Friday, May 07, 2010

Andre Ethier, Walk-Off King

Via SoSG stalwart Dusty Baker, here's a recent Baseball Reference post on Andre Ethier and how his clutchability is without peer:

In his summary of last night's Dodger's-Brewers game Craig Calcaterra, mentioned that Andre's Ethier's walk-off grand slam was his 11th walk-off hit since 2008. This sounds like an awful lot and it made me wonder where that ranks among all baseball players. A quick run of the PI event finder for each of the last 3 years gives us the following leaders for walk-off hits from 2008-2010.

  • Andre Ethier 11
  • Kurt Suzuki 5
  • Miguel Tejada 5
  • Alfonso Soriano 4
  • Jorge Cantu 4
  • Jose Lopez 4
  • Kevin Youkilis 4
  • Mark Ellis 4
  • Prince Fielder 4
  • Robinson Cano 4

Not only does Ethier lead, he leads by a wide margin, doing it more times than any other 2 players combined. Here are Ethiers walk-off hits since 2008.

The link also has some statistics on each walk-off hit: three walk-off hits against Philly are included in the 11 total. Wow.

13 comments:

Steve Dittmore said...

Not that I don't enjoy watching Andre's late-night heroics on MLB Network Quick Pitch when I wake up, but I wonder...

Would we need the walk-offs if the bullpen did not melt down so frequently?

Steve Sax said...

dude, broxton's had so few outings this year, the sample size isn't appropriate yet

Dusty Baker said...

Can we get Small Sample Size to weigh in on this?

Steve Dittmore said...

@Sax - I'll give you a pass on Broxton last night (it's not like Counsell crushed the ball). But, of Ethier's 11 walk-offs (from baseball-reference.com)...

5/28/08 v. StL, Broxton BS (BTW - Luis Maza hit his only career HR in this game. Forgot about him)

8/17/08 v. Milw, bullpen gives up 4 runs in t9th to allow Milw to tie 5-5 (Park BS) and set stage for w-o

6/6/09 v. Phil, Belisario BS in 7th, LAD has to score 1 in b9th to tie and set stage for w-o

4/15/10 v. Ariz, Weaver and Sherrill give up runs in 8th and 9th to force LAD to score 2 in b9th to tie and set stage for w-o

5/6/10 v. Milw, Broxton BS

This is glass half-full stuff. Ethier IS clutch and it is absolutely fun to watch, but he is clutch because the bullpen has a history of creating these situations. 5 of his 11 (45.5%) were set up by bullpen failures.

Hong Like a Chih Kuo said...

Dittmore, what you're saying is that the Dodgers' bullpen has a history of sucking?

I am not going to comment on whether or not the '10 version sucks or not, but we're off to a very rocky start.

Last year's pitching staff, as a collective, had the best ERA in the majors. Broxton had 36 saves and 114 K's in 76 IP (that's a ridiculous 13.5 K/9). I hope you're not questioning this guys talent for getting outs.

The '08 version of the Dodgers pitching staff was also stellar.

Of the examples of times when Dre has been asked to be a hero, it was against the Phillies, Cardinals, Brewers and D-Bags. These are not push-over teams, in fact they are among the best offensive clubs the NL has to offer.

There's a time and a place to harp on the misery that is the Dodgers' pitching staff this season, but it ain't here. I love me some late inning heroics from (I'm going to do it, I'm saying it right now) the best right fielder in the NL.

Stamp it. Dre, you sir are the king today. Thanks for last night, I needed that one.

Steve Sax said...

@Steve D: How dare you refute my emotions with facts.

Seriously, good sleuthing.

Yeah, I don't disagree that it would be better for us to coast to victory so we wouldn't need his heroics to save our sorry asses half the time. That's true.

But since walkoff home runs are always late in the game in a tied or close situation; and starters (at least, our starters) don't go more than five or six innings anyway, requiring some degree of bullpen help from at least the seventh inning onward--isn't it reasonable that roughly half the time we're in the AE WO situation because we're rallying to win, and half the time we're in the situation because we're fumbling and barely avoiding a loss?

Brox's BS, which are by definition always late in the game, are concerning. Even though Counsell's hit was fluky, he *did* give up four singles in the ninth. But my concern with Brox's consistency isn't any different from similar concerns I have with Kershaw, Bills, and even vPad being wildly wheels-come-off-the-wagon lame in one inning each outing. It's worse for Brox, however, since he's a closer and only has that one inning to perform.

I feel like everyone's blowing saves--SF has the third-most saves with 8, but has 4 BS; SD has the fifth-most saves with 7, but has 3 BS; AZ has 7 S and 7 BS.

It's true, the Dodgers have 1 save in six save opportunities, with a SVO% of a putrid 17% (only two other teams are under 50%). So maybe you've got a point.

It was nice to see Belisario close out the seventh having inherited a jam on his first batter faced; and, Kuo pitch a three-up-three-down eighth. Let's hope Broxton doesn't have to face seven batters in the ninth inning next time around.

Dusty Baker said...

Who the hell is using facts around here? I want no part of that.

Josh S. said...

Speaking of Broxton, I just got my Iron Man tickets for tomorrow night.

Dusty Baker said...

They're making another Iron Man movie???

Josh S. said...

@Dusty: Quiet, you.

Paul said...

@Sax

Thanks for the info on Chunk from the Goonies, but I like to be in denial and think that he is an idoit Philly fan who runs on to the field with his ugly pants.

I also like to think last nights win will spark a sweep of the Rockies but I also know better.

Steve Dittmore said...

@HLaCK - as I said, this is glass half-full stuff. On the flip side of the bullpen giving up leads is the fact that the Dodgers win and Ethier is a huge part of that. So no, I am not saying that the bullpen has a history of sucking (although Tom Niedenfuer in 1985 is forever burned in my memory). I am merely saying 5 of 11 times the bullpen has enabled Ethier to be in a position to hit walk-offs.

@Sax - I am not a fan of the saves stat. Too many variables can impact the success rate - spot in the order, inherited runners, size of the lead, etc. And, just as I point out how many times the Dodger bullpen has surrendered the lead, let's not forget the opposition has surrendered it 11 times in walk-off fashion to Ethier.

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