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Justin Turner Takes One For The Team June 23, 2011

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Economics.
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The Mets’ Justin Turner quite literally took one for the team last night when he wasn’t trying to get hit, but, oops, managed to get plunked in the bottom of the 13th inning with the bases loaded. Brad Ziegler was the losing pitcher for Oakland. It was the first game-ending hit by pitch since last year, when Mariano Rivera nailed Jeff Francoeur for the loss in a September game.

In 185 plate appearances this year, Turner has been hit three times. The other two were both by Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton, eleven days apart; Morton is not especially known for hitting batters, since he, too, has only been involved in three hit batsmen this year. (The third plunking was Dane Sardinha.) It was the Mets’ only go-ahead HBP this year, and the only one of this year’s six go-ahead hit batsmen to occur in extra innings.

Turner has a way about him. He’s hit ten go-ahead RBIs this year (and yes, a hit by pitch that forces in a run is an RBI), which accounts for a little over ten percent of the Mets’ 95 go-ahead RBIs. Only Carlos Beltran, with 13, has more. It’s also the Mets’ only game-ending RBI this year. I guess Turner will take what he can get.

Quickie: Dallas Braden's Perfect Game May 11, 2010

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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Dallas Braden of the Oakland As pitched a perfect game Sunday, on Mother’s Day. Under the methods discussed last year after Buehrle’s perfect game, Braden – who’s been active for four seasons – has an OBP-against of .328. That means he has a probability for any given plate appearance of .672 of the batter not reaching base.

Since he sat down 27 batters consecutively, the probability of that event happening is (.672)27, or .0000218; equivalently, given his current stats, a bit over 2 in every 100,000 games that Braden pitches should be perfect games.

Over the same period (2007-2010), the American League OBP has hovered between .331 (this year) and .338 (2007). .336 was the mode (2008, 2009), so I’ll use it to estimate that the chance for a perfect game facing the league average team would be (.664)27, or .0000157, or equivalently about 1.5 out of every 100,000 games should be a perfect game.As you can see, it’s more likely for Braden than the average pitcher, but not by much.

Nice job, Dallas!

As a side note, the Tampa Bay Rays were the victim of BOTH perfect games. Their team OBP was .343 in 2009, with a probability not to get on base of .657, meaning that the probability of getting 27 batters seated consecutively is about 1.2 in 100,000. Since many other teams have lower team OBPs, it’s very surprising that the Rays were the victims of both games.