Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Season in Review: The Numbers

 

In my last post I talked about the different philosophies between “Slammin Slater’s” hyper agressive style and CJP’s “blue collar” style. Relying on Home Runs and big innings is dangerous because when they dry up, you’re stuck with no offense and a reliance on a pitching staff to keep games close (which Auburn showed it couldn’t do). Looking back at the season some trends became awfully disturbing:

First a little caveat. I’m a sucker for graphs. This clip from “How I Met Your Mother” Should explain. Me= Marshall.

 

So now on to the Auburn baseball graphs.

1. The Heavy Dependence on Power

The number of HRs per game fluctuated wildly with huge spikes coming in the various non conference snaky cake games. However, it’s no surprise that in Auburn’s two late season slides (beginning at Florida and the final stretch with Ole Miss and Kentucky that ultimately sealed AU’s fate). The Power just dried up.

 

Once the power tried up. So did the Run Production.

Ignoring the abnormality against Troy; the number of runs per game steadily began to decline and never was able to cross into the “safe zone” of 5-10 runs per game.

The lack of power was also evident in the sharp decline in team batting average:

You can see, when Auburn hit it's biggest slide, the team BA started to slope downward.

The loss of power lead to less patience at the plate, which translated to more strikeouts:

It got so bad, that at times, Auburn was Striking Out more times then it got hits:

Those times when the Red bar is higher or equal to the blue? That’s not good. Not good at all.

Finally, just how dependent was Auburn on the HR to spark the offense?

The red is runs created by Homeruns. You can see that earlier in the season there was a good balance; towards the end of the year, as the power left, so did the wins and Auburn became heavily dependent on the HR.

2. The Heavy Dependence on Power (SEC)

During the SEC run, the hits were still coming:

but you can still the Valleys where Auburn Hitters just couldn’t figure out SEC arms.

There was still the lack of patience:

 

That huge spike in KOs and drop in hits? That would be the UK series and the series that ultimately spelled Auburn’s doom.

To put it simply: the series we won? We hit HRs. The series we lost? We went cold.

All that translated to a lack of runs:

3. The Pitching

The problem with the pitching staff was pretty simple. As the season went on, the control went away. More walks, less strikeouts, lead to more runs being scored on the staff:

and Just like Auburn, offensively, felt a steep decline in the number of hits but a rise in the number of KOs; the pitching staff saw an increase in walks and huge drop in Ks:

You can see the blue become significantly evident towards the end of the year. No surprise that that was the same time Auburn began its losing ways.

4. The Biggest Problem

It wasn’t the pitching. It wasn’t the hitting. The real killer for Auburn this year? Fielding. Auburn just gave up too many unearned runs:

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