Fun with first-half stats

You’ve heard it before. If you dissect the numbers enough, you can pretty much get them to say whatever you want them to say. But, sometimes, they’ll say things you might not have expected, too. Such is the case when poring through the first-half splits for the Blue Jays.

Did you know that Brandon Morrow hates the road? Or that Jose Molina has stats to back up being a leadoff man? How about the fact that Edwin Encarnacion performs better when he doesn’t work the count? And that whole run support issue with Ricky Romero? Well, hey, he pitches better without it.

So let’s have some fun with the first-half stats…

Shaun Marcum, RHP: The right-hander held lefties to a .177 average. Impressive stuff. Right-handed hitters defied conventional thinking, though, and raked at a clip of .304 against the pitcher.

Brett Cecil, LHP: Opposing teams might consider moving their best run producers out of the heart of the lineup when Cecil pitches. He held No. 3 hitters to a .154 average and no homers.

Brandon Morrow, RHP: What’s the opposite of road warrior? In nine starts outside of Toronto, Morrow went 0-5 with a 6.80 ERA.

Ricky Romero, LHP: The Jays’ offense went quiet on many nights Romero toed the rubber. When the O put up 0-2 runs, though, the left-hander fashioned a 1.17 ERA.

Brian Tallet, LHP: The lefty meant it when he said he preferred to work as a starter. In nine games out of the ‘pen, he posted an 8.40 ERA with six homers yielded in 15 innings.

Jesse Litsch, RHP: The sixth inning might as well have been the 666th inning. Litsch had an 18.90 ERA (six runs, 3.1 IP) and gave up nine hits (four homers) in the sixth.

Kevin Gregg, RHP: A little rest did wonders for the big fella. When he pitched with three days of rest, Gregg had a 2.25 ERA with eight strikeouts in eight innings.

Jason Frasor, RHP: Opposing teams’ No. 1 hitters combined to go 0-for-13 against the righty. Those pesky No. 2 hitters? Try 8-for-16 against Frasor.

Scott Downs, LHP: The left-hander rarely flinched when batter’s worked ahead in a count. In such scenarios, he held hitters to a .232 average.

Shawn Camp, RHP: Are there two outs and runners in scoring position? Camp is the guy to turn to. In that situation, hitters went 1-for-20 (.050 average) against the right-hander.

Casey Janssen, RHP: The righty did not fare so well against the bottom of the order. Nos. 7-9 hitters combined to hit .352/.429/537 off Janssen in the first half.

David Purcey, LHP: In his first tour as a big-league reliever, Purcey has performed well, especially with men on base. Batters managed to hit just .148 (4-for-27) in that scenario.

John Buck, C: Overall, the Jays did not do so hot against lefties in the first half. Buck, on the other hand, had a .471 BAbip (batting average on balls in play) against southpaws.

Jose Molina, C: Who says you need blazing speed atop a lineup? Toronto’s backup catcher hit .400 (8-for-20) with a .478 on-base percentage when leading off an inning.

Lyle Overbay, 1B: Manager Cito Gaston might want to keep Overbay down in that seventh hole. The first baseman has hit .315 out of that spot, compared to .195 as the No. 5 man.

Aaron Hill, 2B: It’s been a rough season thus far for Mr. Hill. But, hey, he’s hitting .341 when swinging at the first pitch. When he gets two strikes on him, though, he’s batting .137.

Alex Gonzalez, SS: Now that he’s with the Braves, the Jays will miss Gonzalez’s clutch hitting. With two outs and runners in scoring position, he hit .361 with Toronto.

Edwin Encarnacion, 3B: Let the pitcher throw a strike, Edwin. You hit .421 when swinging at 0-1 pitches. Encarnacion also hit .194 when ahead, but .245 when behind.

Jose Bautista, OF: He’s batting third for the Jays, but 14 of Jose’s 24 Bautista Bombs came as a sixth or seventh hitter. When pulling the ball, he hit .507 in the first half.

Vernon Wells, OF: Welcome to Bizarro World. For his career, Wells has hit .299 against left-handed pitching. This season? He’s hit just .186 vs. southpaws.

Fred Lewis, OF: With no outs or two outs, Lewis has hit .294 and .290, respectively. Very consistent. With one out, though, he’s hit at a .230 clip.

Adam Lind, DH/OF: In 351 plate appearances, Lind worked ahead in the count 78 times. When he got ahead, his OBP was .448. It sunk to .192 when even and .198 when behind.

Travis Snider, OF: Last year, Snider opened the season in a platoon and rarely saw left-handed pitching. In the first half this season, the young slugger hit .350 vs. southpaws.

John McDonald, SS: Who needs a Matt Stairs-type slugger off the bench when you’ve got Big Johnny Mac? As a sub, he has gone 3-for-8 with two home runs.



I love the stats, thanks for them. Keep up the great work Mr. Bastian

Apparently AGon got a standing ovation when he walked into the Atlanta clubhouse yesterday, and he had a fine game last night. Let’s hope YE proves Atlanta wrong!

In defence of Brian Tallett, I would like to point out that his last 9 games have been against Colorado, San Francisco, Philly, Cleveland, New York, Minnesota, and Boston, with the only softy being Cleveland (2.0IP, 0ER). He only really got shelled by San Francisco, New York, and Boston, who make a habit of doing that to pitchers. He has only been called in when the game is in the dumper anyway, and his job is to take one for the team and save the bullpen for next day. He has thrown 15 innings in his last 9 outings, or 1.667 innings/appearance, so I would say he is earning his money.

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