Comments on: Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, and 30 IBBs without 100 total BB in a season This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Autin Thu, 16 Dec 2010 04:02:01 +0000 IBBs issued by NL and AL in interleague games in AL parks (i.e., with DH):

2010 (123 games): 27 IBBs issued by NL teams, 17 by AL teams.
2009 (126 games): 27 IBBs issued by NL teams, 16 by AL teams.
2009-10 Total (249 games): 54 IBBs issued by NL teams, 33 by AL teams.

I'd love to attach some importance to this data, given how it generally agrees with the rest of the IBB data over the past 2 years.

But there's a big problem in the context: Overall, the majority of IBBs are issued when a team is trailing -- 57% in 2010 -- and most of the rest when the game is tied. Less than 11% of IBBs came when the pitching team was ahead. And over the last 2 years, NL teams went just 103-146 in AL parks.

Thus, being behind much more often than they were ahead, NL teams would have been likely to issue more IBBs regardless of any general difference in IBB tendencies between the leagues.

So, for now, I give up. It's not that important, anyway.

By: John Autin Thu, 16 Dec 2010 03:34:13 +0000 Following up my post #42 -- Maybe there's something to be learned about AL/NL IBB tendencies from interleague games in AL parks, when both teams have a DH.

By: John Autin Thu, 16 Dec 2010 03:26:09 +0000 Re: the possible effect of NL double-switches on IBBs to the #3-4 spots:

There were just 13 PAs by NL pitchers batting 4th or 5th in 2010. I can't imagine that those 13 PAs were preceded by more than a couple of IBBs.

Of course, there were many more times that a pitcher was slotted into the #4 or 5 spot, but was replaced by a PH when his spot came up. How many times that happened, I don't know and won't guess. But I still think the number of IBBs generated by such scenarios would be very small. Managers don't like to switch out a #4-5 hitter when there's a significant chance that said spot might come up in a meaningful situation and there's no strong PH available to discourage the IBB to the preceding batter.

But in the end, alas, I don't have the data to go any farther with this.

By: mike t Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:12:33 +0000 Interesting that 5 of the top 17 are Pirates from the late 60's to late 70's. Manny was the original "I never met a pitch far enough from the plate" guy. He makes Vlad look like a patient hitter.

Would be interesting to see the average pitch count/ab of these guys. Some of those free swingers put the first ball in play so never got through 4 pitches to come close to a walk.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 15 Dec 2010 23:59:13 +0000 Also, if you think of a team like the Yankees in the AL, who sport 9 guys who could hit 20 HRs, does it make sense to IBB anyone?

As a youngster growing up in a Met fan in the eighties, I remember Strawberry being IBBed a ton to get to Kevin McReynolds. I wish I could find a way on play index where I could see how many times that backfired.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 15 Dec 2010 23:54:37 +0000 John and crew,
Gotta remember the double switch is more frequent in the NL. So you may see a Matt Stairs type get IBBed in a weird batting order position, if the opposing manager wants to keep his righty in or just face the # 7 hitter with two on...
I also would disagree, with no real proof, that there is an equal # of IBB to number 4 hitters regardless of league. With so many power hitting DHs, I'd say the AL has the better 4-5 combo.

By: John Autin Wed, 15 Dec 2010 22:30:36 +0000 Johnny Twisto @37 -- Excellent reminder. I completely forgot about that.

Andy @36 -- Actually, the IBBs to the heart of the order are not nearly equal, at least over the past 2 years:

Average IBBs to #3 & #4 hitters, by league, 2009-10:
-- AL, 12.6 per team per year;
-- NL, 17.9 per team per year.

Maybe it's just a short-term blip. Maybe all the IBBs to hitters ahead of the pitcher creates a mentality that's more accepting of IBBs.

By: Johnny Twisto Wed, 15 Dec 2010 21:26:31 +0000 I don't know often the Cardinals (and sometimes the Brewers and Pirates?) still bat their pitcher #8. I doubt it's enough to affect those numbers too much but it should be considered when controlling for IBBs by batting order.

By: Andy Wed, 15 Dec 2010 21:22:29 +0000 #35 et al raises an interesting question...sounds like a good topic for a future blog post. I'd be inclined to guess that IBBs to, say, #4 hitters are identical in both leagues.
I also wonder if IBBs to #1 hitters in the AL are more common thanks to better hitters in the #9 hole in the AL, leading more often to #1 hitter coming up in key situations...

By: John Autin Wed, 15 Dec 2010 21:00:14 +0000 Duke -- I took a quick look over the last 2 years. The NL has had a lot more IBBs than the AL each year, and it's only partly due to walking the #8 hitter to face the pitcher.

For 2009-10 combined, and after subtracting all IBBs to #8 hitters, the NL has issued 345 more IBBs than the AL, which averages out to about 11 more IBBs per team per year.

I don't know if this is a long-term thing or not.