Friday, August 11, 2006

Pitchers Hitting Pitchers

After watching Houston Astros pitcher, Roy Oswalt, round the bases after hitting his first career homerun I was left wondering how many other pitchers had hit homers this season. A quick check of the stats(uh oh, I think Bud Selig is here for some cash money) revealed that 17 pitchers had "gone yard" in 2006. Four of them had done it multiple times(Carlos Zambrano leads with 4, Jorge Sosa is second with 3, and Bronson Arroyo and Jake Peavy are tied with 2 each)

Then I started wondering about the pitchers who had given up those homeruns. I'm sure that most of us have heard at some point about how fragile a pitcher's psyche can be(I think Brad Lidge's cracks a little more everytime he puts a hat on). Imagine the ridicule a pitcher must get when he returns to the dugout after serving up a longball to a fellow hurler. I'm sure it's enough to drive someone a bit insane.

Taking a look at the 23 different pitchers(Glendon Rusch gave up 2 to Bronson Arroyo) who have given up homeruns to other pitchers you come up with these stats:

Their combined record after the homerun is 39-44
Their ERA increased by an average of .16

Some of the pitchers who have taken it the hardest include:

Mark Buehrle: 0-5 record, increase in ERA of 1.03, 9HR/32ER/45H over 6 games

Glendon Rusch: 3-6 record, actually decreased ERA .56, 15HR/43ER/65H over 20 games. Currently on the DL.

Sean Marshall: 2-6 record, also dropped ERA .31, 9HR/29ER/66H over 10 games. Also currently on the DL.

Mike Thompson: 1-3 record, increase in ERA of 1.25, 9HR/30ER/61H over 11 games.

And the ones who have put it behind them the easiest include:

Orlando Hernandez: 3-0 record, decrease in ERA .61, 3HR/9ER/18H over 4 games.

Brad Penny: 2-0 record, decrease in ERA .10, 4HR/4ER/8H over 2 games.

There are also a few who are sort of in the middle, those include:

Brett Myers: 6-3 record, increase in ERA 1.20, 10HR/40ER/77H over 12 games.

Pedro Martinez: 3-1 record, increase in ERA .41, 4HR/15ER/21H over 5 games.

In the end, it appears that giving up a homerun to a rival pitcher can affect a pitcher's performance, in the near term at least(and especially in Chicago). Perhaps all Mark Buehrle needs is to smack a longball in order to get out of his current slump.

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