Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
Cyclone, this is truly a great piece of work. I'd like to see RedsZone set up a second Archives-like forum called something like "The Baseball Academy" where posts like this can be preserved and quickly accessed by fans who want to get smarter about the game.
Your data indicates that, as baseball conventional wisdom teaches, the quickest way to neuter a hitter is to get him into a pitchers count. The best hitters are the ones most adept at working the strike zone in their favor. While this is relevant to showing why the Reds are so successful offensively, perhaps the inverse could aslo be revealing as to why the Reds are so poor on the mound. I'd be curious to see how often Reds pitchers placed opposing batters in hitters counts vs. pitchers counts -- and I'd be willing to wager that Aaron Harang saw way more pitchers counts than Eric Milton did last year.
Thanks, Caveat. What you mention about applying the same count data for pitchers is also something I've been thinking about, and I'm going to try to look into it a bit. I've been browsing around some pitching splits and most of the data should be available so I'll see what I can find.
Just a quick glance at 2005 and I noticed Milton was behind in the count for 253 plate appearances (out of 855 total), which was 29.6 percent of all his plate appearances against. Harang was behind in the count for 253 plate appearances (out of 887 total), which was 28.5 percent of all his plate appearances against. Slight edge to Harang, but nothing too significant.
Getting ahead of hitters was an entirely different story between those two. Harang was ahead in the count 40.0 percent of the time, compared to only 34.7 percent for Milton. This is a rather significant edge for Harang.