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 Post subject: Re: WTF explain to me...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:50 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Over the years fielding has improved, and, as fielding improved, more and more responsibility for a team's defense moved from the fielders to the pitchers.


How is the pitcher "responsible" for the team's defense? Other than K'ing batters and balls that the pitcher fields or should field, the pitcher has absolutely no responsibility for or control over the defense.


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 Post subject: Re: WTF explain to me...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:16 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
Over the years fielding has improved, and, as fielding improved, more and more responsibility for a team's defense moved from the fielders to the pitchers.


How is the pitcher "responsible" for the team's defense? Other than K'ing batters and balls that the pitcher fields or should field, the pitcher has absolutely no responsibility for or control over the defense.

My interpretation:

Probably a mixup of terms, I think. Pitching is the key to defense. That's why we blame pitchers for all those earned runs. In short, defense is why Ian Snell sucks (last outing notwithstanding). The estimated influence varies, but I've once heard that defense is 90% pitching. That is, it is primarily the responsibility of the pitcher to prevent the other team from scoring runs.

Fielding is the other, smaller part of defense. That's where position and speed of your fielders comes into play - predicting where a hit ball is going, intercepting it, and if necessary, throwing it to an appropriate base in order to get an out on the bases. The point is, if the ball has been hit, then the pitcher has failed to a small degree and it is the job of the rest of the team to ensure that there is either no damage (throwing out at first, turning a double play) or minimal damage (keeping runners from scoring) as a result.

(Voros McCracken, by the way, has done a statistical study that found virtually no correlation between a pitcher's talents and the ability to control whether a hit ball is a grounder or a fly. Hence my claim that a hit ball is a degree of failure).

Edit: McCracken article at BP: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=878


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 Post subject: Re: WTF explain to me...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:26 pm 
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yeknom02 wrote:
Fielding is the other, smaller part of defense. That's where position and speed of your fielders comes into play - predicting where a hit ball is going, intercepting it, and if necessary, throwing it to an appropriate base in order to get an out on the bases. The point is, if the ball has been hit, then the pitcher has failed to a small degree and it is the job of the rest of the team to ensure that there is either no damage (throwing out at first, turning a double play) or minimal damage (keeping runners from scoring) as a result.

That is probably one of the better descriptions of the dynamic between the pitcher and the fielders that I've seen in a while.

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