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  1. Wow! Neat!

    Comment by White Blood Cells — July 24, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  2. “Joe Blanton probably would have been the very last, but Chacin would have been standing around looking at Blanton when everyone took their final picks.”

    Bronson Arroyo says hi.

    Comment by TKDC — July 24, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  3. Jason Marquis chuckles, who is actually your 3 year leader. Sorry Joe.

    Comment by Urban Shocker — July 24, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

  4. “You might say “aha, more proof that steroids testing is working, and driving all the power hitters out of the game”

    No, I don’t think anyone would say that about a dude in COLORADO not giving up HRs. They might say that when referencing the lack of 60+ HR seasons, or a potential downturn in HRs league wide (if that’s even true), or Ryan Braun (who hits a few HRs here and there) getting suspended for the rest of the season for using PEDs, or something along those lines. But I think most everyone who has ever heard and thought about HR/flyball ratio (that is, someone who isn’t old old guard) would appreciate the wacky “baseball is weird” aspect of this.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — July 24, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

  5. Using “one pitcher in Major League history” to describe the period since 2002 seems pretty disingenuous.

    I mean, just using recent examples of pitchers who threw more than 100 innings, I would have to guess that, if we had the FB data, Cain’s rates would be crushed by Mariano Rivera in 1996 (107.2 IP, 1 HR), Dave Righetti in 1981 (105.1 IP, 1 HR), Nolan Ryan in 1981 (149 IP, 2 HR), Greg Maddux in 1994 (202 IP, 4 HR), Joe Magrane in 1989 (234.2 IP, 5 HR), or Reggie Cleveland in 1976 (170 IP, 3 HR).

    Special props go out to Slim Harriss in 1926 (170 IP, 0 HR). Also, with the deadball era caveat, Walter Johnson in 1916 (369.2 IP, 0 HR).

    Comment by Jim — July 24, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

  6. All three with two strikes if I’m not mistaken.

    Comment by Neil Weinberg — July 24, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

  7. Now we just need Jeff sullivan to provide GIFs of each HR he gave up, analyzing each in great detail, and we have a complete story here.

    Comment by DD — July 24, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

  8. Walter Johnson in 1916: 369 2/3 innings, 0 HR. Obviously not recent, and also part of the deadball era, but whoa.

    Comment by Semi Pro — July 24, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

  9. “Our data has the park with a home run factor of 114, meaning that a pitcher for the Rockies would be expected to post a home run rate 14% higher than they would pitching for a team that plays its home games in a neutral ballpark.”

    Is that really what it means? Or does it mean that, when he’s starting at home, he’s 14% more likely to give up dingers, but when he’s starting on the road at SD or LA, he’s less likely than average to give up dingers? So then his net across all starts would be something closer to average (but still significantly above because he’s made ~2/3 of his starts at home). I assumed it was the latter, but legitimately don’t know.

    Comment by placidity — July 24, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

  10. Our park factors are halved to account for the fact that they only play 81 games at home. So a 114 HR factor means that the park itself inflates HRs by 28%.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — July 24, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

  11. So which gets a higher rating on the Astonishing Fact scale: Votto’s pop-ups or Chacin’s HR/FB COL rates?

    Comment by Bab — July 24, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

  12. You are absolutely correct.

    I still don’t like how you just crapped on a pretty neat, frivolous article that I found interesting.

    I respect your appreciation for the facts while disliking you personally.

    Comment by Travis L — July 24, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  13. In season, I’d say Chacin.

    If you’re looking at Votto’s popups in the last 3 years, it’s incredible (plus his BABIP on balls pulled to RF, and his complete lack of pulled-into-stands foul balls).

    Guy is amazing. He’s like a mix of Ichiro, Ty Cobb, and 25 HR power.

    Comment by Travis L — July 24, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

  14. Hey Dave, are the park factors used by fangraphs visible anywhere?

    Comment by Resolution — July 24, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

  15. Nice setup in this piece. I’m mostly an American League watcher and fan. And although I know Chacin is a pitcher in the NL, I wasn’t aware he pitched in Colorado until it was revealed… halfways through this piece. Nice job. And good for Chacin.

    Comment by rustydude — July 24, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  16. 5.4 K/9 is low….at least he is winning games, that isn’t luck.

    Comment by Al Ojeda — July 24, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  17. But people use pitching stats all the time to “prove” that PED testing caused the decline in offense.

    Comment by Drew — July 24, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

  18. Guts. Under the Glossary subheading.

    Comment by Ben Hall — July 25, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  19. Guts page: http://www.fangraphs.com/guts.aspx

    Comment by Alexander Nevermind — July 25, 2013 @ 12:52 am

  20. This reminded me of Eno’s interview with Chacin in April about how he stopped throwing his curve and indeed was pitching to contact: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jhoulys-chacin-on-ground-balls-curve-balls-and-colorado/

    Comment by Wobatus — July 25, 2013 @ 3:13 am

  21. Chacin will now definitely let up a home run in his next start.

    Comment by Jon L. — July 25, 2013 @ 3:37 am

  22. awesome, thanks guys

    Comment by Resolution — July 25, 2013 @ 10:17 am

  23. A commenter posted yesterday on Purple Row that since 2002, only two starters have a sub 3.00 ERA with at least 200 IP on the road: Roger Clemens and Jhoulys Chacin.

    Comment by Jeremiah — July 25, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  24. While we’re on the subject of Rockies pitchers, Jorge De La Rosa just threw six scoreless again last night. He has a 2.97 ERA, 150 ERA+ and the second highest ground ball rate of his career. In fact, De La Rosa, Chacin and Tyler Chatwood are statistically the best group of three starters in the division. The lack of offense is the main reason the Rockies aren’t winning more.

    Comment by Andrew — July 25, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  25. What’s more is that although Chacin is the most extreme in terms of HR/FB, all three are posting rates that would be considered outliers for pitchers on normal teams, but ridiculous for Rockies pitchers. Coupled with the 100 pitch limits, one has to wonder if there is some sort of organizational philosophy behind this, or if it’s just really really bizarre luck.

    Comment by Jeremiah — July 25, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  26. That is like totally amazing, dude.

    Comment by Baltar — July 25, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

  27. IMO – what the Rockies have now is a fresh pitching coach who spent the last few years as a bullpen coach. Bullpen coaches are far more comfortable working with their pitchers during a game. This is one instance where a change in coaching may have been the difference maker.

    Apodaca was quite visibly burned out last year after 10 years of dealing with the injuries and rotation experiment and Coors uniqueness and pitcher turnover and play-calling. now he can move to the front office and deal only with the bigger picture long-term stuff (where his in-game experience at Coors gives him a huge advantage over his predecessor). And Wright can deal with the day-to-day stuff and pitch calling better than Apodaca (who seemed to let pitchers “figure out Coors” on their own in between games).

    Comment by jfree — July 25, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

  28. Jhoulys Chacin and the Miraculous Record was always my favorite in the Jhoulys Chacin series.

    Comment by yeah — July 25, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

  29. I read Chacin discuss his approach earlier this season. And often that can be more fascinating and revealing than digging to deep into the numbers.

    This is a guy who LOVES the craft of pitching and who feels he has strikeout stuff, but doesn’t use his curveball much because of the increased risk of giving up flyballs at Coors.

    I mean read what he says here in an MLB.com interview from Wednesday…

    Pitching in Denver requires you to throw in order to get a lot of grounders, you try to avoid that the ball elevates. You’ve got to keep your opponents to hit grounders instead of fly balls. That’s the one thing I’ve focused on the most, both at home and on the road. Obviously, the most important thing is throwing strikes, and keeping you ahead in counts. You also want to throw the least amount of pitches possible so you can stay in the game for as many innings as you can.

    It sounds so rudimentary. In fact it almost sounds like something that Crash Davis would coach Nuke Laloosh to say. And we’ve heard 100′s of pitchers before him say this stuff, much less convincingly. But that’s the thing, when you’ve seen Chacin pitch his game repeatedly, and you hear him say these things… you KNOW he takes it very serious… because he does focus on keeping the ball low in the strike zone, throwing strikes, allowing his fielders to do their jobs and get off the field in as efficient a manner as possible.

    I know what the numbers and circumstance would seemingly predict here, but I won’t be surprised if he bests Cain’s mark whence the season draws to a close.

    Comment by BigLeagues — July 26, 2013 @ 2:13 am

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