Friday, September 18, 2009

More foul balls by pitchers - or less foul balls by pitcher

Last week I confidently wrote that I was going to post the major league pitching leaders in the category of foul balls allowed, and that I fully expected no one to care about that. But, it turns out that commenter KL Snow (from Brewcrewball) almost cared about it, but was more interested in which pitchers give up the fewest foul balls.

So, here are the ten pitchers who have given up the fewest fouls this year, with a minimum of 500 batters faced:
PitcherFoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Tim Wakefield (BOS)2801841528
Jason Berken (BAL)2911834501
Fausto Carmona (CLE)3091973513
Ervin Santana (LAA)3312058544
Micah Owings (CIN)3432010521
Brad Bergesen (BAL)3431864519
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)3462480645
Francisco Liriano (MIN)3472187579
Derek Holland (TEX)3491964538
Scott Richmond (TOR)3502043528


And here are the ten pitchers who have the lowest number of foul balls, as a percentage of their total pitches thrown (fouls/total pitches):
PitcherFouls as pct of pitchesFoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)13.95%3462480645
Livan Hernandez (WSH)13.98%3782704732
Trevor Cahill (OAK)14.44%4102840729
Ryan Dempster (CHC)14.61%4012744729
Jason Marquis (COL)14.71%4242883824
Bronson Arroyo (CIN)15.04%4623071842
Tim Wakefield (BOS)15.21%2801841528
Chris Carpenter (STL)15.60%3712378674
Fausto Carmona (CLE)15.66%3091973513
John Lackey (LAA)15.68%3952519686


Now obviously, some of those foul balls count as strikes, so lets see what happens if we exclude the strikes and just look at non-strike fouls - or foul balls hit with 2 strikes in the count. Here are the pitchers who have given up the fewest non-strike fouls:
PitcherNon-strike foulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Jason Berken (BAL)871834501
Tim Wakefield (BOS)961841528
Ian Snell (SEA)1082222572
Ervin Santana (LAA)1132058544
Jeff Suppan (MIL)1142401658
Brad Bergesen (BAL)1141864519
Francisco Liriano (MIN)1172187579
Todd Wellemeyer (STL)1182019542
Aaron Cook (COL)1202243628
Fausto Carmona (CLE)1231973513


And, non-strike fouls as a percentage of total pitches:
PitcherNon-strike Fouls as
pct of pitches
Non-strike FoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Jason Marquis (COL)4.30%1242883824
Livan Hernandez (WSH)4.62%1252704732
Ryan Dempster (CHC)4.63%1272744729
Trevor Cahill (OAK)4.65%1322840729
Jason Berken (BAL)4.74%871834501
Jeff Suppan (MIL)4.75%1142401658
Ian Snell (SEA)4.86%1082222572
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)5.08%1262480645
Yovani Gallardo (MIL)5.15%1613125776
Bronson Arroyo (CIN)5.18%1593071842

So those guys are all pretty good about not throwing a lot of pitches that get wasted or fought off and don't count for anything, except an increase pitch count. While we're here, we might as well see who gets the most pitches fouled off after two strikes.
Here are the league leaders in non-strike fouls:
PitcherNon-strike foulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Scott Baker (MIN)3192884733
Justin Verlander (DET)3023434868
Max Scherzer (ARI)2772855695
Randy Wolf (LAD)2763027792
Cliff Lee (PHI)2513299901
Jon Lester (BOS)2413136780
Cole Hamels (PHI)2362866742
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)2302808657
Ricky Nolasco (FLA)2292714705
Doug Davis (ARI)2223137802


And, the leader in non-strike fouls as a percentage of total pitches:
PitcherNon-strike Fouls
as pct of pitches
Non-strike FoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Scott Baker (MIN)11.06%3192884733
Max Scherzer (ARI)9.70%2772855695
Randy Wolf (LAD)9.12%2763027792
Scott Kazmir (LAA)8.89%2082339583
Justin Verlander (DET)8.79%3023434868
Ricky Nolasco (FLA)8.44%2292714705
Cole Hamels (PHI)8.23%2362866742
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)8.19%2302808657
Johan Santana (NYM)7.84%2022575702
Brad Penny (SF)7.80%2092681672

(And, because I feel the need to say something about people getting hit by pitches,)
Jorge De La Rosa leads the league in giving up non-strike fouls in plate appearances where he eventually hit the batter, with 6. He's hit 7 batters, but he gave up 6 non-strike fouls to those batters he plunked - the most he gave up in a single plate appearance was 4. On April 25th, Rockies rookie Matt Daley gave up 5 non-strike fouls to Casey Blake before getting tired of that game and hitting him. That's the most this season, in a single plate appearance that resulted in a plunking.

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