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## I Love Strikeouts, Hate Hits and Extra Base Hits and Do Not Mind Walks984. In my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I said I love strikeouts, don’t mind walks and hate hits, especially extra base hits. As I expected, several viewers emailed me that walks were the baseball pitchers biggest problem.I promised those walk-haters that I would provide statistical support for my position that walks are NOT always bad. Here goes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This past summer, a gentleman showed me the statistics of a local college baseball pitcher who had not been drafted and asked me what I thought he needed to do to get into professional baseball. In 72 innings, this pitcher walked 22 batters, struck our 76 batters and gave up 82 hits of which 34.1% were extra base hits. I said that he needs to walk more batters. The gentleman looked at me quizzically and said, “He needs to walk more batters? He walked only 22 batters. His control is excellent.” I said that his control is not excellent. I said that he does not walk batters because he does not challenge himself to throw the tough pitch in the tough situation. In tough situations, he throws the pitches that hitters expect, fastballs, and the batters feast on him. That is why he gives up so many extra base hits. He has to throw pitches that hitters do not expect, non-fastballs, in tough situations. That way, batters will not know what to expect and, as a result, they will not hit his pitches so hard, if at all. Like everything I have learned about baseball pitching, I learned the hard way that baseball pitchers should not challenge hitters with fastballs, but they should challenge themselves to throw tough pitches in the tough situations. In 1971, I pitched 111.1 innings, walked 50 batters, struck out 85 batters, gave up 100 hits of which 31.3% were extra base hits for a 4.30 earned run average and a .245 opponent batting average. From this information, I decided that I had to challenge myself to my screwball in tough situations. In 1972, I pitched 116.0 innings, walked 47 batters, struck out 95 batters, gave up 95 hits of which 17.1% were extra base hits for a 1.78 earned run average and a .199 opponent batting average. |---------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Year | Inn | BB | BB/9 | Ks | Ks/9 | Hit | Hit/9 | EBH | %EBH | ERA | OBA | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 1971 | 111.1 | 50 | 4.04 | 085 | 6.78 | 100 | 08.09 | 031 | 31.3% | 4.30 | .245 | | 1972 | 116.0 | 47 | 3.65 | 095 | 7.37 | 095 | 07.37 | 014 | 17.1% | 1.78 | .199 | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|In 1972, I decreased my walks per nine innings from 4.04 to 3.65, increased my strikeouts per nine innings from 6.68 to 7.37 and decreased my hits per nine innings from 8.09 to 7.37, but the reason why I lowered my earned run average from 4.30 to 1.78 and my opponent batting average from .245 to .199 was because I decreased my extra base hit percentage from 31.3% to 17.1%? To show that hits, especially extra base hits, not walks are the pitchers’ enemy, I asked my former assistant coach, John Maley, who, for twelve years, coached pitchers at NAIA I, NCAA II and NCAA I colleges, to give me the statistics that his best pitchers achieved. Raw Data Table |--------------------------------------------------------------| |Pitcher| Inn | BB | Ks | 1B | 2B | 3B | HR || ERA | OBA | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | MZ3 | 050.1 | 041 | 048 | 29 | 03 | 00 | 04 || 3.58 | .195 | | MZ4 | 096.1 | 072 | 115 | 49 | 14 | 02 | 10 || 3.91 | .208 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | PM3 | 086.2 | 039 | 082 | 43 | 12 | 03 | 05 || 2.28 | .197 | | PM4 | 128.1 | 064 | 131 | 85 | 16 | 06 | 08 || 3.65 | .240 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | NA4 | 093.0 | 070 | 100 | 38 | 10 | 02 | 04 || 2.03 | .168 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | BS2 | 062.0 | 056 | 070 | 25 | 08 | 00 | 14 || 3.92 | .214 | | BS3 | 063.2 | 047 | 060 | 42 | 07 | 05 | 02 || 3.68 | .233 | | BS4 | 099.1 | 064 | 066 | 65 | 16 | 03 | 03 || 3.35 | .240 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | AC1 | 058.0 | 053 | 061 | 20 | 12 | 04 | 03 || 4.19 | .188 | | AC2 | 096.1 | 084 | 100 | 46 | 07 | 01 | 01 || 1.87 | .166 | | AC3 | 110.0 | 082 | 125 | 42 | 08 | 02 | 04 || 1.23 | .155 | | AC4 | 092.2 | 062 | 103 | 46 | 13 | 00 | 05 || 2.33 | .193 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | JK3 | 109.1 | 051 | 128 | 47 | 17 | 02 | 05 || 3.12 | .178 | | JK4 | 141.1 | 054 | 147 | 46 | 15 | 01 | 08 || 2.36 | .194 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | FT1 | 085.2 | 088 | 077 | 54 | 09 | 00 | 03 || 2.63 | .219 | | FT2 | 064.1 | 059 | 063 | 37 | 10 | 03 | 05 || 5.32 | .241 | | FT3 | 122.2 | 074 | 133 | 66 | 11 | 02 | 05 || 3.04 | .206 | | FT4 | 095.0 | 030 | 108 | 48 | 11 | 02 | 06 || 2.27 | .194 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | CW1 | 079.1 | 058 | 094 | 35 | 04 | 00 | 02 || 1.47 | .160 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | SM | 059.2 | 024 | 071 | 68 | 12 | 03 | 05 || 3.34 | .238 | |--------------------------------------------------------------| | JF | 102.1 | 062 | 118 | 32 | 09 | 01 | 03 || 2.56 | .211 | |--------------------------------------------------------------|Because, in my opinion, low earned run averages indicate successful pitchers, I will list these pitchers in the order of their lowest earned run averages. I have also calculated their base on balls, strikeouts and hits per nine innings and their percentage of extra base hits. Refined Data Table |----------------------------------------------| |Pitcher| BB/9 | Ks/9 | Hit/9 | %EBH || ERA | |----------------------------------------------| | AC3 | 6.71 | 10.29 | 04.66 | 24.6% || 1.23 | | CW1 | 6.58 | 10.66 | 04.65 | 14.6% || 1.47 | | AC2 | 7.85 | 09.34 | 05.14 | 16.4% || 1.87 | | NA4 | 6.77 | 09.68 | 05.23 | 29.6% || 2.03 | | FT4 | 2.84 | 10.23 | 06.35 | 28.4% || 2.27 | |----------------------------------------------| | PM3 | 4.05 | 08.52 | 06.54 | 31.7% || 2.28 | | AC4 | 6.02 | 10.00 | 06.22 | 28.1% || 2.33 | | JK4 | 3.44 | 09.36 | 06.24 | 24.5% || 2.36 | | JF | 3.62 | 10.70 | 06.79 | 28.9% || 2.56 | | FT1 | 9.24 | 08.09 | 06.97 | 18.2% || 2.63 | |----------------------------------------------| | FT3 | 5.43 | 09.76 | 06.71 | 21.4% || 3.04 | | JK3 | 4.20 | 10.54 | 05.83 | 33.8% || 3.12 | | SM | 5.45 | 10.38 | 07.74 | 22.7% || 3.34 | | BS4 | 5.80 | 05.98 | 07.88 | 25.3% || 3.35 | | MZ3 | 8.53 | 08.53 | 06.44 | 19.4% || 3.58 | |----------------------------------------------| | PM4 | 4.49 | 09.19 | 08.07 | 26.0% || 3.65 | | BS3 | 6.64 | 08.48 | 07.92 | 25.0% || 3.68 | | MZ4 | 6.73 | 10.74 | 06.98 | 34.7% || 3.91 | | BS2 | 8.13 | 10.16 | 06.82 | 46.8% || 3.92 | | AC1 | 8.22 | 09.47 | 06.05 | 48.7% || 4.19 | |----------------------------------------------| | FT2 | 8.25 | 08.81 | 07.69 | 21.4% || 5.32 | |----------------------------------------------|To show how walks, strikeouts, hits and extra base hits influence earned run average, I will use the Correlation Coefficient statistic. The Correlation Coefficient statistic determines the degree to which two variables measure the same attribute. In this case, we want to determine whether walks, strikeouts, hits or extra base hits measure what earned run average measures, that is, the quality of baseball pitchers. I am calculating these Correlation Coefficients by hand. Therefore, if any readers have the ability to have a computer calculate Correlation Coefficients, because I can only hope that I have found all the mistakes I made, I would appreciate it if they verified my results. To calculate the Correlation Coefficient between these variables, we first need to determine the range, mean and standard deviation for these variables. To do this, I use Frequency Distribution Tables. (To examine my Frequency Distribution Tables, see Appendix A) Range, Mean and Standard Deviation Table ----------------------------------------------------- |Variable| Range | Mean | Standard Deviation| ----------------------------------------------------- | ERA | 1.23 to 5.32 | 2.96 | 0.97 | | BB/9 | 2.84 to 9.24 | 6.13 | 1.11 | | Ks/9 | 10.74 to 5.98 | 9.47 | 1.11 | | Hit/9 | 4.65 to 8.07 | 6.52 | 1.00 | | %EBH | 14.6 to 48.7 | 27.2 | 8.4 | -----------------------------------------------------Now that we have the range, mean and standard deviations for these variables, we can determine the Correlation Coefficient between Earned Run Average (ERA) and Walks per game (BB/9), Strikeouts per game (Ks/9), Hits per game (Hit/9) and Percentage of Extra Base Hits (%EBH). To do this, I use Correlation Coefficient Tables. Unfortunately, with my limited knowledge of how to display information on the Internet, I could not find a way to display my Correleation Coefficient Tables without extending the entire file to the right. To make these tables fit, I reduced the size of the font. But, when I put the table on the Internet, it moved the right margin farther to the right outside of the viewing page. If someone knows what I should do, please let me know. Until then, I cannot display either my Frequency or Correlation Coefficient Table. I apologize. I determined that the Correlation Coefficient between Earned Run Average (ERA) and Walks per Game (BB/9) is 0.39. This means that walks do not significantly measure the quality of baseball pitchers. If walks per game evaluated the quality of baseball pitchers as well as earned run average, then the pitchers with the best earned run averages would also have the lowest walks per game. That is, the pitcher with the 1.23 ERA would walk 2.84 batters per game. However, he walked 6.71 batters per game. Graphically, if ERA and BB/9 measured the same variable, then all the numbers in the Correlation Coefficient Table would be on the diagonal line. Maybe, an easier way for readers to see the relationship between ERA and BB/9 is to compare the numbers side by side. |------------------------------| | # |Pitcher| ERA || # | BB/9 | |------------------------------| |01.| AC3 | 1.23 ||13.| 6.71 | The #01 ERA pitcher is #13 in BB/9. |02.| CW1 | 1.47 ||11.| 6.58 | The #02 ERA pitcher is #11 in BB/9. |03.| AC2 | 1.87 ||16.| 7.85 | The #03 ERA pitcher is #16 in BB/9. |04.| NA4 | 2.03 ||15.| 6.77 | The #04 ERA pitcher is #15 in BB/9. |05.| FT4 | 2.27 ||01.| 2.84 | The #05 ERA pitcher is #01 in BB/9. |------------------------------| |06.| PM3 | 2.28 ||04.| 4.05 | The #06 ERA pitcher is #04 in BB/9. |07.| AC4 | 2.33 ||10.| 6.02 | The #07 ERA pitcher is #10 in BB/9. |08.| JK4 | 2.36 ||02.| 3.44 | The #08 ERA pitcher is #02 in BB/9. |09.| JF | 2.56 ||03.| 3.62 | The #09 ERA pitcher is #03 in BB/9. |10.| FT1 | 2.63 ||21.| 9.24 | The #10 ERA pitcher is #21 in BB/9. |------------------------------| |11.| FT3 | 3.04 ||07.| 5.43 | The #11 ERA pitcher is #07 in BB/9. |12.| JK3 | 3.12 ||05.| 4.20 | The #12 ERA pitcher is #05 in BB/9. |13.| SM | 3.34 ||08.| 5.45 | The #13 ERA pitcher is #08 in BB/9. |14.| BS4 | 3.35 ||09.| 5.80 | The #14 ERA pitcher is #09 in BB/9. |15.| MZ3 | 3.58 ||20.| 8.53 | The #15 ERA pitcher is #20 in BB/9. |------------------------------| |16.| PM4 | 3.65 ||06.| 4.49 | The #16 ERA pitcher is #06 in BB/9. |17.| BS3 | 3.68 ||12.| 6.64 | The #17 ERA pitcher is #12 in BB/9. |18.| MZ4 | 3.91 ||14.| 6.73 | The #18 ERA pitcher is #14 in BB/9. |19.| BS2 | 3.92 ||17.| 8.13 | The #19 ERA pitcher is #17 in BB/9. |20.| AC1 | 4.19 ||18.| 8.22 | The #20 ERA pitcher is #18 in BB/9. |------------------------------| |21.| FT2 | 5.32 ||19.| 8.25 | The #21 ERA pitcher is #19 in BB/9. |------------------------------|While it appears that baseball pitchers with low earned run average do not need low numbers of walks per game, it appears that baseball pitchers with high earned run averages do need to lower their walks per game. I determined that the Correlation Coefficient between Earned Run Average (ERA) and Strikeouts per Game (Ks/9) is -0.22. The negative number only means that we listed earned run average (ERA) from low to high and strikeouts (Ks/9) from high to low. That the correlation between earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts per game (Ks/) is -0.22 means that strikeouts do not significantly measure the quality of baseball pitchers. If strikeouts per game measured the quality of baseball pitchers as well as earned run average, then the pitchers with the best earned run averages would also have the highest strikeouts per game. That is, the pitcher with the 1.23 ERA would strikeout 10.74 batters per game. However, that the pitcher that struck out 10.74 batters per game had a 3.91 earned run average indicates that high strikeouts per game does not insure a low earned run average. Graphically, if ERA and Ks/9 measured the same variable, then all the numbers in the table would be on the diagonal line. Maybe, an easier way for readers to see the relationship between ERA and Ks/9 is to compare the numbers side by side. |-------------------------------| | # |Pitcher| ERA || # | Ks/9 | |-------------------------------| |01.| AC3 | 1.23 ||06.| 10.29 | The #01 ERA pitcher is #06 in Ks/9. |02.| CW1 | 1.47 ||03.| 10.66 | The #02 ERA pitcher is #03 in Ks/9. |03.| AC2 | 1.87 ||14.| 09.34 | The #03 ERA pitcher is #14 in Ks/9. |04.| NA4 | 2.03 ||11.| 09.68 | The #04 ERA pitcher is #11 in Ks/9. |05.| FT4 | 2.27 ||07.| 10.23 | The #05 ERA pitcher is #07 in Ks/9. |-------------------------------| |06.| PM3 | 2.28 ||18.| 08.52 | The #06 ERA pitcher is #18 in Ks/9. |07.| AC4 | 2.33 ||09.| 10.00 | The #07 ERA pitcher is #09 in Ks/9. |08.| JK4 | 2.36 ||13.| 09.36 | The #08 ERA pitcher is #13 in Ks/9. |09.| JF | 2.56 ||02.| 10.70 | The #09 ERA pitcher is #02 in Ks/9. |10.| FT1 | 2.63 ||20.| 08.09 | The #10 ERA pitcher is #20 in Ks/9. |-------------------------------| |11.| FT3 | 3.04 ||10.| 09.76 | The #11 ERA pitcher is #10 in Ks/9. |12.| JK3 | 3.12 ||04.| 10.54 | The #12 ERA pitcher is #04 in Ks/9. |13.| SM | 3.34 ||05.| 10.38 | The #13 ERA pitcher is #05 in Ks/9. |14.| BS4 | 3.35 ||21.| 05.98 | The #14 ERA pitcher is #21 in Ks/9. |15.| MZ3 | 3.58 ||17.| 08.53 | The #15 ERA pitcher is #17 in Ks/9. |-------------------------------| |16.| PM4 | 3.65 ||15.| 09.19 | The #16 ERA pitcher is #15 in Ks/9. |17.| BS3 | 3.68 ||19.| 08.48 | The #17 ERA pitcher is #19 in Ks/9. |18.| MZ4 | 3.91 ||01.| 10.74 | The #18 ERA pitcher is #01 in Ks/9. |19.| BS2 | 3.92 ||08.| 10.16 | The #19 ERA pitcher is #08 in Ks/9. |20.| AC1 | 4.19 ||12.| 09.47 | The #20 ERA pitcher is #12 in Ks/9. |-------------------------------| |21.| FT2 | 5.32 ||16.| 08.81 | The #21 ERA pitcher is #16 in Ks/9. |-------------------------------|While not a guarantee, it appears that baseball pitchers with low earned run averages tend to have high strikeout numbers. I determined that the Correlation Coefficient between Earned Run Average (ERA) and Hits per Game (Hit/9) is 0.62. That the correlation between earned run average (ERA) and hits per game (Hit9) is 0.62 means that, while not as good as earned run average, hits do a respectable job of measuring the quality of baseball pitchers. Because hits per game evaluated the quality of baseball pitchers reasonably well, we expect that the pitchers with the best earned run averages would also give up the fewest hits per game. Graphically, if ERA and Hit/9 measured the same variable, then all the numbers in the table would be on the diagonal line indicated. Eight of the twenty-one pitchers were either on the diagonal or within one value of being on the diagonal. Maybe, an easier way for readers to see the relationship between ERA and Hit/9 is to compare the numbers side by side. |--------------------------------| | # |Pitcher| ERA || # | Hit/9 | |--------------------------------| |01.| AC3 | 1.23 ||06.| 04.66 | The #01 ERA pitcher is #02 in Hit/9. |02.| CW1 | 1.47 ||03.| 04.65 | The #02 ERA pitcher is #01 in Hit/9. |03.| AC2 | 1.87 ||14.| 05.14 | The #03 ERA pitcher is #03 in Hit/9. |04.| NA4 | 2.03 ||11.| 05.23 | The #04 ERA pitcher is #04 in Hit/9. |05.| FT4 | 2.27 ||07.| 06.35 | The #05 ERA pitcher is #09 in Hit/9. |--------------------------------| |06.| PM3 | 2.28 ||18.| 06.54 | The #06 ERA pitcher is #11 in Hit/9. |07.| AC4 | 2.33 ||09.| 06.22 | The #07 ERA pitcher is #07 in Hit/9. |08.| JK4 | 2.36 ||13.| 06.24 | The #08 ERA pitcher is #08 in Hit/9. |09.| JF | 2.56 ||02.| 06.79 | The #09 ERA pitcher is #13 in Hit/9. |10.| FT1 | 2.63 ||20.| 06.96 | The #10 ERA pitcher is #15 in Hit/9. |--------------------------------| |11.| FT3 | 3.04 ||10.| 06.71 | The #11 ERA pitcher is #12 in Hit/9. |12.| JK3 | 3.12 ||04.| 05.83 | The #12 ERA pitcher is #05 in Hit/9. |13.| SM | 3.34 ||05.| 07.74 | The #13 ERA pitcher is #18 in Hit/9. |14.| BS4 | 3.35 ||21.| 07.88 | The #14 ERA pitcher is #19 in Hit/9. |15.| MZ3 | 3.58 ||17.| 06.44 | The #15 ERA pitcher is #09 in Hit/9. |--------------------------------| |16.| PM4 | 3.65 ||15.| 08.07 | The #16 ERA pitcher is #21 in Hit/9. |17.| BS3 | 3.68 ||19.| 07.92 | The #17 ERA pitcher is #20 in Hit/9. |18.| MZ4 | 3.91 ||01.| 06.98 | The #18 ERA pitcher is #16 in Hit/9. |19.| BS2 | 3.92 ||08.| 06.82 | The #19 ERA pitcher is #14 in Hit/9. |20.| AC1 | 4.19 ||12.| 06.05 | The #20 ERA pitcher is #06 in Hit/9. |--------------------------------| |21.| FT2 | 5.32 ||16.| 07.69 | The #21 ERA pitcher is #17 in Hit/9. |--------------------------------|While, there are some glaring exceptions, such as, at 4.19, the baseball pitcher with the twentieth ERA has the sixth lowest hits per game, it appears that baseball pitchers with low earned run averages give up fewer hits per game and baseball pitchers with higher earned run averages give up more hits per game. Seven of the top ten earned run average pitchers gave up the fewest hits. I determined that the Correlation Coefficient between Earned Run Average (ERA) and Percentage of Extra Base Hits (%EBH) is 0.28. That the correlation between earned run average (ERA) and percent of extra base hits (%EBH) is only 0.28 means that percent of extra base hits do not significantly measure the quality of baseball pitchers. Remember on my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I said that I loved strikeouts, not because they humiliate baseball batters, although that is a lot of fun, but because the fear of striking out causes baseball batters to swing earlier in the count with less intensity. As a result, baseball batters do not hit as many extra base hits or as many hits. If percent of extra base hits evaluated the quality of baseball pitchers as well as earned run average, then the pitchers with the best earned run averages would also have the lowest percent of extra base hits. Indeed, the pitcher with the second lowest earned run average had the best extra base hits percentage and the pitcher with the third lowest earned run average had the second best extra base hit percentage. Graphically, if ERA and Ks/9 measured the same variable, then all the numbers in the table would be on the diagonal line indicated with the same x’s. Maybe, an easier way for readers to see the relationship between ERA and Ks/9 is to compare the numbers side by side. |-------------------------------| | # |Pitcher| ERA || # | %EBH | |-------------------------------| |01.| AC3 | 1.23 ||09.| 24.6% | The #01 ERA pitcher is #09 in %EBH. |02.| CW1 | 1.47 ||01.| 14.6% | The #02 ERA pitcher is #01 in %EBH. |03.| AC2 | 1.87 ||02.| 16.4% | The #03 ERA pitcher is #02 in %EBH. |04.| NA4 | 2.03 ||16.| 29.6% | The #04 ERA pitcher is #16 in %EBH. |05.| FT4 | 2.27 ||14.| 28.4% | The #05 ERA pitcher is #14 in %EBH. |-------------------------------| |06.| PM3 | 2.28 ||17.| 31.7% | The #06 ERA pitcher is #17 in %EBH. |07.| AC4 | 2.33 ||13.| 28.1% | The #07 ERA pitcher is #13 in %EBH. |08.| JK4 | 2.36 ||08.| 24.5% | The #08 ERA pitcher is #08 in %EBH. |09.| JF | 2.56 ||15.| 28.9% | The #09 ERA pitcher is #15 in %EBH. |10.| FT1 | 2.63 ||03.| 18.2% | The #10 ERA pitcher is #03 in %EBH. |-------------------------------| |11.| FT3 | 3.04 ||05.| 21.4% | The #11 ERA pitcher is #05 in %EBH. |12.| JK3 | 3.12 ||18.| 33.8% | The #12 ERA pitcher is #18 in %EBH. |13.| SM | 3.34 ||07.| 22.7% | The #13 ERA pitcher is #07 in %EBH. |14.| BS4 | 3.35 ||11.| 25.3% | The #14 ERA pitcher is #11 in %EBH. |15.| MZ3 | 3.58 ||04.| 19.4% | The #15 ERA pitcher is #04 in %EBH. |-------------------------------| |16.| PM4 | 3.65 ||12.| 26.0% | The #16 ERA pitcher is #12 in %EBH. |17.| BS3 | 3.68 ||10.| 25.0% | The #17 ERA pitcher is #10 in %EBH. |18.| MZ4 | 3.91 ||19.| 34.7% | The #18 ERA pitcher is #19 in %EBH. |19.| BS2 | 3.92 ||20.| 46.8% | The #19 ERA pitcher is #20 in %EBH. |20.| AC1 | 4.19 ||21.| 48.7% | The #20 ERA pitcher is #21 in %EBH. |-------------------------------| |21.| FT2 | 5.32 ||06.| 21.4% | The #21 ERA pitcher is #06 in %EBH. |-------------------------------|Two of the top three earned run average pitchers had very low percentages of extra base hits. While the worst earned run average pitcher had the sixth lowest percentage of extra base hits, the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth earned run average pitchers had the worst three percentage of extra base hits. In conclusion, I believe that these statistics indicate that, if it means that baseball pitchers challenge themselves to throw tougher pitches in tough situations, such that they give up fewer hits and extra base hits, it is better for baseball pitchers to walk a few more batters. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Good Luck Everybody |