The Mats are sick and tired of being hit by baseballs

Brad Benner USA Today Sports

The chase for history continues, and New York City is full of action. Obviously, I’m talking about the Mets’ pursuit of a modern-day record for times hit by a single team in a single season. The Mets have defeated 102 times this year, three times shy of the record, with only 14 games left to overtake the Reds last year to claim the all-time lead.

Top 10 HBP Totals Since 1900

season Team HBP
2021 CI 105
2021 boy 104
2008 Total 103
2022 NYM 102
2018 TBR 101
1997 the new 100
2021 oak 98
2016 CHC 96
2019 NYM 95
2006 PH 95

Source: baseball reference

The The full menu is fun, because two things are immediately obvious. First, most historically high HBP totals have come in the past five to seven years. And secondly, when the team shows it no From the middle of 2010 or later, it’s immediately clear which third party is responsible: Craig Biggio here, Chase Utley There, Jason Kendall is in the corner.

The Mets are a much more diverse lineup, with six players hit by 10 or more courts this year. No. 102 came on Sunday afternoon, when Alonso’s house He took a quick elbow ball, causing a seat clearance accident and warnings for both bunkers. Respected Ron Darling, over the WPIX mic, felt that Alonso was not angry because he thought Johan Oviedo He hit him on purpose, but because it was the seventh time in the four-game weekend that the Met was injured. In fact, he said, he couldn’t remember a single time this season when the Metropolitan team wore out the pitch and looked sly.

So I went back and watched all 102 Mets HBPs, and he’s right.

The Mets have been hurt a lot, and some of them were scary: Starling Mart Currently on IL with a broken finger; Francis Lindor I was hit in the face while trying to hit; Alonso has taken not one but two lead shots this year. But in general, bowlers who hit the Mets react with some sort of Charlie Brownish resignation, and that is best expressed as Bryce Wilsonwho hit three Mets in the past two weeks.

The Mets’ total HBP, 102, is an interesting number because it’s small enough to watch every play in one sitting, but big enough for patterns to pop up. Everyone hits different types of pitches, and each reacts in their own way. Alonso, who is wearing a large elbow pad, weights the hammock in such a way that he raises his arms down in the zone; That’s how Oviedo got it on Sunday. Lindor, from the left side, tends to wear a lot of broken hindfoot balls which have already hit him in the hindfoot (it’s worth noting that Lindor is a former teammate Brandon GowerWho is Wilt Chamberlain, who broke both legs?

Mark Kanha, the leader of the Mets in HBPs with 21, usually wears pitches in the shoulder or torso, which don’t feel good but tend to leave only a bruise. However, Marte, despite being about the same size and hitting from the same side of the board, seems to always get hit in the hands and wrists for reasons not immediately obvious to me. It is a miracle that he is so badly hurt until September. He has to spend some time working off-season with Patches O’Houlihan.

As aggrieved as the Mets might feel—understandably, given they’ve spent the past six months peppering baseballs—they weren’t targeted. It’s just a vanguard in a massive wave, with more players being hit by pitches than ever before.

for historical context, Recommended FanGraphs for 2018 by Devan Fink, who noted that the large-scale HBP has risen in recent years. His theory as to why was that the archers were shooting with more force than before, and thus had less control over their pitches. The data did not prove or disprove this hypothesis, but he did find that relief pitchers were more likely to hit rackets than novices. After looking at the Statcast data from the perspective of four more years, I think the specific correlation with speed is wrong, but the underlying assumption of the theory — that shooters grab it, rip it, and sometimes lose it — is money.

After watching all 102 Mets games this year, two popular hit models have emerged. The first was a fastball swung on a batter with the same hand – for example, a right-handed tailor, misses his place and hits dough (usually Canha) in the ribs. The other was a broken ball with the back foot, which misplaced and deflected straight to the hit (usually Brandon Nemolegs or feet. The funniest example of this phenomenon happened Britt Pattywho saw a Nick Nelson The ball curve came towards him and he reacted accordingly – only Nelson threw the pitch so far from Patty that when he ran off the road, he threw his feet straight into the course of the field. If he stays in place, the ball will miss him by 10 inches.

Ironically, the fastest pitches are the easiest to control. A good four-stitch tailor moves a lot, but not as much as a breaker ball, or even a four-seam fast ball, which is designed to trick the hitter into movement the way a broken ball does. It is more likely to be thrown out of the area on purpose, and is more likely to move in a way that the thrower does not intend.

While the Mets have been beaten up by four accidental tailors – Canha, bless him, is drowned out by both. Hunter Green And the Prosdar Graterol This year – most of the sinkers were on either the broken balls or the non-four-seam quick balls: plungers, splitters, stitchers, and cutters. Here are the numbers from Saturday’s games:

Mets HBPs by stadium type

stadium type Total stadiums number of HBPs percent
four tailor 6879 24 0.349%
the speed 2601 6 0.231%
broke down 6367 32 0.503%
SSTC * 6212 39 0.628%

Source: baseball world

* Plungers, dividers, stitchers, cutters

The Mets crash with a higher percentage of pitches than the league across the board, but those crashes by pitch category hold up across the entire league.

Mets HBPs by stadium type

stadium type Total stadiums number of HBPs percent
four tailor 6879 24 0.349%
the speed 2601 6 0.231%
broke down 6367 32 0.503%
SSTC * 6212 39 0.628%

Source: baseball world

* Plungers, dividers, stitchers, cutters

Four quick-touch balls in Lowest level in 12 years this season, as a percentage of total pitches, but we’re on pace for fewer hits this year than last year, despite the four-stitch percentage, which fluctuated in the decade’s low 30s, dropping 2.4 percentage points. At best, that’s only part of the story. The rackets are bigger than ever and stand close to the board with their elbows protected. The pitchers produce a movement that would have truly intimidated their peers a few decades ago.

While it is difficult to quantify this effect, there are cases such as Austin Adams Last year, he participated in 65 matches with a non-tank team last year Despite hitting almost one in 10 players he encountered And another 14.5% walk. But his delightful hit totals – communicated by the same wild movement that made him a danger to opponents – meant he was still useful.

It’s hard to generate this kind of movement while still hitting the target; Hundreds and hundreds of shooters get a chance in the majors every year, and only a handful of them can do both. But the more bowlers required to make it through the season, and the more accessible horizontal movement becomes, the less predictable these pitches become – and that’s what puts Alonso and his teammates at risk, it seems. But that’s what progress looks like in this case. So you either get on board, or get out of the way.