Yesterday, Xander Bogaerts had a 14-pitch battle with Phil Hughes. Hughes eventually won, as Bogaerts hit a weak fly ball to center field. But it got me wondering just how rare of an event this was. The venerable Jeff Zimmerman was kind enough to help me find out this very thing:

Number of Pitches Per Plate Appearance, 1988-2013 | ||
---|---|---|

# Pitches |
# PA |
% PA |

1 | 631,119 | 13.359% |

2 | 800,149 | 16.936% |

3 | 837,115 | 17.719% |

4 | 897,454 | 18.996% |

5 | 749,260 | 15.859% |

6 | 482,813 | 10.219% |

7 | 202,335 | 4.283% |

8 | 78,532 | 1.662% |

9 | 29,122 | 0.616% |

10 | 10,501 | 0.222% |

11 | 3,844 | 0.081% |

12 | 1,436 | 0.030% |

13 | 507 | 0.011% |

14 | 160 | 0.003% |

15 | 68 | 0.001% |

16 | 24 | 0.001% |

17 | 8 | 0.000% |

18 | 4 | 0.000% |

19 | 1 | 0.000% |

20 | 1 | 0.000% |

Total | 4,724,453 |

The numbers were pulled from Retrosheet, so this year’s data is not yet there. Still, you get the idea. Pretty freaking rare–0.003 percent. Dave Cameron is fond of saying that you should never need more than one decimal place, and using his rule, you’d basically say that 14-pitch battles never happen.

And from a player perspective, the patience and bat control necessary to achieve such a plate appearance seem even more rare. The below list is sorted by player, and you can see that there are several players here multiple times–41 by my quick count. And if I had more time to parse this list, I think we would find that there aren’t a lot of 21-year-old rookies on it, either.

Players with 14-pitch or more Plate Appearances, 1988-2013 | ||
---|---|---|

Player |
# Pitches |
Game_ID |

A.J. Pierzynski | 14 | MIN200308120 |

Adam Jones | 14 | KCA201105050 |

Adam Kennedy | 18 | ANA200406100 |

Adrian Gonzalez | 15 | MIN201204250 |

Adrian Gonzalez | 15 | ANA200504070 |

Albert Belle | 16 | BAL200004280 |

Alcides Escobar | 14 | CLE201107310 |

Alex Cora | 15 | CLE200604270 |

Alex Cora | 18 | LAN200405120 |

Alex Gonzalez | 14 | FLO200309260 |

Alex Gonzalez | 14 | MON200309070 |

Alexei Ramirez | 14 | CHA201004080 |

Andre Dawson | 14 | CIN199207220 |

Andrelton Simmons | 14 | ATL201207010 |

Andres Blanco | 14 | OAK200605290 |

Andres Torres | 16 | SFN201107050 |

Andruw Jones | 14 | BOS201109010 |

Andruw Jones | 14 | NYN199907020 |

Andy Van Slyke | 15 | PHI199106010 |

Andy VanSlyke | 15 | PHI199106010 |

Angel Berroa | 14 | LAN200306050 |

Angel Berroa | 14 | LAN200306050 |

Anthony Gose | 14 | TOR201309010 |

Ben Petrick | 14 | COL200007171 |

Benji Gil | 15 | ANA200005170 |

Billy Hatcher | 14 | MON199005260 |

Billy McMillon | 14 | FLO199608080 |

Bip Roberts | 14 | ATL198908010 |

Bip Roberts | 14 | KCA199705180 |

Brady Anderson | 14 | TBA200008050 |

Brandon Belt | 16 | SFN201109040 |

Brandon Inge | 15 | OAK200604200 |

Brent Mayne | 15 | MIL200006020 |

Bret Barberie | 14 | MON199204220 |

Brett Gardner | 14 | TEX201307220 |

Brett Gardner | 15 | BOS201307210 |

Brian Downing | 18 | CAL199009010 |

Brian Giles | 16 | CLE199005180 |

Brian Jordan | 14 | SLN199809230 |

Brian McCann | 14 | ATL201308300 |

Brian Roberts | 15 | BAL200705060 |

Bryan LaHair | 14 | CHN201205160 |

Butch Huskey | 14 | FLO199709220 |

C Worthington | 14 | BAL198908080 |

Carlos Baerga | 15 | CLE199508050 |

Carlos Beltran | 14 | KCA200207110 |

Carlos Guillen | 15 | SEA200304150 |

Carlos Guillen | 15 | MIN200707180 |

Carlos Lee | 14 | KCA200108220 |

Carlos Lee | 14 | HOU200706010 |

Carlos Lee | 15 | DET200009180 |

Carlos Pena | 14 | TBA201205180 |

Casey Kotchman | 15 | ANA200406020 |

Chris Hoiles | 17 | CAL199105050 |

Chris Parmelee | 14 | OAK201309200 |

Chris Sabo | 14 | PHI199106160 |

Chris Sabo | 14 | CIN199305160 |

Cliff Floyd | 15 | NYN200607210 |

Cliff Pennington | 14 | OAK200908040 |

Cory Sullivan | 17 | LAN200708190 |

Craig Biggio | 14 | HOU199806220 |

Craig Biggio | 16 | HOU200607270 |

Craig Grebeck | 14 | TOR199905290 |

Craig Worthington | 14 | BAL198908080 |

Cristian Guzman | 14 | MIL200306210 |

Curtis Pride | 14 | KCA199605270 |

D Strawberry | 14 | SFN198805130 |

Dale Sveum | 14 | MIL199105270 |

Dale Sveum | 15 | BOS199004160 |

Dan Johnson | 14 | SDN200606290 |

Dan Wilson | 14 | SEA200405180 |

Danny Heep | 15 | BOS198906040 |

Danny Valencia | 14 | CLE201108120 |

Dante Bichette | 15 | COL199805170 |

Darren Bragg | 17 | SEA199506160 |

Darrin Fletcher | 14 | SEA200007300 |

Darryl Strawberry | 14 | SFN198805130 |

Dave Justice | 15 | CLE199710220 |

Dave Magadan | 14 | FLO199306020 |

Dave Martinez | 15 | CHN198906230 |

Dave Martinez | 15 | BOS199606040 |

David Bell | 14 | SEA200105160 |

David Bell | 15 | SEA199905010 |

David Justice | 15 | CLE199710220 |

David Ortiz | 14 | BOS201106200 |

Dean Palmer | 14 | OAK199109280 |

Delino DeShields | 14 | HOU200107200 |

Denny Neagle | 14 | ATL200105170 |

Derek Jeter | 14 | CLE200105260 |

Derek Jeter | 14 | DET200209210 |

Derek Jeter | 15 | ANA201106030 |

Desi Relaford | 14 | SDN200009050 |

DJ LeMahieu | 14 | TOR201306190 |

Dwight Smith | 14 | SDN199006300 |

Eddie Murray | 14 | CLE199510140 |

Edgar Renteria | 14 | SLN200304020 |

Edgar Renteria | 14 | SDN199705240 |

Emilio Bonifacio | 14 | WAS201204200 |

Emilio Bonifacio | 14 | PIT201008160 |

Enrique Wilson | 14 | CLE199908190 |

Eric Bruntlett | 14 | PHI200804190 |

Erik Komatsu | 14 | CIN201204110 |

Frank Thomas | 17 | KCA200404070 |

Freddy Sanchez | 17 | PIT200904160 |

Gabe Kapler | 14 | BAL200105270 |

Garrett Atkins | 14 | CHN200904150 |

Gary Matthews | 14 | TOR200208020 |

Gary Matthews Jr. | 14 | TOR200208020 |

Gene Petralli | 14 | BAL199005200 |

Geno Petralli | 14 | BAL199005200 |

Geoff Blum | 14 | HOU200207130 |

Gordon Beckham | 14 | BAL201108080 |

Greg Gagne | 14 | DET199305050 |

Greg Gagne | 15 | KCA199505140 |

Greg Zaun | 16 | COL199809070 |

Gregg Zaun | 16 | COL199809070 |

Gregor Blanco | 15 | TEX200806190 |

Hideki Matsui | 14 | TBA200609250 |

Ichiro Suzuki | 14 | SEA200209200 |

Ichiro Suzuki | 15 | TEX200508230 |

J.T. Snow | 14 | COL199910030 |

J.T. Snow | 15 | SFN200504070 |

J.T. Snow | 15 | CAL199607020 |

J.T. Snow | 16 | SDN200209130 |

Jack Clark | 14 | CHA199105030 |

Jack Howell | 15 | CHA198804060 |

Jay Bell | 14 | PIT198909010 |

Jay Bruce | 14 | WAS201006050 |

Jeff Baker | 15 | TEX201306120 |

Jeff Blauser | 15 | SLN199307070 |

Jeff Cirillo | 14 | MIL199508140 |

Jeff Tackett | 15 | NYA199207300 |

Jermaine Dye | 14 | SEA200009130 |

Jermaine Dye | 16 | TEX199805220 |

Jeromy Burnitz | 14 | CHN199809110 |

Jeromy Burnitz | 15 | PHI199907070 |

Jerry Hairston | 14 | MIL201105240 |

Jimmy Rollins | 15 | LAN201108100 |

Jody Reed | 15 | BOS199108010 |

Joe Carter | 14 | DET199306110 |

Joe Carter | 15 | MIN199306140 |

Joe Randa | 14 | KCA200304030 |

Joey Belle | 16 | BAL200004280 |

John Marzano | 15 | SEA199704090 |

John Valentin | 14 | MIN199507060 |

Johnny Damon | 15 | SLN199806300 |

Johnny Damon | 16 | NYA200410130 |

Jonny Gomes | 15 | PIT200806280 |

Jordan Brown | 14 | TBA201305270 |

Jorge Cantu | 14 | SDN201104210 |

Jose Bautista | 15 | TOR201009100 |

Jose Canseco | 14 | TOR199904120 |

Jose Canseco | 14 | NYA199404070 |

Jose Lind | 14 | ATL198908190 |

Jose Lind | 14 | HOU199205030 |

Jose Lopez | 14 | SEA200905010 |

Josh Willingham | 14 | SLN201005170 |

Juan Francisco | 16 | ATL201207050 |

Juan Gonzalez | 15 | TEX200307130 |

Juan Samuel | 15 | CIN199307190 |

Juan Uribe | 14 | CHA200609180 |

Justin Smoak | 16 | BAL201308040 |

Karim Garcia | 16 | COL199806020 |

Kaz Matsui | 14 | HOU200707010 |

Kaz Matsui | 15 | SFN201005150 |

Kazuo Matsui | 14 | HOU200707010 |

Kazuo Matsui | 15 | SFN201005150 |

Kelly Johnson | 14 | SLN200808230 |

Ken Huckaby | 14 | TOR200207200 |

Kevin Bass | 19 | HOU198807230 |

Kevin Jordan | 14 | NYN199709080 |

Kevin Jordan | 15 | NYN199807190 |

Kevin Mench | 14 | CHA200505170 |

Kevin Seitzer | 15 | NYA199208260 |

Kevin Youkilis | 14 | BOS201205250 |

Kevin Youkilis | 14 | KCA201207130 |

Kirt Manwaring | 16 | SFN199306210 |

Lee Mazzilli | 15 | NYN198907172 |

Leo Gomez | 14 | MIL199104170 |

Luis Castillo | 14 | FLO199908240 |

Luis Rodriguez | 16 | SDN200907160 |

Manny Ramirez | 14 | CLE199708132 |

Manuel Lee | 14 | CAL199007120 |

Mark Ellis | 14 | ARI201307100 |

Mark Kotsay | 15 | SDN200106300 |

Mark Loretta | 14 | HOU200806250 |

Mark McLemore | 14 | ANA200010010 |

Mark Teahen | 14 | MIN200908130 |

Mark Teixeira | 15 | TEX200506170 |

Marlon Byrd | 14 | PIT201308280 |

Marquis Grissom | 14 | CHN199809130 |

Marty Barrett | 17 | BOS198906040 |

Matt Walbeck | 14 | NYA199808270 |

Matthew Joyce | 14 | TBA201305270 |

Mel Hall | 14 | CLE198807270 |

Melvin Mora | 14 | BOS200907240 |

Michael Cuddyer | 14 | COL201309250 |

Michael McKenry | 14 | ATL201107260 |

Mickey Morandini | 16 | PHI199209261 |

Miguel Cabrera | 14 | DET200806110 |

Mike Benjamin | 14 | PIT200007290 |

Mike Difelice | 15 | SLN199706141 |

Mike Jacobs | 14 | NYN200609200 |

Mike Kelly | 16 | NYA199809240 |

Mike Lamb | 16 | TEX200606300 |

Mike Lowell | 15 | FLO200107250 |

Mike Marshall | 16 | CHA199009140 |

Mike Morse | 14 | WAS201009290 |

Mike Redmond | 14 | MIN200807190 |

Mike Scioscia | 14 | CIN199006240 |

Mitch Webster | 14 | PIT199105240 |

Nate Schierholtz | 15 | SDN200709150 |

Nomar Garciaparra | 14 | BOS200205250 |

Omar Vizquel | 15 | NYA200106030 |

Orlando Cabrera | 15 | SDN200906190 |

Orlando Palmeiro | 14 | ANA199709160 |

Orlando Palmeiro | 14 | DET200105110 |

Pat Listach | 17 | MIL199209260 |

Paul Lo Duca | 14 | COL200707040 |

Paul LoDuca | 14 | COL200707040 |

Paul O’Neill | 15 | CIN199109300 |

Pedro Guerrero | 15 | SLN198904250 |

Pedro Munoz | 14 | MIN199308210 |

Pete Schourek | 14 | LAN199107300 |

Rafael Ramirez | 14 | HOU198806280 |

Raul Chavez | 14 | HOU200308240 |

Reid Brignac | 15 | TEX201006060 |

Richard Hidalgo | 14 | SLN199906210 |

Rick Ankiel | 17 | SLN200804160 |

Ricky Gutierrez | 20 | CLE199806260 |

Roberto Alomar | 14 | CIN200007070 |

Roberto Alomar | 14 | CHA199310120 |

Robin Yount | 14 | DET198809010 |

Ron Karkovice | 14 | CHA199607280 |

Rondell White | 15 | CHN200106240 |

Ronny Cedeno | 16 | CHN200606150 |

Ruben Tejada | 16 | NYN201105270 |

Rusty Ryal | 16 | CIN201009130 |

Ryan Braun | 14 | MIL201208010 |

Ryan Raburn | 14 | SEA201005260 |

Sal Fasano | 14 | SEA199605100 |

Sandy Alomar | 14 | CLE199606180 |

Sandy Alomar Jr. | 14 | CLE199606180 |

Scott Podsednik | 14 | HOU200309250 |

Scott Rolen | 14 | SLN200708070 |

Scott Rolen | 15 | MIN200805130 |

Scott Rolen | 15 | ARI201208280 |

Scott Stahoviak | 14 | MIN199608160 |

Shane Victorino | 15 | CLE200706200 |

Shelley Duncan | 14 | CLE201205080 |

Skip Schumaker | 14 | SLN200906020 |

Stan Javier | 14 | CAL199308010 |

Terrmel Sledge | 16 | MON200407070 |

Tino Martinez | 14 | TBA200408210 |

Toby Hall | 15 | TBA200306100 |

Todd Benzinger | 14 | NYA199108140 |

Todd Helton | 14 | COL200905060 |

Todd Helton | 14 | SFN200508290 |

Todd Helton | 15 | COL200005130 |

Todd Helton | 15 | COL201108200 |

Todd Helton | 16 | LAN200108300 |

Todd Hundley | 14 | NYN199608130 |

Tom Browning | 15 | CIN198905240 |

Tom Glavine | 14 | HOU199106250 |

Tom Pagnozzi | 14 | LAN199109020 |

Tony Graffanino | 14 | PHI200206200 |

Tony Phillips | 14 | OAK198907220 |

Tony Womack | 14 | PHI200008140 |

Travis Snider | 14 | TOR201008010 |

Victor Martinez | 15 | BOS201006130 |

Wes Helms | 14 | PHI200704270 |

Willie Bloomquist | 15 | KCA200906300 |

Wilson Delgado | 14 | FLO200409080 |

Yadier Molina | 14 | SLN201208190 |

Dang said...

Expanding on this table in excel…

100% of PA have at least 1 pitch, 86.64% have 2 pitches…etc etc. 2.63% see 8 pitches, and a 9 pitch or greater at bat only occurs around 1% of the time.

bob said...

I see some duplicates. Daryl and D Strawberry are the same person, as are Paul Lo Duca and Paul LoDuca, Sandy Alomar and Sandy Alomar Jr., Gene Petralli and Geno Petralli, and so forth.

What about the outcomes? Who is first to give up, the pitcher or the batter, or is it evenly divided?

I was pretty sure Miguel Cabrera would be there. But Emilio Bonifacio, twice??

RAY G. said...

I’m surprised to not see Wade Boggs or Tony Gwynn listed, they appeared to be able to spoil pitches with foul balls at will. Todd Helton five times is something.

Jon L. said...

Looking at the numbers, it looks like when at at-bat gets to the 6th pitch, there’s a nearly 60% chance of it being the last pitch. After that, the number is slightly higher – around 63% – for each additional pitch. So you buck the odds for quite a while to get up to that 14th pitch.

I wonder what’s the latest in an at-bat that a ball has been called? Or the latest one that’s not ball 4? I can imagine a guy fouling off 10 straight pitches, and then taking one to let the count go full as the fans groan.

Daniel said...

Andy Van Slyke with two 15-pitches on the same day??

Or is that a mistake.

LookItUp said...

That’s a duplicate entry for Van Slyke – he had one 15-pitch AB that day, in the 1st inning. He struck out.

allan said...

Watching A.J. Pierzynski hacks his way through this season with Boston, I’m shocked that he had a 14-pitch AB. That actually seems like a high total for him for an entire game in 2014.

everdiso said...

With Kotchman doing it as a 21yr old rookie, and Gose and Snider as 22yr old rookies (from a quick incomplete scan), i’m not sure this is the indicator of future awesome you’re looking for.

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RedBankYankeeFan said...

Wow, Denny Neagle, a pitcher. I wonder how many others made the list?

Nick said...

I noticed Glavine up there too

George said...

I remember the Ruben Tejada at-bat. He drew a walk off Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo.

Señor Spielbergo said...

Wow, Joe Carter had two of those within a four-day span…

aweb said...

Carter had occasional stretches where he would continually rip hard liners into the left field stands, typically well foul. Pitchers would keep trying the same pitches, because he rarely threatened to hit one fair, and he would just keep smoking foul liners. Sometimes it would happen as he emerged from a lengthly slump, but that doesn’t apply here, looking at the season log.

So what was the overall split for the PAs here? I’d guess .300/.450/.500

AndyC said...

Still remember Alex Cora’s 18 pitch at bat. He ended it with a homerun. One of the most amazing at bats I’ve ever watched.

olethros said...

That ’03 Renteria AB ended with a walkoff grand slam against the Cubs. It was glorious.

Chris said...

Need to add Derek Norris to this list. 14 pitch AB last night against Tampa Bay – ended in a walk.

Tim said...

Derek Norris just did it yesterday!!!

Gary said...

What were the most CONSEQUENTIAL long plate appearances? Certainly Jayson Werth’s 12-pitch AB (culminating in his walk-off HR in 2012 NLDS Game 4) has to rank up there.