Jason, Freddy and Pitchers
April 13, Phoenix – It’s Friday the 13th and all hitters had better beware. The other day Dbacks hitting coach Kevin Seitzer noted as we talked that he had never seen so many broken bats in the duration of a week. A study of the stats shows that those bats are dying painful and unhappy deaths.
On April 13, 2006 of last season, the MLB had played a similar number of games (274 team games in 06’, 264 in 07’) and the hitters were enjoying an early season celebration. At this point last year, the league ERA was 5.09 (and you thought Jason Voorhees was scary). The league’s hitters were swinging at a clip of .273 and had slugged 359 home runs, or 1HR/26AB.
In 2007, the league’s pitchers have emerged as Freddy Krueger and are collectively posting a 3.72 ERA (note at this point last season only two teams has an ERA lower than this, the Mets and Diamondbacks). The hitters have banded together to hit .249 as a group and swat 219 home runs, or 1HR/41AB.
Is it weather related? Have pitchers evolved in this early season and are using command and movement more than ever? Is it only a week and a half and it doesn’t really matter? Or…is it Friday the 13th and have the ghosts of pitchers past finally emerged and said ENOUGH of the home run derby and the tightly wound baseballs? Look around tonight you might spot one……
It does help with offensive numbers like those to do the little things well. The Dbacks lead MLB in sac flies with seven, they are a perfect six for six in stolen base attempts, and they are hitting .284 with runners in scoring position, behind only the Pads in the NL. Speaking of the Padres, how about their pen? Want to see fear this Friday the 13th, take a peak at Dodgers hitters tonight when they realize that SD has a pen ERA of 0.00, that’s right 28.1 IP and 0 ER. Will they break out the old "game over" for the visiting team?
What does it all mean?
“We’ve gotten off to good starts before and it’s great for the mind, but we’ve proven nothing. At 50 games, or even 30 games, you can talk about good starts,” skipper Bob Melvin.
Finally, I hope to see you at the Western Skies Golf Club in Gilbert this Saturday morning for the 2nd annual Strokes for the Little Folks Golf Tournament. It benefits the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center and it will make it a very memorable day. Visit http://www.autismcenter.org/newsroom_calendar.aspx for more info. If you can’t make it in the morning, stop by at any point in the day and say hello to some folks who do great work. Just look out for any of my errant drives.