200609200718關鍵球數的打擊


【刊登時間】-- 09/17/2006
【原文作者】-- Alan Schwarz
【原文標題】-- Taking Their Swings at What’s a Pivotal Count
【中文標題】-- 關鍵球數的打擊

Alex Rodriguez says it’s 1-1. Johan Santana believes it’s 0-0. Ryan Howard claims it’s 2-0, and no one is challenging Howard much these days.
(什麼才是關鍵球數)A-Rod說是一好一壞。桑塔納相信第一球就是。Ryan Howard聲稱二壞球沒好球才是,最近已經沒人會跟Howard爭論了。(
他也太另類的吧
Talk to major leaguers about which is the most pivotal count, the ball-and-strike state that influences the outcome of an at-bat more than any other, and astronomers could reach more consensus on a classification for Pluto. They all agree that balls and strikes dictate results as much as bat and ball.
跟大聯盟球員討論哪種好壞球下才是對打擊結果有最大影響的關鍵球數,還不如天文學家對於冥王星的分類較有共識。他們都同意好壞球數和打擊能力及球質宰制最後結果的能力不相上下。
The most important pitch in baseball is strike one, the old saying goes, but that maxim swings and misses when thrown the fastball of raw statistics.
以前有句話說,搶第一個好球比什麼都重要,不過這個準則與統計資料有所差距。
As the baseball universe finds its order over these final two weeks of the regular season, games will be the atoms, with at-bats their protons and neutrons. Counts will be the even smaller quarks, wiggly little bits that are the true building blocks of what unfolds.
球季即將在最後兩週能分出勝負,如果把球賽比喻成原子,打擊就是質子跟中子,球數就該是更小而且微微的擺動夸克,它才是組成球賽的元素,並揭露接下來的秘密。
Although too minute for even today’s hyperdiligent box scores, every shift in balls and strikes, from 0-0 through 3-2, subtly changes the balance of power between pitcher and hitter, with a strike here or a ball there leaving one or the other in greater command. Pivotal would be defined as the count after which production diverges most, that production measured by hitters’ on-base percentage plus slugging percentage.
雖然對於每天的比賽結果記錄(Box Score)來說太過於細微,不過每次從沒有好壞球到兩好三壞的球數變化,都讓優勢在打者與投手之間微妙的更迭互換,一個好球或壞球都會產生更重大的影響。「關鍵」在這裡被定義為在某種球數下會讓打擊結果產生最大的差異,在這裡,我們利用OPS(上壘率加上長打率)來作為打擊結果的判準。
(Note: Walks that are intentional from first pitch to last are ignored because there’s no byplay between pitcher and batter. Also, statistics refer to the results of the at-bats after reaching that count, not just on the next pitch; all batting and slugging averages on specific no-strike and one-strike counts appear immense because the batter can’t strike out. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.)
(註:從第一球開始的故意四壞的資料不採用,因為投打之間沒有對決可言。另外,統計資料是指那個球數之後的打擊結果,不是剛好達到那個球數的結果;所有在沒好球或一個好球的打擊率及長打率都相當高,因為打者在這情況下不會被三振。接個回到我們原先的主題。)
“It’s the first pitch,” said Santana, a Twins left-hander who knows a thing or two about pitching; he’s on his way to winning his second Cy Young award in three years. “If you throw the first pitch for a strike, then you can move the ball around. When we get behind in the count, then you have to pay for it.”
對球數有深刻了解,並且準備拿生涯第二個賽揚獎的雙城左投桑塔納說「第一球才是關鍵。如果你第一球搶到好球,然後你就可以把球投的邊邊角角。如果我們在球數上落後,你就會付出代價。」
The opening pitch of an at-bat is indeed important, but not as vital as Santana or the old strike-one saw suggests. Through Thursday’s games, according to Stats LLC, in at-bats that begin with a ball, hitters post an .849 overall O.P.S., while batters who start 0-1 slide to .658.
面對打者的第一球確實很重要,但沒桑塔那或是老格言所說的那樣生死攸關。根據Stats LLC的統計,星期四的比賽一壞球(沒好球)之後所有球員的OPS高達.849,然而一好球沒壞球之後的成績下滑至.658
But that 191-point gulf isn’t particularly large. In fact, it’s the smallest of the six counts with at least one ball and strike remaining, because whether 0-1 or 1- 0, there’s still plenty of time for either side to reassert itself.
不過這個191點(.849減去.658)差距並不特別大。事實上,這是六項統數據中(詳附表)差距最小的,因為不管是,一好沒壞或沒好球一壞球,投打雙方都還有很多餘裕來重新調整。
The Yankees’ Rodriguez said, “I say it’s 1-1: 2-1 you become very comfortable, 1-2 you become very uncomfortable.”
洋基的A-Rod說:「我認為關鍵球數是一好一壞,當一好兩壞情況下,打起來沒壓力,當球數變成兩好一壞你就會變得渾身不舒服。」
One ball and one strike is cited by many major leaguers as the most crucial count in a pitch sequence. The Brewers All-Star Chris Capuano recalled that while he pitched in the Diamondbacks’ farm system several years ago, coaches would closely monitor how pitchers handled the 1-1 pitch. The Astros slugger Lance Berkman emphasized that a pitcher’s getting ahead 1-2 drastically changed the dynamic.
很多大聯盟球員提及一好一壞是最重要的球數。釀酒人球星Chris Capuano回憶起多年前在響尾蛇農場投球時,教練很仔細觀察投手在一好一壞之後的投球。太空人的巨砲Lance Berkman強調投手取得兩好一壞領先的球數,會大大改變投打之間的態勢。
“You can’t afford to sit on the fastball,” Berkman said. “You have to protect against a bunch of different pitches, and a lot of times it takes that aggressiveness away from you. That’s when you’re just a tick late on a fastball that you normally hit.”
「(兩好一壞後)你絕對不可以放掉速球」Berkman說「你必須面對一卡車的變化球,而這會讓你出棒遲疑,然後你就出棒過慢而去揮一個原本可以打出去的速球。」
The numbers agree with Berkman. Hitters who slip to 1-2 post a measly .542 O.P.S. This is the rough equivalent of morphing into Mario Mendoza.
統計結果證明了Berkman的說法。打者在兩好一壞的情況下OPS僅有.542。這個成績跟貧打的Mario Mendoza差不多。(譯註:以他為名的Mendoza Line是指兩成的打擊率。)
But while going up 2-1 is certainly preferable (.842), that count doesn’t leave the batter as ahead as many assume.
球數變成一好兩壞當然很受歡迎(.842),不過打者優勢並沒很多人預期的那樣明顯。
Each opponent has two balls and strikes apiece in his quiver, and while the batter is closer to a walk, batting and slugging percentages (.268 and .440, respectively) after 2-1 counts are actually almost identical to the average at-bat starting at square one (.269 and .432).
投打雙方面對一好兩壞,這時打者越來越可能被保送,在一好兩壞情況下的打擊率及長打率(分別為.268與.440)幾乎跟打第一球的打擊率一樣(.269與.432)
As the Cardinals slugger Scott Rolen said, 2-1 “is still a relatively even count.” Even, and at that point the most pivotal of all.
如同紅雀隊長打者羅倫(Scott Rolen)所說:「一好兩壞是投打均勢」。甚至可以這樣說,這之後的一球才是最關鍵的投球。
On 2-1, a ball or a strike makes a vast difference. After reaching 3-1 counts, hitters beef up to a collective O.P.S. of 1.089. Pitchers who instead get a called or swinging strike to get to 2-2 yield an O.P.S. of .637. That .452 gulf is the largest of all six counts examined here.
在一好兩壞,投出好壞球會造成很大的差異。投成一好三壞之後,打者OPS飆到1.089。如果投手投出好球讓球數變成兩好兩壞,OPS降到.637。這個452點的差距是六種情況下最大的。
This makes sense, actually, because the closer a count gets to 3-2, the more impact a single ball or strike makes. Yet the 1-1 and even first-pitch evangelists continue to carry the day.
這很合理,因為當投成滿球數,每一球(對球賽都)會有更大的影響。不過一好一壞(是關鍵球數)甚至第一球(是關鍵球數)的觀念仍被持續的散播。
Listen to any game broadcast, and you’ll hear an announcer claim the opening strike is baseball’s most important pitch. But listen to the statistics and you’ll find exactly the opposite, as the symphony of the at-bat crescendoes.
聽聽任何一個球賽轉播員,他們都會說第一個好球數是棒球比賽中最重要的一球,不過看過統計資料後,你會得到一個恰恰相反的結論。
“Everyone focuses on the pitch that gets put into play or ends the at-bat,” said Craig Biggio, the longtime Astro. “But there’s so much that goes on before that. That’s the game right there.”
「大家都把焦點放在打進場或結束投打對決的球」常年待在太空人的畢吉歐(Craig Biggio)說「不過,在那之前已經歷了幾遭心理戰攻防,那才是比賽的核心。」
E-mail:
keepingscore@nytimes.com


圖表
轉折點
哪一個才是最關鍵的球數呢?以下六大類球數後投出好球或壞球之後的打擊成績。(連四球故意四壞球不再統計之列。)

右上灰格
打者在一壞球之後的OPS為.849,比在一好球之後多出191點。
右下灰格
一好三壞與兩好兩壞的OPS差距達到452點。
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