of his career (albeit one of the most clutch pitchers in baseball history) should provide no exception to the rule.

Why do we do so well on the road then? We must be good if we've convinced other teams' camera crews to help us steal signs there too. Its a vast conspiracy!!!


FWIW, Stealing Signs isn't even illegal in baseball. Shady, yes, illegal, no.

Players and coaches have been stealing signs for 100 years. If they had the technology 100 years ago, they would have used it. I sure hope our guys are stealing signs.

I can't believe anyone who is part of buying a pennant is chirping about stealing signs.

Hey i'm glad to see they think that. Anything that breaks a pitchers concentration is a good thing for us. All those walks by Posada out to the mound have to break the pitchers rythem. Thanks Larry. I did see a fan with a camera taped to his hat. LOL

Does Larry have any input on the infrared pointer caper at the Bank. Stadium security could use his input, O thats right he needs to talk to the press you get his quotes in the newspaper to feed his overinflated ego. Little man Big ego.

typo rythym LOL

The whole genesis of the story is the unreasonable number of mound visits by Posada and co. Concern about the integrity of their signs is one reason for those but, as they have admitted, they also deliberately stall to disrupt the batter's concentration and timing. Sort of like repeatedly stepping out of the box. I actually had a guy tell me today he couldn't believe the home plate ump didn't give Posada time when he tried stepping out a second time while Lee was in his windup. This was in the context of a conversation in which he was raving about what a professional demeanor the Yankees display on the field. I'm not going to dog the whole team but, Posada's act is tired and I don't think many Yankee fans were surprised he didn't get time on that BS move.

Stealing signs with a camera? As NEPP pointed out, the Phillies hit slightly better on the road than at home, after adjusting for park factors:

2009 Away: .767 OPS (109 sOPS+)
2009 Home: .796 OPS (106 sOPS+)

2008 Away: .753 OPS (106 sOPS+)
2008 Home: .788 OPS (104 sOPS+)

This, like the Hamels/Myers dispute, is a complete non-story.

I hate the following players more than I hate the Taliban (ok, not as much as the Taliban, but you get the point):

Nick Swisher
Jorge Posada
Melky Cabrera
A-Roid
Russell Martin
Jose Reyes
Cody Ross
Yorvit Torrealba
Francisco Rodriguez

Wow 2 non-stories in 1 day. First the Myers/Hamels non story, now this concerning Bowa. He most likely said that part due to the bitter feeling of being dominated 2 years ina row by the Phillies and maybe part due to the fact that 97.5 is trying to gain ratings, so the higher up's there told him not to be afraid to say controversial things.

That whole Myers' story sounded fishy from the beginning 1.) Because it came out of nowhere after a win and 2.) Because it was said in front of various reporters actually speaking to Cole.

I wish we were playing tonight. Last time we faced Andy, we had him on the ropes but he escaped. I feel like this could be paybacks and we can crush him. Also, this gives Pedro another shot at winning in Yankee Stadium. And this time he hasn't been sick for the apst 2 days before the start. If we jump on Andy early, it could be a long night. Get 5 or 6 on him early then pin our ears back for the bullpen of Coke, Joba, Marte and Hughes.

1. A-Rod is the biggest phony in baseball. I could go on and on, but I'm sure all know more about it than I do.

2. I used to respect Posada. Now I think he's a cry-baby.

3. Never liked Bowa. Like him less now.

4. The traits that the Yankee fans like in their players they hate in other teams' players. If the Phils jumped out of the batter's box and/or made as many trips to the mound as Posada/Molina, they'd have a collective stroke. (Not a bad idea. Hey, Chooch - start making more trips to the mound.)

5. I also wondered if the Yank's 3 man rotation would be problematic in a 7 game series. Hope we have the chance to find out.

Wow MVP - good post.

Mark: The Taliban can hit and run, but they have no closer.

Pettite on 3 days rest:

Career 4-6 with a 4.15 ERA.

Last time he pitched on 3 days rest was in 2006 when he went 1-1 in 19 IP with a ERA of 3.79. Got shelled in 1 of the games against the Reds. In that outing went 6 IP with 9 hits and 7 runs. Then again in 2006, pitched against the Padres where he let up 5 hits and 0 runs, then again against the Braves where he pitched 7 innings giving up 4 hits and 1 run.

Before that was 2001 when he went 0-1 in 4 IP with a 15.75 ERA. In that game he let up 10 hits and 7 runs.

So in the past 4 starts with 3 days rest he had 2 good outings and 2 horrible ones. Which Pettite will we see? He is now 37 years old though. Something to keep in mind.

This has been mentioned numerous times by myself and other posters, but if you look at all the important Hamels peripherals (H/(; BB/K; WHIP; LD%; GO/FB; FIP etc.) they are all very close to or better than last year's with the exception of BABIP, which is largely affected by luck and defense.

So, despite the numerous theories out there, there is no statistical evidence to show that Hamels is pitching any differently than he did last year EXCEPT that he is getting much worse results due either to much worse luck or much worse defense or a combination of both.

My mind refuses to accept the prevailing interpretation of BABIP as a product of chance. My eyes tell me that Hamels is giving up more well hit balls. Not necessarily homers or screaming liners but, balls hit back through the middle or stroked into shallow OF because the hitter has a good cut.

Per Heyman's Twitter, the Rays trading partner for Iwamura is the Pirates.

Bay: Thank you.

Tonight is really going to be a long one trying to do all the research I can hoping that time can pass quicker, so that game time will be sooner. I think if we win tomorrow night, the writing will be on the wall for an epic Game 7 Thursday of a Hamels/Blanton/Happ vs. CC. But there is a snow storm in the works for the NY Area for Thursday, so imagine the game gets postponed until Friday. NOW we have the potential for a LEE vs. CC matchup. Not getting ahead of ourselves here, but we have to win Game 6!

mvptommy: Would Lee on short rest for the first time in his career vs. CC on full rest be better than Hamels on full rest vs. CC on short rest for the third straight time?

A rainout would be GREAT for the Yankees.

damn it, clout managed to successfully pull off a Taliban joke. Tricky. well done.

Anyone else feel like the Yankees have already had a year's worth of bloops, bleeders, seeing-eyes, and broken bat hits for an entire year in this series? I feel like half of Jeter's hits have been complete BS. Things have to even out at some point, right?

Pirates makes sense on Iwamura. They have a sucking black hole in middle infield.

Clout, depends what sort of rain delay it is. If the game gets rained out, I totally agree with you. If there is a significant in game rain delay, we probably wind up wiht Gaudin vs. Happ when it resumes, which I would be happy with. If the rain delay is Game 5 style from last year, and Lee can take the reins on Friday, there is a significant advantage for the Phillies.

Clout: I would rather Lee on short rest than Hamels on full, against any combination of the two for CC.

You disagree?

Just because Hamels has peripherals equal to 2008 doesn't mean he is going to pitch like 2008 in a possible game 7. While I'm in the camp that see the silver lining in disappointing 2009 season/postseason for Hamels, at some point you have to say, "Hey, the guy doesn't have it this year. What else can we do to win without him."

In his last 8 regular season starts, Hamels had a 3.15 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 8.1 K/9.

Granted, he faced some mediocre offenses in that stretch, and he's been terrible in the postseason, but I don't think it's crazy to think that he can pitch well in a possible Game 7.

clout: In the playoffs, though, it has been more than just bad luck. But the reason I still hold out a small degree of hope that he could come up big in Game 7 is because he has not really been systematically terrible. He hasn't totally lost the ability to throw strikes, the way Kyle Kendrick did late last season. He hasn't lost any velocity or lost the ability to command his pitches. He doesn't appear burned out by having pitched too many innings. What is killing him is the homerun ball -- 7 homeruns allowed in 19 post-season innings. We're really talking about a feew bad pitches per game.

This isn't the first time there have been rumors/urban legends about the Phillies stealing signs with a camera. If I'm not mistaken, this sporadic but never founded claim goes back to Vet Stadium days, which means Bowa would have firsthand knowledge of the supposed practice. Didn't Manuel get all angried up over this same accusation just a couple of years ago? Or was that Bowa himself?

BAP: Agree completely. His postseason walk rate, K rate are pretty close to his season numbers. His ground ball rate is down a bit. The major issue is the absurd 26.9% HR/FB number (7 HR on 26 FB). If he can avoid those few bad pitches, as you said, he can be effective.

30% chance of rain in NY on Thursday. I too would prefer Lee on three days rest than a rested Hamels

Hugh - There was a huge roar of approval where I was sitting when they didn't give Posada time out and they called the strike, then rung him up on the next pitch. I really have to believe that the Ump did it out of spite, as they have to be sick of the nonsense. Interestingly, they didn't opt to step away from the plate against Lee nearly as much as I expected in either of his starts. You'd think that if they put so much effort into disrupting our hitters, that they'd put a comparable amount into disrupting our best pitcher.

Best case scenario.

Sabathia starts against Happ or Hamels or anyone and they get three innings in with the score at 0-0, or the Phils only 1 or 2 runs behind. Then the rain is like a monsoon and they have to shut it down until Friday.

They resume on Friday with Lee on 3 days rest against an arm-weary Sabathia or someone other Yankee replacement.

Acutally, the best case scenario is that Happ outpitches Sabathia in a complete game shutout on Thursday. That's the ticket.

Clout fails to mention the key elements behind Hamels' struggles: his high cheek bones, long black hair and nasally voice.

Hamels mowed the Yankees down for 3 innings. Let him start game 7 and the moment he gets into the slightest bit of trouble you go to the bullpen. Everyone's available except Pedro.

As for Bowa, I've always loved him because he was a horse's a$$ rather than despite being one. His comments don't bother me.

Joe West behind home plate Wednesday...large strike zone. It should favor Pedro, but does it favor Pettitte more with that cutter that always lands in that unhittable just off the plate outside corner? I don't like this one bit...

I feared the prospect of having Cowboy Joe behind the plate ever since I saw that he was working the Series. Hopefully for once he won't be anti-Phillies...

Joel, can the Phils make an adjustment by standing closer to the plate so they can reach that pitch?

I hate to say this, but I think the match up tomorrow favors the Phillies. Pitching on 3 days rest might be too much for Pettite . Plus, he hasn't pitched well @ home this season.

I have seen a fair number of sporting events in NY in my day. Only one thing works---play well early and take the crowd out of it.

Marc, while I and hoping you are right, pitching on 5 days rest may be too much for Pedro! I can't believe that i guy we picked up from the scrap heap after the ASB is pitching the most important game of our season. Who would have thunk it!

In retrospect, I wish Blaton had gone in game 2 and Pedro in game 4. Hindsight is 20/20.

Last 2 World Series Game 6's for the Yankees, Pettitte pitched both.

2003 -- pitched well but lost to Beckett in the Marlins clincher at Yankee Stadium. 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 7 K, 3 BB.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA200310250.shtml

2001 -- got shelled versus the D-Backs and lost to the Big Unit in Arizona. 2+ IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 1 K, 2 BB.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ARI/ARI200111030.shtml

Overall, he's pitched in/started 12 WS games. In his first 6 WS starts, his team went 5-1 in those games. In his last 6 WS starts, his team went 2-4 in those games, including Game 3 this year, though he only gave up 17 ER in those 6 starts (10 in 2 starts vs Arizona, only 1 in 2 starts vs FL, 2 in 1 start as an Astro vs CWS, 4 in Game 3 this year).

Our LH hitters will have to do better against him this time around, but we can get to this guy.

clout, et al: How long does bad luck usually last?

With an unusually high BABIP and BAA for an entire season, wouldn't it be reasonable to suggest that the balls being put in play against Cole Hamels have been hit harder and further than in other years?

Spitz - Please remind me what exactly Blanton has accomplished this post-season that Pedro hasn't?

I remember when it was either the Marlins or Braves that beat Hamels mid to end season (I forget which team exactly), but in the postgame someone said since he throws soft, they hit him soft and it resulted in lots of bloop hits.

I don't know if this has anything to do with ridiculously high BABIP, but it stuck with me.

sneed: His line drive, ground ball, and fly ball %'s were all the nearly the same as well. Last year Hamels got lucky and this year he was unlucky. For the regular season at least, in the playoffs this year he's just sucked.

Re Hamels: The important numbers to look at aren't the peripherals in his case. It is more about when the damage has occurred because there is some consistency there. In innings 1-3, over the course of 32 starts in the 2009 season, he had a BAA of .228, .238, .258. In innings 4-6 that trend moves to .320, .294, .315. For his career, innings 1-6 line up as follows: .244, .224, .242, .262, .228, .280.

While the peripherals remain strong, he's either had bad luck only in innings 4-6, or a more likely answer is either of the following scenario's (and possibly a combination of both): A) he's worn down after throwing 270 IP over the 2008 season at age 24 or B) his 2 pitch repertoire has made it easy for major league hitters to adjust to the 2nd and 3rd time they see him in a given game. He's still good enough to get them out the first time or two though, but afterwords they begin to sit on and foul off the fastball until they get a good one to hit or can easily guess changeup.

If we get to game 7, Hamels is the only choice to start the game. Happ or Blanton on 3 days rest are both ludicrous. However, he should be on a very short leash and if Charlie wants to get creative (which he doesn't), he would take Cole out after 3 innings regardless of the score and outcome.

"wouldn't it be reasonable to suggest that the balls being put in play against Cole Hamels have been hit harder and further than in other years?"

When his home-run, fly ball and line drive rate are all the same, no.

sneed:

No, not really. The number of balls in play for a starter in one season really isn't that big a sample size. Hamels was on the lucky side last year and on the unlucky side this year.

Luck doesn't last. Hamels luck going forward should be unrelated to either his luck so far this year or his luck last year. He may get more bad luck or he may get good luck, but it ought not to have any relation to his luck in 2009 so far. That's what is meant by luck, by definiteion it doesn't last and it isn't predictive.

Once hit f/x data becomes more available people may be able to answer these sorts of questions more accurately.

sneed: you would think that would show up in line drive percentage then, but Hamels LD% actually dropped from 2008 to 2009 (21.8% to 20.8%).

That said, I don't really disagree with your post @ 7:27. I think bad luck is a major component, in addition to what you've mentioned.

But, Klaus, couldn't more of those FB's and LD's be falling for hits because they were hit well? I think the point is there is something in an answer that is as simple as he's had one full season of bad luck.

Scott, my issue with Pedro is that he can't go more than 100 pitches. Against this patient Yankee lineup, that means about 4 innings of our BP. You want that in an elimination game? You can ride innings-eater Blanton longer.

Its funny - I think Pedro is more likley to through a gem than Blanton, and in fact, if this was game 7 and the opposing pitcher was CC Sabathia, I'd rather have Pedro. But against Andy Pettite on 3 days rest, I think we need a solid 7 and 1/3 inning, 4 run effort from our starter, and I think Blanton is more consistantly going to give you that sort of effort.

Nice post, Sneed.

Once again, Joe Kerrigan's analysis is that due to tiredness, as the game wore on Hamels has lost movement on his fastball and pitches that were fouled back or swung at and missed earlier in the game were turned around into hits later in the game.

That would help account for the marked increase in BA over the sequence of innings as you documented. So, yeah, saying it is a case of (A) and (B) combined seems logical.

sneed - certainly reasonable to suggest and in most cases that's the source of the rising numbers. Point with Hamels is that his LD% is virtually unchanged. His LD% is actually down this year relative to last:

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4972&position=P#battedball

Hamels is undervalued. No question that any rain delay benefits the Yanks. I'll take Hamels on full rest vs. CC on short over all other possible options (assuming Lee on full rest is impossible).

I expect Pettite to struggle tomorrow. No idea what to expect from Petey. Probably a bullpen game (with Rivera pitching at least 2 IP).

It's also possible a combination of bad luck and bad pitching has occurred, no? Am I to assume that the .40 increase in BAA against in 2009 versus his career average is 100% due to luck?

Hypothetically, and I suppose we can't measure this (but if we can someone will let me know), but couldn't bad luck contribute to a .20 rise, while the other .20 was due to him wearing down earlier in games than normal?

I'm trying to get this straight.

Are people saying that luck accounts for the pattern of BAA increasing steadily with each inning Cole pitches?

sneed:

Looks like my reply was eaten. But, Brian G said it well. As did Klaus. Additionally, the whole idea of luck is that it doesn't last, by definition. All luck is 'new' luck, unrelated to the old luck.

BTW, all pitchers get worse as they face the lineup a second, third and fourth time. For most pitchers, the third time through is the time to bring in the bullpen.

regarding how hard hit balls are off Hamels, the statistic tRA is supposed to measure that (see this), and Hamels actually had a lower tRA in 2009 than in 2008 (4.51 vs 4.63).

just food for thought. there's no arguing that Hamels has been pretty much totally ineffective this postseason, regardless of what his regular season peripherals suggest.

"BTW, all pitchers get worse as they face the lineup a second, third and fourth time. "

But compare the BAA over the course of innings 1-6 in 2009 as compared to 2008. Are you saying that the marked difference is purely coincidence or a matter of luck?

From Scott Lauber:

"Shane Victorino had his bruised right index finger examined by doctors in Philly this morning, and Charlie Manuel classified him as “day-to-day.” A decision on his status for Game 6 won’t be made until he reports to the ballpark tomorrow. If he can’t play, Manuel said Ben Francisco likely will play center field."

This will not be good for us defensively; it will be like last night w/Raul in LF, Francisco in CF, Werth in RF. At least Charlie could switch Werth and Francisco so the strongest runner/thrower is in CF - unless he's expecting lots of balls to be hit to RF?

In spite of Vic's poor hitting this series, he can get on at any time and is a distraction for the pitchers when on-base. So now, instead of Raul DH'ing, we'll lose Shane's speed on the basepaths and have either Stairs or Dobbs (maybe?) DH. I doubt this is a better offensive option for us than Victorino. Plus it's yet another LH in the lineup, as opposed to SH.

Sigh.

Looks like we all mostly agree. I want Cole in game 7 as well. He's the right choice.

Another hard to measure issue has been the amount of pitches being fouled off, which has seemed to push his pitch count earlier than in previous seasons, but I can't prove that objectively. It's merely an observation.

Once again, the stats sneed posted showed that BAA increased more dramatically this year as the game wore on than last year.

Logically, I would guess that BAA increases for all pitchers over the course of the game, but I would like to see someone argue that the faster BAA increase for Hamels this year as compared to next DOESN'T support the argument that he is tiring at a faster rate this year.

phlipper:

The sample sizes for individual innings are miniscule. I haven't run numbers, but yes, variations between .240 and .300 could very much be entirely due to luck.

ae:
I'll just quote DH Phils. "His postseason walk rate, K rate are pretty close to his season numbers. His ground ball rate is down a bit. The major issue is the absurd 26.9% HR/FB number (7 HR on 26 FB)." That's probably bad luck. MLB pitchers don't have 27% HR/FB ratios over long durations.

Sneed: That's an interesting point, about the second and third time through the batting order.

.228/.270/.388 (.270 BABIP)
.276/.317/.457 (.321 BABIP)
.346/.384/.521 (.413 BABIP)

His BABIP was higher, but I can't find LD% splits to see if those also increased the second and third time through. If they have, your theory makes a lot of sense. It also seems to be true anecdotally.

Also, with 2 outs, RISP: .289/.341/.566

Whether that's a matter of statistical noise, or a psychological problem with handling pressure, that high slugging percentage indicates Hamels is giving up an abnormal proportion of his extra-base hits at times when they are the most damaging.

Forgot to point out: those slash lines I just listed are for 1st time through the order, 2nd time through the order, and 3rd time through the order, respectively.

GBrettfan, Vic says he will play. I know he's not the most reliable source, but hopefully he's icing it and keeping the swelling down. I expect him to be out there.

Speaking of Dobbs, where has that guy been? Is he still sick?

Are we playing that game where people try to come up with the silliest stats possible to prove that Cole is having a good year?

Also there are rumors that Victorino, Cole, and some of the bullpen have swine-flu in addition to Dobbs.

gobaystars: Are we playing the game where we sarcastically dismiss the rational discussion others are having by oversimplifying it and then calling it "silly"?

I have always what would have happened if the Phillies had forced deciding games in the 1977 NLCS, 1978 NLCS and 1993 WS. Part of me beleives that they would have won at least one of those series against LA.

I hope that I don't have to wonder about the same thimg for the 2009 WS

Dobbs? Dobbs is like a cheetah hiding in the brush. Waiting for the pivotal moment to pinch hit while the Yankees scouts scramble for their notes. Before they know what hits them, Dobbs banks one off the right field bleachers. Walk off. Like a cheetah.

Another thing that may be worth looking into with Hamels is his LOB%, or strand rate. This is the percentage or runners who don't score.

Last year, it was 76%. This year it's dropped to 72%. So he's doing worse with runners on. This could be attributable to luck (last year, the hits just didn't fall in with runners on--this year they're falling in with guys on), or to a change in approach with guys on.

The reason J.A. Happ had such a low ERA this year? An absurd 85% strand rate.

The league average is 72%.

The cheetah thing reminds me of a time I visited a buddy at college. His roommate had cheetah print sheets on his bed and "New Jersey" written on the wall in electrical tape. I asked him why the cheetah sheets and he told me "because I fvck fast." Then he threatened to "kick [my] ass from here to K-Mart." As you were.

Larry - I figured you'd explain those patterns with sample size.

Could be. On the other hand, I have to wonder if the difference isn't too dramatic to explained away by sample size or luck.

The pattern of tiring more quickly this year over last year is show in BAA for each inning.

228, .238 .258 .320, .294, .315 (2009)
244 .224 .242 .262 .228 .280 (2008)

In other words, comparing the rising BAA as the innings progressed:

+10, +20, +62, -26, +21 (2008)
-20, +18, +20, -24, +52 (2009)

Average increase in BAA per inning as the game wore on:

2009 (17.4)
2008 (9.2)

I have no idea how to actually run the numbers and account for the effect of the small sample size (you seem like you have the required knowledge of stats), but those numbers do seem to jump off the screen to support the contention that Hamels tired faster this season than last season.

Joe L: 2008 Dobbs - Maybe, 2009 Dobbs especially with the really long layoff - Slim to none.

gobaystars: Everyone here agrees that Hamels is having a bad season compared to last year. The question is why. Many think it's because he's not pitching as well as he did last year, that he lost a few mph on his fastball or his location is off on the change or he's giving up more line drives or the hits are harder or he's giving up more fly balls or he's lost confidence or he's soft or he parts his hair on the wrong side etc.

But the facts, i.e. stats, don't support any of that. In fact, the one thing they do support is that Hamels was luckier than the average pitcher last year and this year he is unluckier. But the quality of his pitching has been the same.

In sum, Cole Hamels isn't as good as he looked last year and he isn't as bad as he looks this year. His true talent is in the middle.

The fact that the conclusion based solely on numbers is that it's solely a matter of luck proves mostly the shortcomings of the statistical analysis.

"Milky" is out for the series.

"The fact that the conclusion based solely on numbers is that it's solely a matter of luck proves mostly the shortcomings of the statistical analysis. "

Agreed. It does seem to defy common sense to conclude that the reason he's been as bad as he has been this year when compared to last is year is purely a matter of luck.

Old Phan: Milky sure looked awfully spry in the dugout for someone who was out for the series with a hamstring injury, didn't he? He was jumping up and down like he was in a mosh pit. Jackass.

He also wasn't doing much in the WS. Is the injury a coincidence? You decide.

It has been shown that BABIP (that is batting average on balls in play, or batting average when excluding strikeouts and home runs) is primarily a function of luck. There is very little correlation between the year-to-year BABIP of a player. An average BABIP is typically between .290 and .300.

In 2008, Hamels had a BABIP of .262.
In 2009, Hamels had a BABIP of .321.

Another good measure of luck is strand rate, as Jack mentioned above. Hamels' 2009 strand rate is worse than his 2008 strand rate.

These are facts, not theories.

It is not a valid argument to say that an approach is wrong because it seems wrong.

gobaystars, where'd you see the rumors about swine flu?

So if the scientific conclusion is luck, then shouldn't Cole be due to turn it around? When do the numbers say his luck will change?

The swine flu rumors come from a source in the West Chester area who cannot be named. The Phillies are being hushed about it to not help the Yankees out by letting them know who is and isn't available. Check the papers after the series.g

DH Phils -

Just because on average, BABIP might be primarily a function of luck does not mean that it is always a function of luck.

If you have a pitcher who has lost something on his fastball one year over another, not necessarily in MPH but in movement, it is quite logical that more of the balls hit off him will be solid line drives than ground balls to infielders - thus accounting for a higher BABIP.

Further, while luck may be a partial explanation, there is no reason to assume that it is the entire explanation for a difference of .321 to .262

Gobaystars, we already know that Eyre, Victorino, Walker, Dobbs, Lidge, Park & Pedro were ill at one point. Are you saying that some of them are sick again? and that others are, too? (I think it is possible they are sick again, doesn't the swine flu tend to progress as though you are getting better, then you relapse?)

That would be just great. We'll need more than our share of luck, in that case.

Sign stealing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhWYrmcSDAU

I have no problem with a guy on 2nd doing that.

Hugh - Now it doesn't. Those are just summary level data and comparisons. Often when you dig into data further, you so start to find some subtle differences.

clout: Agreed that Hamels is somewhere in between last year and this year, but you've consistently made the point that the sole reason for his struggles are bad luck. Others are offering evidence as to issues he's having that have compounded his bad luck and need to be addressed this off season.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories

HardballTalk

Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel

CSG