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View Full Version : Pitches seen to wins formula (Plate patience pays)

mbgrayson
08-27-2006, 03:59 PM
I always get annoyed when Reds hitters swing at the 1st pitch. Maybe it was reading Moneyball, where we see that seeing a lot of pitches and wearing down the other teams pitchers iimportant. Anyway, I checked out the last 11 games, and every time the Reds averaged seeing 17 or more pitches per inning, they won. Every time they saw less than 17 pitches per inning, they lost.

Here is the breakdown:

8/26 1-4 loss 14.7 pitches per inning
8/25 1-4 loss 11 pitches per inning
8/24 6-3 win 10 pitches per inning
8/23 3-7 loss 16.55 pitches per inning
8/22 14-0 win 19.75 pitches per inning
8/21 4-3 win 19.75 pitches per inning
8/20 5-1 win 18.5 pitches per inning
8/19 14-7 win 18.75 pitches per inning
8/18 3-7 loss 15.44 pitches per inning
8/17 1-2 loss 13.88 pitches per inning
8/16 7-2 win 17.78 pitches per inning

To arrive at these numbers, I added up the total number of opposing team pitches, and divided by the number of Reds innings hit. ( 9, or 8 for home wins)

I realize that this number will not always hold up. However, I do think it shows a correlation between being patient at the plate and working the other teams pitchers and winning. It also shows that a good starter on the other team can beat us by keeping his pitch count down. (See Morris on 8/25). Still, working the count and running up the other team's pitch count helps....

Ravenlord
08-27-2006, 04:06 PM
part of the correlation has to do with most middle relievers are guys who weren't good enough to start and are in the pen to try and hide their weaknesses.

how i enjoy having a team of guys who are mostly patient.

RedFanAlways1966
08-27-2006, 05:10 PM
every time the Reds averaged seeing 17 or more pitches per inning, they won. Every time they saw less than 17 pitches per inning, they lost.

8/24 6-3 win 10 pitches per inning

I realize that this number will not always hold up.

You were wrong and then you were right! ;)

Nice work and very interesting. More pitches usually equates to more walks as well. The REDS are 5-5 in their last 10 games. In the 5 wins they had a total of 20 walks. In the 5 losses they had a total of 10 walks. They have gone 12-13 in August. In the 12 wins they had a total of 52 walks (4.33/game). In the 13 losses they had a total of 32 walks (2.46/game).

Patience is definitely a virtue in baseball. :thumbup:

Cedric
08-27-2006, 05:11 PM
More pitches mean you are obviously getting hits, walks and extending innings.

Pretty obvious.

mth123
08-27-2006, 05:14 PM
More pitches mean you are obviously getting hits, walks and extending innings.

Pretty obvious.

Thank you for not making me point that out.

Falls City Beer
08-27-2006, 05:20 PM
More pitches mean you are obviously getting hits, walks and extending innings.

Pretty obvious.

You'd think it were obvious to all.

But it's not. "Baseball people" get rich spouting nonsense to the opposite effect.

mbgrayson
08-27-2006, 05:34 PM
More pitches mean you are obviously getting hits, walks and extending innings.

Pretty obvious.

There is more to it than that. It would take more time, but we could calculate number of pitches per plate appearance. That would eliminate the effect of hits and walks, and I bet that you will still see better 'pitches seen' numbers in wins than in losses, although not such a strong correlation.

The correlation also works with pitches seen to runs scored, and of course, runs scored to wins. During this period, the Reds have also won every game in which they scored 4 or more runs.

mbgrayson
08-27-2006, 07:14 PM
"every time the Reds averaged seeing 17 or more pitches per inning, they won. Every time they saw less than 17 pitches per inning, they lost."

8/27 0-8 loss 16.55 pitches per inning

The rule holds again, but it was close....

That last inning in today's game was a good example of lack of patience. Jamey Wright pitched only 8 pitches in the 9th inning. Both Ross and Clayton hit the first pitch, and made outs. Phillips got a single on the 6th pitch he saw. I know...there are also 1st pitch HRs.

If you can get a pitcher past 17 or so pitches in an inning, he may get tired enough to make a 'mistake'. In general, the more pitches you see, the better chance that one will be one you can hit.

redsmetz
08-27-2006, 07:28 PM
Hmmmm, do we need to bring Dan O back and reinstitute the rule from the minors, no swing until after the first strike??? [The answer, of course, is no, but patience is a virtue)]

Good analysis though folks.

mbgrayson
08-27-2006, 07:54 PM
we could calculate number of pitches per plate appearance. That would eliminate the effect of hits and walks, and I bet that you will still see better 'pitches seen' numbers in wins than in losses

Well, I was wrong. When corrected for number of plate appearances, the correlation between 'pitches seen' and winning, and with runs, goes away.

8/27 0-8 loss 4.26 pitches per PA
8/26 1-4 loss 3.69 pitches per PA
8/25 1-4 loss 3.19 pitches per PA
8/24 6-3 win 4.07 pitches per PA
8/23 3-7 loss 4.03 pitches per PA
8/22 14-0 win 3.76 pitches per PA
8/21 4-3 win 4.16 pitches per PA
8/20 5-1 win 3.89 pitches per PA
8/19 14-7 win 3.85 pitches per PA
8/18 3-7 loss 3.76 pitches per PA
8/17 1-2 loss 4.03 pitches per PA
8/16 7-2 win 4.21 pitches per PA

The pitches seen per inning being higher happens in correlation to when runs are scored. The more runs scored, the more plate appearance = more pitches seen.

There is lots more fun to be had here. On average, do batters who get a hit see more or less pitches per plate appearance than those who get outs? Do we see more pitches in the inning where we score runs? Fun fun...lol

Always Red
08-27-2006, 08:27 PM
I posted this on another thread discussing the frustration with Reds swinging early in the count lately, but it fits into this thread better. Of note, the Reds were shut out today, but actually padded their NL lead in pitches per PA:

But in general, the Reds have been very patient at the plate this year. Some say Chris Chambliss is to thank for this trait.

How patient? Well, a look at the stats on MLB.com show they lead the NL, with 3.859 pitches per plate appearance (PA).

The Nats are 2nd, the Phils 3rd, and the Pads 4th. The Mets, who lead the NL in runs scored, are in the middle of the pack (3.776), and the SF Giants are dead last, with 3.579 pitches per PA.

In fact, the Reds actually padded their NL lead in pitches per PA today. Giants pitchers threw 149 pitches, and the Reds had 33 AB + 2 BB for 35 plate appearances for a total of 4.26 pitches per PA.

The Reds also lead the league in walks, and are 2nd to the Dodgers in OBP.

mbgrayson
08-27-2006, 08:31 PM
Checking into this stat a little more, I found this interesting link. (http://www.actasports.com/sow.php?id=81)

Also there is this link, (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/282395_mbok24.html) which discusses how the Yankees have seen ove 1200 more pitches than Seattle this year. This pitches per PA stat also explains why the recent Boston-New york game was the longest 9 inning game in MLB history time-wise.

Cyclone792
08-27-2006, 09:07 PM
Great topic, mbgrayson.

I ran some quick data correlations for P/PA (pitches per plate appearance) and other offensive factors for the 2006 season so far. A preferred and more accurate sample size would be several seasons, but this was quick and easy and should give us a ballpark neighborhood of what offensive events correlate to P/PA better than others.

P/PA Correlations to Offensive Events - 2006 Season

Offensive Event P/PA Correlation

Hits .004
Doubles .218
Triples -.617
Home Runs .549
Total Bases .317
Extra Base Hits .375
Hit by Pitch .319
Walks .622
Strikeouts .522
Stolen Bases -.154
Caught Stealing -.252

Batting Average -.009
On-Base Percentage .442
Slugging Percentage .347
On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS) .429
Runs .338

As can be seen, walks/isolated discipline skills and power skills (home run and doubles power) have much stronger correlations than factors such as hits and batting averages. Taking pitches and working the count in your favor will result in more mistake pitches that can be crushed, and more mistake pitches for your hitters will usually result in more extra base hits for your offense. Additionally, taking pitches will also result in more walks and strikeouts.

I've always advocated having offensive teams that run high P/PA numbers as those figures generally mean an offense will take more walks (have higher OBPs), have more power (higher SLG) and eventually score more runs than an average offense in P/PA. However, those offenses will also strike out more than an average offense and generally frustrate fans who do not understand how important OBP and SLG skills are.

Reds Nd2
08-27-2006, 09:29 PM
But which comes first, the walks or a high correlation for P/PA? Wouldn't walks naturally have a higher correlation due to the fact that it takes at least four pitches to earn a free pass? If simply taking more pitches correlated to more walks, shouldn't we see a higher correlation to OBP?

If seeing more pitches per plate appearance raises the chance for a homerun, why wouldn't the correlation for hits, including triples be higher? Shouldn't there be a higher correlation with SLG?

Cyclone792
08-27-2006, 09:46 PM
But which comes first, the walks or a high correlation for P/PA? Wouldn't walks naturally have a higher correlation due to the fact that it takes at least four pitches to earn a free pass? If simply taking more pitches correlated to more walks, shouldn't we see a higher correlation to OBP?

If seeing more pitches per plate appearance raises the chance for a homerun, why wouldn't the correlation for hits, including triples be higher? Shouldn't there be a higher correlation with SLG?

Interesting questions.

Generally hitters who take more pitches will take more walks and get themselves into better batting counts than hitters who take fewer pitches. It's not always the case, but it's pretty common. Scott Hatteberg is a prime example of that, which is why Beane liked him in Oakland. An average hitter will get into a hitting count around 35 percent of the time, but Hatteberg's made a career of getting into a hitting count over 43 percent of the time.

The big advantages, though, really aren't the individual plate appearance results, but actually the pitching staff management of the opposition. Chewing up pitches gets the starting pitcher out earlier and gets mediocre relief pitching into the game earlier. Getting those marginal relievers into a game is where an offense can really tee off on a pitching staff and win a game or even a series.

Typical bullpens may only have two or three stoppers in the bullpen, if even that. If you let their starter reach the 7th inning, you may only face those better stoppers. Get that starter out in the 5th inning, and there's a gap of a few innings between the starter exiting the game and the bullpen stoppers where your offense will be able to hit and [most times] crush marginal pitching.

Triples in today's game are mostly anomalies now as it is. As a group, they are either A) doubles stretched into triples by speedsters, B) misplays by outfielders or C) random balls hit into odd ballpark areas, such as right-center field in Fenway or whatever telephone company San Francisco calls their park nowadays.

Reds Nd2
08-27-2006, 10:25 PM
The big advantages, though, really aren't the individual plate appearance results, but actually the pitching staff management of the opposition. Chewing up pitches gets the starting pitcher out earlier and gets mediocre relief pitching into the game earlier. Getting those marginal relievers into a game is where an offense can really tee off on a pitching staff and win a game or even a series.

Yes, but my questions/thoughts derived from the chart you posted. I'm not sure any correlation exists between P/PA and individual offensive events. If there was, I just think we would see it in other areas too.

I agree with a team getting to feast on another teams bullpen. These things sometimes manifest themselves in the first game and carry over for the rest of the series. That's why I think mbgrayson might be onto something with his pitches seen per inning or maybe a better way to look at it would be pitches seen per game. Heck, I don't know. I'm just throwing out some thoughts on a very good topic.

Cyclone792
08-27-2006, 10:50 PM
Yes, but my questions/thoughts derived from the chart you posted. I'm not sure any correlation exists between P/PA and individual offensive events. If there was, I just think we would see it in other areas too.

I agree with a team getting to feast on another teams bullpen. These things sometimes manifest themselves in the first game and carry over for the rest of the series. That's why I think mbgrayson might be onto something with his pitches seen per inning or maybe a better way to look at it would be pitches seen per game. Heck, I don't know. I'm just throwing out some thoughts on a very good topic.

I think some of the correlations with P/PA and individual offensive events might be related to batting counts in each PA. I'm not certain of this, but it seems plausible to me that hitters who take more pitches generally do a better job of getting into better batting counts, at least based off the 25-30 hitters I've researched recently related to this. When an average hitter is in a hitter's count, he slugs 200 points higher than when he's in a pitcher's count. Of course, that same average hitter also hits 100 points higher in BA, and there is no correlation there so it's strange.

I do know for certain that the ability to knock out a starter and reach into a team's weak bullpen is a major benefit, perhaps the greatest benefit, and that's what both the Yankees and Red Sox have stressed offensively for much of the past decade or so.

mbgrayson
08-28-2006, 02:38 PM
it seems plausible to me that hitters who take more pitches generally do a better job of getting into better batting counts, at least based off the 25-30 hitters I've researched recently

I have continued to read up on 'pitches seen' issues. One interesting thing I ran across is that the Reds have 3 out of the top 20 National League hitters in P/PA -most pitches seen per plate appearance.(Also both Kearns and F. Lopez are in the top 20). In general, this is a list of very good hitters.

The 3 Reds in the top 20 are Dunn, ranked #6 at 4.18 P/PA, Freel, ranked #9 at 4.10 P/PA, and Hatteberg, ranked #16 at 4.01 P/PA.

HERE is another link (http://www.hardballtimes.com/thtstats/main/index.php?view=batting&linesToDisplay=50&orderBy=pPerPa&direction=DESC&qual_filter=ignore&season_filter%5B%5D=2006&league_filter%5B%5D=2&team_filter%5B%5D=CIN&pos_filter%5B%5D=All&Submit=Submit) showing the P/PA rate of the Reds. I note that Denorfia, Ross, and Encarnacion fare well here.

mbgrayson
08-28-2006, 02:45 PM
One more note on pitches seen per plate appearance.....P/PA.

The Reds lead the National League in P/PA, seeing 3.86 P/PA. The league average is 3.76.

See THIS LINK (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/teams/) for detailed team by team info.

RedsManRick
08-28-2006, 03:56 PM
One of the interesting topics that's getting some pub now is type of lineup which works well in the playoffs. Of course, this comes from the statement that "Billy Beane's (stuff) doesn't work in the playoffs". A long AB versus Pedro Martinez is not as beneficial as one versus Joe Mays. Players, if not teams, that rely on extra base hits and walks for their production are less likely to experience their normal level of success than simple "hit" based players.

I agree with Cyclone that perhaps the biggest advantage to a high P/PA is getting in to a bullpen early. If you're getting the starter out in the 5th or 6th inning every night, you're facing a lot of 9th, 10th, 11th guys on a staff. Plus you're pushing those guys to pitch more that they're used to. Even if the outcome of the AB's is the same, or not significantly different, that you get the AB against Josh Hancock instead of Chris Carpenter in the 7th inning is all the difference in the world.

dabvu2498
08-28-2006, 04:14 PM
One of the interesting topics that's getting some pub now is type of lineup which works well in the playoffs. Of course, this comes from the statement that "Billy Beane's (stuff) doesn't work in the playoffs". A long AB versus Pedro Martinez is not as beneficial as one versus Joe Mays. Players, if not teams, that rely on extra base hits and walks for their production are less likely to experience their normal level of success than simple "hit" based players.
Thus why the list of pitchers with high P/PA includes a lot of successful guys.

1. Young 4.15
2. Meche 4.12
3. O. Hernandez 4.10
4. Cain 4.03
5. Kazmir 3.99
5. Peavy 3.99
7. Zambrano 3.98
8. Johnson 3.94
9. Schmidt 3.93
9. Penny 3.93
11. Bedard 3.92
12. Harang 3.91
12. Lilly 3.91
12. Myers 3.91
15. Glavine 3.89
15. Zito 3.89
17. Schilling 3.88
17. Arroyo 3.88
19. Olsen 3.85
20. Johnson 3.84
20. Davis 3.84
22. F. Hernandez 3.81
22. Francis 3.81
23. 8 tied at 3.80

mbgrayson
08-29-2006, 11:16 AM
Last night's game (Monday 8/28) presents another interesting example.

The Reds saw a total of 198 pitches over 43 plate appearances. That translates into 22 pitches per inning, and a 4.60 P/PA. They scored five runs, and still lost.

Yet they chased Brad Penney after only 5 innings, and got into the Dodgers bullpen, where they found some success. This is exactly how they need to go after good pitchers....wear them out. It didn't hurt that Penney's control was off, but the Reds were patient enough to expose that flaw.

In the 9th, Marty commented several times about Edwin swinging at the 1st pitch and flying out. He correctly noted that a guy like Braxton has control problems, and that Edwin should have taken a pitch or two to see if he would throw strikes. On the other hand, Phillips took 3 straight strikes to end the game, with the tying run on 2nd. Ouch!

Of course you don't win most of the games where you give up 6 or more runs....

harangatang
08-29-2006, 11:40 AM
Of course you don't win most of the games where you give up 6 or more runs....Maybe we shouldn't have traded Kearns. :D

Always Red
08-29-2006, 11:44 AM
In the 9th, Marty commented several times about Edwin swinging at the 1st pitch and flying out. He correctly noted that a guy like Braxton has control problems, and that Edwin should have taken a pitch or two to see if he would throw strikes. On the other hand, Phillips took 3 straight strikes to end the game, with the tying run on 2nd. Ouch!

Of course you don't win most of the games where you give up 6 or more runs....
LOL- it's always something, isn't it? The hitting wasn't here for 3 nights in a row, and then last night they score 5 and lose.

I think there's a fine line (somewhere) between being patient, working the count, making the pitcher work more, and being too patient. Not sure if the numbers can tell us where that fine line actually lies. Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the batting count (ie- easier to hit 2-1 or 3-1 than it is 1-2, or at least a hitter needs to change his approach)?? Brandon Phillips crossed that imaginary line last night; Dunn also takes a lot of pitches for called strike three, but then again, Dunn has a better eye and walks a lot more than Phillips does.

Great topic, mbgrayson!:thumbup: