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eastchicagosoxfan
10-14-2010, 06:12 PM
Is there a stat for this? I assume yes, because there are stats for everything, but I'll ask anyway.
Determine the percentage of outs per nine innings by strikeout. I assume the number will be much higher now, than back in the Deadball Era, and through the 1940's. Determine each pitcher's outs by strikeout per nine innings. (I know there's a stat for that.) How does a particular pitcher compare to the league average? Were the performances of Rube Wadell, Amos Russie and Walter Johnson much greater than the performances of Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, etc?

WhiteSox5187
10-14-2010, 06:39 PM
Isn't that K per 9 innings?

TDog
10-14-2010, 07:47 PM
Baseball-Reference.com may have what you are looking for.

This year, there were 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (27 outs) in the American League and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the National League.

In 1977, it was 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the American League and 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the National League.

In 1930, it was 3.4 in the American League and 3.2 in the National League.

If you wanted to do a study with charts and graphs, the information is all there, I guess. The random years I picked out (1977 because I was amazed to learn the Southside Hitmen struck out few times than any other team in the league -- it didn't feel that way at the time) may be deceptive.

I happen to believe that one reason pitchers are getting more strikeouts these days is that hitters aren't working as hard to avoid strikeouts as they used to. People say a strikeout is all on the pitcher, but often a strikeout has more to do with a hitter's failure than a pitcher's success.

Craig Grebeck
10-14-2010, 08:42 PM
Baseball-Reference.com may have what you are looking for.

This year, there were 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (27 outs) in the American League and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the National League.

In 1977, it was 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the American League and 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the National League.

In 1930, it was 3.4 in the American League and 3.2 in the National League.

If you wanted to do a study with charts and graphs, the information is all there, I guess. The random years I picked out (1977 because I was amazed to learn the Southside Hitmen struck out few times than any other team in the league -- it didn't feel that way at the time) may be deceptive.

I happen to believe that one reason pitchers are getting more strikeouts these days is that hitters aren't working as hard to avoid strikeouts as they used to. People say a strikeout is all on the pitcher, but often a strikeout has more to do with a hitter's failure than a pitcher's success.
Reminds me of Jabrch's argument that walks are a pitcher's failure rather than a hitter's success. Both should meet somewhere near the middle.

Oblong
10-14-2010, 09:05 PM
I happen to believe that one reason pitchers are getting more strikeouts these days is that hitters aren't working as hard to avoid strikeouts as they used to. People say a strikeout is all on the pitcher, but often a strikeout has more to do with a hitter's failure than a pitcher's success.

Which is fine but when comparing two pitchers in the same era or year, it's still useful to know if one has a higher K rate than the other. It's not meaningless.

No stat will tell you everything. K/9 is one. BB/9 is another. I like to focus on things that I think the player can control. For pitchers I see it as walks, strikeouts, and homeruns. If you want a quick and dirty way to evaluate one, those are the 3 I'd pick. Earned runs depend on things like official scorer, the defense, the bullpen... obviously there are exceptions.

I'm repeating myself but I also have a theory the reason our pitchers today aren't getting as many innings as they used to is because strikeouts/walks are up. More pitches per inning.

What I find interesting is the strikezone's smaller now but strikeouts are up.

eastchicagosoxfan
10-14-2010, 10:06 PM
Baseball-Reference.com may have what you are looking for.

This year, there were 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (27 outs) in the American League and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the National League.

In 1977, it was 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the American League and 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the National League.

In 1930, it was 3.4 in the American League and 3.2 in the National League.

If you wanted to do a study with charts and graphs, the information is all there, I guess. The random years I picked out (1977 because I was amazed to learn the Southside Hitmen struck out few times than any other team in the league -- it didn't feel that way at the time) may be deceptive.

I happen to believe that one reason pitchers are getting more strikeouts these days is that hitters aren't working as hard to avoid strikeouts as they used to. People say a strikeout is all on the pitcher, but often a strikeout has more to do with a hitter's failure than a pitcher's success.
Thanks, that's what I'm looking for.

TDog
10-14-2010, 10:29 PM
...

What I find interesting is the strikezone's smaller now but strikeouts are up.

Strikeouts are up now with a smaller strike zone and a lower mound. Of course, you don't have the same pitchers pitching or the same hitters hitting. You have relief specialists now who tend to get more of their outs on strikeous than starters. The variables seem endless.

However, if you talk to hitters from the 1960s and 1970s and talk to players who are active now, you will find there is a difference in the way they view strikeouts. Bill Melton was criticized for striking out a lot. Paul Konerko struck out more this year than Bill Melton did when he struck out "a lot," but Konerko isn't held to the same strikeout standard. In general, there has been an attitude change. And what teams consider acceptable as hitters' strikeout rates has changes.

Part of it may be that baseball is more individually mercenary now than it used to be. Players can sign big contracts for putting up big individual numbers and what they do for the team is often ignored. And they don't seem to be penalized financially for striking out. In this decade, it amazed me how excited people were about Granderson leading off for the Tigers and Sizemore at the top of the Indians lineup when those guys were striking out at rates that would have kept them out of the lineup 50 years ago.

I made this point in a previous thread. Missing bats wouldn't be such an abundant skill today if more hitters were more concerned with hitting the baseball.

asindc
10-15-2010, 08:37 AM
Strikeouts are up now with a smaller strike zone and a lower mound. Of course, you don't have the same pitchers pitching or the same hitters hitting. You have relief specialists now who tend to get more of their outs on strikeous than starters. The variables seem endless.

However, if you talk to hitters from the 1960s and 1970s and talk to players who are active now, you will find there is a difference in the way they view strikeouts. Bill Melton was criticized for striking out a lot. Paul Konerko struck out more this year than Bill Melton did when he struck out "a lot," but Konerko isn't held to the same strikeout standard. In general, there has been an attitude change. And what teams consider acceptable as hitters' strikeout rates has changes.

Part of it may be that baseball is more individually mercenary now than it used to be. Players can sign big contracts for putting up big individual numbers and what they do for the team is often ignored. And they don't seem to be penalized financially for striking out. In this decade, it amazed me how excited people were about Granderson leading off for the Tigers and Sizemore at the top of the Indians lineup when those guys were striking out at rates that would have kept them out of the lineup 50 years ago.

I made this point in a previous thread. Missing bats wouldn't be such an abundant skill today if more hitters were more concerned with hitting the baseball.

I agree with the bolded part 100%. I think one prime example of this is the generally ineptitude of modern players (and not just modern Sox players for those inclined to believe bad play is only endemic among Sox players) at bunting and sacrificing. It seems that those skills are not financially rewarded, so players have no incentive to learn them or get better at them.

TDog
10-15-2010, 10:22 AM
I agree with the bolded part 100%. I think one prime example of this is the generally ineptitude of modern players (and not just modern Sox players for those inclined to believe bad play is only endemic among Sox players) at bunting and sacrificing. It seems that those skills are not financially rewarded, so players have no incentive to learn them or get better at them.

More than that, I think the tendency for managers to call for hitters to bunt runners over to third is due to hitters not being interested in playing fundamental team baseball. When I was growing up, in many cases with a runner at second and none out, it was fundamental baseball to hit to the right side to advance the runner to third where he could score on a fly ball. It drives me nuts to see managers to try to sacrifice that runner over to third, especially with the erosion of bunting skills. But one reason I have come to believe they do it is to get players to move the runner over instead of thinking of only themselves in their at bat. A sacrifice bunt doesn't drop your batting average or on-base percentage although grounding out to the second baseman will.

I also have seen some hitters bunting in that situation on their own (I later learned), likely because they don't want to have their batting averages penalized for helping the team.

People here tend to disdain sacrifice bunts. Frankly, I am not a fan of sacrifice bunting, although I am impressed that the Sox are a better bunting team since Jeff Cox came over as a coach.. If I am facing elimination in the ninth inning of a World Series Game, and I'm down a run (see the Astros, 2005) I am not bunting the leadoff man over. But there are occasions where bunting is appropriate. The Rangers lead the American League in sacrifices, and bunting has helped their offense.