Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 9/19/13
Full, immediate disclosure: it’s actually a tie. When you think unhittability, you might think batting average against, or slugging percentage against, or something. Me, I prefer contact rate, because it’s elegant and simple. Contact rate measures how often batters hit the baseball when they attempt a swing. Most simply, that’s the whole point of a swing. A pitcher who gets a lot of missed swings can rightly be said to be unhittable. Other metrics might penalize for wildness, or just take other matters into account. For pure unhittability, I like looking at the rate of contact, and among National League starters, the lowest rate of contact allowed partly belongs to Francisco Liriano, at a hair above 71%. Liriano’s tied with somebody else, and it’s not Matt Harvey or Clayton Kershaw. I’m going to be writing about that somebody else, because Liriano’s a lot more familiar. Liriano’s long been hard to hit, and he’s had a breakthrough season for the Pirates after coming over on the cheap. Don’t
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