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2007 bases-loaded walks

Posted by Andy on January 29, 2008

Using the Team Pitching Event Finder, we came up with this list of all 2007 instances of a team issuing a bases-loaded walk.

Among the things you can tell from this are:

  • The pitchers to do it the most were Barry Zito (7), Levale Speigner (5), and Chad Gaudin (5).
  • The team to draw the most bases-loaded walks was Boston (24), followed by Anaheim (19), and Philadelphia (17).
  • Right-handed batters received 58.4% of the walks with the bases loaded, as compared to 53.5% of ALL walks (regardless of number of baserunners) issued to righties in 2007. I can't think of any easy explanation for this discrepancy, except perhaps that lefties are more likely to pitch in tight spots and therefore the opposing manager might be more inclined to send up a right-handed pitcher.
  • Right handed pitchers issued 63.2% of the walks with the bases loaded, as opposed to 70.9% of ALL walks issued by righties in 2007. This one is easier to explain, as left-handed specialists are brought in during tight squeezes all the times, so it stands to reason that they issue a higher fraction of bases-loaded walks (and probably a smaller fraction of bases-empty walks.)
  • The 6th-place batter in the lineup received the most bases-loaded walks (57), followed by the 7th (53) and 5th (52) place batters.
  • The relative score when the walk occurred was most often tied (74 times) and after that generally happened more when the pitching team was already behind (no surprise there.)
  • Seven games ended on bases loaded walks, and those are listed right here.
  • 55% of all bases-loaded walks were issued at the visitor's park, i.e. at the batter's home park.
  • The pitch count for the bases-loaded walk was most rarely 4 pitches (19.7%) and most often 5 pitches (30.5%.) And twice in 2007, it was 38 pitches.
  • More than half the time, the walk came with 2 out.

A few things you can't tell from this report, but that you can tell from the Team Batting Even Finder for bases-loaded walks:

  • The most were drawn by Pat Burrell (6) and Chone Figgins (5).
  • The most were issued by Texas (19), Baltimore (19), Tampa Bay (17), and Washington (17.)

9 Responses to “2007 bases-loaded walks”

  1. David in Toledo Says:

    With regard to bullet point #3, how can we determine what percentage of all at-bats were made by right-handed batters and left-handed batters?
    (It will be some breakdown different from the 58.4/41.6 or the 53.5/46.5 splits already cited.) I think the info I'm asking for -- depending on what it is -- might offer at least a partial explanation for the discrepancy you point to.

  2. John C Says:

    wow hard to belive it happened 351 times. I always thought it to be a cardinal sin to walk someone with the bases loaded. Can you run the numbers for prevoius years. I am wondering if it happens more nowadays then it happened years back. I swear as a kid you never saw it happen but now it happens all the time. Thanks

  3. Andy Says:

    You can get that data right here:

  4. David in Toledo Says:

    Thanks! It appears that 58.9 of all plate appearances were by right-handed batters, that they got only 53.5% of all bases on balls, but when the bases were full, their walk rate came back up to their rate of plate appearances: that is, to 58.4%.

    From the data you supplied in comment #3, right-handed pitchers threw during 72.6% of all plate appearances. Therefore, left-handed batters were about 14% advantaged (72.6 - 58.9) in the handedness of the pitchers they faced. On average, a right-handed pitcher facing a lefty batter is more likely to give an EBH or a run-scoring single to that lefty than to a righty batter. Let's get into that pitcher's head.

    Most of the time, that LHB will be pitched to more carefully and will draw a disproportionate rate of walks. When the bases are loaded, however, and there's nowhere for the batter to go, the pitcher can no longer treat lefties differently.

    Actually, I think the difference may be explained just in the different rates of intentional bases on balls. If I read the data correctly, in 58.9% of all plate appearances, RHB drew only 44.1% of all IBB. In 41.1 of all PA, LHB drew 55.9% of all IBB. Right-handed pitchers were being only prudent, until the bases were full and they had to go right at the batter, no matter which box he was standing in.

  5. Andy Says:

    John C:

    Numbers of bases-loaded walks:

    2007: 351
    2006: 319
    2005: 271
    2004: 329
    2003: 326
    2002: 268
    2001: 255
    2000: 397
    1995: 270
    1990: 211
    1985: 248
    1980: 205
    1975: 218
    1970: 267
    1965: 171
    1960: 159

    It's definitely increasing in the long-term sense, but perhaps it's tracking pretty directly with the overall increase in baserunners per game.

  6. David in Toledo Says:

    In paragraph two of my post (#4), I said LHB were about 14% advantaged. The % is undoubtedly wrong, but I hope everyone gets the obvious point: RHP threw to 136,887 batters last year; RHB came up only 111,067 times; LHB have the consequent advantage of hitting against opposite-handedness more frequently.

    LHB will, it stands to reason, be pitched to, more frequently, with greater caution. That greater caution will result, in most situations, in a higher rate of bases on balls. The height of caution? In 2007, a LHB got an IBB nearly 1% of the time (.0095). A RHB was walked intentionally about half as often (.0052). With the bases full, however, it's a different story.

  7. David in Toledo Says:

    Good joke about control-artist Curt Schilling, by the way!

    Is there a way to compute which hitters took the most pitches per at-bat and which pitchers tossed the fewest pitches per at-bat?

    Is there a way to find out what the longest battles have been for a given year (that is, which at-bats came closest to 38 actual pitches)?

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    There were 16 teams playing 154 games in 1960, and 30 teams playing 162 games now, so the change in bases-loaded walks per game is very slight.

  9. Stat of the Day » Hey wait, that was the pitcher! Says:

    [...] Yesterday Andy focussed on bases-loaded walks. I’d like to focus on the most demoralizing type of bases -loaded walk, the two out walk to the opposing pitcher. Just when you think you’re out of the jam, not only have you replaced an easy out with a run, you have also brought up the top of the order. Recently this is has become an uncommon event, but it seemed happen about 3-10 times a year before 2006. Let’s take a look at the last 5 years. [...]