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Apparently I am destined to only pen articles about Lance Lynn this season.  That said I was perusing his pitch f/x data in search of an explanation for his first inning struggles.  Said struggles are outlined in this table from B-Ref

Split ERA PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
1st inning 8.22 105 31 4 3 7 10 21 2.10 .337 .419 .674 1.093 .375
2nd inning 3.91 100 26 9 1 0 6 23 3.83 .283 .333 .402 .736 .377
3rd inning 2.74 88 15 3 1 0 7 26 3.71 .188 .261 .250 .511 .278
4th inning 3.13 94 23 6 1 4 9 16 1.78 .277 .348 .518 .866 .302
5th inning 1.59 94 16 4 1 1 10 22 2.20 .193 .287 .301 .588 .250
6th inning 2.30 63 12 1 0 0 4 19 4.75 .207 .254 .224 .478 .300
7th inning 2.84 27 4 0 0 1 4 7 1.75 .174 .296 .304 .601 .200
8th inning 0.00 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .200 .200 .400 .250
Innings 1-3 4.96 293 72 16 5 7 23 70 3.04 .273 .342 .451 .793 .348
Innings 4-6 2.35 251 51 11 2 5 23 57 2.48 .228 .301 .362 .663 .282
Innings 7-9 2.35 32 5 0 0 1 4 8 2.00 .179 .281 .286 .567 .211
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/14/2012.

Clearly first inning = not good.  Yeah there may be some BABIP luck in there, but it could be that he’s giving up hard hit balls as well.  With those stats in mind I looked for first inning discrepancies in his pitch f/x data and found the following

It looks like in the first inning he pitches like a Cardinal, but in ensuing innings he pitches like Lance Lynn.  Does it explain the results?  Not sure, but it may be something worth keeping an eye on.

Steve Sommer

Simulation analyst by day, father and baseball nerd by night

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One Response to “Lance Lynn and the First Inning”

  1. Hey Steve– I was surfing in search of evidence that so many pitchers’ first-inning blues was largely due to sub-par fielding by cold players. I thought “first inning babip” might help, and I came across this page. Looks true for Lance, but do you know if it’s true in general? If so, it might suggest the wisdom of having your best fielders out there for the first inning (especially at home, where you hit second), since teams that score in the first inning win so often. What do you think?

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