Really? You Too TBS?

Brandon HeikoopSenior Analyst IOctober 11, 2008

"One of the toughest things is to find a left handed pitcher who can get left handed hitters out."
-TBS Broadcaster

I'm actually going to leave this one alone-for now. What really stuck out, the continual affirmation that Hideki Okajima is a 'situational lefty'. You know, those tough to find, rare left handed pitchers that can get left handed hitters out. Those one's.

This doesn't even take a lot of research. By simply looking at the pitcher's seasons stats, the broadcaster could have ASSUMED that Okajima was not a situational lefty. Instead, because of Okajima's funky delivery (well, strange and uncomfortable looking head jerk), he must only be able to get lefties out.

"Well that's just not right"
-Deandre, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Check out the following lefty/righty graphs, courtesy
While Okajima is not as stellar against righties as he is against lefties, he is still classified as having a 'good' ERA. Interestingly, he is trending towards becoming a situational lefty, so maybe the commentators are hinting at something?

Okajima's strikeout per nine differs, yes, but not to the degree of a 'situational lefty'. Brian Shouse, is a much better example of a 'situational lefty'. Check out these deviating graphs:
Do you see that? Shouse is actually a TERRIBLE pitcher against righties. As a manager, you are making a mistake in allowing him to face anything more then a right handed pitcher. However, against lefties, he is downright spectacular, and has been for his entire career.

Interestingly, this journeyman, making $2M. A fairly low salary for a reliever with an ERA under 3.00. That is, consider how much Eric Gagne is making.

However, I don't expect a commentator to do all of that homework. That they called Okajima a 'situational lefty' is evidence enough that they aren't 100% familiar with the term (the specific name is LOOGY-Lefty One Out Guy, aka a 'situation'). That aside, had the commentator simply looked at Okajima's season stats, it would have become clear that he is not a LOOGY.

That is, Okajima logged 62 innings over 64 appearances. In other words, he essentially logged an inning per outing. How many teams toss three straight lefties at you? Shouse on the other hand, 51 1/3 innings spread over 69 outings.

Let's take this one step further though. If Okajima was a LOOGY pitcher, wouldn't he have a lot of quick outings? By simply showing the innings and apperances, I am ignoring any serious mop-up duty that he may have done during the 2008 season.

Thus, let's see how many inning plus outings Okajima had this season...45. In 64 appearances. The majority then, of Okajima's came while facing at least 3 batters. 70% to be exact.

Let's now look at Brian Shouse. 27 of Shouse's 69 outings saw him face at least 3 batters, extending an inning or more. A rate of 39%.

I thought we were supposed to get baseball's A squad for the playoffs? At this rate, I'd almost prefer Joe Morgan!