Turning the Dial to Ridiculous

Carlos Marmol has great stuff. Carlos Marmol effectively uses that great stuff to strike out a lot of hitters. Neither of those two statements is shocking or relatively unknown, even to casual fans. Carlos Marmol has been a big component of the Chicago Cubs bullpen for the past few years and he’s consistently racked up impressive strikeout totals.

In 2007, it was 96 strikeouts in 69.1 innings or 33.7% of all batters faced. In 2008, Marmol punched out 114 over 87.1 innings with what was actually a slightly lower rate at 32.8% of all batters faced. 2009 seemed like a bad omen as the strikeouts slipped to 93 in 74 innings and just 27.8% of hitters.

I think we can put that bad omen to rest. Marmol finished today having faced 103 batters on the season. He’s sent 49 of them back to the dugout with a strikeout. That’s an absurd 47.6% strikeout rate. Given that he’s recorded 24.2 innings pitched, the strikeout rate on the more well known K/9 scale registers a you-have-to-be-kidding-me 17.9.

For every inning that Carlos Marmol has pitched, he’s averaged two strikeouts. Do I even need to put that in perspective for you or can you intuitively grasp how insanely dominant that is?

Of course, Marmol is also a bit wild, yielding about 5.5 walks per nine innings as well. For out of this world comedy when it comes to skewed pitching lines, take a gander at Jonathan Broxton‘s 30 strikeouts, two walks and zero home runs allowed over 20.1 innings. Broxton’s resulting FIP of 0.45 and xFIP of 1.59 are both league leaders as is his 15.0 strikeout to walk ratio.

Broxton has been more valuable, but I’m not sure that what he’s accomplished thus far is more impressive than Carlos Marmol‘s strikeout rate.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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