How Dodgers’ hitters and pitchers fared ‘After 0-2’

I was listening to a recent episode of Effectively Wild, (Baseball Prospectus podcast), and one topic being discussed was the “After 0-2” split.

Sam Miller brought it up and focused on the pitchers, but I’m even more fascinated how the Dodgers’ hitters fared after they got down 0-2. Let’s be clear: These stat lines aren’t going to be pretty. Being in an 0-2 hole as a hitter is the worst place one can be. The triple slashes will be ugly, as will the walk-to-strikeout ratios. When looking at the triple slash lines, keep in mind the National League average (overall) in 2014 was .249/.312/.383.

*Tables are sortable by clicking the column head*

Dodger Hitters After 0-2 (minimum 40 plate appearances)

Player BA OBP SLG 2B 3B HR BB K PA
Dee Gordon .210 .226 .322 7 3 1 2 54 146
Justin Turner .203 .282 .203 0 0 0 6 27 71
Andre Ethier .191 .211 .309 1 2 1 1 31 71
Matt Kemp .185 .189 .287 8 0 1 2 55 111
Hanley Ramirez .182 .234 .250 3 0 1 3 38 94
Adrian Gonzalez .177 .191 .257 3 0 2 1 45 115
Carl Crawford .175 .213 .193 1 0 0 2 23 62
Scott Van Slyke .159 .229 .227 3 0 0 3 30 48
Juan Uribe .153 .153 .236 3 0 1 0 35 72
Drew Butera .143 .192 .163 1 0 0 1 22 52
Yasiel Puig .128 .196 .202 4 0 1 6 51 102
A.J. Ellis .125 .186 .172 0 0 1 4 27 70

And for good measure, here are the After 0-2 numbers for the three new starters.

Player BA OBP SLG 2B 3B HR BB K PA
Yasmani Grandal .233 .267 .430 5 0 4 3 33 90
Howie Kendrick .223 .246 .314 5 0 2 4 42 126
Jimmy Rollins .154 .180 .205 3 0 1 3 42 122

It should come as no surprise the high-contact guys (Gordon, Kendrick) are near the top of the list. I was a little surprised to see Grandal do so well after an 0-2 count. And to see Uribe not draw a walk after going down 0-2 classic Uribe.

There isn’t a ton of information to be drawn from these numbers. Sure, some hitters will shorten up on an 0-2 count as to not throw away the at-bat, but there are some guys who don’t change their approach much. The 0-2 hole is the biggest disadvantage a hitter can face, so to see some guys have success is nice to see. It also isn’t surprising to see guys struggle mightily. The Dodgers don’t have any guys — past or present — near the top of the After 0-2 list.

And here’s the pitcher side of the ledger.

Dodger Pitchers After 0-2 (minimum 39 plate appearances)

Player BA OBP SLG 2B 3B HR BB K PA
Clayton Kershaw .116 .128 .169 3 1 2 3 128 211
Zack Greinke .121 .155 .207 3 0 4 6 90 181
Kenley Jansen .127 .138 .215 4 0 1 1 53 80
Josh Beckett .149 .190 .181 3 0 0 3 41 100
Hyun-jin Ryu .153 .178 .218 3 1 1 4 62 129
Chris Perez .163 .159 .395 1 0 3 0 14 44
Dan Haren .169 .183 .254 4 0 2 1 57 120
Jamey Wright .185 .203 .277 3 0 1 0 29 69
Brian Wilson .200 .234 .267 0 0 1 2 18 47
Paul Maholm .293 .356 .512 3 0 2 3 14 45

It’s far from surprising to see the best pitchers near the top of this list. What is astounding is that Kershaw got ahead of hitters 0-2 in 211 plate appearances and struck out almost 61 percent of those hitters. Greinke gave up 21 hits after 0-2, a third of which went for extra bases. He also walked six hitters and still had some of the best numbers of any pitcher on the team not named Kershaw. And poor Maholm. Hitters flourished after getting down 0-2 because Maholm is not a good pitcher and does not have a swing-and-miss pitch.

And the new additions:

Player BA OBP SLG 2B 3B HR BB K PA
Joel Peralta .085 .097 .113 2 0 0 1 36 72
Brandon McCarthy .154 .167 .213 8 0 1 3 93 194
Chris Hatcher .158 .158 .263 3 0 1 0 36 57
Juan Nicasio .159 .159 .244 2 1 1 0 32 82
Mike Bolsinger .191 .191 .234 2 0 0 0 24 47
Brett Anderson .250 .282 .278 1 0 0 2 12 39

– Minimum 39 plate appearances, so Anderson could be included

Peralta — despite not having anything close to elite stuff — shut hitters down after 0-2, which included a 50 percent strikeout rate. His batting average against was 11th-best among qualified pitchers in baseball. It’s nice to see Hatcher, Nicasio and Bolsinger didn’t walk anyone after getting ahead 0-2, but they paid for it by allowing some extra base hits. It’s a little more impressive for Nicasio since most of his data came from his time as a starter last season.

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This may or may not mean anything (I’m leaning toward the latter). It’s just kind of fun to look at, since we don’t really think about this a lot. Sure, a hitter gets down 0-2 and it seems the at-bat is over, but it’s interesting to see numbers put to it.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.