Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)
Finishing off an inning is critical to a team’s success. The fewest two-out hits allowed in 2018 were by the Rays (355), the Braves (369), and the Dodgers (381). The Brewers allowed the fewest two-out homers with 40.
Here’s how good Mookie Betts is: In 2018, with two outs and two strikes on a batter, the average batter hit .183. Only one batter in the majors hit over .300 as Mookie Betts hit .356.
In 2018, after starting a PA with an 0-2 count, nobody drew more walks than Mike Trout and his 14 BB.
In 2018, after starting a PA with an 0-2 count, nobody walked more batters than Eduardo Rodriguez and his 11 BB.
In 2018, with a runner on third and less than two outs, the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel hit .628 (20-32). Not only did that not lead the league, he didn’t even lead his team as he finished second to George Springer who went 15-23 (.652).
deGreatness – In 2018, after starting a PA with an 0-2 count, Jacob deGrom had the lowest BAA in the majors at .091 (batters went 20-220)
The importance of the 1-1 pitch is best exhibited on J.D. Martinez, one of baseball’s best hitters. In 2018, on 2-1 pitches, J.D. had a .565 BA and an OPS of 1.607. This season on 1-2 pitches, J.D. had a .124 BA and an OPS of .326.
Looking at this era’s three top closers: In 2017, Aroldis Chapman walked 20 and allowed 3 homers, Kenley Jansen walked 7 and allowed 5 homers, and Craig Kimbrel walked 14 and allowed 6 homers. In 2018 (with each pitcher 30 years old), Aroldis Chapman walked 30 and allowed 2 homers, Kenley Jansen walked 17 and allowed 13 homers, and Craig Kimbrel walked 31 and allowed 7 homers.