Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is This An Era When Pitchers Don't Hit Enough Opposing Batters To Show Them Who's Boss?

On the Tigers radio broadcast of the White Sox-Tigers game, the analyst, Jim Price I think, who was a Tigers catcher, said something like "the pitcher needs to make some of the White Sox hitters dance." The Sox were pounding the Tigers, leading 12-1 in the 8th. But then Price said something like "it is a different era, but in my day we would have been throwing at someone."

I have done some work on this. I don't think this is an era when pitchers are afraid to throw inside or hit a batter. Here are some findings, in no particular order:

From More On The Changing Historical Relationship Between Walks, HBPs and HRs
-There is a significant positive relationship between a pitcher's walk rate and his HBP rate

-In the 1960s, a pitcher who gave up more HRs hit fewer batters but today a pitcher who gives up more HRs hits more batters.

From The Changing Historical Relationship Between Walks, HBPs and HRs
-For both leagues, the HBP/Walk rate has been rising since 1980 (so poor control is not the only reason for more HBP).

-In recent years (up through 2007), the HBP/HR rate has been relatively high, even adjusting HBPs for control as measured by the walk rate.

From Do Sluggers Get Hit By The Pitch More Than They Used To?
-players who hit HRs more frequently are now more likely to get hit by a pitch than in the the 50s, 60s and 70s.

-hitting a HR in the 1990s was 83% more dangerous than it was in the 1960s in terms of causing the player to be HBP.

From 2000-2009, here is the equation

HBP% = 0.0477*HR% + 0.009

The denominator for both HBP & HR was AB + HBP. The t-value for HR% was 1.97. The equation from the 1960s was

HBP% = 0.0311*HR% + 0.0058

Since .0477/.0311 = 1.53, it means that hitting a HR from 2000-2009 was 53% more likely to get you hit by a pitch than in the 1960s.

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