Monday, October 29, 2012

Hitter vs Pitcher matchups don't mean a thing. 2012 Playoff version

About a year ago I wrote this post in which I referred to the work of other smarter and better writers on the topic of hitter vs pitcher match ups.   They, and I, concluded that past performance of a specific hitter facing a specific pitcher doesn't predict future performance.

Still, plenty of baseball "experts" cited past hitter/pitcher matchups during the 2012 playoffs.  I recorded as many of these as a I found on Twitter (I did not record the statements made on air, since I'd have no linkable proof that the statements were made) and tracked the outcomes during the playoffs.

Here are the statements for hitters who had had success against the pitchers they were facing:
Meanwhile, Werth, Harper, Morse, Desmond & Espinosa are a combined 17 for 43 (.395) lifetime vs. Jaime Garcia.
Combined batting average of ' position players on today's roster against' Lohse: .331. Chipper 6-13, HR. Prado 6-14.
Delmon Young, who leads off 2nd inning for, is a career 11-for-19 (.579) against Andy Pettitte. 

The hitters mentioned by name combined to hit .500 (23 for 46) against the named pitchers.  How'd they do in the playoffs?

2 for 14.  That's a .149 batting average.  

Hitter vs Pitcher past performance DOES NOT predict future performance.  

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