Early Returns: AL Runs Scored Down Again

Last year, I wrote about how 2010 AL run scoring was significantly depressed. AL batters scored 4.45 runs per game in 2010, down from 4.82 in 2010. In fairly robust 330 game span, here are the early returns from 2011:

AL batters have scored just...

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Swisher’s swings and results

A few days ago, I looked at Robinson Cano and his swing data. Cano’s hit well, but there are red flags in his swing profile so far this year. The problems have been masked a bit since Robbie’s been hitting, and that includes a three run home run last night...

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Bartolo silencing his skeptics

Of course, we have to repeat the old mantra, this is all compiled over a fairly small sample size. But don’t make the mistake that so many do, when dealing with SSS–discount the results rather than discarding them. I’m not telling you Colon is going to end the season striking out a batter per inning, nor do I expect him to have an ERA below 3.00. But if he’s above average for the league, the Yankees will have made a startlingly good pickup at a cost of roughly nothing.

I’ll leave you with another good datapoint. Often times, when you see a middling pitcher throw a great game, you can look to the umpire,  whose strike zone can play havoc with the outcome of the game. Tom Glavine made a (likely HOF) career off of this dynamic. So it’s always worth checking to see if the pitcher deserves all the accolades he’s getting, or if he just owes the umpire dinner.…

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The Bartolo Colon redemption tour continues in the Bronx

This one was over in a hurry, as two strong starters were throwing strikes and working quickly. Mark Buehrle was good over seven innings of work, but Bartolo Colon was better. The portly right-hander pitched eight dominant innings of one-run baseball,...

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Continuing the Discussion on Pitching to Contact

Here’s how the top ten stacks up:

Chart 1-A

Name Swing % K/9 ERA FIP fWAR
Scott Baker 53.6 % 7.18 (24) 4.39 (47) 4.04 (28) 13.2 (37)
Johan Santana 51.9% 8.34 (8) 2.93 (1T) 3.52 (10) 22.9 (8)
Cole Hamels 49.8% 8.54 (5) 3.53 (15) 3.77 (19) 18.2 (19)
Cliff Lee 49.5% 6.80 (39) 3.60 (19) 3.50 (9) 23.5 (7)
Roy Halladay 49.2% 6.89 (35) 2.97 (3) 3.24 (3) 32.6 (1)
Roy Oswalt 49.2% 7.10 (29) 3.28 (8) 3.53 (11) 21.5 (9T)
Aaron Harang 49.1% 7.86 (18) 4.23 (36T) 4.11 (30) 15.2 (28)
C.C. Sabathia 49.1% 8.00 (16) 3.13 (5) 3.25 (4) 31.6 (2)
Javier Vazquez 48.1% 8.57 (4) 4.24 (38) 3.85 (22) 21.0 (11)
James Shields 47.9% 7.39 (21) 4.26 (41T) 4.03 (27) 16.6 (25)


A few things jump out at me immediately.  The first thing that jumps out is that the “four aces” in the Phillies rotation are ranked 3rd through 6th in swing % over the course of our sample period. …

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Game 21: White Sox 1, Yankees 3

Colon got into some trouble in the second.  Adam Dunn grounded a single past a diving Teixeira and Cano.  Alex Rios worked a walk and A.J. Pierzynski hit a grounder up the middle for a single, loading the bases with no outs.  Colon stayed cool, however, striking out Gordon Beckham before getting Omar Vizquel and Pierre to fly out, ending the inning with the Yankees’ lead still 3-0.

Colon and Buehrle controlled much of the game, as they quickly worked through the lineups.  Colon found himself in trouble in the sixth, however.  Quentin grounded a single up the middle and Konerko followed with a soft fly ball that dropped in front of Swisher for a single.  Dunn drove another grounder up the middle, scoring Quentin and getting the White Sox on the board.  Colon battled back and sat down the next two batters as the Yankees held onto the lead. Mariano Rivera, who had blown his last two save attempts, relieved Colon in the ninth. …

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