Search Archives
  • Bill Chuck - Managing Editor
  • Dave Golebiewski
  • Daniel McCarthy
  • David Pinto
  • Jonathan Scippa
Follow Us

Analytics Posts
  • Baseball Analytics Blog RSS
Featured Sponsors

What's New

Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds

This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks

Entries in Baltimore Orioles (36)


Mike Mussina: King of the Called Third Strike

Mike Mussina seems like the type of pitcher whose brilliance may get lost in the translation between traditional, back-of-the-baseball-card stats and sabermetrics. He falls thirty wins shy of the revered 300 club, and his career ERA (3.68) is way above that of the average Hall of Fame inductee (2.96). Some voters will take a cursory look at Mussina's candidacy and dismiss him as a good, but hardly dominant pitcher. Former Hall of Fame research associate and Cooperstown swami Bill Deane projects that Mussina will receive just seven percent of the vote -- precariously close to the five percent minimum required to stay on the ballot the following year.

But Mussina's bubble gum card stats ignore context -- the long-time Oriole and Yankee pitched in a high-scoring era, against lineups filled with sluggers in the cut-throat AL East division. Once you adjust for park factors and the go-go run-scoring environment of the 90s and early 2000s, Mussina easily clears the bar for enshrinement. His adjusted ERA is 23 percent above average, which ranks 13th all-time among starting pitchers logging at least 3,500 innings pitched. With 82.7 career Wins Above Replacement, Moose trumps the average Hall of Famer (69 WAR) and resides in the same neighborhood as Fergie Jenkins (82.7 WAR) and Bob Gibson (81.9 WAR).

Mussina managed to vanquish AL East hitters up until the end, recording one of his finest seasons in 2008 at age 39. He topped 200 innings and had a 131 ERA+, good for sixth among AL starters. Talk about finishing strong -- Mussina had the highest WAR total (5.2) among starters during his final major league season this side of Sandy Koufax (who had to retire at 30 due to a bum elbow) and Win Mercer (who committed suicide at age 28).

Highest WAR totals for SP in last MLB season


So, how did Mussina turn in arguably the finest season ever for a pitcher voluntarily calling it quits? He was the best in the game at freezing hitters in two-strike counts. Moose got the most strikeouts looking in the majors in 2008:

Called third strike leaders among starters, 2008

Mussina got the vast majority of those looking Ks with his fastball (36) and slider (20), and most of them (56 percent) came on pitches thrown just outside of the rule book-defined strike zone:

Location of Mussina's called third strikes, 2008

Hopefully, Hall of Fame voters study Mussina's pitching as thoroughly as these batters did. This guy deserves a plaque in Cooperstown.


Going Deep with Chris Davis

I will be honest, PEDs took the joy of the home run away from me. I simply can't enjoy them the way I used to and I certainly have trouble writing anything historically about baseball homers.

Nevertheless, I have enjoyed watching the power of guys like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, and I wake up each day hoping they haven't sold me out.

Add Chris Davis to the list.
2013 Baseball's Leading HR Hitters
Chris Davis (BAL) 51 149 542 9.4% 30.7% 184 29.4%
Miguel Cabrera (DET) 44 139 520 8.5% 27.3% 89 14.5%
Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) 36 142 530 6.8% 17.5% 62 10.0%
Mark Trumbo (LAA) 34 149 585 5.8% 23.8% 167 26.2%
Pedro Alvarez (PIT) 33 141 518 6.4% 27.3% 177 31.1%
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) 33 148 554 6.0% 22.6% 134 20.4%
Alfonso Soriano (NYY) 32 141 551 5.8% 17.9% 143 24.4%
Adam Dunn (CWS) 32 142 504 6.3% 23.2% 180 30.9%
Adam Jones (BAL) 31 150 611 5.1% 19.3% 121 18.8%
Jay Bruce (CIN) 30 150 587 5.1% 17.8% 175 26.8%

I like watching Davis with his Dave Kingman swing power the ball high and deep into the stands. As I wrote about on, last night, Davis broke the Orioles franchise record by hitting his 51st homer of the season, breaking the record of 50 held by Brady Anderson set in 1996.

Here's where Davis' 51 homers have landed

Going Deep on Davis

  • The 27-year old, left-hand hitting Davis has hit 13 homers against lefties, 38 against righties.
  • 27 homers have been hit at Camden Yards (tying Frank Robinson's 1966 home club record but the most at Camden Yards), 24 on the road
  • He hit 37 before the break and 14 since the All-Star Game.
  • He opened the season homering in the first four games, a feat only done by Willie Mays (1971), Mark McGwire (1998) and Nelson Cruz (2011).
  • Davis has hit 38 homers from the #5 slot in the batting order, the most in baseball; Jay Bruce is next with 25.
  • He's hit 34 in Orioles wins and 17 in O's losses.
  • He's had 48 homers while playing first; three as a DH.
  • 17 homers have been hit leading off an inning.
  • 13 homers have been hit on the first pitch of an at bat. He's hit two on 0-2 counts, eight on full-counts and one on a 3-0 count.
  • 22 homers have been hit with no out, 17 with one out, and 12 with two outs.
  • He's had 22 homers with men on base, and 29 solo shots.
  • He hit 12 homers in June, 10 in May, nine each in April and August, seven in July, and so far, four in September.
  • 18 have been hit against fastballs, 10 against sliders, nine against change-ups, five each against curves and sinkers, two against cutters, and one each off splitters and knuckleballs.
  • 23 of Davis’s homers have either tied the game or given the Orioles the lead.
  • He's had three games with two homers.
  • He's hit 20 homers in the first three innings, 17 in innings 4-6, and 14 in innings 7-9. He has none in extra innings.

I just hope...

I just hope that Chris Davis is clean, and stays clean.

Once an Outsider, Chris Davis now Crushing Outside Pitches

Chris Davis crushed his 50th home run of the 2013 season in fitting fashion last night, depositing Steve Delabar's 88 MPH fastball on the outside corner into the left-center field seats at the Rogers Centre. That shot, which moved Davis past Frank Robinson (1966) and into a tie with Brady Anderson (1996) for the most single-season homers in Orioles history, is a prime example of why the 27-year-old has emerged as the game's pre-eminent power hitter. Once an outsider in Texas, Davis is now teeing off on pitches thrown to the outside corner.

While Davis might look like your stereotypical pull-happy slugger, he's the only hitter to launch double-digit homers to right (20), center (17) and left (13) field in 2013. He has accomplished that feat thanks in large part to his performance against pitches thrown to the outer third of the strike zone. Davis has belted 10 more homers versus pitches thrown away than his next closest competitor, Pedro Alvarez.

MLB HR leaders vs. pitches thrown away in 2013

Davis is also in a class all his own when it comes to overall slugging percentage versus pitches thrown away. He's slugging nearly double the major league average on outer-third pitches and more than 220 points ahead of runner-up Freddie Freeman.

MLB slugging percentage leaders vs. pitches thrown away in 2013

Davis is on pace to finish the year with 55 home runs, which would rank 19th all-time on the single-season list among the likes of Hack Wilson, Mickey Mantle, Ralph Kiner and Babe Ruth. That's pretty good company for Baltimore's throwback, all-fields masher.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 ... 12 Next 3 Entries »