Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nick Schulte is the MAN

I say so, and thus it is true.

He took up a big chunk of my challenge on the previous post about Pedro Feliz (knowing that I am hopelessly lazy and wouldn't do it myself), and looked up Pedro's history as far as three walk games.

His comment is here. It blows my theory that Feliz has never walked three times in one game before yesterday's Randy Winn's Cycle Special, but I was pretty darned close: Feliz has only walked three times in game twice in his career, including yesterday. Read Nick's complete comment, though, because the other walk totals for Feliz are still enlightening...or depressing, depending on one's perspective (makes me wanna slash my wrists, personally...WALK MORE, PEDRO!).

So, as the numbers show, only .4% of the time Feliz walks -- and what I'm going to do is assume that Feliz did not walk three consecutive times in that other game like he did last night, and cut last night's occurence to a .2% chance.

Now, I am going to attempt to get off my large, ghetto-similar booty and do some of my own research to determine whether Feliz' three-consecutive-walk game is more or less rare than a cycle.

Wish me luck, going into the jungle of numbers that is...statistics. My work computer will serve as my machete.

UPDATE: Okay, I've determined that there have been 250 cycles hit since the year 1882. For the purposes of this comparison, I'm just going to start at that year.

250 cycles/123 seasons of major league baseball = 2.03 cycles per seasons. So close to a round "two" that I'm just going to say there are two cycles hit per year on average.

Pedro Feliz has played in 523 career games, or a small chunk over three years of major league baseball (3.22 seasons). In that time, he's drawn three walks in a game twice. So...

2 three-walk-games/3.22 seasons = .62 three-walk-games per season.

So, ladies and gents, as I first surmised (and again, thanks to Nick), that the more rare occurence that we saw yesterday was NOT the Randy Winn cycle, but the Pedro Feliz three-walk-game.


Nick Schulte said...

Well, the "some guy" that Grant linked to at McCovey Chronicles said that a cycle happens once every 800 games and said the source was Elias Sports Bureau.

Grant also called him "some guy on a random internet board, which is the sort of person you should always trust blindly." So based on that ringing endorsement I don't think you need to any research whatsoever.

Thank you for the mention. It was a little overwhelming clicking to this site and seeing my name in an article title, although the title itself is entirely true.

Daniel said...

No problem on the mention, Nick -- you did, after all, provid the info for the follow up article, so you deserve mention.

It might well be true that a cycle occurs once every 800 games played, but I'd rather break it down on a season-by-season basis, because that way my theory is correct.

If we base it on number of games played, then of course the cycle is the more rare occurence -- we have to factor in every, single game played every day by every player. But I'd rather compare the feat itself (the cycle) to the player (Pedro Feliz) in order to demonstrate how rare Feliz draws three walks.

I thought it worked out nicely. Thanks again.

Nick Schulte said...

I agree that that's the better way to think about it. I posted my last post before I saw your update.

Just to check the 800 number: there are 2430 games in a season now days, which means a cycle happens about 3 times a year. Which sounds about right from what you reported because there are more teams now then there used to be (and 162 games) and you used historical data. So I think the 800 number is right. You can tell I didn't have much to do at work today.

Daniel said...

To be honest, I knew going in that my numbers would be rough -- it was a quick and dirty comparison, to be sure. I was thinking someone might come out and say, "There was 251!! cycles, not 250!" or something like that.

I had lots to do at work today, but I still "found" time to work on the entry (found, in this phrase, meaning "blew off work")

Nick Cannata-Bowman said...

Knowing that Pedro Feliz walks three times in a game less often than someone hits for the cycle is a very depressing thought. Wow and I didn't think anything could damper my mood after today's game...