ESPN Stats and Analysis takes a NEXT LEVEL look at Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, the starter for Thursday's game in Milwaukee.
Dempster is 10th among starting MLB pitchers (min. 100 PA’s) in making batters miss, posting a 26.6 percent miss percentage.
Dempster is particularly effective at using his changeup in forcing batters to whiff, posting a 46.8 percent miss percentage on those pitches (of course he only throws the changeup 6.1 percent of the time)
However, a closer look reveals that Dempster really likes to use this pitch in two-strike situations. In non-two-strike situations Dempster throws the pitch 5.5 percent of the time, but in two-strike situations he throws the pitch 7.7 percent of the time. It’s important to note that this does not quantify to a 2.2 percent jump, but rather shows that Dempster is 40 percent more likely to use this pitch in two-strike situations than he is otherwise. This is even more important because Dempster’s miss percentage using this pitch in these situations is actually 59.1 percent (chase is 73.3) and both numbers rank him number two among all MLB pitchers in this situation with at least 10 PA’s.
Perhaps even more importantly, Dempster has yet to allow a hit or a walk using this pitch in these situations all year.
All of this gets to a simple expression we have started using called Putaway Rate. Putaway Rate for a pitch type = Strikeouts with pitch/two-strike pitches of that type thrown. We express the stat as a percentage, so essentially you take the number and multiply it by 100. So, Dempster has thrown the changeup 26 times in this situation and has struck out 13. As such, his putaway rate on the changeup is 50 percent compared to the MLB average of 19.2 percent.