Copyright 2003
Coaching Pitchers
By Michael G. Marshall, Ph.D.

     Chapter 25:   Computer Analysis

     Since 1967, I had used Michigan State Universityís central computer to statistically analyze my masterís thesis data.   Therefore, after I completed my analysis of my 1974 baseball data by hand, I decided that I needed to use MSUís central computer to statistically analyze my pitching data.   Therefore, I recorded sixty variables for every at bat during my 1973 and 1974 major league baseball seasons on computer cards.   I labeled my file, BASEBALLDATA.

                                        Table 25.1:   BASEBALLDATA
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Var #  |Var Col |                    Description                    |                   
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   01   |   01   |  Year                                             |
|   02   |   02   |  Day/Night                                        |
|   03   | 03-05  |  Batter Number                                    |
|   04   |   06   |  Left/Right                                       |
|   05   |   07   |  Spray/Pull                                       |
|   06   | 08-09  |  Home Runs                                        |
|   07   | 10-12  |  Runs Batted In                                   |
|   08   | 13-15  |  Batting Average                                  |
|   09   |   16   |  Set/Windup Position                              |
|   10   | 17-18  |  Inning Number                                    |
|   11   |   19   |  Away/Home                                        |
|   12   |   20   |  No outs/one out/two outs                         |
|   13   |   21   |  Baserunner on first/No baserunner on first       |
|   14   |   22   |  Baserunner on second/No baserunner on second     |
|   15   |   23   |  Baserunner on third/No baserunner on third       |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   16   | 24-25  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   17   |   26   |  1st pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   18   |   27   |  1st pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   19   |   28   |  1st pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   20   |   29   |  1st pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   21   | 30-31  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   22   |   32   |  2nd pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   23   |   33   |  2nd pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   24   |   34   |  2nd pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   25   |   35   |  2nd pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   26   | 36-37  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   27   |   38   |  3rd pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   28   |   39   |  3rd pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   29   |   40   |  3rd pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   30   |   41   |  3rd pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   31   | 42-43  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   32   |   44   |  4th pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   33   |   45   |  4th pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   34   |   46   |  4th pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   35   |   47   |  4th pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   36   | 48-49  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   37   |   50   |  5th pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   38   |   51   |  5th pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   39   |   52   |  5th pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   40   |   53   |  5th pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   41   | 54-55  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   42   |   56   |  6th pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   43   |   57   |  6th pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   44   |   58   |  6th pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   45   |   59   |  6th pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   46   | 60-61  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   47   |   62   |  7th pitch fastball/slider/screwball              |
|   48   |   63   |  7th pitch vertical location: High/middle/low     |
|   49   |   64   |  7th pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out     |
|   50   |   64   |  7th pitch ball/strike                            |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   51   | 66-67  |  At bat result                                    |
|   52   |   68   |  Type of batted ball                              |
|   53   | 69-70  |  Batted ball field location                       |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   54   | 71-72  |  Heirarchy of ball/strike count                   |
|   55   |   73   |  Action pitch fastball/slider/screwball           |
|   56   |   74   |  Action pitch vertical location: High/middle/low  |
|   57   |   75   |  Action pitch horizontal location: In/middle/out  |
|   58   |   76   |  Action pitch ball/strike                         |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|   59   |   77   |  Pitches per at bat                               |
|   60   | 78-79  |  Situation ranking                                |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
         a.   Pitch and Hitter Data Descriptions

     To determine how frequently and successfully I threw my fastball, slider and screwball pitches, I cross-tabulated the seven pitch at bat selections (Variables 17, 22, 27, 32, 37, 42 and 47) with the seven at bat ball/strike results (Variables 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50).

        Table 25.2:   Pitch Selections and Strike Percentages Through Seven Pitches
                            |-----------------------------------------|
             |--------------|  Pitch Selection   ||      Strike       |
             |  Pitches     |    Percentages     ||    Percentages    |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  28.9% (469/1623)  ||  65.2% (305/469)  |
|    1st     | Slider       |  23.8% (386/1623)  ||  60.9% (235/386)  |
|            | Screwball    |  47.3% (768/1623)  ||  53.4% (410/768)  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  42.8% (580/1365)  ||  69.3% (402/580)  |
|    2nd     | Slider       |  23.0% (311/1365)  ||  67.8% (211/311)  |
|            | Screwball    |  34.2% (464/1365)  ||  61.0% (283/464)  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  43.1% (452/1048)  ||  47.8% (216/452)  |
|    3rd     | Slider       |  22.5% (236/1048)  ||  42.8% (101/236)  |
|            | Screwball    |  34.4% (360/1048)  ||  76.4% (275/360)  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  43.2% (331/766)   ||  66.5% (220/331)  |
|    4th     | Slider       |  18.5% (142/766)   ||  67.6% (096/142)  |
|            | Screwball    |  38.3% (293/766)   ||  64.2% (188/293)  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  43.6% (205/468)   ||  73.2% (150/205)  |
|    5th     | Slider       |  22.3% (105/468)   ||  70.5% (074/105)  |
|            | Screwball    |  33.6% (158/468)   ||  65.2% (103/158)  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  45.7% (106/232)   ||  71.7% (076/106)  |
|    6th     | Slider       |  23.7% (055/232)   ||  78.2% (043/055)  |
|            | Screwball    |  30.6% (071/232)   ||  53.5% (038/071)  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  54.8% (46/84)     ||  80.4% (37/46)    |
|    7th     | Slider       |  19.0% (16/84)     ||  87.5% (14/16)    |
|            | Screwball    |  26.2% (22/84)     ||  72.7% (16/22)    |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|            | Fastball     |  38.6% (2188/5675) ||  64.3% (1406/2188)|
|  Totals    | Slider       |  22.0% (1251/5675) ||  61.9% (0774/1251)|
|            | Screwball    |  39.4% (2236/5675) ||  58.7% (1313/2236)|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

     On my first pitch, I selected screwballs (47.3%) more frequently than fastballs (28.9%) or sliders (23.8%).   However, I only threw 53.4% first pitch screwball strikes.   On my second through seventh pitches, I selected fastballs more frequently than sliders or screwballs.   On my third pitch, I threw only 47.8% fastball strikes and 42.8% slider strikes, but, suddenly, I threw 76.4% screwball strikes.   On my seventh pitch, I threw 80.4% fastball strikes, 87.5% slider strikes and 72.7% screwball strikes.   If I threw these percent strikes all the time, then I would never have seven pitch at bats.   Rely on the variety of pitch selection, not location.   Challenge the strike zone with all types of pitches all the time.

     For general pitch at bats and hitter information, I cross-tabulated at bat results (Variable 51) with pitches per at bat (Variable 59).

                    Table 25.3:   The Seven Pitch At Bat Results
|----------------------------------------------------------||
|  1556          |              Pitch At Bats              ||
|  Hitter        |----------------------------------------------------|
|  Results       |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  ||  Totals |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
| At Bat Percent |16.6%|19.0%|18.0%|18.4%|14.8%| 9.4%| 3.7%||   99.9% |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Cumulative %  |16.6%|35.6%|53.6%|72.0%|86.8%|96.2%|99.9%||   99.9% |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Hitters       | 259 | 296 | 280 | 287 | 230 | 146 |  58 ||   1556  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Home Runs     |   5 |   2 |   3 |   7 |   2 |   1 |   0 ||     20  |
|  Triples       |   1 |   0 |   2 |   1 |   1 |   1 |   0 ||      6  |
|  Doubles       |  10 |  12 |   7 |   5 |   2 |   2 |   3 ||     41  |
|  Singles       |  62 |  70 |  55 |  40 |  30 |  17 |   7 ||    281  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  BB            |   0 |   0 |   0 |  20 |  35 |  38 |  13 ||    106  |
|  IBB           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   9 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      9  |
|  HBP           |   0 |   1 |   2 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      4  |
|  Sac Bunt      |  15 |   8 |   1 |   2 |   1 |   0 |   0 ||     27  |
|  Sac Fly       |   2 |   3 |   3 |   2 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     10  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Outs          | 164 | 200 | 207 | 200 | 159 |  87 |  35 ||   1052  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  K called      |   0 |   0 |  12 |  24 |  25 |  15 |   4 ||     80  |
|  K swinging    |   0 |   0 |  43 |  57 |  40 |  23 |   8 ||    171  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Batting Aver  |.322 |.296 |.245 |.209 |.180 |.194 |.222 ||   .249  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|On Base Percent |.322 |.298 |.250 |.270 |.306 |.404 |.397 ||   .303  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

     In one through seven pitch at bats, all batters achieved on-base percentages of .322, .298, .250, .270, .306, .404 and .397, respectively.   They completed 53.6% of their at bats within three pitches and 86.8% of their at bats within five pitches.

     While this information about all hitters combined is very interesting and I could complete several considerable in depth analyses, I needed to narrow my investigation to each of the four types of hitters.   I needed to learn how to have more success against left-handed spray hitters, left-handed pull hitters, right-handed spray hitters and right-handed pull hitters.

         b.   Four Hitter Type Data Descriptions

     Spray hitters hit to all fields.   Pull hitters hit only to pull fields.   For general information about the four types of hitters, I cross-tabulated at bat results with the seven pitch at bats for the four hitter types.

        Table 25.4:   Seven Pitch At Bat Results For 514 Left-Handed Spray Hitters
|----------------------------------------------------------||
|  514 Left:     |              Pitch At Bats              ||
| Spray Hitter   |----------------------------------------------------|
|   Results      |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  ||  Totals |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
| At Bat Percent |18.2%|18.7%|17.9%|17.7%|16.5%| 8.2%| 2.7%||  99.9%  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Cumulative %  |18.2%|36.9%|54.8%|72.5%|89.0%|97.2%|99.9%||  99.9%  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Hitters       |  94 |  96 |  92 |  91 |  85 |  42 |  14 ||   514   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Home Runs     |   2 |   1 |   1 |   2 |   1 |   1 |   0 ||    08   |
|  Triples       |   0 |   0 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||    01   |
|  Doubles       |   3 |   3 |   3 |   2 |   1 |   1 |   1 ||    14   |
|  Singles       |  21 |  20 |  17 |  13 |   9 |  10 |   2 ||    92   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  BB            |   0 |   0 |   0 |   6 |  12 |  12 |   2 ||    32   |
|  IBB           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   5 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||    05   |
|  HBP           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||    00   |
|  Sac Bunt      |   5 |   4 |   0 |   2 |   1 |   0 |   0 ||    12   |
|  Sac Fly       |   0 |   1 |   2 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||    04   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Outs          |  63 |  67 |  68 |  60 |  61 |  18 |   9 ||   346   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  K called      |   0 |   0 |   5 |   9 |   8 |   2 |   0 ||    24   |
|  K swinging    |   0 |   0 |  11 |  14 |  12 |   3 |   3 ||    45   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|Batting Averages|.292 |.264 |.244 |.221 |.153 |.400 |.250 ||  .249   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|On Base Percent |.292 |.264 |.244 |.277 |.273 |.571 |.357 ||  .298   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

     In one through seven pitch at bats, left-handed spray hitters achieved on-base percentages of .292, .264, .244, .277, .273, .571 and .357, respectively.   They completed 54.8% of their at bats within three pitches and 89.0% of their at bats within five pitches.

        Table 25.5:   Seven Pitch At Bat Results For 187 Left-Handed Pull Hitters
|----------------------------------------------------------||
|  187 Left:     |              Pitch At Bats              ||
| Pull Hitter    |----------------------------------------------------|
|  Results       |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  ||  Totals |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
| At Bat Percent |10.7%|14.4%|20.9%|20.9%|15.5%|13.4%| 4.2%||  100.00%|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Cumulative %  |10.7%|25.1%|46.0%|66.9%|82.4%|95.8%|100.%||
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Hitters       |  20 |  27 |  39 |  39 |  29 |  25 |   8 ||   187   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Home Runs     |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   1 |   0 |   0 ||     1   |
|  Triples       |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     0   |
|  Doubles       |   1 |   1 |   3 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     6   |
|  Singles       |   5 |   6 |   7 |   7 |   2 |   1 |   0 ||    28   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  BB            |   0 |   0 |   0 |   3 |   7 |   8 |   1 ||    20   |
|  IBB           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     0   |
|  HBP           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     0   |
|  Sac Bunt      |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     0   |
|  Sac Fly       |   0 |   0 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     1   |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Outs          |  14 |  20 |  28 |  28 |  19 |  16 |   7 ||    133  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  K called      |   0 |   0 |   4 |   4 |   6 |   3 |   1 ||     18  |
|  K swinging    |   0 |   0 |   7 |   8 |   4 |   6 |   2 ||     27  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|Batting Averages|.300 |.259 |.263 |.222 |.136 |.059 |.000 ||   .208  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|On Base Percent |.300 |.259 |.263 |.282 |.345 |.360 |.143 ||   .252  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

     In one through seven pitch at bats, left-handed pull hitters achieved on-base percentages of .300, .259, .263, .282, .345, .360 and .143, respectively.   They completed 46.0% of their at bats within three pitches and 82.4% of their at bats within five pitches.

    Table 25.6:   Seven Pitch At Bat Results For 585 Right-Handed Spray Hitters
|----------------------------------------------------------||
|  585 Right:    |              Pitch At Bats              ||
| Spray Hitter   |----------------------------------------------------|
|  Results       |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  ||  Totals |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
| At Bat Percent |17.6%|21.7%|16.6%|18.3%|13.0%| 9.6%| 3.2%||  100.00%|  
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Cumulative %  |17.6%|39.3%|55.9%|74.2%|87.2%|96.8%|100.%||
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Hitters       | 103 | 127 |  97 | 107 |  76 |  56 |  19 ||    585  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Home Runs     |   2 |   0 |   1 |   3 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      6  |
|  Triples       |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   1 |   1 |   0 ||      3  |
|  Doubles       |   6 |   6 |   1 |   2 |   1 |   1 |   2 ||     19  |
|  Singles       |  22 |  35 |  24 |  16 |  16 |   4 |   4 ||    121  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  BB            |   0 |   0 |   0 |  10 |  10 |  12 |   3 ||     35  |
|  IBB           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   3 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      3  |
|  HBP           |   0 |   1 |   2 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      4  |
|  Sac Bunt      |  10 |   2 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||     12  |
|  Sac Fly       |   1 |   1 |   0 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      3  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Outs          |  61 |  82 |  69 |  71 |  48 |  38 |  10 ||    382  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  K called      |   0 |   0 |   2 |   9 |   7 |   5 |   0 ||     23  |
|  K swinging    |   0 |   0 |  15 |  18 |  15 |   8 |   1 ||     57  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|Batting Averages|.337 |.333 |.274 |.228 |.273 |.136 |.375 ||   .281  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|On Base Percent |.337 |.338 |.289 |.311 |.368 |.273 |.474 ||   .330  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

     In one through seven pitch at bats, right-handed spray hitters achieved on-base percentages of .337, .338, .289, .311, .368, .273 and .474, respectively.   They completed 55.9% of their at bats within three pitches and 87.2% of their at bats within five pitches.

    Table 25.7:   Seven Pitch At Bat Results For 270 Right-Handed Pull Hitters
|----------------------------------------------------------||
|  270 Right:    |              Pitch At Bats              ||
| Pull Hitter    |----------------------------------------------------|
|  Results       |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  ||  Totals |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
| At Bat Percent |15.6%|17.0%|19.3%|18.5%|14.8%| 8.5%| 6.3%||  100.00%|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Cumulative %  |15.6%|32.6%|51.9%|70.4%|85.2%|93.7%|100.%||
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Hitters       |  42 |  46 |  52 |  50 |  40 |  23 |  17 ||    270  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Home Runs     |   1 |   1 |   1 |   2 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      5  |
|  Triples       |   0 |   0 |   1 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      2  |
|  Doubles       |   0 |   2 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      2  |
|  Singles       |  14 |   9 |   7 |   4 |   3 |   2 |   1 ||     40  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  BB            |   0 |   0 |   0 |   1 |   6 |   6 |   7 ||     21  |
|  IBB           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      1  |
|  HBP           |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      0  |
|  Sac Bunt      |   0 |   2 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      3  |
|  Sac Fly       |   1 |   1 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 ||      2  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Outs          |  26 |  31 |  42 |  41 |  31 |  15 |   9 ||    194  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  K called      |   0 |   0 |   3 |   2 |   4 |   5 |   3 ||     17  |
|  K swinging    |   0 |   0 |  10 |  17 |   9 |   6 |   2 ||     44  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|Batting Averages|.366 |.279 |.176 |.146 |.088 |.118 |.100 ||   .202  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|On Base Percent |.366 |.279 |.176 |.163 |.225 |.348 |.471 ||   .268  |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

     In one through seven pitch at bats, right-handed pull hitters achieved on-base percentages of .366, .279, .176, .163, .225, .348 and .471, respectively.   They completed 51.9% of their at bats within three pitches and 85.2% of their at bats within five pitches.

         c.   Comparing the Four Types of Hitters

            Table 25.8:   Seven Pitch At Bat On-Base % For the Four Hitter Types
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
|Hitter|1 Pitch |2 Pitch |3 Pitch |4 Pitch |5 Pitch |6 Pitch |7 Pitch |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
| LHSH |  .292  |  .264  |  .244  |  .277  |  .273  |  .571  |  .357  |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
| LHPH |  .300  |  .259  |  .263  |  .282  |  .345  |  .360  |  .143  |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
| RHSH |  .337  |  .338  |  .289  |  .311  |  .368  |  .273  |  .474  |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
| RHPH |  .366  |  .279  |  .176  |  .163  |  .225  |  .348  |  .471  |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

     Right-handed pull hitters batted .366 against me in one pitch at bats.   I need to throw either better quality or new types of pitches on my first pitches to them.   Right-handed spray hitters reached base over .300 percent of the time in one, two, four, five and seven pitch at bats against me.   Clearly, I need new types of pitches with which to get right-handed spray hitters out.   Except for seven pitch at bats against left-handed pull hitters, all hitters reached base against me well over .350 percent of the time in six and seven pitch at bats.   I need to end all at bats within five pitches.

     Left-handed spray hitters completed 54.8% of their at bats within three pitches and 89.0% of their at bats within five pitches.   They completed 46.0% of their at bats within three pitches and 82.4% of their at bats within five pitches.   Right-handed spray hitters completed 55.9% of their at bats within three pitches and 87.2% of their at bats within five pitches.   Right-handed pull hitters completed 51.9% of their at bats within three pitches and 85.2% of their at bats within five pitches.   Left-handed pull hitters force me into more pitches per at bat.

     I require more specific information.   Therefore, I asked the computer to examine what pitches I throw on one pitch at bats and their results, what pitches I throw on two pitch at bats and their results and so on.



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