Regulars in the comments know that I like to see our lineup make opposing pitchers work and go deep into counts. I used to love watching Nick Johnson foul off 5 pitches in a full count before finally drawing a walk. Conversely, I hate it when Cristian Guzman hacks at the first pitch (typically way out of the zone) for a weak ground out. However, I've noticed The Guz actually taking pitches this season, and the numbers bear it out:
Guz is taking about 10% more pitches this year compared to his two previous hack-tastic seasons. He's still well below league average, of course, but above his career average. So who do you think takes the most pitches on the Nats? People who watched last night's game might have a suspect or two. The shocking answer after the jump!
The three batters who see the most pitches are, themselves, pitchers:
Okay, that's a bit of a cheat having Tyler Walker up there with his two relief appearance PA, but Stammen and Atilano don't let their opposite number off the hook easy. Stammen's even a pretty fair hitter for a pitcher (if only he--or any other Nats pitcher beside Livan--could bunt). Speaking of Livan, he seems to be in an awful hurry to get back to the dugout! I filtered out the rest of the pitchers and batters with only a few PA. No one should be surprised to see Pudge, Guz and TVRZ on the low end of pitches seen, given their slap-happy reputations. Conversely, Dunn and Hammer are both on the high end as guys with good batting eyes and high walk totals. I was more surprised to see Gonzo and TAWH up so high, given their frequent employment as pinch hitters. I suppose that they bat low in the order in their starts, giving them more chances to be selective. I was surprised to see J-Max at the top of the position players, so I took at look at how his walk percentage compared to the rest of the team:
Well, take a look at that! J-Max actually walks (and strikes out) at a higher rate than the Big Walkie, himself. Interestingly, Gonzo didn't make it onto the list; in spite of seeing so many pitches, his walk rate is below league average. Even more interestingly, Dunn, Hammer, and TAWH are all hitting dingers at the about same rate: one every 21-22 PA. Yes, the HR thing is probably an early-season coincidence, but it's a fun one.