Via Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution
It turns out that major league hitters on the verge of a 3 handle batting average — .300 — hit an astounding .463 on their last at bat of the season:
That is from Barry Ritholtz, here is more.
Here is my contribution excerpted from the comments section:
What kind of pitcher is a .299 hitter likely to be facing in his last at bat of the season? Presumably a reliever, not a starter. And in the case of the majority of teams (those NOT going to the post season), probably an inexperienced called up minor leaguer or a less than spectacular bullpen type.
I was going to say for an example of this see how The NY Mets season ended…but Ollie Perez hit a batter and then walked the last batters he faced–not raising anyone’s averages.
That is in addition to the points already made that batters tend to go up knowing they want to swing and often are facing heavy diets of fastballs. Just another reason why I think Americans are closet statistical wonks and baseball allows them to let their wonky flags wave.