From the wild to the weird: First half pitching stats you might -

From the wild to the weird: First half pitching stats you might not know

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(Baseball StL) -- Statistics are the lifeblood of baseball. Because of the meticulous record-keeping over the years, statisticians can tell you just about anything you might want to know about a ball club, player or season. And often some things you don’t need to know.

So, to feed your stats Jones, here is some odd, unusual, and, probably largely useless information.

Let’s start with the pitchers first and next we’ll look at position players.

Adam Wainwright - 12-5, ERA 2.45. His strength is his control, fanning nearly one man an inning and walking about one per game. That keeps his walks+hits to one an inning, best among the starters. He is absolutely crushing opposing teams’ number four and five hitters – the very heart of RBI land – holding those two spots to .200.

That, in a paragraph, is why he is good; no walks and no big damage from the other team’s thumpers.

Contrary to the myth about aces starting slowly and getting stronger, Wainwright is at his best in the first 45 pitches of the ballgame and then he fades noticeably on pitches 46-60. 

Inside baseball stat: He is at his worst when the first pitch in a count is a ball. Hitters bat .309, he has issued over 50 hits and more doubles and walks than any other count.

Odd stat: He’s just 4-4 at Busch but 8-1 on the road, yet his ERA at home is a whole run better.

Shelby Miller - 9-6, ERA 2.92. He pitches well in the heartland and not so well on the coasts. His ERA at Busch is 1.93, at Miller Park, it’s 1.50 and in the nation’s capital, 0.00, pitching six shutout innings against the Nationals.

But on the west coast, (San Diego, LA, Oakland and San Francisco) his ERA balloons to 5.62. Throw in Citi Field on the other coast and the ERA gets worse at 5.70.

Conversely, the Brewers hope they never see him again. He’s 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and the Brew Crew is hitting .178 as a team against him.

Inside baseball stat: Batters who swing at the first pitch are hitting .343. And, even more telling, batters are hitting .429 with a 2-1 count. Somebody is reading his pitching chart.

Odd stat: The opposing team’s lead-off man is hitting .347 against him with 6 walks but no one from that position in the order has scored against him all year.

Lance Lynn – 11-4, ERA 3.92. The last month has not been kind to him and the Cardinals may want to watch this closely. Since June 15, Lynn’s ERA is 6.00 as his pitch count has mounted. His ERA on the road is worse than Miller’s - nearly 5.5.

The Brewers love him, lighting him up in his only appearance against them but the Reds won’t be sending him any Christmas cards (he’s 2-0, holding them to a .215 batting average.)

Inside baseball stat: The leadoff man hits .351 against him but he owns the other team’s third hitter, holding him to a .184 average.

Odd stat:  Batters hit .074 against him on pitches 61-75 in a ballgame.

Jake Westbrook -- 5-4, ERA 2.88. He’s lights out at Busch (3-0) where teams hit just .178 and his ERA is just 0.31.

Inside baseball stat: He may want to change whatever he throws with a 2-2 count because hitters are spanking him on that pitch, 15-30 for a .500 average. He owns three of the last four hitters in opposing line-ups, holding batter 6,7 and 9 to below the Mendoza line. But batter number 8 hits nearly .300.

Odd stat: With nobody on, batters hit better than .300. With runners in scoring position, just .172.

Trevor Rosenthal -- 1-1, ERA 2.20. Monster fastball (68 Ks in 44 innings) fools lefties more than righties. Right-handers hit .275 against him but lefties, just .190. 

Inside baseball stat: Hitters are beginning to sit on his fastball and the majority of the hits he has surrendered are on 1-2 and 2-2 counts.

Odd stat: The opposing team’s third hitter beats him like a rented mule, hitting .474 but their clean-up hitter and RBI man at number 4? Just .095.

Edward Mujica -- 2-1, ERA 2.37, 26 saves. Classic save man with 34 Ks and just 2 walks in almost 40 innings.

Don’t even bother taking a bat to the plate at Busch Stadium. His ERA is 0.90 and teams are hitting .108. Neither lefties nor righties are above the Mendoza line.

Inside baseball stat: He is only good when he is ahead in the count. On the first pitch or when he is behind 1-0 or 2-0, batters are hitting over .500 against him.

Odd Stat: Everyone hitting against Mujica is batting below .200 in all situations except the one that should define a closer. Opposition hitters are batting best against him with 2 outs and runners in scoring position (.294), the very situation that nearly cost the Cardinals Sunday night’s game against the Cubs.

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