Results tagged ‘ Cubsgrafs ’

Cubsgrafs: Turkey trot

(Photo by Stephen Green)

Whether you’re all about the tryptophan-induced football coma or you prefer bowling away the holidays with your family, we’ve got a bonus, Thanksgiving-themed edition of Cubsgrafs for you.

Let’s define a new toy stat—a “turkey”—based on the nickname given when a bowler rolls three strikes in a row. For baseball, we’ll tally a turkey each time a pitcher records a three-pitch strikeout. The results for the 2012 season, limited to Cubs with at least 20 innings, are below.

So who are the Cubs’ 2012 turkey champions? The answers may surprise you.

It turns out three relievers—Scott Maine, Shawn Camp and Alberto Cabrera—stood above the rest with more than 6 percent turkeys per batter faced. But it’s Camp who deserves special recognition for being so efficient with the strikeouts he did rack up. Nearly four out of every 10 of his K’s took the minimum three pitches. It turns out that, while Camp may have been a fair bit below the team’s average strikeout rate, he also had the bullpen’s highest strike percentage (64%). It’s a definite boost for the Cubs that they’ve re-signed Camp for 2013.

Similarly, Travis Wood may have been only average with his strikeout rate, but he established himself as the rotation’s leader in three-pitch K’s. He and fellow lefty Paul Maholm were pretty efficient when they did rack up strikeouts, while the actual K kings Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster were a little less direct to the end goal.

Now, there’s not much reason to think that’s a bad thing. Many times you want a pitcher to bury his secondary offerings and get batters to chase. But for tonight’s feast, we’ll hand out the drumsticks to Camp and Wood and let the rest work their way through some sides first.

Cubsgrafs: Long story short

Every month in Vine Line, Emerald Gao and Sean Ahmed take an analytical and visual look at the Chicago Cubs in Cubsgrafs. In this bonus online edition, we break down the 137 home runs hit by the 2012 squad.

The top graph looks at the five home runs that swung the game’s fate most toward the Cubs. It uses Win Probability Added (WPA), which gives the average probability that a team will win the game based on the inning, score and base/out situation. No surprise that Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano hit some vital long balls—but it looks like Darwin Barney also made the most of his handful of homers this year.

Cubsgrafs: Triple slash

Infographic by Emerald Gao and Sean Ahmed, from the September 2011 issue of Vine Line. Subscribe to Vine Line today to get more top analysis on the Cubs.

Known as the triple-slash line, a player’s batting, on-base and slugging averages help quantify the ways in which he produces on offense. The Cubs’ position players through 117 team games are shown at top. The charts at bottom show the distribution of triple-slash stats for all MLB regulars, defined as those who would qualify for the batting title.

Cubsgrafs: Zeroed in

Cubsgrafs: Bullpen Streak 1

Infographic by Emerald Gao, from the June 2011 issue of Vine Line. Subscribe to Vine Line today to get more top analysis on the Cubs.

Projected to be a strength in the late innings, the Cubs bullpen pitched in from top to bottom to shut out opponents in nine straight games spanning 21.1 innings from April 29-May 8. This breakdown takes a look at the team effort.

The first chart maps out the scoreless innings each reliever pitched. The second adds up all the value with Win Probability Added, the sum of a player’s contributions to the team’s chances of winning based on situational performance (Source: Baseball-Reference). (more…)

Cubsgrafs: Carlos Peña vs. The Shift

How Carlos Pena beats the shift.

Infographic by Emerald Gao, from the May 2011 issue of Vine Line. Subscribe to Vine Line today to get more top analysis on the Cubs.

Here’s a battle that Cubs fans are keeping an eye on all season—how the power-hitting lefty Carlos Peña deals with special defensive alignments playing to the pull field. Here’s how Peña spread the ball around during the season’s opening series against Pittsburgh, April 1 and April 3 (2), respectively.

And Peña has been beating the shift all sorts of ways after a slow start: From May 1-19, he hit for a .333 AVG/.470 OBP/.667 SLG line with five home runs as 12 RBIs.