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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Most boring pitchers

What has always made baseball interesting is its simplicity.  Hit the ball.  Catch the ball.  Throw the ball.  Run the bases.  Strike outs eliminate all of those and walks eliminate three of the four.
Ah, now for the pitchers.  Click this link to view supporting data derived from the Lahman database.  The boredom factor is based on the percent of batters faced who put the ball in play.  The lower the percent, the more boring.
Randy Johnson edges out Nolan Ryan 61.55% to 61.61%.  In third place is Sudden Sam McDowell: 63.88%.
As with the batters, I restricted the candidate pool to post World War II (after 1945) since SO & BB were so much lower in previous eras.   Pitchers needed at least 2,300 innings to include Sandy Koufax who was fifth with 65.98%.  137 pitchers made the list.
Ryan had both the most SO (5,714) and BB (2,795). Johnson was second in SO and seventh in BB. Johnson was second in SO+BB: 6,372. Ryan had 8,509.
Phil Niekro faced the most batters: 22,677. Ryan was second with 22,575. Johnson was 17th: 17,067.
Least boring: Lew Burdette 86.21%.  Robin Roberts was the least boring Hall of Famer: #133 of 137 with 82.72%.
In the middle of the pack:
68. Frank Viola 76.9%
69. Kenny Rogers 77.1%.
I may try to use the Tom Tango pitch count estimator to determine the number of pitches per plate appearance for seasons 1903 through 2011.  All in an effort to figure out why the heck our national pastime has devolved into such a slow boring mess.

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