In a prior post I explained why it was so important to deliver strikes. I also gave a very short summary of the cause
and effects that strikes have in the game overall.
Below is a mathematical representation of why strikes are so important to a pitcher’s survival.
First let’s consider the batter’s side of the equation and how that relates to the batting order that you’ll face.
Notice along the top, is a short explanation - reasoning out the batting order, how many batters you will face - four (4) per inning,
and their chances of success based on batting averages that decline as each batter goes deeper into the order. At the bottom of the
analysis you’ll notice that inning per inning, you’ll face these batting averages with a declining percentages on their side and increases
in your MARGIN for success. So, overall you have a 77% margin of success and the opposing batting order has a 23% margin of success.
IF YOU CAN JUST THROW STRIKES.
The graph at the very bottom shows you how to gauge your endurance and manage the opposing batting order inning by inning.
Along the top bar of the graph are the innings, and directly under the innings are pitch counts, progressively accumulating. Along the
side are the batting %’s of success that you’ll face based on the highest of 300% batting average for the first four batters, then less
so for those batters that follow. Along the bottom of the graph is your endurance. Notice how during the first four innings you should be
facing progressively less in the talent department so your pitch count and endurance should reflect a high degree of success. Also, as you
progress into the fifth inning and beyond, you endurance lessens as you start to face the better batting % all over again.
When a pitcher gets into trouble, normally his/her worse showing is in the bottom half of the batting order,
which compounds trouble as the top of the order follows. Over pitching and getting too fancy with the lower ends of a batting
order is usually the cause.
Study the two displays and print them out if you can.
Think through what’s being displayed and your overall approach to the pitcher’s position. Also, take special note of how you can use the
graph below -“The Pitcher’s Side of the Equation” to gauge your work or that of the pitcher’s under your charge. For example, if you or your pitcher
comes out of the second inning with only a 10 pitch count, you or the pitcher that your coaching is ahead of the scale by 22 pitches.
Endurance wise you or your pitcher is doing fairly well. So, this sliding scale can be used as a pretty good indicator of what’s going on
inning per inning and as a projection of what’s to come.
I know a lot more goes into the pitching game then the simple displays below, but both are an excellent start towards polishing off
the skills necessary to reason out the pitcher’s position in competitive baseball.