Reduce your strap with this one simple trick

On Monday night, San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood did something that probably no one on the planet thought of except me. Just below the fourth inning of his outing against the Rockies, Wood Jos hit Iglesias with a 3-2 sinker that went inside. Why am I telling you about this? Because that pitch made Wood a strong whip warrior candidate.

Wood pitch 4.1 innings, allowing six hits, and a walking surrender. It was WHIP who walked and hit in an innings pitched for the RBI’s Stanis for his outing at 1.62. If he had missed the strike zone with that 3-2 sinker instead of hitting Iglesias, he would have been tagged with a 1.85 whip at night.

I took it upon myself to label these instances of a pitcher tearing the count of three balls as WHIP Saves, and the pitcher who collects the most in one season becomes my official Whip Warrior. Wood is now tied with Jack Galen for the lead in the WHIP Warrior League with two HBPs on three ball counts, though both of them — the other with a look-alike slider — two strikes. In WHIP’s view, all other plate presence results are equally generated, but in terms of performance evaluation, a strikeout is generally considered to be more valuable than HBP.

Ignoring the consequences of subsequent batter-reg, Galen provided a platonic norm of a whip save situation by dropping CJ Krone 3-0 at the start of the season. Galen sent three straight fastballs, of which only one was particularly close, then the fourth which probably could not pass over the plate, however. Depending on the conditions of the game, you would rather not let the leadoff guy get to the base, but within the scope of the at-bat, the situation could not be more ideal.

If you’ve been like me, and the Chicago White Sox became your favorite team after Phyllis went ahead and Phyllis left their 2021 season, then you probably know that this strategy is not new. In 2021, the White Sox finished fourth in the league with seven whip saves, led by Carlos Rodon and Dylan Siege, who reached three WHIP saves out of just five pitches in the league.

2021 Whip saves leaderboard
Austin Adams – 3
Edwin Diaz – 3
Jetty Brubecker – 3
Carlos Roden – 3
Dylan Siege – 3
11 MLB pitcher – 2

(As a side note, the marks of Adams and Diaz are particularly impressive as relief pitchers who threw less than 1,000 pitches in total.)

Wood has already saved two whips this season, though only one notch last year One possible explanation is statistical variation, generally due to the low presence of WHIP save (out of 709,851 regular season pitches in 2021, there were 138 three-ball HBPs which is a staggering 0.0194 percent of the total pitch, as you know it is a real statistic that matters), but A A more probable explanation is that Rodon, who signed with the Giants for Jerry Reindorf’s best efforts, gave Wood his power through osmosis. Rodon has not yet received a whip save of his own, which supports this theory.

So far in 2022, WHIP Save looks as healthy as ever, matching the 2021 total in speed. It could be even healthier, if either Wood, Galen, or any of the other 29 pitchers who have recorded at least one WHIP save could break four floors in 2008 Dennis Surfett, 2009 Tim Wakefield, or 2018 Rich Hill as the only pitcher. Whip preservation barrier since 2008.

Plot by Catherine Zoo || Data from Statcast

I’m not suggesting that pitchers should hit batters to improve their WHIP, especially considering that the weight of the hit batter is stronger than that of a pitcher at wOBA (which is usually a more effective metric than WHIP) than unintentional walking. However, I will take a closer look at Alex Wood and the other Whip Warriors to see if anyone will join the sacred team of Rich Hill, Tim Wakefield and Dennis Surfet.

2022 WHIP saves the leaderboard
Alex Wood – 2
Jack Galen – 2
29 MLB pitcher – 1

This is very important to me.

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