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santo=dorf
12-13-2006, 04:17 PM
What does the K/9 rate of a starting pitcher tell you? How much stock do you put in it?

EDIT: Hmm, how did that 4th option get like that?

munchman33
12-13-2006, 04:26 PM
What does the K/9 rate of a starting pitcher tell you? How much stock do you put in it?

Strikeouts to walks is much more important, IMO. Who cares if a guy can strike you out if he has just as much chance of coming nowhere close to the plate.

TDog
12-13-2006, 04:51 PM
It depends on the pitcher. Some pitchers wear themselves out striking out hitters and can only go six or seven innings on a regular basis. Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan -- all very good pitchers -- even managed to lose games in which they recorded 19 strikeouts. But they were all pretty good pitchers, nonetheless.

Ol' No. 2
12-13-2006, 05:49 PM
Not a whole lot. An out is an out. GB/FB ratio is more of an indicator, and that's not even all that good.

Myrtle72
12-13-2006, 06:54 PM
I agree that it completely depends on the pitcher and even the batter in many cases. Obviously, if the pitcher is trying to throw a strike and can't... sure, that's not a good sign. But strikes aren't always the goal and there is some manipulation involved with the whole process.

Ol' No. 2
12-13-2006, 06:57 PM
It depends on the pitcher. Some pitchers wear themselves out striking out hitters and can only go six or seven innings on a regular basis. Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan -- all very good pitchers -- even managed to lose games in which they recorded 19 strikeouts. But they were all pretty good pitchers, nonetheless.http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/images/players/mugshot/ph_134268.jpg 19 strikeouts? Pfft. That's nothing.

eastchicagosoxfan
12-13-2006, 08:38 PM
I want to toss this in. With players seemingly striking out more than before, I wonder if the strikeoute is easier, or more important than in bygone eras of the game. Was Rube Wadell's 349 strkeouts in 1904 more immpressive than Ryan's 383 in 1973? Can this be measured as a percentage of outs? In my opinion, the strikeout is situational. Bases loaded, nobody out, the strikeout is incredibly important if the game is close in the late innings. Other situations, it's an out that potentially required additional pitches.

Frater Perdurabo
12-13-2006, 08:54 PM
I'd much rather have a control pitcher who can induce ground ball or pop fly outs to save his arm, keep the defense active, and keep the game moving quickly.

A guy who hurls 11 strikeouts in five innings but has to give way to the bullpen with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth screws over his team in that game and in the next one, too, since a bunch of relievers probably will be burned up and consequently would not be available the next day. Give me Mark Buehrle over Kerry Wood any day.

Buehrle's 99-minute complete game victory in April, 2005 over the Mariners was the best-pitched game I have ever seen. He knew he couldn't get Ichiro out, so he just gave him something that he wouldn't hit over the fence and got every other Mariner out via grounders, harmless fly outs and 12 Ks.

Brian26
12-13-2006, 08:58 PM
Some people subscribe to the theory that more strikeouts by the pitching staff equates to the ball being put into play less often on the whole, which decreases the chance of base hits by the offense and also possible fielding errors by the defense.

Daver
12-13-2006, 09:00 PM
I want to toss this in. With players seemingly striking out more than before, I wonder if the strikeoute is easier, or more important than in bygone eras of the game. Was Rube Wadell's 349 strkeouts in 1904 more immpressive than Ryan's 383 in 1973?

That is impossible to compare.

The mound was lowered, and the strikezone has shrunk from 60 years ago. 60 years ago a ball on the plate, letters high, was a strike, you won't see that called now.

I won't go into the stupid reasons behind lowering the mound.

WizardsofOzzie
12-13-2006, 09:25 PM
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/images/players/mugshot/ph_134268.jpg 19 strikeouts? Pfft. That's nothing.
No strikeout conversation is complete without Kerry Wood :redneck

champagne030
12-13-2006, 09:38 PM
I voted strong indicator of a pitchers talent. I do believe that if you whiff a ton of hitters than you've got serious talent. You've also have a lot of problems if you're walking people all over the place....ala Balsa and need command to be successful. I think a pitcher has a better chance at success if they're able to K guys than if they let them put the ball in play.

TDog
12-13-2006, 09:39 PM
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/images/players/mugshot/ph_134268.jpg 19 strikeouts? Pfft. That's nothing.


And how many quality starts will he turn in next year?

Ol' No. 2
12-13-2006, 09:48 PM
I voted strong indicator of a pitchers talent. I do believe that if you whiff a ton of hitters than you've got serious talent. You've also have a lot of problems if you're walking people all over the place....ala Balsa and need command to be successful. I think a pitcher has a better chance at success if they're able to K guys than if they let them put the ball in play.Look at the top pitchers in the league and you'll find some have high K/9 and some don't. Those that don't usually have high G/F. Either way works. OTOH, a low K/9 and a low G/F generally means a low GS/career.:redneck

santo=dorf
12-13-2006, 10:03 PM
Buehrle's 99-minute complete game victory in April, 2004 over the Mariners was the best-pitched game I have ever seen. He knew he couldn't get Ichiro out, so he just gave him something that he wouldn't hit for extra bases and got every other Mariner out via grounders, GIDPs, harmless fly outs and a few Ks.
:?: (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=250416104)

9 IP, 3 H (all by Ichiro,) 1 ER, (a weak grounder turned into a triple from Konerko playing WAY off the line,) 1 BB, 12 K's. No DP's, 7-8 GO/AO

Here's is the thing about flyball groundball ratios (I was going to save it for another thread.) Would you rather have your hitters hit the ball in the ground or pop it up?

If the numbers indicate there are more flyouts:
Pros (from pitcher's viewpoint: ) Less chance of an error being made. Runners cannot advance. Infield fly rule.
Cons: Sac flies, although there aren't really too many of those in the league. More likely to give up a home run (but why not just look at home run rates? :?: )

If the numbers indicate there are more groundouts:
Pros: More likely the balls aren't being hit out of the infield. Much more of a chance for a double play.
Cons: Much more likely an error is committed. Runners can advance or even score if the ball is hit to the right side of the infield.

So thinking about it a little more, wouldn't it be better to have a pitcher that gives up more flyballs than groundballs as long as his HR rate is reasonable?
Wouldn't you rather have your hitters get the ball on the ground as opposed to popping it up on the infield or hitting a lazy flyball?

champagne030
12-13-2006, 10:08 PM
Look at the top pitchers in the league and you'll find some have high K/9 and some don't. Those that don't usually have high G/F. Either way works. OTOH, a low K/9 and a low G/F generally means a low GS/career.:redneck

I agree. I actually voted more along the lines of a pitchers "talent", rather than "performance". I related K pitchers to having more talent and GB/FB pitchers having better performance. Just the way I thought about it...

DumpJerry
12-13-2006, 10:11 PM
Give me a staff of low strikeout pitchers any day over strikeout kings. That staff will have more starters going 250+ innings because they are not throwing as many pitches to get to Strike Three.

You can strike out three guys in an inning, but if you give up a single, double and dinger before the final KO of the inning, you gave up three runs. You also pitched close to 20 pitches. Get the first three guys to ground out, you might get out of the inning with only 7 or 8 pitches wearing on your arm.

PKalltheway
12-14-2006, 01:00 AM
That is impossible to compare.

The mound was lowered, and the strikezone has shrunk from 60 years ago. 60 years ago a ball on the plate, letters high, was a strike, you won't see that called now.

I won't go into the stupid reasons behind lowering the mound.
Wow, just imagine how many strikeouts Nolan Ryan would have had in 1973 if the mound was at the same height it was in 1968!:o: :o:

Nelson Foxtrot
12-14-2006, 03:25 AM
I think the best pitchers are the ones who have the ability to get outs with as few pitches as possible, yet also have the ability to strike themselves out of jams when need be. Maybe something along the lines of K/9 rates with runners on, in scoring position, etc. could be a useful stat.

As for GO/FO, what do infield lineouts and popouts count as?

eastchicagosoxfan
12-14-2006, 04:55 AM
That is impossible to compare.

The mound was lowered, and the strikezone has shrunk from 60 years ago. 60 years ago a ball on the plate, letters high, was a strike, you won't see that called now.

I won't go into the stupid reasons behind lowering the mound.

Could I entice you to bite on Koufax's 382 in 1965 and Waddel's 349 in 1904? Here's what I'm trying to get at:
The Deadball era was a time of contact hitters. Guys rarely struck out over 100 times a season. A strikeout was a missed oppotunity to put the ball in play.
Starting in the 1930's, and continuing today, a strikeout is just viewed as another out, all to often.
Over time, has the percentage of outs by strikeouts gone up, down, or remained static? Is there a statistical method that can be applied to compare strikeout totals over decades?

spiffie
12-14-2006, 09:39 AM
Could I entice you to bite on Koufax's 382 in 1965 and Waddel's 349 in 1904? Here's what I'm trying to get at:
The Deadball era was a time of contact hitters. Guys rarely struck out over 100 times a season. A strikeout was a missed oppotunity to put the ball in play.
Starting in the 1930's, and continuing today, a strikeout is just viewed as another out, all to often.
Over time, has the percentage of outs by strikeouts gone up, down, or remained static? Is there a statistical method that can be applied to compare strikeout totals over decades?
I would assume that you could get a number close enough for government work by taking

(Total year AB + BB + SF + SH + HBP) - (H+BB+HBP) = Outs
K/Outs = % of K outs

I know it's not perfectly exact (fails to take in dropped 3rd strikes, catcher interference,) but over the course of tens of thousands of plate appearances I imagine that number would have a negligible impact on the rate.

So for 1904 in the AL you have
41479 AB
2611 BB
384 HBP
1195 SH (baseball-reference doesn't have a breakdown of SF v. SH)
10138 H
5026 K

So (41479+2611+384+1195) - (10138+2611+384) = 45659 - 13133 = 32526
5026/32526 = .1545 = 15.45% of outs as strikeouts in AL 1904.

For 1965 the number for the AL comes out to 22.73%

For 2005 the number for the AL comes out to 23.56%.

If anyone sees where my numbers are horribly flawed please let me know. Math is not my strong suit :)

mccoydp
12-14-2006, 10:13 AM
Buehrle's 99-minute complete game victory in April, 2004 over the Mariners was the best-pitched game I have ever seen. He knew he couldn't get Ichiro out, so he just gave him something that he wouldn't hit for extra bases and got every other Mariner out via grounders, GIDPs, harmless fly outs and a few Ks.


I thought it was April 2005.

champagne030
12-14-2006, 10:54 AM
Buehrle's 99-minute complete game victory in April, 2004 over the Mariners was the best-pitched game I have ever seen. He knew he couldn't get Ichiro out, so he just gave him something that he wouldn't hit for extra bases and got every other Mariner out via grounders, GIDPs, harmless fly outs and a few Ks.

As mentioned this game was in 2005. Not to disagree that MB pitched a great game, but a few corrections: Ichiro tripled, the M's didn't have one GIDP and MB had 12 K's.

Ol' No. 2
12-14-2006, 10:54 AM
I thought it was April 2005.You're thinking of opening day in 2005. Another gem in 1:51.

Edit: I see it. Two that month less than 2 hr.

fquaye149
12-14-2006, 11:11 AM
I won't go into the stupid reasons behind lowering the mound.

i'm with you on that daver.

this is the paul tagliabue-est move in mlb history (but only b/c i'm not a dh hater)

Ol' No. 2
12-14-2006, 11:31 AM
I would assume that you could get a number close enough for government work by taking

(Total year AB + BB + SF + SH + HBP) - (H+BB+HBP) = Outs
K/Outs = % of K outs

I know it's not perfectly exact (fails to take in dropped 3rd strikes, catcher interference,) but over the course of tens of thousands of plate appearances I imagine that number would have a negligible impact on the rate.

So for 1904 in the AL you have
41479 AB
2611 BB
384 HBP
1195 SH (baseball-reference doesn't have a breakdown of SF v. SH)
10138 H
5026 K

So (41479+2611+384+1195) - (10138+2611+384) = 45659 - 13133 = 32526
5026/32526 = .1545 = 15.45% of outs as strikeouts in AL 1904.

For 1965 the number for the AL comes out to 22.73%

For 2005 the number for the AL comes out to 23.56%.

If anyone sees where my numbers are horribly flawed please let me know. Math is not my strong suit :)FWIW (you can decide for yourself), here are the strikeouts as a percentage of all outs by decade:

1901-1910: 13.5
1911-1920: 13.5
1921-1930: 10.6
1931-1940: 12.6
1941-1950: 13.3
1951-1960: 16.8
1961-1970: 21.4
1971-1980: 18.7
1981-1990: 20.3
1991-2000: 23.2
2001-2006: 24.2

maurice
12-14-2006, 12:50 PM
For a pitcher with an established MLB track record, it means very little. We know how good the guy is at making outs. HOW he makes the outs is not particularly important. In most situtations, a groundball out on the 1st pitch > a strikeout anyway.

For a young guy in the high minors who I've never seen, it arguably gives some insight into the quality of his "stuff."

eastchicagosoxfan
12-14-2006, 06:02 PM
I would assume that you could get a number close enough for government work by taking

(Total year AB + BB + SF + SH + HBP) - (H+BB+HBP) = Outs
K/Outs = % of K outs

I know it's not perfectly exact (fails to take in dropped 3rd strikes, catcher interference,) but over the course of tens of thousands of plate appearances I imagine that number would have a negligible impact on the rate.

So for 1904 in the AL you have
41479 AB
2611 BB
384 HBP
1195 SH (baseball-reference doesn't have a breakdown of SF v. SH)
10138 H
5026 K

So (41479+2611+384+1195) - (10138+2611+384) = 45659 - 13133 = 32526
5026/32526 = .1545 = 15.45% of outs as strikeouts in AL 1904.

For 1965 the number for the AL comes out to 22.73%

For 2005 the number for the AL comes out to 23.56%.

If anyone sees where my numbers are horribly flawed please let me know. Math is not my strong suit :)

FWIW (you can decide for yourself), here are the strikeouts as a percentage of all outs by decade:

1901-1910: 13.5
1911-1920: 13.5
1921-1930: 10.6
1931-1940: 12.6
1941-1950: 13.3
1951-1960: 16.8
1961-1970: 21.4
1971-1980: 18.7
1981-1990: 20.3
1991-2000: 23.2
2001-2006: 24.2

Thanks to both Ol' No. 2 and Spiffie. With the exception of the turf era ( ahuge stolen base era ) of the 1970's, strikeouts have gone up since the 1930's. I wonder if the new pitching rules instituted in the 1920's, combined with a lot of contact hitters, who grew up playing dead ball, account for the dip that decade? I really can't correlate this info in regards to the original question, but I think a pitcher with an okay " out " pitch, has a better chance of winning than someone with better stuff, but lacks the " out " pitch.