Thursday, May 03, 2007

more stuff about relief pitching

As you may have read on Tuesday, Craig Biggio has been plunked 199 times by starting pitchers and 84 times by relievers. But, according to the batting splits page on, Biggio has had 8,431 plate appearances against starters and 3,628 against relievers, which means that he gets hit about 1.9% more frequently, per plate appearance, by starters. Or, he's been hit once every 42.4 plate appearances against starters and only once every 43.2 plate appearances by relievers. This is a little weird because during Craig Biggio's career the league wide stats have shown that relief pitchers hit batters about 14.8% more frequently per plate appearance, yet Biggio has been plunked more frequently by starters. Since 1988 (excluding '99 because retrosheet doesn't have complete splits for that year done yet), relief pitchers have hit about 1 batter per 115 batters they faced, while starters only plunked 1 batter in every 132.

Of the 84 relievers who have plunked Biggio, 36 where the first pitcher called out of the 'pen, 32 where the third pitcher used in the game, 12 were the 4th, 2 were the 5th, and 2 were the 7th, but Biggio has never been hit by the 6th pitcher used by an opponent. Biggio has been plunked 20 times by the relief pitchers who finished the game for the Astros' opponent, and another 15 times by starters who pitched a complete game. Pitchers who plunked Biggio have only recorded a save 4 times. He's never been plunked by a reliever earlier than the 4th inning, but he's been plunked 3 times by starters in the 9th inning. He's been plunked the most times by relievers in the 7th inning, with 25. And, while he's been plunked most often in total on Saturday, relief pitchers have hit him more often on Wednesday, with 17. Thursdays are his least plunked day of the week in total (25), by relievers (8) or by starters (17).

Of the 98 runs Biggio has scored after reaching on a plunk, 70 were scored off starting pitchers, and 28 off relievers. The Astros are 104-84 when Biggio gets plunked at least once by the starting pitcher, and 50-32 when he's plunked at least once by relievers. They're 7-0 when Biggio gets plunked by both the starter and a reliever, and 2-0 when he's gotten plunked twice by the bullpen. Starting pitchers have been awarded 51 wins and 77 losses in games when they've plunked Biggio at least once, but relievers have only been given winning decisions 3 times after plunking Biggio, compared with 11 losses. Biggio's first plunk was one of those three thrown by a relief pitcher who got he win.


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