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Ted Williams vs. Left-handed Pitchers

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  • Memphis
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark View Post
    Hitch, I followed the link to the article and it said "based on his career totals his stats were better in virtually every category for the missing years". Without seeing any numbers I would have assumed Williams, like virtually every other LHB, didn't do as well against LHP. He was still pretty damn good against them though. I think modern LHB might be expected to do a little better against LHP than old timers for this reason - There are alot of left handed pitchers in the majors today who don't belong there. Everyone knows that LHP have an advantage over LHB, but bad lefties aren't really a better option than good righties when you've got a tough left handed batter to retire. The new conventional "wisdom" that you need a couple lefties in the pen as specialists goes against all logic. Sorry to have diverged from your topic, just a pet peeve of mine.
    I would disagree with the above assertion that, today, "there are a lot of left-handed pitchers in the majors today who don't belong there." In this modern sabermetric era, I think the ability to find and identify talented left-handed pitchers is actually GREATER than it was in the past. The left-handed specialists of today (something that didn't exist in the past) are particularly adept at retiring LHBs, often coming in to pitch to a single LHB in a critical situation.

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by pedrosrotatorcuff View Post

    Ted Williams was born in 1918. I don't think those are the reasons why he never hit those home runs.
    What does his year of birth have to do with it? Regarding inside the park homers you need dimensions conducive for them, and a runner not only with some speed, but the aggressive mindset to keep it in third gear between 2nd and 3rd and make the final turn home. Ballgame wore cement boots broheem.

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  • pedrosrotatorcuff
    replied
    Originally posted by Floyd Gondolli View Post

    Sultan_1895-1948

    Probably more than 50.

    From 1912-1919 the Red Sox hit 67 home runs at Fenway Park. And most of those were inside the park jobs which Williams never hit because he 1. Was slow as molasses and 2. Didn't run the bases aggressively. In fact his baserunning stats are a joke even compared to and OLD Babe Ruth (1925-1935).

    From 1912-1919 they Red Sox hit 194 home runs on the road. 194 vs 67. No small difference.
    Ted Williams was born in 1918. I don't think those are the reasons why he never hit those home runs.

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  • SWCBaseball
    replied
    Thanks for the information. I really like it. I did not know I was arguing anything but was only stating a general opinion. But I do love the information.... Because of your post, I wondered how Williams contemporary Stan Musial did against LHP so I looked him up and he was better against LHP than Williams was as well. Musial in 3908 ab, had 157 HR, .316/.394/.528 against LHP.

    No argument about Ruth but I tend to put him in my line-up as a RF since he played the most games there, 1132 to 1050.

    Leave a comment:


  • Floyd Gondolli
    replied
    Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post

    That is a valid point..of course had he played ball in those years he might have broke a wrist, who knows.

    Another vailid point, is that if he had to hit in old Fenway, versus more left handed pitching, with dead ball agaist trick pitches...his numbers would suffer. Hell, leave everything the same and ONLY change Fenway back to old dimensions he loses about 50 career home HR based on known landing points.
    Sultan_1895-1948

    Probably more than 50.

    From 1912-1919 the Red Sox hit 67 home runs at Fenway Park. And most of those were inside the park jobs which Williams never hit because he 1. Was slow as molasses and 2. Didn't run the bases aggressively. In fact his baserunning stats are a joke even compared to and OLD Babe Ruth (1925-1935).

    From 1912-1919 they Red Sox hit 194 home runs on the road. 194 vs 67. No small difference.

    Leave a comment:


  • Floyd Gondolli
    replied
    Originally posted by SWCBaseball View Post
    I doubt I have a right-handed hitter on my team to put into LF that would do a better job. Maybe, I am wrong but .311 against LHP? And OPS of .928?
    There are (at least) 22 RHH with a higher OPS against LHP than Ted Williams (min 2,000 PA). I say "at least" because the PBP data is either non existent or highly incomplete for old timers like Lajoie, Wagner, Delahanty, etc.

    (In other words...the best RHH of the first 50 years of MLB.)

    Screenshot_20180902-220204_Chrome.jpg
    Last edited by Floyd Gondolli; 09-03-2018, 04:02 AM.

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  • Floyd Gondolli
    replied
    Sultan_1895-1948 pheasant

    We have over 90% of Babe Ruth's PA vs lefties (complete) now via Retrosheet. He DESTROYS Ted Williams. Both in overall terms and in terms of the platoon split vs LHP.

    Ruth (2,640 PA vs LHP): .317/.448/.654 with 191 HR

    Williams (2,020 PA vs LHP): .311/.435/.493 with 63 HR
    Last edited by Floyd Gondolli; 09-02-2018, 07:54 PM.

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  • SWCBaseball
    replied
    Okay, so if I had Ted Williams on my team and he had a career .344 with 521 HR and an OPS of 1.116 and I know that the next four starting pitchers for the next four games are LHP who he has batted .311 with 63 HR in 1708 at-bats and his OPS was .928, I think I am still going to start Williams in LF... I doubt I have a right-handed hitter on my team to put into LF that would do a better job. Maybe, I am wrong but .311 against LHP? And OPS of .928?

    Now if the argument is that he was not as great a hitter because his numbers against LHP was significantly lower, well, then he hit .354 with 458 HR with an OPS of 1.168 against RHP. To me, he still is one of the greatest hitters of all-time. Where would I rank him, I would have to sit down and compare all the great hitters to decide that but if he were on my team, it would be tough to platoon him or pinch-hit for him against a LHP. Maybe I would use Hornsby to PH for him but he is probably already in the game at 2B.

    It is just my thoughts. His numbers vs. LHP do not change my mind about how great a hitter he was.

    Excellent subject, I enjoy everyone's input and analysis. Glad I found BFF... love it.

    Leave a comment:


  • SWCBaseball
    replied
    Ted Williams vs. noted LHP
    LH Pitcher AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SA OPS
    Whitey Ford 45 17 3 0 1 13 4 .378 .508 .511 1.019
    Lefty Gomez 27 13 2 0 2 5 1 .481 .563 .778 1.341
    Eddie Lopat 84 26 7 0 2 19 10 .310 .448 .464 .912
    Don Mossi 40 13 4 0 1 8 7 .325 .429 .500 .929
    Hal Newhouser 96 25 0 2 3 23 7 .260 .403 .396 .799
    Billy Pierce 93 24 4 2 2 34 14 .258 .457 .409 .866
    Marius Russo 41 17 1 1 2 1 5 .415 .429 .634 1.063

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Realized that BRef might have some of this data so I looked at there first available year for Ruth which was 1925. He probably had about 190 PA against lefties that year and BRef had 171 of those PA. So here is his numbers vs lefties based on at which point in the game he saw them.

    Code:
     [TABLE="border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0"]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 51"] [/TD]
     			[TD="width: 34"] Outs[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 34"]   1B[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 34"]   2B[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 34"]  HR[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 34"]  BB[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 34"] HBP[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 43"]    BA[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 43"]  OBP[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 43"]  SLG[/TD]
     			[TD="width: 43"]  OPS[/TD]
     		[/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]1st PA[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]33[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]10[/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]5[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.233[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.327[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.233[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.559[/TD]
     		[/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]2nd PA[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]26[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]6[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]9[/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.257[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.409[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.457[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.866[/TD]
     		[/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]3rd PA[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]23[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]5[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]5[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]7[/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.324[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.439[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.794[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1.233[/TD]
     		[/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]4th PA[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]19[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]3[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]4[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.240[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.367[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.640[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1.007[/TD]
     		[/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]5th/6th[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]4[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1[/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD] [/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.429[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.429[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]0.857[/TD]
     			[TD="align: right"]1.286[/TD]
     		[/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    Last edited by Ubiquitous; 08-27-2018, 06:55 AM.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Players from earlier eras were facing lefties more and doing better than modern players because teams were largely using lefties wrong in an earlier eras. They really didn't understand the platoon effect all that well or utilize it all that well. If you scan the box scores you will see several instances of opposing teams bringing in a lefty against the Red Sox only to pull that reliever for a rightie when Ted was up to bat. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson and racked up PA against lefties that in the modern they wouldn't have been able to rack up. Not because a modern team would sit Babe or Ty but because a modern wouldn't have that lefty starting or wouldn't have that lefty go 9 innings or throw 140 pitches.

    If some league wants to throw lefty starters at Ted and the Red Sox at a 40% rate those lefty starters were going to get crushed against those Red Sox and while Ted might get hit with a "penalty" in the first through 3rd innings he would then being getting a bonus in later innings as a gassed and shell shocked lefty is throwing up there meatball after meatball and getting pounded.

    Retrosheet has a good amount of PBP data for Ruth from 1921 and on. It would be an interesting study to see how he did vs lefties by times faced. I might have some time in early September to take a look and a study like that sounds intriguing. I might see what I can do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    And then hits a 100 more based on known bad pitchers.

    If Babe Ruth had to play his career with a dead ball and against trick pitches he too would have less homers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    You also have to remember that Ted missed almost 5 full seasons as a peak hitter as well which cost him a higher OPS. The second thing is that if you look at his year by year numbers his two worst showings before his old age seasons were in seasons after he came back from the war. In both cases he did not hit well against lefties but then rebounded quite nicely the year after. Without a break not only does he get the war years but it also likely that 1946 and 1953 are better as well.
    That is a valid point..of course had he played ball in those years he might have broke a wrist, who knows.

    Another vailid point, is that if he had to hit in old Fenway, versus more left handed pitching, with dead ball agaist trick pitches...his numbers would suffer. Hell, leave everything the same and ONLY change Fenway back to old dimensions he loses about 50 career home HR based on known landing points.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    You also have to remember that Ted missed almost 5 full seasons as a peak hitter as well which cost him a higher OPS. The second thing is that if you look at his year by year numbers his two worst showings before his old age seasons were in seasons after he came back from the war. In both cases he did not hit well against lefties but then rebounded quite nicely the year after. Without a break not only does he get the war years but it also likely that 1946 and 1953 are better as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iowanic
    replied
    Again, Williams wasn't too shabby.
    I think the stats speak for themselves why I'd pick Williams 1939 to 1960.
    That OPS for the better part of 20 years seems mighty good to me.

    Leave a comment:

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