Joe Saunders Wishes He Were A Ground-Ball Pitcher

Before Game 4, TBS broadcasters Victor Rojas and Joe Simpson noted the striking statistical similarities between starting pitchers Joe Saunders and Randy Wolf, and Simpson finished his analysis with this:

If there's a difference, Saunders is a ground-ball, double-play guy. He's gotta be good on his control and keep the ball down.

Now, you know I don't like to call bullshit but ...

Aw, who am I kidding? You know I love to call bullshit, and what's so odd about Simpson's bullshit is that there's simply no excuse for it anymore. Not with all the data that's just floating around out there, free for anyone with working fingers and WiFi.

Joe Saunders is not a ground-ball pitcher. Never has been. This season, 45 percent of the batted balls against him were ground balls, which is exactly in line with his whole career. This season, he ranked 29th in ground-ball percentage among the 50 ERA-title qualifiers.

Granted, Wolf is even less of a ground-ball pitcher; his percentage this season was just 37.4, 47th in the National League, and he's got a 38.6 career ground-ball percentage.

But Joe Saunders is a ground-ball pitcher only in comparison to his mound opponent tonight.

Saunders did get 28 double plays turned behind him this season. So there is that.

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