Scott Baker lost again tonight to the Angels. He's given up 10 homers in 49 innings, and that's a huge, huge problem. On the other hand, his K and BB rates are both excellent--he has a 41:8 ratio. So what's going on?
After tonight (Tues. 5/30), Scott Baker is striking out 7.5/9, and giving up 12.1 hits per 9.
That is...unusual. How unusual, you ask? Well, I can't say for sure, but what I did was, I looked at every American League pitcher in 2005 who:
- Struck out at least 6 per 9, and
- pitched at least 100 innings.
Number who gave up as many H/9 as Baker: 0.
Number who were within 1 hit/9 of Baker: 0.
Number who were within 2 hits/9 of Baker: 1 (Chan Ho Park).
I then looked at all AL pitchers who met the same 2 criteria in 2004. There were 31 such pitchers in 2004:
Number who gave up as many H/9 as Baker: 0
Number who were within 1 hit of Baker: 0
Number who were within 2 hits of Baker: 0
I frankly don't know what to make of this, but I have an opinion. It's this:
- Scott Baker has been unlucky.
- Scott Baker pitches in front of the worst defense in the American League. I think a decent argument could be made that there are zero plus range guys in the Twins lineup. Maybe Hunter, but I'm not convinced that he remains above average.