Sunday, September 29, 2013

8 IP and No Win

First, a brief quote from the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (p364):
Analysis is about simplification; what all analysts essentially do is to try to figure out ways to simplify the data with the least possible distortion.
Whether I accomplish this in my writing is not for me to decide, but it is my goal. Everything I've done in my professional life (Kmart manager, GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical salesman) was undertaken with the intent to make the complex understandable or render order from chaos. I don't always succeed--there are times I re-read my stuff and ask how ANYONE understood what I wrote. When I run across excellent quotes like this, it reminds me of what I try to accomplish--to illuminate, not obfuscate. I will also try to remember this when I start writing some posts on the sacrifice bunt next week, because I got a whole lot of data.

MLB Network's Brian Kenny tweeted this Friday night:
It was enough to pique my interest. I did NOT know that 13% of pitchers in these types of outings didn't get a win, but I'm not surprised. Part of the research I undertook for the #KillTheWin posts suggested that up to 30% of wins go to pitchers who had game scores below 50 or relievers who threw an inning or two. I won't rehash an argument that won't go anywhere, but since I'm always on the prowl for subjects to research and discuss, Kenny's tweet gave me something to work with.

This chart illustrates the well-known trend of the reduction in complete games, as well as tracking games of 8+ innings pitched since 1950:
It's very important to note the complete game didn't just die in the past 20 years or so but was well on its way out as far as 60 years ago. By the 1970s less than 30% of games were complete games. 8+ IP games march almost in lockstep with complete games, and both are becoming rare, with complete games dipping below 10% in the early 1990s and 8+ IP games in the 2000s. Neither are likely to breach that level in this age of pitch and inning counts.

This chart combines two elements--the number of 8+ IP games and what percent of those games the pitcher got the win, i.e., a just reward for a job well-done:
It's a two-axis chart--the left shows the number of games and the right the percentage of these games in which the pitcher was credited with the win. Especially in recent times pitchers simply don't make it to the 8th inning without having a decent game--what's the point of carrying 12 pitchers on a roster if they're not going to be used? This chart shows the ERA in these games:
Back in the man's man era of pitching where pitchers (didn't) finish what they started, the ERA in these games was still low, but in today's game pitchers are lifted at the first sign of trouble. This makes it especially egregious that 8+ IP pitching performances aren't recognized with more than a "good game, fella" since the reason they didn't get the win was beyond their influence--lack of offensive support, porous defense or a combination of both.

If you read either of my #KillTheWin posts (this link is to the first one) you should already have a good idea as to who will be on this list, which is the pitchers with the most no-decisions in 8+ innings pitched games (from 1950 on):

There's a whole lot of "conventional wisdom" upended in this chart. Don Sutton, who won "only" 324 games had either a no-decision or loss in 89 games in which he pitched his heart out, a 1.60 ERA that even in a pitcher's era in a pitcher's park was stellar--what would people say about Sutton if his team had scored runs in those games and he was over the 400-win threshold for his career? Gaylord Perry had 142 games with no help from his offense, and Bert Blyleven, Phil Niekro, Nolan Ryan and Tommy John are there as well, pitchers that "weren't that good" and yet did everything they could do to influence the game. Blyleven, Niekro and Perry are the poster children for the pitcher that did his job but had the unfortunate experience of playing for teams that were incapable of coming through on offense.

I don't advocate eliminating the win for the simple reason that it will never happen, but I certainly believe we can better educate baseball fans by not focusing on it as much. I understand that a rigid analysis of the numbers suggests that Chris Sale or Hisashi Iwakuma should win the AL Cy Young Award but I'm okay with Max Scherzer winning it--this chart of the 2013 pitchers with the most 8+ IP games (through Friday, September 27th) gives a partial answer:

Part of a pitcher's WAR is, well, PITCHING, and these were the best pitchers in getting deep into games in baseball, none of which are surprising. Scherzer's on that list, suggesting that along with the second-best run support in baseball while pitching, he did what he was supposed to do when on the mound. Did Chris Sale pitch better? Sure, why not, but in the end, was Sale's pitching enough to do anything for a horrendous White Sox team? Apparently not. I understand it wasn't Sale's fault the Sox played so poorly (a quick peek at the Mistake Index shows it was very much an equal opportunity), but at some point winning has to count for something. I use advanced metrics to guide my decision process, not dictate it.

Like any other metric, this is just another way to view data to see if it matches up with our expectations. Like the Bill James quote, I try to simplify the data without OVER-simplifying it, or even worse, making grand pronouncements on the basis of one metric (you can read my thoughts on THAT here). Brian Kenny made a very simple point--pitchers who had pitched outstanding games had nothing to show for it in a significant number of games this year. All I did was flesh out that point with some historical context.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Three-Outcome Hitter--Fact or Fiction?

Listening like I do to Chicago's 670 The Score I often hear about Adam Dunn. When the White Sox acquired him prior to the 2011 season, I applauded the move--even taking into consideration his prodigious strikeout totals and fielding deficiencies, I was convinced his run-producing ability and willingness to take a walk would be enough to overcome those shortcomings. I understand there are times when a strikeout is simply unacceptable, typically with runners in scoring position and less than two outs, but I thought the positives would outweigh the negatives.

Obviously I was wrong in 2011, as his season ranked among the absolute worst ever in baseball history by WAR. He had a "comeback" season of sorts in 2012 and another "eh" season in 2013. As baseball offense changes and pitching becomes more dominant than at any time in recent memory, two questions came to mind:
1. Is the 3-outcome hitter extinct?
2. Was the 3-outcome hitter ever really a baseball thing?

I purposely defined 3-outcome VERY LOW--30+ home runs, 80+walks and 120+ strikeouts in a season. Personally, I would place the values higher, bumping the walks up to 100 and strikeouts to 150, but chose lower standards to make my point. This chart shows every incidence of these seasons in baseball history, grouped by year:

A pretty low threshold and yet prior to the "enhanced offense" era of 1995-2007, 3-outcome seasons generally didn't happen--they were more anomalies than anything else. For example, the 1958 occurrence is Mickey Mantle, who had 42 home runs, 120 strikeouts and 129 walks--along with a .304 batting average, 1.035 OPS, a major-league leading 188 OPS+, leading to a WAR of 8.7 in a year in which he was rated negatively for his defense. In other words, he barely met the threshold. 1959 and 1960 are Mantle as well, Harmon Killebrew in 1962 and 1964 and then jumping to Bobby Bonds, Jim Wynn and Reggie Jackson in 1969.

By this point a nagging thought should be entering your head: "Those aren't 3-outcome guys, all  those players were known for more than that!" I would agree--in today's vernacular, I define 3-outcome as a player who hits and brings NOTHING ELSE to the team. Prior to the 1990s teams considered players that couldn't field as liabilities, even after the establishment of the DH, but that idea took a back seat as the understanding of the relationship between offense and defense became better-known. The 1990s also saw a spate of new ballparks that were (for the most part) very hitter-friendly, further supporting the willingness to trade off increased strikeouts for more home runs and OBP.

And even this is a stretch, in my mind. I chose my low thresholds purposely to include as many players as possible, and even these low standards total only 163 seasons in baseball history (out of around 88,000). The modern incarnations of the 3-outcome hitter in addition to Adam Dunn were Troy Glaus, Pat Burrell and maybe Manny Ramirez. This chart shows every player with more than one season as a 3-outcome hitter:

Only around 30 or so players in baseball history have met this low threshold, suggesting it's more a figment of sportswriter's imagination that a true trend that ever existed in baseball. I refuse to consider Mike Schmidt as a 3-outcome player since he was among the best defensive third basemen in baseball history, and Alex Rodriguez barely reaches the strikeout threshold in his seasons and more than made up for it with his overall hitting. Other recent examples like Mark Reynolds and Jack Cust accomplished it once, suggesting that Adam Dunn and probably Jim Thome were the only true 3-outcome players over any length of time--the rest were blips that wouldn't meet a more stringent 3-outcome definition.

And none of this matters, because the 3-outcome player is a luxury that only an AL team or a team in an era of increased offensive production can afford. Two points:
1. 6 AL teams had players that were primarily DHs--Billy Butler, Victor Martinez, Kendrys Morales, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols and Seth Smith. There is no way the A's are happy with the production they received from Smith, Albert Pujols isn't going to be paid $23+ million beginning next year to DH, leaving only four dedicated DHs, five if the Dunn/Paul Konerko platoon is included. Other than Ortiz, none of them is making serious money, and none will get new big-money contracts going forward.
2. If offense is indeed truly ebbing, then defense, base running and overall speed will take on increased emphasis. Don't misinterpret me, offense will almost always provide at least 50% of a player's value, and probably higher (I'll look into that in greater detail during the off-season), but even if offense decreases from 70% of value to 60%, it's enough to make the use of a true 3-outcome player a luxury.

Of course, all this can be rendered moot by any number of factors--rosters can be expanded to 30 players (allowing for more specialization), offense might begin to increase again, strike zones could be shrunk to the size of a pea and so on. I can't predict radical change but I can analyze data and see that the 3-outcome player, if he ever really did exist, was ascendant for only about 10 years, and he's done (Dunn) today--there's no one after Adam Dunn to take up the mantle. I wrote some time back (it's gone--no one read it so I deleted it) that Adam Dunn was a dinosaur, hanging around and chewing on tree leaves as he sees a bright glint in the corner of his eye that's a comet about to impact the Earth--the end is near. 

PS--I very rarely ask for comments but would GREATLY appreciate them in this particular regard. As I've begun to follow the Baseball Play Index (@BRefPlayIndex) on Twitter, I've learned a new functionality to using that most useful of tools, the Play Index feature. A subscription is required to use it, but links to searches can be shared, and I'm under the impression these tables are viewable by readers who DON'T subscribe to B-R. I used two such links in this post:
1. ranked among the absolute worst ever
2. 6 AL teams

TELL ME IF THESE LINKS WORKED, especially if you don't subscribe to B-R. Also, if by chance you read this any time after October 25th, likewise tell me if the links work, since there might be a time limit for how long these searches are saved. Since I put these posts up at Reddit but don't routinely read comments that are left there, it would also be helpful if you respond through the comment section of this blog, or you can shoot me an email (off to the side--I WILL respond to that) or tweet me (@ScottLindholm). Thanks for any help you're willing to give--I don't write to state what I think, but what I know, and if this manner of information generation can be seen, I'll use it far more going forward. A big thanks to the Baseball Play Index for making me aware of it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The World Series Home Field Advantage

The 2002 All-Star Game ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings and using every pitcher on both rosters. America was outraged, OUTRAGED, I say, and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had no choice but to instill meaning and importance to a game that is the focal point of the summer. In order to ensure that such a travesty was never again foisted upon an innocent public, Selig announced that beginning in 2003, the home field advantage for the World Series would be awarded to the team representing the winning league in the All-Star game. America breathed a huge sigh of relief, content in the knowledge that the events of 2002 would never be repeated.

To be fair, prior to 2003 World Series home field advantage rotated year by year, so never in baseball history was the "better" team awarded home field, but there's an argument to be made for arbitrary vs. stupid. To begin, this is the winning percent of home teams during the regular season from 1901-2012:

It's a fine line between winning because a team is at home vs. being better than the other team--I did some analysis for football that showed that whereas the home team won at a .569 clip, the favored team won at .676 rate--sometimes it's better to be good than at home. The home field advantage seems to have settled into the .520-.540 range, which translates into around 84-87 wins in a 162-game season, enough to at least be in the running for a wild card slot.

But it's an entirely different picture in the World Series:

It must be stated that these percentages deal with EXTREMELY SMALL sample sizes--there have only been 624 World Series games ever played. Anytime a series that can be 7 games or fewer is involved strange percentages can result, but when taken together, interesting trends begin to emerge. 

This table breaks down this data by era:

Just to be clear, the eras chosen are:
1903-1968--the pre-playoffs
1969-1993--the two-team playoffs
1995-2002--introduction of the wild card
2003-2012--the establishment of the new rule for awarding home field advantage. 

I have no ready explanation as to why the home team began winning at around a .600 clip beginning with the establishment of the playoffs other than to note that it seems persistent. 

This table shows the home winning percent for all levels of playoffs:

In the Divisional and League Championship Series, the team with the better record (unless it's a wild card team if I read this Wikipedia entry correctly) has the home field advantage, and that advantage is dampened somewhat. This is likely due to the greater number of games and is much more in line with historical home field trends.

This table breaks out home winning percent by playoff round from 1995-2012:

This table compares the idea I introduced earlier, a comparison of how often the team with the home field advantage won the World Series as opposed to the team with the better record, i.e., the "better" team:

In a 7-game series, anything can happen as baseball history has so clearly shown. The better team wins just over half of the time and the home team wins around 60% of the time, up to two-thirds of the time beginning with the establishment of the playoffs in 1969.

I have absolutely no idea if home field advantage is a real issue in World Series, but the numbers certainly suggest it plays a role. Given that, awarding home field advantage on the basis of a mid-summer exhibition game that no one takes seriously anymore borders on criminal stupidity--it almost makes me want to start a petition at We the People but I'm still licking my wounds from my last foray into those waters. It shouldn't be that difficult to award World Series home field advantage to the team with the best record, with tie-breakers established for those instances where the teams have the same record. Using World Series home field advantage as a desperate attempt to prop up a game that time has passed by is ridiculous, especially in an era in which home field plays such a pivotal role, be it by chance or other reasons.

I've got enough on my plate:
But this is simply inexcusable. No other sports awards something as important as home field advantage on something so insignificant and it needs to be changed sooner rather than later. Over time any vagaries in one league hosting the World Series more than the other will balance out to the extent it has any impact on revenues, and teams will be rewarded for their regular season as opposed to beholden to players in a game completely beyond their control. History won't be upended, records won't be sullied and diminished and an element of common sense will be restored.

This last table shows how well home teams have performed in the World Series vs. the better team. Using the 2012 World Series as an example, San Francisco was both the home team (HTw, home team won) and the better team (BTw, better team won). In 2011 the Cardinals were the home team but not the better team and won. It's pretty clear the home team won far more often than the better team.
I need to thank Twitter follower Mike Hynek (@SouthsideMike81) for pointing out the mistake I made in this table with regard to the 1906 World Series. As a Cubs fan I inadvertently changed history by fiat and accidentally listed the Cubs as the winners instead of the White Sox. This will not affect the numbers in the charts since those were calculated independently. Thanks to Mike, and I'm writing this note because it's far easier than trying to figure out where I put the original file that had this table in it. Feel free to shout out with any other mistakes, I'm sure they're in there.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Henderson

My posts of the last two days were scavenged from the thoughts of others:
1. The Adam Dunn--1+ HR, BB and KO in a game, courtesy of Comcast SportsNet Chicago's Christopher Kamka (@ckamka)
2. The Greg Maddux--9+ IP shutout with 99 or fewer pitches, courtesy of Jason Lukehart (@JasonLukehart)
I've mentioned before how a guy like me without a platform is lucky to get around 200 views on a post (less if it's on the NFL-A LOT LESS), up to 400-500 if the subject matter is interesting (a constantly shifting target) and break 1,000 views with a little help. Both these posts did very well, the Dunn at around 500 and the Maddux close to 800 views. As always, thanks to all who read and for the implied encouragement to keep on writing.

I decided to create my own metric for a change, the Rickey Henderson. These are occasions in which a player has 1+ HR, BB and stolen base in a game.Here's the list:

Whoops! Bit of a problem when the created metric isn't headed by the PERSON IT WAS NAMED AFTER. Lucky for me I don't care about trivial matters like this and will continue to call this the Henderson. I chose Henderson because he:
1. #1 in career stolen bases and will be for quite some time
2. #2 in career walks
3. His 297 career home runs places him comfortably in the top 150 of all time

For the most part these are players we would expect to see--fairly fleet of foot, a good number of center fielders  and some interesting surprises. I don't claim to be a walking baseball encyclopedia (that would be the aforementioned Christopher Kamka) as much as a researcher who knows how to find answers to questions, but I never would have placed Jeff Bagwell, Mike Schmidt or Larry Walker on a list like this--shows what I know.

So who's the missing player? It's no real surprise, the son of #3 on the list, one Barry Bonds who was a pretty good base stealer early in his career. By around 1999 his base stealing days were over--these are pictures from early and later in Bonds' career:

I don't know about you, he looks EXACTLY THE SAME to me (yes, this is sarcasm). I'm old enough (soon to be 51) to remember when Bonds first came up--he was truly a player to behold, a guy that thin, that fast and that POWERFUL. He was a one-man wrecking crew who was as close to a five-tool guy as anyone in recent memory (he played center field in his rookie season and played it very well). When I get around to writing a series of Hall of Fame posts (probably in early December--mark your calendars) I'll make my case for why I have absolutely no problem putting him and Roger Clemens in the Hall. What both did in the early portions of their careers was enough for me.

But this isn't about Barry Bonds. I did a little more research into Rickey Henderson because he did upend the notion of the leadoff hitter when he came up in the late 1970s. Prior to that, leadoff hitters were typically middle infielders with some speed. This table shows players with the most plate appearances when slotted as a leadoff hitter from 1970-1980:

Take a good look at the OBPs for some of these players--for every Pete Rose there was a Bert Campaneris, Ralph Garr (an OBP less than 40 points higher than his batting average when the major league average is around 60-70 point difference), Freddie Patek, who couldn't hit, hit for power or walk and the cream of the crop, the old Cub Don Kessinger who hit five home runs in the 1970s--FIVE. These folks had two primary jobs (typically)--field well and get on base. Generally speaking, they DID field well, back in the day before the actual value of fielding was known (i.e., hitting provides about 3-4 times more value in general), but whether they got on base was debatable. It was so bad that even Mark Belanger, the ultimate good-field no hit player batted leadoff a significant number of times in his career, and he played for Earl Weaver, who was ahead of his time and KNEW that OBP was important.

Enter Rickey Henderson--he didn't hit for power as much early in his career, but he came up stealing and knowing how to take a walk. Lou Brock is pretty high on my list of questionable Hall of Famers, and Rickey Henderson is what Lou Brock could have been if he'd been able to take more walks. Teams took notice--the prior chart lists the top 20 in PA when slotted as the leadoff hiter--this one shows the same for the period 1981-1990:

It's dangerous to put the cart before the horse, because these are some very good players on this list, at least at the top. There's a mix between good hitter and change in strategy and thinking, but it's pretty clear that OBP went up and the slugging was night-and-day different from the 1970s. When Henderson, Paul Molitor and Wade Boggs are on the list as well as outstanding players like Willie Wilson, Tim Raines, Lou Whitaker and Willie Randolph, the 1980s could be well-described as the best period for leadoff hitters in baseball history.

I'll finish with several slices of Henderson's power, since it's well-documented that he has the most home runs as a leadoff hitter. These are the leaders since 1946, the first year with quasi-complete data:

The idea of a power hitter in the leadoff slot is something fairly recent. I've written before and will write again on the importance (or lack thereof) of batting order position--who is slotted #1, #2 and #3 is VERY important because they are guaranteed to bat in the 1st inning. After that--well, who knows? All I do know is that a leadoff hitter actually leads off an inning around 40% of the time--roughly 20-25% at the beginning of the game, the rest as the luck of the lineup allowed as the game progressed. Given that, who is the leader in home runs when leading off an inning?

This list is a mixture of good home run hitters and some leadoff hitters like Henderson and Alfonso Soriano. In a perfect world hitters like Hank Aaron and Jim Thome wouldn't be leading off innings as opposed to coming to bat with runners on base, but that's what separates baseball from the other major sports in that the managers have no control over use of their stars after setting the lineup.

Is the Henderson a real stat? For that matter, is the Dunn or Maddux? The way I use statistics is to see if I can make inferences (NOT predictions) based on mounds of data. I tried to invent another stat that was a caught stealing, strikeout and GDP in the same game but it went nowhere--the leader had something like 7 games, so it's trivia. I WOULD like to do the KO/GDP/Error Golden Sombrero, but that's more difficult to tabulate so don't stay up late waiting for that. 

The Henderson does three things that can lead to increased runs--the obvious with the home run, the less-so with the stolen base and the far-underrated with the walk and identifies those players able to do all three. Even with run scoring down from the historic highs of 1995-2007 there are still more home runs being hit than in almost any other period of baseball history, and if run scoring is down, the player who possesses power and speed gains increased value. The all-around player disappeared for a while--I won't show the table, but the leaders in Hendersons from 2000-2013 are a bit long in the tooth, reflecting the decline in the steal, but steals are coming back. Carlos Gomez and Mike Trout are the latest incarnations of the power-speed combo and could very well be the vanguard for the return of the player in this mold--the latter-day Rickey Hendersons.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Maddux

Along with the Dunn, the impetus for this post came from a text I saw a couple of nights ago. Since I'm not the most original person on this planet, I take my inspiration where I find it and give credit where credit is due:
Anyone with a Better Call Saul pic as his Twitter ID photo already has all the credibility I'll ever need, so I dug into the research. It's a pretty small list:

Caveats galore:
1. Years are listed just to give some clue as to when pitchers actually pitched--obviously, Greg Maddux pitched from 1986-2008 but had his first Maddux in 1990 and last one in 2000.
2. Pitch count data is spotty prior to 1988, so take the Preacher Roe and Sandy Koufax data with a grain of salt.
3. The total number of Madduxes (Blogger doesn't  recognize "Madduxes" as a word--I highly suggest it LEARNS IT) was 346, going back to 1945, which is the absolute limit for pitch data--not many at all. Cashner's was the 10th this year:

You'll notice the original tweet was sent to someone else:

Well shoot, if Boba Fett says he invented the Maddux, I guess the discussion is over. I expanded the definition to cover all games in which pitchers threw 99 or  fewer pitches in 9+ innings, regardless of runs allowed or outcome of game:

This is where I made my mistake, including games that weren't shutouts as Mr. Lukehart pointed out to me, and I understand--I still think it's an accomplishment. That's 11 pitches an inning, EVERY SINGLE INNING in an era where batters are being trained to take more pitches per plate appearance. This chart shows the change in pitches per plate appearance since 1988:
.2 pitches per PA may not seem like much but it is a 4.2% improvement in a relatively short time span. It would be fascinating to see how this trended throughout baseball history but that data doesn't exist for folks like me, and may not exist at all. 

Greg Maddux is probably safe at the top of the Maddux List since pitchers don't pitch complete games anymore, let alone shutouts. Even Maddux had problems achieving the Maddux since his last one was in 2000. I'll finish with this example of the state of pitching data prior to 1988. I noticed a game for Rick Wise, a pitcher for five teams from 1964-1982. He had a game on September 18th, 1971 against the Cubs in which he pitched 12 innings and threw only...91 pitches!?!  How can this be? Here's one way:
Inn Score Out RoB Pit(cnt) R/O @Bat Batter Pitcher wWPA wWE Play Description
Bottom of the 5th, Phillies Batting, Behind 2-3, Cubs' Milt Pappas facing 1-2-3
b5 2-3 0 --- 1,(0-0)  PHI L. Bowa M. Pappas 6% 45% Single to CF
b5 2-3 0 1-- 1,(0-0)  O PHI O. Gamble M. Pappas -5% 40% Popfly: 3B
b5 2-3 1 1-- 1,(0-0)  OO PHI T. McCarver M. Pappas -8% 32% Ground Ball Double Play: 2B-1B
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Cubs 3, Phillies 2.
Top of the 6th, Cubs Batting, Ahead 3-2, Phillies' Rick Wise facing 2-3-4
t6 3-2 0 --- 1,(0-0)  O CHC C. Fanzone R. Wise 2% 34% Popfly: 2B (Short RF)
t6 3-2 1 --- 1,(0-0)  O CHC P. Bourque R. Wise 2% 36% Flyball: LF
t6 3-2 2 --- 1,(0-0)  O CHC R. Santo R. Wise 1% 37% Groundout: 2B-1B
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Cubs 3, Phillies 2.
Bottom of the 6th, Phillies Batting, Behind 2-3, Cubs' Milt Pappas facing 4-5-6
b6 2-3 0 --- 1,(0-0)  O PHI D. Johnson M. Pappas -4% 33% Lineout: 2B
b6 2-3 1 --- 1,(0-0)  O PHI W. Montanez M. Pappas -3% 30% Groundout: 1B unassisted
b6 2-3 2 --- 1,(0-0)  PHI G. Luzinski M. Pappas 2% 33% Single to SS
b6 2-3 2 1-- 1,(0-0)  O PHI D. Money M. Pappas -4% 29% Flyball: LF
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Cubs 3, Phillies 2.
Top of the 7th, Cubs Batting, Ahead 3-2, Phillies' Rick Wise facing 5-6-7
t7 3-2 0 --- 1,(0-0)  O CHC P. Popovich R. Wise 2% 31% Groundout: 1B-P
t7 3-2 1 --- 1,(0-0)  O CHC G. Hiser R. Wise 2% 32% Lineout: 1B
t7 3-2 2 --- 3,(0-2)  O CHC F. Fernandez R. Wise 1% 33% Strikeout Looking
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Cubs 3, Phillies 2.
Bottom of the 7th, Phillies Batting, Behind 2-3, Cubs' Milt Pappas facing 8-9-1
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/18/2013.

However the numbers of this game were tabulated it appears the scorer took pitch counting off for a couple of innings. Somehow both Wise and Milt Pappas made it through two innings by throwing one pitch to every hitter. I suppose it IS possible, but highly unlikely. In fact, there's a notation included in this table that is NOT visible in the original Baseball-Reference box score but is embedded in their HTML as every at-bat listed here has a "UX" after it, meaning the number of pitches is unknown.

It's a fine line between trivia and analysis and I try my hardest to stay on the analyst side, but this is interesting to me (and apparently at least  two other people as well). Instead of cheating and profiting from the work of others as I did with my last two posts, I created my OWN stat for tomorrow's post, and it's so good that the person I named it after is...#2 on the list. It seemed like such a good idea at the time--stay tuned.