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1. This year alone, 98 players have popped out more than Joey Votto has his entire career. When Votto's pop-out numbers went viral this year, they sounded too good to be true. None in 2010. One the following season. While he's been on the DL for most of 2012's second half, he remains stuck on nil again. Over his 2,523 career at-bats, Votto has had the temerity to pop out 10 times.
6. Aroldis Chapman has generated more swings and misses than Jered Weaver. And Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Matt Harrison, Jeremy Hellickson, Josh Beckett, Erik Bedard, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Vogelsong and more than 100 other starters. Chapman has thrown 1,036 pitches this season. Hitters have swung at 508. They have missed 211. That 41.5 percent miss rate is 7 percent better than the next-best pitcher, Joaquin Benoit. Oh, and for reference, Weaver has generated 204 misses on 979 swings,
9. As great as his relief peers' accomplishments may be, what Brad Ziegler is doing this season is a hundred times more unfathomable. The 32-year-old Ziegler already is something of a freak as an Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher. He's a pure sidearmer whose fastball floats in around 86 mph, the eighth-slowest among pitchers with at least 50 innings. To make up for his lack of velocity, Ziegler sinks the sucker like the Lusitania, sinks it so hard that he makes opposing hitters turn into Jeter. Ziegler's flyball rate this season is 6.9 percent. That is not a misprint. Ziegler has thrown 712 pitches this season. Hitters have lifted 10 of those as flyballs. Nobody has popped out. Nobody has hit a home run. Nobody can do much with a Brad Ziegler sinker. The previous low flyball rate also was owned by Ziegler – and it was 13.4 percent, nearly double. Ziegler, as you might imagine, also is on pace to set a groundball-rate record at 72.9 percent, a smidgen better than Jonny Venters' 72.5 percent last year. That makes another record he's close to doubling: groundball-to-flyball ratio, where his 10.5 will top Venters and Cla Meredith's 5.29.
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