Originally Posted by RedsManRick
Pitchers who are wild actually maintain medium P/PA levels because they're leaving balls over the plate often enough to give up hits early in at bats and balance out their walks. Their high pitch count from from lots of PA, not from lots of pitchers per PA. Pitchers who have better control and miss lots of bats are the ones who have P/PA, but are successful by limiting their PA. The PA part of the equation is variable and has a very strong relationship with runs allowed.
Hitters meanwhile have a "fixed" number of PA. Thus, in any given at bat, getting more pitches can still tend to be a good thing. I love that line oneupper. I think Vlad is a great example. Getting a high P/PA isn't about getting a walk. It's about getting a good pitch to hit and walking if you don't get one. The "problem" with Adam Dunn is that he doesn't make enough contact so he often works himself in to a 2 strike count and then can't connect with the pitch he gets to hit. It's why a guy like Pujols or Sheffield sees a lot of pitches but doesn't strike out very much.
Good pitchers can go deeper in to a given AB without ever giving the hitter that pitch to hit (or make them miss the one they get), bad ones can't. So for pitchers, more pitchers per AB, but fewer ABs.
Here is a look at all NL pitchers that have made more than 7 starts. They are divided into four groups:
G1 - good stuff, good control. higher than ave k%; lower than ave bb%.
G2 - good stuff, poor control. higher than ave K%; higher than ave bb%.
G3 - poor stuff, good control. lower than ave k%; lower than ave bb%.
G4 - poor stuff, poor control. lower than ave k%; higher than ave bb%.
As far as the Reds' staff goes. Harang is in G1. Belisle and Lohse are in G#3. (Belisle just missed G2 - a couple of good k starts would move him up) Arroyo is in G4.
This chart shows how the four groups with respective to both P/PA and OBP.
(Only hits and walks were included in the OBP.) HBP seemed like it wouldn't have made an appreciable difference.
Group K% BB% P/PA OB%
G1 21.7% 6.2% 3.75 0.285
G2 18.8% 9.7% 3.84 0.314
G3 12.7% 6.3% 3.55 0.312
G4 13.5% 10.0% 3.76 0.337
Average 16.2% 7.9% 3.71 0.313
Three of the four groups have pretty similar P/PA numbers. G3 is lower. This must be the 'pitch to contact' group. If you know that you are unlikely to strike many batters out, I suppose you just let them hit it and let your fielders do the work.
No surprises with the OBP%. If you strike a good percentage of batters out and don't walk many then your OBP will be low. If you walk a lot and can't keep the ball out of play then your OBP will be high.