the teenwolf effect
Long time readers of this site will recall that Craig Biggio is hit by a pitch more frequently on nights, like tonight, when the moon is full. He hasn't been hit during a full moon since June 22 of last season (when Jason Jennings hit him twice), but he still gets hit about 31% more often per game and 37% more often per plate appearance on the date of a full moon than he does during the rest of the lunar cycle. He records an HBP once every 7.33 games and once every 31.1 plate appearances when the moon is full, and once per 9.62 games and once per 42.6 plate appearances when it is not.
Well, it turns out this is not a local phenomenon. League wide, batters are hit 5.9% more often per plate appearance when the moon is full. About 1 batter per 120.3 is hit during full moons while non-full moon plunks occur about once every 127.4 plate appearances.
However, Biggio's increased batting average is not mirrored in league wide stats. Biggio bats .298 when the moon is full and .284 the rest of the time. He also increases his home run output from 1 per 43 plate appearance to 1 per 37 plate appearances. The major leagues as a whole, from 1988-2005, have the nearly the same batting average whether the moon is full or not - .2637 on non-full moons to .2635 on full moons. There is a slight increase in home run production during full moons, from 1.97 per game to 2.00 per game.
I have no explanation for this increase in hit batters during the full moon, but it is clearly an important area which should receive further study, and it would be the perfect opportunity for that collaboration between NASA and Major League Baseball that both groups have been waiting for. It's only fitting that the Astros should be at the forefront of such an effort.
Labels: teen wolf effect