Thursday, August 16, 2012

FOR AN ENCORE, TWENTY-SEVEN FISHMONGERS WILL MISS THEIR MARK AT THE PIKE PLACE MARKET: Hernandez, F. IP 9.0, H 0, R 0, ER 0, BB 0, K 12, P 113. With the Spacepeople in a secure undisclosed location, we are a little late to note Felix Hernandez's perfect game. Isaac does write in to note: "that game score was not as great as Matt Cain's (two fewer strikeouts) but his last four innings were incredible: 8 ks, 4 weak grounders."


  1. Watchman6:00 PM

    All the years of baseball before this year: 20 perfect games
    This year: 3 perfect games

    I would love someone who has insight to explain this outbreak of overwhelming pitching. Is it just from flipping heads five times in a row, or is there something else going on?  Do they need to lower the mound some more?

  2. Two thirds of this year is explained by the Mariners pathetic offense and their once in a generation pitcher, plus the vagaries of Safeco Field...All hail King Felix!

  3. lauri7:15 PM

    While I've grown accustomed to having a Mariners game (particularly the latter innings) bring me to tears, it was nice to have it be tears of joy this time around. I will be surprised if Felix doesn't have at least one more perfect game before his career is over. All hail, indeed!

  4. littleredyarn11:39 AM

    Perfecto is still perfecto...just enjoy it for what it is!

  5. Marsha2:31 PM

    There have been several stories written about "why so many perfect games" recently, mostly in the wake of Cain and Humber:

  6. Mr. Cosmo3:06 PM

    I can't find the link now, but I read something claiming that the combination of higher strikeout rates and better defense have made it much more likely.  The fundamental notion is that a pitcher really doesn't have that much control over what happens once a ball is put in play -- a non-HR batted ball is just as likely to be a hit (right around 30% of the time) if the pitcher is Sandy Koufax or Joe Schmo. 
    Thus, obvious conclusion no. 1 is that striking out more batters makes a perfect game more likely, since the pitcher doesn't have to chance those balls in play.  Today's batters strike out more often than hitters of the past, thus significantly increasing the odds of a perfect game.
    The slightly less obvious conclusion is that a small drop in Batting Average on Balls In Play ("BABIP") will make a perfect game more likely.  In the link i can't find, they claimed that a 10-point drop in BABIP would make a perfect game 3.5 times more likely.  It's still a really small number, but much greater than before.
    To grossly oversimplify, if everyone had a .300 BABIP and all events were independent, you'd have a .00657 percent chance of throwing a perfect game.  If everyone had a BABIP of .290, then you'd have a .00963 percent chance.  The odds are futher improved is you strike out 12 guys instead of 5, again becasue you don't have the risk of the groundball with eyes.  The real numbers have to be adjusted for all kinds of things (including Safeco), but the upshot is that there is a real statistical difference in the likelihood of a perfect game today versus 20 years ago.