Monday, January 25, 2010

Rox Talk - Runs Scored per Inning

Back in March 2009 I posted an article on runs scored per inning. In the post I simply graphed total runs scored per inning. In this post I have updated it to include 2009 and compared the 2009 season historically. While updating the data I realized that although plotting total runs score was OK it wasn't totally accurate because the 9th inning isn't equal. So this time around I simply divided the runs score by the total number of innings. This provided a rate of scoring which I then plotted. See below.

The solid line is scoring rate at home and the dotted line is the rate on the road. Amazing that the Rox score almost twice has many runs at home in the first inning as they do away from home. As noted in the earlier post there is a definite dip in scoring in the second inning. My only guess is that generally the second inning is usually the bottom of the line up and just isn't a productive inning. You see another uptick in the 4th and the 7th/8th. Interesting to see the road rate is flatter. There is a definite home field advantage. Next up I plotted the Home versus Away ratio. The purple line are the Rox and the black line is the opposition. If there wasn't a home advantage both of these lines should be around one but as you can see the Rox have traditionally played better at home. The individual dots show the ratio from the 2009 season. The Rox were monsters at home in the third inning and pretty ho hum in the later innings.

I love graphs! Baseball graphs especially.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rox Talk - HoF

Today I was just going to briefly mention that the purple cat, Andres Gallaraga did not receive the minimum of 5% of votes last week and will be removed from future consideration. I don't think we thought he would receive a whole lot of support and in some respects I think a player first loves to play the game, second would love Hall of Fame consideration, and finally is incredible lucky to make it into the Hall. Two out of three marks a great career, thanks for the memories. He was an outstanding player and a great Rox! To see how he fit with other nominees this website shows a great graphic. Next year might finally show some insight on the Coors Field effect and how future Rox might fare to the rest of the baseball world. Larry Walker will be on the ballot and I would think he definitely has a chance.

In other Rox news, Jerry Schemmel was announced as the next voice of the Rox. An exciting voice who will fit in well with the team. Can't wait to hear his home run call!

And finally the story of the day (or non-story perhaps) was the announcement from Mark McGwire that he knowingly took steroids during his career. From the storyline that will never die, we once again will hear from sport's world the impact of steroids on the game. From a fan's perspective what can one say? When Manny tested this year you had to shake your head because a policy was in place. Back in McGwire's time there was no policy...was it cheating? Every generation will have its baseball era. I will be saddled with the knowledge of my heroes probably being steroid users. It saddens me to think that a game would cause players to abuse their body just for the ego stroking but then again I don't have the opportunity to make millions of dollars. Given the temptation of setting up my family for generations to come perhaps justifying steroid use might become simpler. In time others will come out and history will be finally written on the era. Some questions will remain, records will be scorned, and a new generation will come along. I think we should respect McGwire's desire to set the record straight. Perhaps it will gain him some support, perhaps it will backfire on him. But he did have the courage to make things right. I will still remember the night he hit the line drive over left field to claim the record. It was a good time to be a baseball fan. Too bad it will always be tainted with steroids...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rox Talk - Anatomy of a Start

In the Anatomy of Every Start by Raphy on the baseball-reference blog he provides a table of data for every starter's pitch line. I hate tables so I graphed it. I did make one simplification so that I could graph it more easily. The simplification was that I performed a weighted average on the runs scored per third of an inning. In this way I got the graph below. The data shows the innings along the x-axis and the runs weighted average on the y-axis. Each circle then represents the number of starts. Of the 4,860 starts by MLB starters last year, 1,083 starters went exactly six innings! As you would expect the shorter the start the more runs on average were scored compared to the later innings. Interesting to see how average runs given up through 4 2/3 is pretty even and then nosedives to the 9th inning. My guess is this shows that when a pitcher has it, teams generally don't get to him and that when pitchers don't have it the early innings clearly show this. It is nice to see that 78% of the starts do last 5 innings or more. Also interesting to note that only 30% of the runs scored are done before the 5 inning.

As is my custom I look at the 2009 Rox starting pitching to see how they compared. The purple dots show the same information. Once again it is interesting to see the Rox data trend the same way after 6 innings. So in addition to the above information I also graphed innings pitched versus team winning percentage. Data suggests that for a team to have a 50/50 chance of winning it helps for the starter to go 6 innings. Purple data shows how the Rox compare.

And finally Raphy also supplied Game Score data. Once again I graphed it coming up with a win rate term which is simply wins divided by number of games. The graph has team win rate in blue and pitcher win rates in pink. Interesting to see that a Game Score of 50 will get the team to about a 50/50 chance of winning while a Game Score of 60 is required for the pitcher to get a 50/50 chance.