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June 14, 2013

Overthinking It

The Longest Plate Appearance of the Week, 6/14

by Ben Lindbergh


Longest Plate Appearance(s) of the Week, 6/6-6/12
June 12, Indians at Rangers
Vinnie Pestano vs. Jeff Baker, 15 pitches (2013 record)

Length: 5:54
Mound visits: 0
Baker’s longest previous plate appearance: 11 pitches
Previous longest plate appearance vs. Pestano: 11 pitches
2013 League-average P/PA: 3.84
Baker P/PA: 4.022
Pestano P/PA against: 4.41
Previous match-up history: None

This week’s longest plate appearance is also the longest plate appearance of the season. It’s the longest since last August, when Scott Rolen went 15 pitches against Wade Miley. Neither of the players involved is a household name—even if you have a really large household—but both produce an above-average number of pitches per plate appearance, which makes a 15-pitch plate appearance between them (slightly) less unlikely. Still extremely unlikely! Just slightly less so.

Baker has become more selective this season—in addition to starting at six positions and nearing his career-high in homers in under 100 plate appearances—and Pestano has become much less efficient since his first full season, when he threw a couple miles per hour harder and missed more bats. Among pitchers who’ve thrown at least 15 innings this season, only four—Michael Kohn, Tyler Clippard, Kevin Gregg, and Jake McGee—have thrown more pitches per plate appearance than Pestano.

One note: although this is the longest plate appearance of the season in terms of pitches thrown, it’s not the longest in terms of time elapsed. The Kevin Slowey-Paul Goldschmidt PA we looked at a few weeks ago lasted longer, and that one went only 13 pitches; the 14-pitch battle between Jose Fernandez and Matt Joyce last week lasted 7:35 (from Fernandez’s first motion to when Joyce’s single fell in). Pestano worked quickly, and Baker doesn’t have any time-consuming pre-pitch rituals.

The plot (catcher’s perspective):

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/14)
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Premium Article Raising Aces: In Need ... (06/14)

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