Billfer, of the Detroit Tigers Weblog, did a very good job recently showing how the Tigers handled hitting when they had two strikes. This had me thinking about how Tigers pitching handled these very same situations through out the year. I was interested in more than two strike counts though and took a look at three key situations:
- Two Strikes – Any count where two strikes are on the batter. (0-2, 1-2, 2-2 or 3-2) In this situation it should be more common for the pitcher to get a strikeout than in other situations.
- Three Balls – Any count where three balls are on the batter. (3-0, 3-1 or 3-2) In this situation it should be more common for a pitcher to end up walking the batter than in other situations.
- Full Count – Three balls & Two Strikes. Could go any way in this situation: walk, strikeout, hit or out for ball hit into play.
Looking at each of these situations really does bring out the characteristics unique to each pitcher. Continue to see how each Tiger starting rotation member fared with each of these pitch counts.
Starting off with a two-strike count each pitcher did as expected getting getting quite a few more strikeouts than walks. No surprises here that Bonderman ended with quite a few more strikeouts than other Tiger starters and Rogers with a bit higher walk % than the others. Verlander was pretty much middle of the road ending with the third highest SO% and second highest walk %.
Tigers pitchers were closer together with this count with the outcoming being a walk 36% of the time or greater. Nate Robertson was the best of working back and getting a strikeout with this happening around 21% of the time.
Full count showed the biggest differences between each pitcher. Kenny Rogers ended with a walk ~36% of the time. Not surprising as Rogers is usually reluctant to challenge a hitter and when he gets down on a count of three balls he is likely to just let the hitter have first rather than give up a possibly damaging hit. Robertson again shines in this situation getting the highest strikeout percentage with Bonderman close behind.
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