It would have been a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I’m no prophet.
Seconds after saying on this week’s Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast that people who report on baseball are prone to say dumb things, I went out and proved it.
I said the Yakult Swallows defense was vastly improved and was catching the ball well. Well, I misspoke. I read the wrong line on my database file and
While poking around today, noticed that and a few other things. OK. While it is true that the Swallows are better, they are not the best Central League team at turning batted balls into outs. They are about average. But where I really goofed was in saying they were good at turning double plays. That couldn’t have been more wrong. The data file was not linked the way I thought it was and I got screwy results.
In fact, the Swallows are the worst team in NPB at turning the double play. They entered the games of Thursday, April 27, having had 150 opportunities to register a GDP. How many had they converted? Eight.
Part of that is because the Buffaloes, while not an extreme ground ball club, get more ground ball outs than fly ball outs, while the Swallows are one of three teams that get more fly outs — the others being the Fighters and Marines. The Swallows got 28 ground outs in double play situations but got DPs on just 29 percent of those. The Buffaloes, by contrast, got 43 ground balls when they had a chance to turn two and converted over half.