Who do you, or don’t you, want on the mound after an 0-2 count?

by Bill Chuck on February 23, 2016

Always be closingWe love it when pitchers start with a first pitch strike and we start salivating when a pitcher starts off 0-2 on a batter.

All we do then is wait for the pitcher to close the deal.

In the words that I can use in print from the brilliant mind of David Mamet who wrote in “Glengarry Glen Ross“:

A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING.

Nine to Know: Who do you, or don’t you, want on the mound after an 0-2 count?

  1. No pitcher in baseball started more PA 0-2 counts last season than Max Scherzer with 281. David Price was next with 238 PA.
  2. No pitcher allowed more hits after starting 0-2 last season than Phil Hughes, who gave up 49 hits, of which, six were homers.
  3. Of the 232 batters that Clayton Kershaw faced that he started with an 0-2 count, Kershaw struck out 153, the most in the bigs; he was followed by Scherzer who whiffed 147 of 281 and Chris Sale who struck out 132 of 231.
  4. Sale only ended up walking one batter who started out 0-2 and while Chris Young faced 101 and didn’t walk any, the best in the category was Michael Pineda who started 0-2 on 154 batters and walked none of them.
  5. On the other hand, Gio Gonzalez walked 11 of 166 and Ubaldo Jimenez ended walking 11 of 168 who started 0-2.
  6. Neither Chris Archer after facing 175 batters nor Zack Greinke who faced 173 batters who started 0-2 allowed a home run in that at bat.
  7. On the other hand, Bartolo Colon allowed eight homers to the 182 batters he faced and Sonny Gray allowed seven to the 174 and Wei-Yin Chen allowed seven to the 194 he faced.
  8. Scherzer and Hughes each allowed 18 extra base hits, while Colon and Shelby Miller each permitted 16.
  9. Travis Wood started 0-2 on 92 batters and did not permit an extra-base hit and held batters to an .091 BA.

Nine to Know: Starters who faced the most batters who they started with an 0-2 count

Rk Player G BF H R ER HR 2B 3B HR SO BA
1 Max Scherzer 33 281 44 17 17 6 11 1 6 147 .161
2 David Price 32 238 41 14 13 2 10 0 2 118 .177
3 Clayton Kershaw 33 232 23 8 7 3 4 0 3 153 .102
4 Chris Sale 31 231 35 19 14 5 5 0 5 132 .155
5 John Lackey 33 214 33 11 7 2 5 0 2 104 .158
6 Jordan Zimmermann 33 209 34 6 9 2 5 0 2 80 .171
7 Jacob deGrom 30 205 34 9 11 2 9 0 2 93 .170
8 Corey Kluber 32 205 19 11 8 2 5 0 2 118 .096
9 Shelby Miller 33 203 34 12 16 3 10 3 3 86 .172
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/23/2016.

Nine to Know: Full-time relievers who faced the most batters who they started with an 0-2 count

Rk Player G BF H R ER HR 2B 3B HR BB SO BA
1 Dellin Betances 57 95 7 3 3 2 1 0 2 6 65 .080
2 Arquimedes Caminero 53 84 11 4 2 0 1 1 0 3 47 .138
3 Jeurys Familia 49 79 15 3 3 0 1 0 0 1 40 .192
4 Ken Giles 52 79 15 6 5 1 3 0 1 2 41 .197
5 Will Smith 52 79 12 3 3 1 4 0 1 0 47 .154
6 Kevin Siegrist 52 78 9 3 2 0 3 1 0 0 43 .117
7 Joakim Soria 49 77 9 3 2 0 1 0 0 2 32 .122
8 Andrew Miller 45 77 7 3 3 1 1 0 1 2 50 .097
9 Liam Hendriks 43 77 10 4 3 1 1 0 1 1 41 .132
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/23/2016.

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