It’s no surprise that most all of the Reds pitchers have big home-road splits. They play in one of the most home run friendly parks in the game. But Homer Bailey, in 2012, has been like two different pitchers. The other Reds pitchers at least line up in the same order home and away: Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Leake. Homer, on the other hand is the worst pitcher, by ERA, in Great American. Away, on the other hand, Homer starts to look more like Johnny Cueto.
There’s a little bit of peripherals noise between home and away – but the big difference, for Homer at least, are in the home run rate and BABIP. The home run rate is the really big one. Homer’s allowed 17 home runs in 13 games started (not including today’s game), and only four in 12 away start. Here’s the home and away splits for the batted ball numbers.
HR/FB is something of a luck-based statistic, but it’s odd. It’s obviously and logically park-based. The league average is about 8%, but obviously that’s not going to apply to Great American. Homer’s GABP HR/FB is the highest among our starters – but away, it’s even lower than Johnny Cueto’s away HR/FB.
But that’s not all, two of Homer’s 4 away home runs were in Yankee Stadium. But Home Run Tracker indicates that both Jayson Nix’s and Russell Martin’s May 19th homers were “just enoughs”; indeed, both would be home runs in only one park in the majors – Yankee Stadium. If we take out that game – Homer allowed only two home runs in 11 road starts. (Incidentally, those home runs were both by former Reds – Chris Denorfia and Jerry Hairston, Jr.) Impressive… or lucky. (If only home run tracker also tracked flyouts and doubles!)
But on the home front, Homer’s been really, really terrible. In Great American, he looks a little unlucky. Home run tracker says that Homer leads the NL in ‘just enough’ home runs, with 10, total (tied with Randy Wolf and Mike Minor). No doubt, there’s some bad luck in all the home run balls that have floated out of Great American for Bailey. On the other hand, he’s still allowed 11 “plenty” home runs, which is still not a great number (but no “no doubters”).
I think it’s clear that Bailey’s been at least a little lucky away, and a little unlucky at home. In comparison, his career home hr/9 rate is at a much more reasonable 1.35, and his away hr/9 is a much less impressive 0.83. Perhaps we can hope/be disappointed in his return to career norms. Actually, that 1.35 HR/9 works out to about 1 HR in a 6 inning appearance, so maybe this afternoon’s performance was a regression to the mean.
Wait, Homer was terrible today. Fiddlesticks.