New Episode of The Towers of Power Baseball Hour

Paul Sporer and I had a special guest on the latest episode of the podcast as we were joined by former MLB pitcher and current baseball multimedia personality Jensen Lewis. We discussed the struggles of Cleveland’s Danny Salazar, the importance of the first pitch strike, and thoughts on the perception that baseball is currently being skewed toward pitchers.

Notable Zeroes

Minimum 40 Plate Appearances:

  • 0 home runs: Aaron Hill, Andrew McCutchen, Billy Butler, Carlos Santana, Chris Carter, Dan Uggla, Edwin Encarnacion, Eric Hosmer, Khris Davis, Matt Holliday, Wil Myers, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Shin-Soo Choo
  • 0 walks: Dustin Pedroia, Johnathan Schoop, Juan Uribe, Khris Davis, Melky Cabrera
  • 0 strikeouts: Andrelton Simmons
  • 0 steals: Alejandro de Aza, Dustin Pedroia, Erick Aybar, Ian Desmond, Juan Lagares, Mike Trout, Will Venable
  • 0 RBI: Carlos Ruiz, Xander Bogaerts

Minimum 25 batters faced:

  • 0 earned runs: Chris Young, Ervin Santana, Hector Rondon, Junichi Tazawa, Justin Grimm, Ross Detwiler, Santiago Casilla, Will Smith, Yu Darvish, Zach Britton
  • 0 walks: Carlos Villanueva, Chad Bettis, Clay Buchholz, Ervin Santana, Mark Melancon, Sean Doolittle, Tim Hudson, Tommy Milone, Tyler Thornburg, Wei-Yin Chen

Brewers Pitching: 2013 vs 2014

The Milwaukee Brewers are baseball’s hottest team having won nine straight games after dropping two of their first three to begin the season. While their hot start is due to success in many areas, it is tough to overlook the difference in their pitching so far.

Stat 2013 2014
Strike% (Strikes + In-Play / Pitches) 63.0% 64.7%
Miss% (Misses / Swing) 20.8% 24.5%
Swinging Strike% (Misses / Pitches) 9.3% 11.1%
In Play% (Ball in Play / Swings) 42.7% 37.7%
Zone% (Pitches in Strike Zone / Pitches) 47.9% 49.0%
Chase% (Swings / Pitches out of Zone) 26.3% 26.2%
Strikeout Rate (Strikeous / PA) 18.4% 25.7%
Walk Rate (Walks / PA) 7.6% 7.0%
Batting Average 0.255 0.199
BABIP 0.290 0.254
ERA 3.84 1.80
LOB% (Percentage of runners stranded) 74% 82%

Fewer balls in play have allowed the team to mask its infield defensive struggles from last season. In terms of defensive runs saved, the Milwaukee infield was a net -13 and only Jean Segura had a positive total while the outfield defense saved 64 runs with Carlos Gomez leading the way with 41.

Brewers On A Roll

Ten games into the season, Milwaukee has an early two-game lead in the National League Central and has the best record in all of baseball after defeating Pittsburgh for the team’s seventh straight win. That winning streak includes a perfect 6-0 record on the road with stops in Boston and Philadelphia and Friday night’s win to pull them even at 2-2 at Miller Park.

My latest piece on ESPN’s SweetSpot blog looks into the red hot Milwaukee Brewers and why they are doing so well to start the season.