Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ichiro! Watch, 9/23 Edition.

[Editor's Note, 9/26: I noticed this weekend that I had screwed up the probables here, listing Harden before Zito, when in fact it will go Zito-Hudson-Harden-Redman-Drese-Rogers-Park. I have adjusted the post to correct the errors.

Ichiro got three hits over the first three games profiled in this post, to sit at 251. he needs 7 hits over the last 7 games. He needs to hit something around .230 -- depending on how many ABs he actually gets -- to break the record. I think that is very do-able for Ichiro. I do think he will fade some over the last week, but I think much less than about 8 hits (.275 or so) is unduly pessimistic. Let's say two against Zito, maybe one each against Hudson and Harden, one or two against Redman -- Ichiro will be at 256 or 257 on Friday, at home.

Personally, I think the record will be tied and/or broken on Friday against Drese. In fact, I am confident enough about that that I made sure I had tickets for Friday (to go with the Saturday tickets I already had, and the Sunday-Goodbye Edgar-tickets I still plan to get). This record is going down.]

Hits: 247
Games Remaining: 10
AB/G: 4.37
Projected ABs Remaining: 44
Hits/Average Needed to Break Record: 11, .250
Average Needed to Break Record in 154 Games: .846 (11-13)
Average Since July 18: .451
Hits/ Average Needed to Hit .400: 35, .795

Next Five Games' Pitching Probables:
(R) J. Benoit, 5.83 ERA, 5.0 IP/ST, .274 BAA, IchiAVG: .188 (3-16)
(R) C. Young, 4.50 ERA, 5.0 IP/ST, .242 BAA, IchiAVG: never faced
(R) R. Drese, 3.80 ERA, 6.1 IP/ST, .274 BAA, IchiAVG: .500 (8-16)
(L) B. Zito, 4.47 ERA, 6.0+ IP/ST, .267 BAA; IchiAVG: .386 (17-44)
(R) T. Hudson, 3.33 ERA, 7.0+ IP/ST. .265 BAA; IchiAVG: .211 (12-57)

Aggregate IchiAVG vs. Next Five Pitching Probables: .301 (40-133)

Aggregate IchiAVG Against Texas Relievers: .313 (25-80)
Aggregate IchiAVG Against Oakland Relievers: .365 (19-52)

Pete's Prediction for Hits Over Next 5 Games: 6, leaving 22 projected ABs to get 5 hits (.227) to break George Sisler's record. My first instinct was to say seven, but I think once again it will be better to err on the low side. Of course, I hope he maintains this ridiculously hot streak over the next 3 games, and breaks the record in 154 games. Certainly, with Ichiro, anything is possible . . . but I think that is more than a bit unlikely.

I had been seriously overestimating Ichiro's number of hits per each 5 game period between these updates, until the last (9/18) edition, when I underestimated the number by 5. Overall, I am only off by two hits (too many) over the last 15 games, though. This illustrates one of my favorite points to make about statistics, very well: average is only a poor approximation of reality/truth, which you can only really see in variation of performance. Over short bursts, just about anything is possible, and average over small samples isn't really very instructive.

I think, as I've been saying for the better part of a month now, that Ichiro will break the record. I expect he will do it either on Friday, October 1, or Saturday, October 2.


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