Tale of Two Pitchers?
Okay so the column on the left is 2007 and the column on the right is 2008. The top line is the number of strikes thrown by the pitcher and the percentage of the total number of pitches thrown by pitcher (i.e. 63% of pitches thrown were strikes). The next three lines describe the type of strikes and the percentage of the type by total strikes (yeah don't ask me why they are greater than 100%, 43 extra pitches of some sort!). The final five rows deal with what happened to the batter or the ball (Groundball, Flyball, Line Drive, Strike Out, or Other [Walks]) with the percentage based on total batters faced. So basically the percentages are the same except a bit more flyballs and little less strikeouts in 2008.
So what about these next numbers. Again the ratios (ratios used since the 2008 pitcher didn't pitch as many innings) are pretty much the same from 2007 and 2008.
Moving on we start to see a big giant difference in the next series of numbers and that is HR allowed. 5 percent difference in Home Runs in 2008! The percentage with these is simply the percent of hits allowed (runs allowed, HR allowed, BB allowed) per batter faced.
And so we have a pitcher who pretty much had the same basic pitching stats with some more flyballs, little less strikeouts, and some more home runs which led to the following bottom lines (see final tally below). Pretty fascinating that difference between a 17 win season and a 4 win season is so small...was Jeff Francis strikeout pitch in 2007 turning into a homerun pitch in 2008? Did batter's adjust to Francis and Francis not readjust? What did the Red Sox's find during the 2007 World Series that had the rest of the NL looking for?