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Post Info TOPIC: Switch hitting and other baseball stuff
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Umpire

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Date: Dec 26, 2016
Switch hitting and other baseball stuff
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A good discussion on switch hitting should continue here 



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Umpire

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Date: Dec 26, 2016
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Let's not forget Vince Coleman did not play in the 1985 series due to his fascination with tarp machines.

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VP of Operations

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Date: Dec 26, 2016
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Removed wrote:

Continuing from previous thread....lefthander Fernando Valenzuela shut down the 1985 Cardinals with a 1.88 E.R.A. over 14.1 innings in the NLCS. Those Redbirds featured five switch hitters in their lineup who batted mostly from the left side during the long regular season. They got by the Dodgers but faced three lefty starters from the Royals in the 1985 World Series and lost in seven games, their switch swingers managing a paltry .192 batting average. This is merely one anecdote about the switch hitting dynamic.


Remember, though, Fernando threw a screwball, which would have been the great equalizer versus those switch hitters who were batting righty. 



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General Manager

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Date: Dec 26, 2016
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I would have to say that the cutter.....or four seamer.......or whatever you want to call it............has replaced the screwball, since it basically does the same thing as far as movement, although I don't think as extreme. Easier to throw too. Didn't Mike Marshall throw the screwball as well?

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VP of Operations

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Date: Dec 27, 2016
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Removed wrote:

I think that's generally true about the "screwjee" as Howard Cosell referred to it during a stint by Enrique Romo (former Mariner) of the Pirates during the 1979 World Series. Looking at the S-O-M cards of another notable left-handed screwballer Tug McGraw (1966, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1981, and 1982), I notice, particularly with his prime years '71,'73, '77, and '81 a stark contrast in his splits in favor of left-hand batters. Same was probably true for Guillermo a.k.a. Willie Hernandez.

Mike Cuellar would be a fourth left-handed screwballer for which this is generally true. I've heard of switch swingers occasionally going to the other side against screwballers but I can't recall right now a specific case.

Those guys mastered the screwball and with the observation Seajaw made, I can see he still has his fastball!


As you probably know, Tug was also the co-author of the comic strip Scroogie.

I got these signed by Tug at the 2001 All-Star Fanfest:

scroogie0001.jpg




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VP of Operations

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Date: January 12th
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"In real life, Philley hit 14 home runs, four against righties in 341 AB's according to what baseref says.  He hit the other eight in 135 AB's vs. southpaws."

Wow.  Going back and looking at this again, I didn't realize what we have here.  Move over, Fred Stanley.

Believe it or not, what I wrote here was correct, according to baseref.  Their 1950 splits show Philley hitting exactly that, in the basic L-vs.-R splits.

However, after you go through vs. RHP (4), vs. LHP (8), vs. RHP as a LHB (4), and vs. LHP as a RHB (8), we come to the last two lines:

vs. LH Starter: 8
vs. RH Starter: 6

While the latter stats reflect all homers hit in a game when a lefty or righty starter was on the hill, including subsequent blasts against relievers, why would there be more total homers?

In other words, if he hit four homers against lefties and eight against righties overall, according to the first four lines of his batting splits, how come there are suddenly more total homers in the vs. Starters lines?

Are they saying they don't know who he hit those additional homers against, but they have identified the games in which they were hit?  If the play-by-play data is correct, they have that info, right?

In his HR Log, every one of his 14 homers is documented.  We know who he hit them off of.  So, why is there a discrepancy in the split data?

Or, were there PAs in which Philley did not switch hit?



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VP of Operations

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Date: February 3rd
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seajaw wrote:

"In real life, Philley hit 14 home runs, four against righties in 341 AB's according to what baseref says.  He hit the other eight in 135 AB's vs. southpaws."

Wow.  Going back and looking at this again, I didn't realize what we have here.  Move over, Fred Stanley.

Believe it or not, what I wrote here was correct, according to baseref.  Their 1950 splits show Philley hitting exactly that, in the basic L-vs.-R splits.

However, after you go through vs. RHP (4), vs. LHP (8), vs. RHP as a LHB (4), and vs. LHP as a RHB (8), we come to the last two lines:

vs. LH Starter: 8
vs. RH Starter: 6

While the latter stats reflect all homers hit in a game when a lefty or righty starter was on the hill, including subsequent blasts against relievers, why would there be more total homers?

In other words, if he hit four homers against lefties and eight against righties overall, according to the first four lines of his batting splits, how come there are suddenly more total homers in the vs. Starters lines?

Are they saying they don't know who he hit those additional homers against, but they have identified the games in which they were hit?  If the play-by-play data is correct, they have that info, right?

In his HR Log, every one of his 14 homers is documented.  We know who he hit them off of.  So, why is there a discrepancy in the split data?

Or, were there PAs in which Philley did not switch hit?


I had a little time on my hands, so I decided to dig deeper and answer my own question, while creating even more questions... confuse

Dave Philley did, indeed, stop switch hitting at the start of the 1950 season, when he realized he hit about 100 points better as a lefty than when he took to the other box.

According to his SABR Bio, he got drilled one day by Tommy Byrne (it was really Whitey Ford, if the records are correct) when he was batting lefty at Yankee Stadium, and that convinced him to go back to switch hitting again.

But that would have been late in the season (Sept. 20, according to his game logs, the only time he was hit all season).

What makes this so fascinating is that he hit all 14 of his home runs before that date.  Which means that every one of his homers against lefthanded pitchers was hit as a lefthanded batter.  If he's correct in his remembrances, that is.

And we're not sure, because something is not right.  Byrne did hit him once.  But that was in '51, after Byrne had been traded to the Indians.  And it happened in Philadelphia, on June 23rd.

It could be that it happened the way his bio remembered, if it was an exhibition contest.  But it reminds us of how little we know, even when we think we know it all.

Meanwhile, I (finally) checked his home run log and nine -- not eight -- of his 1950 home runs were hit against southpaws: Lou Brissie, Alex Kellner (2), Joe Page, Steve Nagy, Dick Littlefield, Chuck Stobbs, Bobby Shantz, and Mel Parnell.

The Page homer would likely be the one that confuses the split records, though, because that one was hit in a game started by righthander Allie Reynolds.



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