More fun with small sample sizes

In today’s podcast, we talk a bit about specific pitcher-batter matchups and dominance therein. I’ve mentioned this before: Though I’m not sure stats in such inherently small samples could ever be taken as reliable indicators of which pitcher owns which batter and vice versa, it’s plainly obvious to me that such ownership does sometimes exist.

Like I said on the podcast, maybe a guy faces a pitcher 10 times and feels great against him but lines out 10 straight times. And maybe the same pitcher has some other hitter’s number, but that guy lucks his way into five bloops and bleeders (and a .500 batting average) over the same tiny sample. Tons of randomness in play, as always.

Anyway, I’ve been poking around the baseball-reference play index this afternoon for some fun ones:

Adam Dunn is 7-for-11 with three home runs and two doubles against Clayton Kershaw.

Alfonso Soriano had a .135/.151/.192 line with 21 strikeouts in 52 at-bats against Pedro Martinez.

Mike Piazza was 10-for-26 with six home runs in his career off Pedro. Two of them came in Piazza’s second game back at Shea in 2006, which I attended and which made me tear up a little.

Carlos Delgado was 14-for-28 with seven home runs against Jorge Sosa.

David Wright has struck out 11 times in 17 at-bats against Tim Lincecum.

Ryan Howard has eight home runs in 26 at-bats against Chris Volstad.

I mentioned this in the podcast but it’s my favorite one: Credible Major League hitter Johnny Peralta has struck out 22 times in 30 at-bats against Johan Santana.


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