Comments on: So far, Phillies starting pitchers fit the bill This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Autin Tue, 26 Apr 2011 03:51:00 +0000 This is from way out in left field, but anyway....

Kosuke Fukudome went 5 for 5 Monday and is now hitting .478 (22 for 46).
He has 1 double, and 21 singles. He is slugging an even .500, giving him an isolated power of .022.
He also has 10 walks, giving him 32 times on base.
He has scored 4 runs. He has 2 RBI.

Just for laughs, I looked up the lowest isolated power in a .400 season.
In 1896, Hughie Jennings (yep, old Ee-yah himself) hit .401 with .086 isolated power (209 hits, 27 doubles, 9 triples, 0 HRs).
Since 1901, the lowest is .164 by Ty Cobb in 1922.

By: John Autin Mon, 25 Apr 2011 21:01:23 +0000 @22, Jimbo -- OK, fair point.

But you may notice that I never named any pitcher who was involved in the "first 20 games" shutouts, for any of those teams. I was looking at the early shutouts from the angle of: what did they portend for that team's season as a whole?

By: Jimbo Mon, 25 Apr 2011 20:16:57 +0000 @15

Well, you were discussing the teams that had 5 shutouts in their first 20 games. Wakefield wasn't relevant to those 20 games.

By: John Autin Mon, 25 Apr 2011 19:58:42 +0000 @19, Andy -- Even though I'm always suspicious of conventional wisdom, I would have thought you were right that shutouts were more common in April.

But I just looked at the monthly splits for the last few years:

-- In 2010, the April ERA (4.20) and OPS allowed (.738) were the highest of any month in the season.
-- In 2009, the April ERA (4.58) was the highest of any month.
-- In 2008, the April ERA (4.16) was of a piece with May (4.14) and June (4.18), though all were lower than the summer months.
-- In 1980, the April ERA (3.92) was the highest of any month.
-- In 1979, the April ERA (4.01) was the 2nd-lowest of the 6 months, though 5 of the 6 months were very close.
-- In 1978, April was the 3rd-highest of the 6 months.

To put my observations in general terms, there reallly isn't much of a consistent pattern of difference among the months. I certainly didn't see anything that supports the conventional wisdom.

By: John Autin Mon, 25 Apr 2011 19:11:23 +0000 Those streaking Phils have won 5 straight games while scoring 4 runs or less each time.

-- The last team to do that was the Padres in 2009, May 17-23 (6 games). No other team has done it after 2003.

-- It's a new Philly franchise record for the live-ball era. The last time they had even 4 such wins in a row was 1991. The last time they had 3 in a row was 2003.

By: Andy Mon, 25 Apr 2011 17:36:49 +0000 Not sure why I thought SHO were more common in April--must be related to the notion that pitchers are a bit more ahead in the early going / colder weather, but I agree the data do not support such a conclusion.

By: Doug Mon, 25 Apr 2011 17:08:03 +0000 @16. @17.

Same conclusion as Whiz going back to 1991 (I omitted 1994 and 1995).

I used first 20 games, and applied ratio of 20/162 to actual team shut-outs for each season to derive projected early-season shutouts.

For these 18 years, I got 561 team shutouts in first 20 games of season, and "projected" early season team shutouts of 554. Essentially, no difference. In eleven of the 18 seasons, difference in actual vs projected early season shutouts was less than 3.

What's probably more interesting is that 2008 to 2010 easily had the most full-year team shutouts (873) in any 3-year period in the past 20 years (next highest was 1991 to 1993 at 790). And 2010 was easily the highest single-season total (329) of the period, 10% higher than the next highest year (1992).

2011 looks to be starting out the same way as 2010. There are already 37 team shutouts this year (and not every team has played 20 games yet). Except for 47 early shutouts in 1991, the highest total for first 20 games since then is 38 in 1993, 2003 and 2010. Dawn of the new pitchers' era?

By: Whiz Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:08:42 +0000 @16, using the team pitching game finder, I checked 2000 to 2010 and in the first 27 games of the season, teams had 469 shut-outs (42.6 per year), and 2853 overall (259.4 per year). Not surprisingly, last year was high for the period (52 in the first 27 games, 329 for the year).

Projecting the 42.6 to a full season gives 255.8, so it appears that shut-outs are not more common in April (or at least the first 1/6th of the season) in the last 11 years; they're not less common either (within statistical error).

By: Dave Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:36:15 +0000 "I believe shutouts tend to be a little bit more common in April than in later months."
This comment seems to me like it's been pulled out of thin there data to back this up?

By: John Autin Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:22:38 +0000 @14, Jimbo -- I didn't mean to say that the '92 Pirates had 6 pitchers taking turns in the rotation "1-2-3-4-5-6". I meant that there were 6 pitchers who had a prolonged stay in the rotation at some point in the season.

Drabek and Tomlin were the only year-long mainstays, starting 34 and 33 games, respectively. Zane Smith made 22 starts, Bob Walk 19, Danny Jackson 15 and Tim Wakefield 13, with another 26 starts scattered among 5 pitchers.

Why do you feel that Wakefield was not part of that rotation? His first start came on July 31, and he took every regular turn thereafter through the end of the season, including 2 CG wins in the NLCS.