Originally Posted by mth123
Here is one on a tee for many of you, but I never really bought the explanation. Maybe something new and different can help me out. Can anyone explain why Strike-outs are the most important thing for a pitcher but are "just another out" for a hitter?
First the premise is flawed. Strikeouts are bad PA outcomes. But once you control for the fact that they are an out, they aren't that much worse than other outs -- for either pitchers OR hitters.
But here's the rub. If the ball is put in play, the pitcher ceases to have much influence over what happens. By contrast, the hitter has a lot of influence over what happens. So a hitter who strikes out a lot can make up for it by hitting for power. But a pitcher who doesn't strike out a lot has a more difficult time making up the difference.
So, in summary, strikeouts for hitters are bad. But they've got the ability to offset it. Strikeouts for pitchers are good. But if they don't get them, there's not much they can do to offset it.