Comments on: 2007 bases-loaded walks This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Stat of the Day » Hey wait, that was the pitcher! Wed, 30 Jan 2008 11:17:43 +0000 [...] 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. [...]

By: Johnny Twisto Tue, 29 Jan 2008 23:49:14 +0000 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.

By: David in Toledo Tue, 29 Jan 2008 22:18:37 +0000 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)?

By: David in Toledo Tue, 29 Jan 2008 18:44:02 +0000 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.

By: Andy Tue, 29 Jan 2008 18:09:57 +0000 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.

By: David in Toledo Tue, 29 Jan 2008 16:50:03 +0000 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.

By: Andy Tue, 29 Jan 2008 15:36:27 +0000 You can get that data right here:

By: John C Tue, 29 Jan 2008 15:35:52 +0000 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

By: David in Toledo Tue, 29 Jan 2008 15:31:50 +0000 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.