Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 21, 2004
BASEBALL: Drilling Roger

Andrew Koch crunches some numbers on the question: will Roger Clemens get beaned in the NL? His answers:

Does Roger Clemens hit more batters than the average pitcher? Nope. In 2003, the average AL pitcher hit 10 batters per 1,000 batters faced (BFP), while Clemens hit only 5.7 per 1,000 BFP. Maybe Clemens has mellowed in his old age -- he must have hit more batters earlier in his career, right? Right, but not that many more. Over his career, Clemens has hit about 8 batters per 1,000 BFP. He's really not that reckless.

Do NL pitchers hit fewer batters than their AL counterparts?
Eh... sorta. National League pitchers hit 9.6 batters per 1,000 BFP, slightly less than the AL's 10. That works out to about .72 HBP per AL game and .68 HBP per NL game, a marginal difference.

Do NL "head-hunters" get hit by a lot of pitches themselves?
Yes. Eighty-two National League pitchers made at least 10 starts in 2003, and they averaged about 9 HBP/1,000 BFP. The pitchers who hit more batters than expected ("Headhunters") were hit by pitches themselves once every 224 plate appearances, while the "more gentle" pitchers were only hit half as often (once every 487 PA).

The lesson learned: If you hit too many batters in the NL, expect to get thrown at yourself.

Of course, Clemens also throws at a lot he doesn't hit; the third finding is the most interesting . . . read the whole thing. (Link via Will Carroll).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:23 PM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

If you do the math, what you see is that pitchers rarely hit other pitchers (which is not surprising, since a main reason for pitching inside is to deter good hitters). This is probably also why NL pitchers hit less people - they fact pitchers something like 5-10% of the time, and don't pitch inside to them unless they are retaliating.

I think anyone who has seen Clemens pitch knows that he throws at people. The reason he doesn't hit that many, in my opinion, is that he almost never hits anyone by accident, unlike many less-talented pitchers.

Posted by: Jerry at January 22, 2004 9:18 AM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg