Posted Under: Stat of the Week
On Tuesday, Josh Hamilton made American League history by accumulating 18 Total Bases in one game, hitting 4 Home Runs and a double against the Baltimore Orioles. As I’m sure most of you heard on SportsCenter, Hamilton is just the 16th player to hit 4 home runs in one game in Major League history, a feat rarer than the perfect game of which there have been 21. Just over a month into the 2012 season, Hamilton has a .406 Batting Average, .458 On-Base Percentage, 14 Home Runs, 36 RBIs, .840 SLG, 1.298 OPS, and a ridiculous .434 ISO. Again there is still a lot of baseball left to be played, yet Hamilton is certainly lining himself up for a nice pay raise this winter.
Getting back to WHIP, and speaking of the rarity of perfect games, David Wells on May 17, 1998 threw a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins. That was a highlight in a spectacular season where Wells, well known for his low walk rates, helped the Yankees to a record of 114-48 and a World Series sweep of the San Diego Padres. Wells pitched 214.1 innings, gave up 195 Hits and 29 Walks, good for a WHIP of 1.05 which on the WHIP scale is excellent and proved to be Wells’ best season in terms of WHIP.
Last season, the average WHIP was 1.32, and one player who absolutely was a curve killer was the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Justin Verlander. Verlander had a WHIP of 0.92 which he compiled over 251 innings and only giving up 174 Hits and 57 Walks. Verlander this season has continued his dominant ways as his WHIP currently sits at 0.94.
In terms of WHIP for relievers, I was interested in looking into the new Yankees closer David Robertson. Michael Kay, the YES Network’s play-by-play announcer, adoringly calls Robertson “Houdini” for his ability to get out of the bases loaded jams Robertson places himself into. My personal nickname for him is the “Procrastinator” (takes one to know one) as his pitching efficiency is like that of a high school or college student, he waits until the last possible second to do his work, but in the end he gets the job done. Given Robertson’s tendency to allow base runners on, his WHIP during his break out season last year was 1.13. This could lead one to believe on the WHIP scale that Robertson had a great season in terms of WHIP, but remember he is only called in to pitch one inning at a time for the most part, so his WHIP indicates that any time he comes in, he’s almost guaranteed to allow a runner on by walk or hit. For Robertson this is not a problem, however, given his high strikeout rate where last year he struck out 100 batters in 66.2 Innings which certainly helps him get out of tough jams.
Make sure to check out the LoveMyTeam Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LoveMyTeamTalk and feel free to reminisce about David Wells’ 1998 season and we can have a little discussion going on the validity of evaluating pitchers through WHIP.