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Frater Perdurabo
05-27-2006, 10:01 AM
Perusing the stats in my morning paper, I realized:

The White Sox have played 20 games in which the opposition started a left-handed pitcher. Only Cleveland has faced more lefties (21).

The Sox are 10-10 in games in which the opposition started a lefty. (For purposes of comparison, Cleveland is 12-9, Detroit is 10-2, the Cubs are 2-10, Kansas City is 0-12.)

The Sox are 21-6 (.777 winning percentage) in games in which the opposition started a right-handed pitcher. No other team in the MLB has single-digit losses against righties. (Boston and Saint Louis have 10.)

The Sox are the only team in the MLB who have more losses against lefties than they do against righties.

Both Tampa Bay losses were againt lefties. Both Toronto losses were against lefties. Both Seattle losses were against lefties. Two of the three Cleveland losses were against lefties. The other two were Johan Santana (MIN) and Jeremy Affeldt (KC).

I'm not panicking. The Sox just seem to be getting a disproportionately high number of lefties early in the year. That will even out as the season continues, and they will face comparatively more right-handed pitching.

Discuss.

SBSoxFan
05-27-2006, 10:36 AM
Perusing the stats in my morning paper, I realized:

The White Sox have played 20 games in which the opposition started a left-handed pitcher. Only Cleveland has faced more lefties (21).

The Sox are 10-10 in games in which the opposition started a lefty. (For purposes of comparison, Cleveland is 12-9, Detroit is 10-2, the Cubs are 2-10, Kansas City is 0-12.)

The Sox are 21-6 (.777 winning percentage) in games in which the opposition started a right-handed pitcher. No other team in the MLB has single-digit losses against righties. (Boston and Saint Louis have 10.)

The Sox are the only team in the MLB who have more losses against lefties than they do against righties.

Both Tampa Bay losses were againt lefties. Both Toronto losses were against lefties. Both Seattle losses were against lefties. Two of the three Cleveland losses were against lefties. The other two were Johan Santana (MIN) and Jeremy Affeldt (KC).

I'm not panicking. The Sox just seem to be getting a disproportionately high number of lefties early in the year. That will even out as the season continues, and they will face comparatively more right-handed pitching.

Discuss.

Well, based on Detroit's record against lefties, maybe it's a good thing they've faced relatively less!

I don't know if it evens out though, and that's a problem with the unbalanced schedule the way it's currently set. It makes no sense to play the same team for 6 times in 9 games, and then not play them again for 3 months. Given that, however, it seems quite possible that one team can, for example, often face a teams 3, 4, and 5 spots in the rotation while another team faces the 1, 2, and 3 spots. So, if Detroit faces Sabathia 1 time, and the Sox get him 6 times over the season, is that fair?

I haven't looked at any numbers to see if this is true, but having an ideally balanced schedule would mean intra-division opponents face the 1, 2, 3, and 4 spots in the rotation 4 times, and the # 5 spot 3 times. In addition, the games should be spread out evenly over the season to lessen the chances of one team being hot, and the other team being cold when they played.

my $0.02.

Fuller_Schettman
05-27-2006, 02:00 PM
I mentioned this in another thread, but I think given the Sox struggles against lefties, we will see teams adjusting their rotation to match up their lefties against us.

After all, their chances of winning increase dramatically if they do, especially on the road.

Lip Man 1
05-27-2006, 02:05 PM
So far left handers (including junkballers like Redman, Lee and Lilly) and the road seems to be giving them issues.

The road part is 180 degrees opposite from last season (and for that matter to a certain extent so is the home record...)

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
05-27-2006, 02:31 PM
I mentioned this in another thread, but I think given the Sox struggles against lefties, we will see teams adjusting their rotation to match up their lefties against us.

After all, their chances of winning increase dramatically if they do, especially on the road.
I'm not sure many teams will juggle their rotations just to give them a 50/50 chance against the Sox. (I realize that some of those 10 wins were won when the Sox scored off the opposing bullpen.) Juggling a rotation often results in unintended consequences (think Manuel starting Cotts against the Yankees).

I DO think, however, that Detroit might juggle their rotation to get lefties Kenny Rogers (who always has had success against the Sox, and who is a junkballer like Moyer, Lee and Lilly) and Nate Robertson more starts against the Sox.

I think a good strategy for the Sox is to be extremely patient against junk-throwing lefties. Make them throw strikes. Get their pitch counts high earlier in the game, and then do the damage against the bullpens.

SOXBOY
05-27-2006, 02:36 PM
Last year i think sox were 23-22 vs lefties.

TheOldRoman
05-27-2006, 03:00 PM
Yep, we had this problem last year.
There is no excuse being so bad against left handed pitchers, especially when we only have 3 lefties in the regular lineup. I have never been high on Walker as a hitting coach, but he needs to solve this problem.

samram
05-27-2006, 03:16 PM
Yep, we had this problem last year.
There is no excuse being so bad against left handed pitchers, especially when we only have 3 lefties in the regular lineup. I have never been high on Walker as a hitting coach, but he needs to solve this problem.

I'm with you on Walker. No one has really improved since they came here. It hurts when all of Pods, Iguchi, and Cintron are bad against lefties. It makes setting up innings tough- plus Thome only has 2 HR and 8 RBI against lefties.

Fuller_Schettman
05-27-2006, 03:26 PM
I would disagree with this. Pods' average is definitely higher than it was in MIL. Crede is WAY up. AJ is at a career high. Konerko too. Tadahito is up over last season, as is Dye. Granted it is still the first half, but I think Walker has the approach that is right for our team. And I think in time he will solve the lefty issue...

hawkjt
05-27-2006, 03:31 PM
And now we have Cliff Lee and Sabbathia on tap on Mon and Tues.

What I hate is having the tigers play right before or right behind us in the schedule cuz these days we seem to get the top of their pitching staff which then lets the tigers avoid them, like sabbathia for instance.

I am braced for a very tough month of june and just hope the sox do not fall too far behind the tigers by the all star break. By that I mean no more than 5-6 games back.

That will leave us in striking distance in Aug and sept when our proven durable pitchers should bring us back to the tigers.

I am not about to panic if we have a losing road trip here and drop 6 back. Still in decent shape.

Fuller_Schettman
05-27-2006, 04:13 PM
Point of clarification:

Sox are 8-10 vs. lefties
Sox are 23-6 vs. righties

according to MLB.com

1 Dog
05-27-2006, 07:54 PM
What I'm about to say may not even be applicable to the Sox, because it only applies to LH batters.

The LH batter has a rough time with LHP for different reasons than RH batting does with RHP. Obviously, the ball naturally tails away from the hitter in both cases. However, there aren't many LHPs. LH batters often are platooned so much against LHP that they basically never even get ABs against LHP. (At one point last season Hee Sop Choi had 65 career ABs against LHP in the majors. Who knows if he can hit lefties?) A lot of LHPs are only in the majors because of their "handedness," and I've noticed that mediocre LOOGYs don't throw many strikes.

A LH batter must keep his shoulder in longer against LHP. (Griffey is still awesome at that.) There is a pronounced tendency for the LH batter to open too early against LHP. Ralph Kiner believed that LH contact hitters always have this tendecy, because they are thinking about turning to 1B. (I'm not 100% sure on that, by the way, but it is the only reasonable explanation I have seen.)

My point is that lefties struggle against LHP, and history has shown that the only solution is more ABs against them.

However, the Sox only start three LH batters.

My explanation is that the natural advantage of RH batters with LHP is more or less cancelled out by the fact that they don't see a whole lot of it, either. (Individual batters' mileage may vary.)

Also, it has been pretty cold until recently in Chicago. A lot of players come out of ST at their peak, in terms of strength and conditioning. Their bats are relatively faster in the cold Spring weather. As the weather heats up (or maybe even playing indoors?), the hitter's timing is now a little off, because the ball has become reltively faster than it was in April. That is supposedly "conventional baseball wisdom," but I'm not sure I buy it. Again, it sounds reasonable.

ShoelessJoeS
05-28-2006, 10:02 PM
To go along with this thread, I just realized that we have two tough games coming up on Monday and Tuesday against Cliff Lee and Sabathia (both lefties). Hopefully we can knock around at least one of them, as I don't think handling Westbrook and Byrd will be a problem with our no mercy mentality against righties.