FanPost

Easy as 1-2-3

Well, apparently not if you are Jonathan Broxton, who has become infamous for his entertaining saves. Fans seem to expect a simple, workmanlike 1-2-3 inning - but how realistic is a 1-2-3 inning?

Two tables below show the percent of 1-2-3 innings by hitters and pitchers for four teams in the American League for 2007-2011 data. The four teams were chosen for these reasons: New York and Texas have been consistent winners over the past few years and Detroit plays a divisional schedule similar to the Royals.

Looking at the offense where a low percent of 1-2-3 innings is best, the Royals' first inning is the worst among these four teams (issues with leadoff hitters), while the Yankees' ninth inning is the best (quality veteren hitters). The overall numbers suggest that the Yankees have the most balanced one-thru-nine lineup.

HITTING - Percent of Innings that Hitters go 1-2-3

 
All
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
NYY
32.2
31.6
36.1
32.5
32.5
35.3
29.9
31.4
31.0
29.3
DET
34.5
34.1
36.8
35.6
34.9
34.5
33.3
36.5
32.7
32.5
TEX
34.5
34.0
35.6
35.6
35.4
34.9
34.6
35.3
32.8
32.7
KCR
36.6
39.4
36.3
36.4
39.7
36.8
37.2
36.4
34.6
32.8

Looking at the pitchers where a high percent of 1-2-3 innings is best, Detroit has the best and worst innings - suggesting their starting pitchers are better than their bullpen. Interesting that the spread in overall numbers is less for pitching than hitting.

PITCHING - Percent of Innings with Pitchers getting Batters 1-2-3

 
All
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
NYY
35.5
37.1
35.4
36.6
36.1
35.3
35.1
35.7
33.3
35.3
TEX
35.0
33.7
35.5
38.6
39.1
34.5
32.8
34.0
36.0
31.2
DET
34.9
36.6
41.4
35.3
36.1
35.1
33.0
34.4
30.1
32.4
KCR
34.2
35.3
36.7
33.7
34.7
36.3
32.8
34.1
31.3
33.6

Now back to the expectations for Broxton. The Yankees, with Mariano Rivera pitching most of their ninth innings, only get a 1-2-3 inning 35.3% of the time. The Royals, with Joakim Soria pitching most of the ninth innings, get 33.6%. So the reasonable expectation is for Broxton to get a 1-2-3 inning one out of every three games on average. Good luck with that, Jonathan.

Using retrosheet.org event files for years 2007-2011

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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