Friday, October 29, 2010

Illogical Baseball Commentators:

I’ve listened to many people commenting on the post-season series, and one bit of illogic, shared by most of them, really annoys me. Almost everyone agrees that the playoffs are won by pitching. And it’s clear that many fine pitchers are dominating these series.

The same commentators complained about the Yankees’ and Phillies’ poor hitting. They wanted to see these teams pull themselves together and raise their batting averages. They spoke of slumps. But poor hitting is caused by good pitching! When you expect pitching to dominate hitting, there’s nothing strange about batting averages taking a nose-dive. It’s the other side of the same coin.

2 comments:

jgfellow said...

I'm not sure that there's enough data, but I imagine that one could tell the difference between a pitcher having an anomalous night and individual batters performing below standards.

Of course, I can't remember the last time I tuned in to ESPN to hear "and as the data unambiguously shows, A-Rod's performance was significantly worse than expected with p < 0.001..."

The Precision Blogger said...

Commentators may say such silly things, but as YOU know, it's perfectly reasonable got a .300 hitter to slump and get no hits for fifteen at bats. You can't apply statistics to a few at-bats.

It's possible for pitchers to dominate the other team while giving up many hits. There have been 14-hit shutouts. I'm just saying, when the pitchers give up few hits, the batters must get fewer hits!
-PB