NY Sports Dog: David Wright, Strikeouts and the Beaning: Before and After

Monday, May 17, 2010

David Wright, Strikeouts and the Beaning: Before and After

After David Wright ended the game yesterday with his MLB leading 51st strikeout, I decided to go back and look through the numbers to make some sense of this.

Earlier today I posted his splits, which show DW striking out an astonishing 43% of the time against righthanded pitching.

I then went back through the game logs.

In 2009 David Wright struck out 140 times in 535 at-bats, or 26.2% of the time.

On August 15th of last year David Wright was hit in the head by Matt Cain, prior to getting beaned, DW was striking out 24.6% of the time.

When he returned from the DL, he struck out 32.1% of the time for the remainder of 2009.

In 2010, DW is striking out 38.3% of the time.

Let's look at David Wright strikeout percentage by month, and pre and post beaning for 2009 through May 2010.
  • Apr 2009: 32.9%
  • May 2009: 26.5%
  • Jun 2009:  22.1%
  • Jul 2009:  21.5%
  • Aug 2009: 18.4%
  • Aug 15:  Beaned by Matt Cain
  • Sep 2009:  32.1%
  • Apr 2010: 33.8%
  • May 2010: 44.6%
Here is how 2009-2010 looks on the chart:

Click on the chart for an expanded view

Notice the nice downward trend in the K's prior to the beaning--DW was normalizing back toward his solid career numbers.  Then once he was hit, he began to strikeout more than ever, and that trend is sharply on the rise.

What started off as some understandable post-beaning gun shyness is now firmly entrenched in his psyche.  We see this when DW turns away from regular curveballs as they drop into the strike zone, and it's certainly thrown his timing off.  I also think the gigantic helmet he wore was an indication of his fear.

Some may call those numbers coincidence, but in my opinion they speak volumes.
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