Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Strikeouts and Small Ball

(click on chart for larger view)

Game 95: Durham Bulls 1, Louisville Bats 3
Season: 53-42
Wrap, Box, Indy Week

Have the Bulls been striking out a lot these last few games (especially on Sunday)? I decided to take a look and came up with the chart above. What the chart shows is the ten games with the least number of strikeouts (as measured by number of strikeouts per plate appearance) and the ten games with the most strikeouts. The interesting thing is that we won all the ten games with the least strikeouts and we also won four out of the ten games with the most strikeouts. Without doing much more work than I really want to do, it sure looks like the relationship between strikeouts and winning and losing games is there, but not very strong. Where strikeouts really hurt is in the small ball games like last night. Last night wasn’t too bad (.195), not nearly as bad as the night before (.315), but we just couldn’t push the runs across. A while back I mentioned that this year’s Bulls seemed to live and die by the home run and that doesn’t seem to have changed.

Now for a couple of rants —

What was the Bulls front office thinking when they let the International League establish this bizarre schedule? Two weeks on the road? This is the Durham Bulls. How come they don’t play in Durham? The only benefit I can see with this schedule is that the grass in the DBAP might have a chance to recover a bit. Does anyone take the players into account? Does anyone take the fans into account?

What’s the point of having a starting pitcher in mid-July who’s limited to 75 pitches? Apparently the Rays have told Montoyo that Carlos Hernandez is limited to 75 pitches or 5 innings, whichever comes first. I understand their concern over his health and, perhaps, their hopes for his future (he’s had a couple of good games for us), but if they’re really concerned with limiting his pitch count why not just put him in the bullpen? Am I missing something here?

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