Feb 16

Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg Willing to Sign?

HarveySignature

That was a fun break. It’s been over three months since I’ve last posted, and it certainly comes as a surprise that we’re now a few days past Valentine’s Day, a month away from Easter, and one day away from pitchers and catchers arriving to camp. I love Spring Training. It really is the best time of the baseball year next to the postseason. Anything is possible. Every player feels like he is in the best shape of his life, and this is the year when Player X finally breaks through and fulfills all that promise.

Oh, and the Cubs will win the Series this year.

I don’t believe that. I don’t think it’s the Cubs year, but after an offseason of Cubs love in the MLB awards and everyone considering this team a not so secret juggernaut in hibernation, be prepared for every writer with a prediction article to pick the Cubs this year. If not the Cubs, the Blue Jays will be a trendy pick.

I don’t want to discuss those things. Not yet. What broke me out of my own personal slumber is a pair of articles that I read over on ESPN that discussed Matt Harvey open to signing an extension with the NL pennant winning New York Mets and Stephen Strasburg not discussing a long term deal with the Washington Nationals, a team that surprisingly is being largely overlooked by the media this year. Losing your centerfielder, shortstop, number two starter, and a pair of relievers will do that I suppose.

Both players are represented by agent Scott Boras. Boras, of course, is rather notorious for representing players that rarely sign early (according to this post, which oddly enough is a Cubs lover discussing Kris Bryant, a handful of players that have signed early are Elvis Andrus, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Varitek, and Jered Weaver) and like to test the open market and secure as much money as the market will allow. This is commendable actually. I’m all for a free market. When you have a skill that is in high demand with limited availability, you should be rewarded for that skill. Loyalty to a club is only something fans discuss because we’re dumb enough to spend 25 bucks on a fitted hat.

In short, Boras gets a bad rap, his players are greedy, and high dollar free agents rarely work out.

That being said, I can’t see a scenario where the Mets or the Nationals keep either pitcher, and if there’s a chance that one of those teams keeps their wunderkind I figure it’s the Nationals that free up the $25M it will take to get Strasburg’s cleats back in the clubhouse. Consider that an almost certainty that the Nationals keep Strasburg if he pitches like he did at season’s end and finally stops being afraid to dominate with that fastball. Dear God, man, stop trying to fool people with the offspeed and throw the heater.

Strasburg is 27, and while he hasn’t exactly lived up to all the hoopla that’s surrounded his career so far, he can still be dominant. It’s that potential for dominance that will cause some owner to fall in love with the idea of foregoing a first-round draft pick and about $150M dollars in cash, but someone will. Strasburg would essentially have to lose his right arm in a grilling accident to not see a deal in that range, and I still think someone would offer him $5M to see if his left arm has any life in it. Will the Nationals be that team? 2017 has a few big money contracts still on it (namely the $22M owed to Max Scherzer, the $21.5M owed to Jayson Werth, and the combined $38M owed to Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, and Daniel Murphy), but Werth is a free agent in 2018 and Gonzalez becomes a free agent the year after.

Of course, none of that considers the Brinks truck it will take to sign Bryce Harper or how much Anthony Rendon will make through his arbitration years. It’s the Harper deal that would stop any chance of keeping Strasburg. Oh, and there’s Lucas Giolito waiting for 2017 and beyond. Giolito came is as Keith Law’s third ranked prospect in the minors, and if there’s one thing the Nationals have waiting is pitching.

There’s a lot to consider. I don’t think he re-signs with the Nationals. Take your first round pick and move along.

I also can’t see a scenario where the Mets re-sign Harvey. This sort of breaks my heart a little. My very first post discussed Harvey leaving, so I won’t get all tearful now. I’ve stated my admiration for Harvey so many times that it’s becoming a bit stalkerish, even when all those fools were calling for the Mets to trade him, and he didn’t do anything but pitch like the ace he is throughout the entire season. There was the whole innings limit nonsense, but whatever. The guy was protecting his career.

I can appreciate that.

Harvey is 26, and he’ll be a free agent in 2019. That means the Mets have his ages 27-29 seasons, and Harvey will be entering the market as a soon to be 30-year old. Eh. I don’t see that happening. Some team will take that risk, but does anyone believe the Mets will offer $30M or more a year to Harvey at that point? By 2019 the Mets will have Zack Wheeler entering his final year of arbitration, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard entering their respective second years of arbitration, and Michael Conforto, Kevin Plawecki, and Steven Matz in their first years of arbitration. Other than David Wright and Juan Lagares, there aren’t really any salaries on the books. All of this sounds great, right? I mean, with all these guys being cheap and affordable, won’t the Mets have lots of cash?

The Mets window is basically the next three years. This pitching staff is the kind old men discuss with crazed eyes and wild hand gestures with their grandchildren. It’s what happens when some crazed scientist implants velociraptors with cannons and sets these things loose in Central Park. If Jurassic Park taught us anything it’s that whatever entertainment can be had always comes with a cost.

The one guy who will be extended is Syndergaard (he’ll play 2016 as a 23-year old), and I think there’s a chance the team tries to buy out some arbitration years from Matz. If Wheeler comes back healthy, maybe they do the same there. I don’t think they re-sign deGrom, and I think Harvey won’t be a Met in 2019.

Should he be?

If it were up to me, I’d walk into Boras’ office and hand Harvey an extension for six years and $175M dollars. That buys out his remaining two arbitration years, and then works out to somewhere in the neighborhood of $36-37M a year for the next four. That eclipses all but three deals signed this offseason, and the other deals were for Jason Heyward’s eight-year deal, Zack Greinke’s, six years, and David Price’s seven years. It’s not my money. Bump it up to a $200M dollar contract. Match the $210M that Scherzer signed for last offseason. It’s not my money. Hand them a blank check.

See, that’s how important Harvey is to this rotation. That’s how good he is. Offer $35M a year and see who blinks first.

Nov 06

CrossFit, Cindy, and Goodbyes

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I first heard of CrossFit in the summer of 2005.  I think.  Mostly details from a decade ago are sort of fuzzy, and when it comes to hearing about workouts and things one should do to gain muscle and tone, you can basically categorize that under every day.  Lose weight with the cheesecake diet.  Look great this summer bouncing on a beach ball for 10 minutes!  Want killer abs?  Follow these three tips that are vastly different from last month’s seven tips that promised the same thing.

So, yeah.  July of 2005 is a pretty good guess.

I should be upfront and mention that this isn’t a post about CrossFit.  Not entirely.  This isn’t a post about working out either, but the large majority of the post will discuss that.  Today is my last day working at a pretty great place, a place I’ve been for 17 years and am leaving voluntarily to do other things.  Still computers.  I won’t scare you and say you’ll be seeing me blogging fulltime.  If there was a paycheck attached to taking goofy pictures of my GI Joe figures and posting them on the web, you’d probably see me doing that fulltime, but for the moment the dream of capitalizing on nostalgia and Hasbro is a distant one.  Maybe the world is a better place for it.  Admittedly, though, the world is a little less colorful without it.

Some people change jobs quite frequently.  It’s just a job after all.  Sometimes it becomes a way of life. When I first started, I was an intern and a sophomore in college.  A lot has changed since October of ’98.  In those 17 years, I’ve gotten married; witnessed the birth of my daughter; quit smoking; lost both my grandma and uncle on my mom’s side; lost two uncles and my grandma on my dad’s side; lost many good friends; graduated college; saw the Mets win two World Series make two World Series; bought a house; started a blog; published a few short stories; wrote considerably more unpublishable ones; become an uncle to two fantastic nieces and a nephew; started about 100 different projects with various levels of completion and success; learned basic home owner type stuff like unclogging drains; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  A summary of one’s life is fairly impressive when written out like that, but not listed anywhere above, in all those 17 years there’s not one mention of changing jobs.

What does any of this have to do with CrossFit?  Or, more importantly, what does CrossFit have to do with 17 years of employment?

Interesting that you should ask.

I first heard of CrossFit from a couple of coworkers.  It was early in the morning, and I was about ready to begin my workout in the gym located on-site.  The two of them were bouncing between exercises, almost in a haphazard way as near as I could tell, and after watching them do whatever it was they were doing I finally had to ask.  Typically I’m not one to ask these things.  I don’t care.  I rarely talk to people in the gym, and I hate it when people bother me.  I like to be left alone to do my thing and go on about my day. I’m not exactly anti-social, but I do like my personal time in the gym. In this instance, curiosity got the better of me.  Ron, a guy I barely knew at the time, told me about a few of CrossFit’s principles, explained a few of the workouts, and then recommended I visit the website.  That’s what it was at the time.  A website.  In the larger cities I’m sure there were affiliated gyms, but mostly it was website with crazy looking workouts and exercises I had never heard of. In those days, doing CrossFit was akin to connecting to Prodigy on a 9600 baud dial-up modem and checking poetry message boards for 90s equivalent likes.

I thought Ron and Lucas were crazy.  Honestly, it sounded less than appealing.  The website looked like it had been created by some kid in a garage.  There were pictures of guys in BDUs, carrying logs or some random object, and all the workouts looked geared towards military or service personnel.  I didn’t know what a muscle up was.  I’d never performed a snatch.  There was no logical reason to take 20 minutes and perform an unspecified number of rounds doing five rep max deadlifts and a rope climb.  It was ridiculous.  If there was an appeal it was that the workouts were vastly different than the standard bench press, squat, and recumbent bike workouts that were the staple of any respectable workout plan.  What, there’s not a day dedicated to back and biceps?  Well, this is just silly.  You guys can have at it.  I’m going to run on the treadmill.

It was probably a week later that I decided to give one of the workouts a try.  I was curious.  It wouldn’t be the main part of my workout.  I didn’t feel like running or riding the bike, so I figured I’d find something that could elevate my heart rate a bit and be done with it.  Most of the workouts on the site included exercises that I’d either never heard of or didn’t feel comfortable doing in volume.  Seriously, I was supposed to do power cleans at 135 pounds for 10 reps at a time?  I didn’t even know how to do one power clean, much less rep those things out.  After some searching, I stumbled on one that looked fairly easy.

You’ve most likely seen the Games on ESPN.  Terms like AMRAP and EMOM are pretty common nowadays, which speaks to how popular CrossFit has become. If you’ve seen these workouts on television, then you know that easy and WOD have never crossed paths before in the same sentence. The ones that look the easiest are typically the ones that leave you feeling the worst. Also, if you’re at all familiar with these workouts, I won’t insult you by explaining how CrossFit names its workouts. You probably know this.  If you don’t, then it’s easy enough to look these facts up.  I stumbled on a workout named Cindy.

I could do this one.  I was fit.  I’d finish this thing and call it a day.

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Those of you that have done this workout know that it’s not easy. Not if you try. There wasn’t a lot of information on CrossFit at the time, on Cindy as a workout, or really anyone that I could ask so I approached it like it was standard circuit training, even going so far as to do real squats instead of body weight squats. I wasn’t making a statement. I wasn’t trying to show Greg Glassman what was what. I really didn’t know any better. It didn’t matter. I started this workout full of hope and promise and ended as a winded, sweaty mess. It was brutal. I think, in total, that I completed seven rounds but it might have been nine. I can’t recall. Seven sounds too low, even with me repping 15 squats at 135 pounds. Okay, it was 2 plates on the Smith machine, which after you account for the assistance provided by the track, gravity, and the forced path probably equaled out to body weight squats.

Still.

This stuff was legit.

I was a guy who ran twice a week, lifted a couple times a week, and did some other cardio one other day. I was in pretty good shape. Nothing wiped me out like this crazy workout.

I wasn’t ready to commit 100%, but I was a believer that it was no joke.

In all my times working out, the only other times I had a moment of complete WTH where I felt somehow helpless but exhilarated all at once was when I first started hitting a heavy bag (still an insane workout) and when I bought my first pair of Olympic rings. My buddy Wayne came over that afternoon and we tried simple things like dips on them. I think I knocked out two before I called it a day. Sometimes you know things are going to change for you right when you do them, and the afternoon I completed Cindy was one of those.

I didn’t join an affiliate. I incorporated the workouts into my own, remaining on the fringes while I did my own thing. It was my own way of keeping my independence while reaping the physical rewards.

Years have gone by since then, and I’ve done many workouts. I’ve read many articles on fitness and have believed many “truths” at one time or another. I’ve gone from primarily running and lifting occasionally to primarily lifting and running occasionally. I perform Olympic lifts regularly, squat at least twice a week, and follow things like Competitors Training and Outlaw Way and other sites dedicated to turning people like me into Games athletes. I’m not in their class. I never will be. I enjoy the workouts and am always challenged by them, but there’s no way I’ll ever compete in anything.

I even joined an affiliate about a year back, though getting me in the door is always a challenge. If you’re ever in the Martinsburg area, stop into Lat 39. I’ve known the owners for nearly 1/2 my life, went to their wedding as they were at mine, and even watched Big Trouble in Little China with them. They’re good people is what I’m saying, so why not stop in and say hi.

Still, you might ask, why is this at all important?

Where I work(ed) there’s this tradition that when people leave they typically send an email where they extend kind regards and contact information. Not everyone does it, but it’s not uncommon. This isn’t my style. I don’t want to say goodbye to all of these people after 17 years because after seeing the same people for so many years they become more like a family than acquaintances. What if I leave someone off my list? My mind was a jumble of emotions all day, so trying to compose an email while thinking of whom to send it to was beyond my abilities. Writing a blog post, however, is easier for some reason.

Go figure.

CrossFit is important because this morning was my last day, and I commemorated the occasion by performing Cindy one more time. It probably won’t be the last time I do it. I’m sure of that. This is an ending in one sense, but I’m not retiring the workout. I won’t be maudlin here. It was my way of saying goodbye to everyone—even if they didn’t know it—and getting on with my life. It didn’t even have to be CrossFit. It could have been random workout X. Earlier in the week, I ran on the treadmill at work for the last time and had the best run I’d had in years. That wasn’t closure. Today was closure. I don’t know why.

I’d like to say I nailed it. I’d like to say that I set a new PR. Life doesn’t work out like that however. Oddly enough, I completed 17 rounds plus my pull-ups. You can’t even make this stuff up. Somewhere around the eighth or ninth round I knew was going to be in the 17 round range. This isn’t a PR. I’m well below the mark that I set a few years back. As always, the pushups got me.

So, for 17 years and some change I completed 17 rounds and some reps. I didn’t consciously slow down to hit those marks, but I probably lagged behind each round long enough to orchestrate things.

If you’re going for closure, make it symbolic as well.

“No horseshit, Jack.”

“No horseshit.”

Nov 02

And Then There Were None

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In the days to come we can discuss the Mets season. By all measures, it was remarkable. As the disappointment of giving away a World Series fades, as all the blunders and bad decisions are turned over and examined like clues from a Sherlock Holmes story written by Roger Angell, we’ll grow deaf to the echoes of Joe Buck reminding us the Royals can hit fastballs and smile wistfully at an amazin’ run.

First we have to transition from what is to what could have been. After, we we can discuss what was.

The end of the Mets 2015 season reminds me of Deborah Kerr’s famous line in Tea & Sympathy: “Years from now, when you talk about this—and you will—be kind.” Of course, I came to this line through Remington Steele, and believe me, it sounds a whole lot more optimistic coming from Pierce Brosnan. This would be a perfect time to discuss Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s poem “Casey At The Bat” as well, which even for me is jumping quite a bit, but that’s where I am at this moment: lots of thoughts, lots of ideas swirling around, and with little idea how to process them.

Hello, WordPress.

This was a tough Series for me. Not with the loss. These things happen. That the Mets punted three of these games, giving away Games 1, 4, and 5 because for some reason they didn’t feel like closing them out, is extremely frustrating. I grew tired of the myth of mystical KC that grew from the mainstream media—the constant reminders of how they never strikeout (you know who also didn’t strike out that much this season? The A’s, Braves, and Red Sox. A little sour grapes after reading and listening to that nonsense for a week) and how they somehow figured out the fastball after 100+ years of hitters trying.

I’m not bitter. I’m weary.

No. This was a tough week for reasons external to baseball. We were given our midterm for my grad school class, and if you’ve never worked on Class diagrams and CRC modeling, then believe me, it takes some time. More importantly, I turned in my notice for the job I’ve been working for 17 years, soon to start a new one next week.

This past week I spent cleaning out my cubicle—you accumulate a lot of things in 17 years—and for some reason I had printouts of the Mets schedules from ’98 through 2001. On each, I wrote down the result of each game and the winning and losing pitchers. Why? Maybe to feel closer to the team. It was the late 90s equivalent to writing a blog. There, in 2000, was written down the results from the 2000 Series and all its bitter reminders. I had flashbacks of Armando Benitez blowing late leads and Timo Perez jogging around the bases until it was time to not jog and by that time it was too late. Sigh. Not this time, though. This year would be different. This team would play without what-ifs.

Maybe not.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot on my mind that didn’t involve baseball, and here was the Series, so I compromised and took a break from writing. Honestly, it wouldn’t have been worth reading anyway. I can summarize a Series worth of articles like this: Eric Hosmer sort of sucks on defense, the Mets are horrid on defense, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are the real deal, and Mike Moustakas is fat. There you go. Those are the nice things I wanted to write. You didn’t want to hear about my take on the crummy broadcasting, the BS no-call on Salvador Perez’s check swing in Game 3, and Daniel Murphy’s fielding gaffs. This series basically exposed everything that was both great and awful about the Mets this season in five games: poor defense, a lack of offense beyond home runs, poor bullpen arms outside of Jeurys Familia, and allowing baserunners to go wild. But, there was also the starting pitching, Curtis Granderson, David Wright’s big Game 3, and Familia (I don’t care that he blew three saves. He pitched well despite those results).

All day yesterday I had this feeling that Matt Harvey was going to pitch the game of his life. Call it blogger’s intuition. With every chance I get, I constantly remind everyone that Harvey is the type of pitcher you want on the mound for games like this, that he wants the ball in games like this, and he didn’t disappoint. If there’s anything we can take from Game 5, anything we can take from this series in general, is that the Mets have a legitimate ace that shows up in the biggest games. Perhaps there wasn’t a Madison Bumgarner run in him. He didn’t finish off the ninth inning and give the city of New York something to discuss for five months into the beginning of next season. I care, but I don’t. Harvey proved me right last night. All those Buster Olney types that want to argue for trading him, all those people that want to still consider Harvey as the Mets savior as he brings back a bushelful of prospects and dreams of decades of dominance, should remember Game 5.

Not all aces pitch their best when it matters most.

I spent a long time trying to come up with a good reason why Terry Collins shouldn’t have pulled Harvey after walking Lorenzo Cain to start the ninth. Is that an odd thing to write after discussing Harvey’s dominance? Maybe. After the walk to Cain, Harvey was sitting at 108 pitches. I find it a legitimate question to ask. He’d owned Hosmer up to that point, striking him out with a fastball in the first and with one of the filthiest curves Harvey’s thrown all season in the fourth. Familia had thrown the previous two games. It was Harvey’s game to finish. None of them made sense. What I finally settled on was Collins was trying to send a message to Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard and the rest of the Mets team. He believes in them. Finish what you started. There’s a responsibility associated with being crowned an ace, with being given a flashy nickname like the Dark Knight. You assume a persona like that you damn well better step up, own it, and not hide from it when times are darkest.

Does that make Collins Commissioner Gordon?

None of that really made much sense to me from a practical sense. Bring in Familia, finish off the stupid game, travel to KC.

But, seeing as this week has been dealing with doubts and fears and excitements of my own unrelated to baseball, it made some sense. Sometimes you just have to do things because. The leap into the unknown and the belief in yourself, your decisions, and your abilities outweighs the possibility of failure. So, you know what? I still think he should have brought in Familia. Duh. Win the stupid game already.

So, to the people of Kansas City: enjoy it. To Eric Hosmer: your defense sucks but that was some great base running. To Mike Moustakas: eat up. I’m happy to see a team like the Royals win the Series. Believe it or not, I think it’s a great thing for baseball that a team that doesn’t buy its championships won for the first time in 30 years. I’m happy for guys like Joe Posnanski and Rany Jazayerli that have spent years writing about the Royals so eloquently can enjoy today and this offseason like it’s 1985 all over again. I don’t like it that it was against the Mets, but there’s always next year.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to say…maybe next year.

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    14 12.6
##   Curveball    18 16.2
##    Fourseam    47 42.3
##    Two-seam     7 6.31
##      Slider    25 22.5

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2 3 4 5  6 7 8 9
## Changeup  3 0 2 2 1  1 2 2 1
## Curveball 0 0 0 5 6  3 1 3 0
## Fourseam  4 3 5 6 9 10 3 2 5
## Two-seam  1 0 1 0 0  2 3 0 0
## Slider    5 7 2 2 3  1 0 2 3

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             4         8       16        0      7
## Called Strike                    1         1       14        2      1
## Foul                             3         2        8        2      6
## Foul Bunt                        0         0        0        0      1
## Foul Tip                         0         0        2        0      0
## In play, no out                  1         0        0        2      2
## In play, out(s)                  4         2        4        1      3
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        1        0      0
## Swinging Strike                  1         4        2        0      5
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Double                  0         0        1        0      0
## Field Error             0         0        0        0      1
## Flyout                  1         1        2        1      1
## Forceout                0         0        0        0      1
## Grounded Into DP        0         0        1        0      0
## Groundout               1         1        1        0      1
## Pop Out                 2         0        0        0      0
## Single                  1         0        0        2      1
## Strikeout               1         2        4        0      2
## Walk                    0         1        0        0      1

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   51.35         48.65     39.06     68.16

Note: Zone % is the number of pitches thrown that were considered in the strike zone; Out of Zone is the number of pitches thrown out of the strike zone; and O-Swing % and Z-Swing % relate to those pitches out of the zone and in the zone that were swung at by batters.

Calculations: I calculated the strike zone based upon the formula provided by Mike Fast in a post for Baseball Prospectus. O-Swing % = Swings at Pitches Out of the Zone / Total Pitches Out of the Zone, and Z-Swing % = Swings at Pitches In the Zone / Total Pitches In the Zone. Fangraphs has a great explanation regarding plate discipline, and I encourage you to read about it if you get a chance. After enjoying my site first, of course.

Pitch Types by Zone Location

##  Pitch Type In Zone Out of Zone O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##    Changeup       9           5     0.400     0.778
##   Curveball       6          12     0.333     0.833
##    Fourseam      25          22     0.182     0.400
##    Two-seam       6           1      1.00     0.667
##      Slider      11          14     0.571     0.818

Strikeouts by Description

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Slider
## Called Strike                    0         0        2      0
## Foul Tip                         0         0        2      0
## Swinging Strike                  1         1        0      2
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0      0

Standard Batting Lines Against Matt Harvey

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##  Alcides  Escobar  4  4 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      12
##      Alex  Gordon  3  2 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.000 0.333 0.000       8
##        Alex  Rios  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      13
##      Ben  Zobrist  4  4 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 0.250      17
##  Edinson  Volquez  2  2 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       5
##      Eric  Hosmer  4  4 1  1  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 0.500      15
##     Lorenzo  Cain  4  3 1  0  0  0 2  1   0  0 0.333 0.500 0.333      21
##   Mike  Moustakas  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       8
##    Paulo  Orlando  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       3
##   Salvador  Perez  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 85.8 87.4 90.3   -8.132     5.436       -8.015         4.017
##   Curveball 79.6 83.3 85.0    1.315    -4.105        1.664        -5.719
##    Fourseam 92.6 95.7 97.9   -5.372     9.225       -5.071         7.994
##    Two-seam 94.7 95.5 95.9   -6.773     6.869       -6.643         5.601
##      Slider 85.9 89.5 91.2    1.370     2.535        1.916         1.192

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate. As measured from the corner of home plate, the x-axis (horizontal) runs to the catcher’s right, the y-axis points at the pitcher, and the z-axis (vertical) runs up and down.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois and account for the elimination of both gravity and drag. The corrected averages more accurately reflect the true movement of the baseball.

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-11-02_Matt Harvey_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-11-02_Matt Harvey_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-11-02_Matt Harvey_Batters

Oct 22

The Mets Win the NL. No, Seriously

How amazing has Daniel Murphy’s ability to summon his inner Ken Griffey, Jr. been? He somehow usurped the story of the Cubs winning the 2015 World Series and made the conversation about him and the New York Mets. Not just the conversation. Murphy made casual fans root for the Mets, turning them from the guys who were a cute story with their pitching staff and their whiny fans to a team that had a legitimate shot at winning this thing.

It’s one thing to hit home runs and make people discuss financial windfalls for free agents to be. It’s another thing to make fans (interested, casual, and indifferent alike) forget how cool it would be if Back to the Future II really could predict a Cubs World Series win, 108 years without a title, and Theo Epstein and the 2004 Red Sox connection. This series had all those eerie, black cat path crossing markers associated with it that anything could have happened, and it took a tsunami of A-plus pitching and a Murphy homer barrage to quiet the Hollyween voodoo. Oh yeah, and along came Lucas Duda. I told you to not worry about Duda.

From what I gather, from the various posts I’ve read, the common sentiment about what happened to the Mets this season is one of disbelief. Yeah. That makes sense. Consider that at one point, the Mets starting pitcher for Game 4 Steven Matz (1-0) was the best hitter in the lineup when he made his major league debut against the Cincinnati Reds, and you can see how disbelief makes complete sense. If you make it through a post by a Mets beat writer or fan and don’t read “wow,” “I can’t believe,” or “they weren’t supposed to be here,” then they were trying exceptionally hard to keep those words out of the post. I know. I’ve been struggling to not write an entire post, so please indulge me for a moment while I get some of this out of my system.

Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here. Wow. I can’t believe this. They weren’t supposed to be here.

I don’t want to belabor the point, but would you please look at that lineup against the Reds again. That wasn’t a day for Terry Collins to sit his regulars. Those were the regulars. Here’s the lineup from the prior game against the Reds. Half of that lineup had an OBP below .300 with another precisely at .300. This wasn’t an offense built to score runs. This was an offense built to test a pitching staff’s tolerance for abuse. Disbelief makes absolute sense. I’m still gobsmacked that Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, and Bartolo Colon still have full use of their right arms. These guys pitched so many innings with the score hovering around “go F yourself” that I hoped the Wilpons sprung for each to sleep in a hyperbaric chamber as a means of keeping them youngish.

I’ve been enjoying these four and five run games. It wasn’t always like this. A sentence like this, form Jonah Keri’s preview of the Mets/Cubs series, sort of undersells how difficult it was for this team to score runs: “Coming into the trade deadline, the Mets offense was an abomination, averaging fewer than 3.5 runs per game and ranking dead last in the National League in runs scored.” He could have described the Mets offense as a government experiment in prolonged suffering and it would have worked just as well. It’s easy to laugh about plays like Dexter Fowler’s popup in the fifth that fell between Murphy and Curtis Granderson when the team has a 6-1 lead. When that score is 0-0 or 2-1 that brings out a bit of overreaction.

So, yeah, we’ll say disbelief is apt.

I’m old enough to remember 1986, 2000, and 2006. I remember them all fondly, and like any fan of a team that isn’t there every year (you know, those of us who aren’t Yankees, Cardinals, or Giants fans) these years of postseason appearances take on an idealized, nearly mythical quality. With those years, we had an idea the team might be good. The Mets won 90 and 98 games in ’84 and ’85; the team nearly made the playoffs in ’98, lost the NLCS in ’99, and beat the Cardinals in 2000 to get a lesson in Derek Jeter heroism in the Series; and the team was coming off a season above .500 in ’05, which gave people an idea that the breaks could go their way.

Despite all this reminiscing there was a game played last night, which is rather obvious considering I’m discussing the Mets moving on to the Series. In said game, Murphy hit another home run, making it six games in a row this postseason. That is a new major league record. Murphy has seven homers in the postseason, a new Mets record. He also tied a Mets record by recoding 16 hits in a single postseason. Duda hit a three-run homer in the first and a two-run double in the second, driving in five runs total. This ties a Mets postseason record, which had also been tied by Granderson in that 13-7 smack down of the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS.

Travis d’Arnaud hit a home run in the first, his second in this series. He went back-to-back with Duda. The Mets could have scored 10+ runs last night. It was a possibility. Wilmer Flores was stranded after a leadoff triple in the sixth. The team failed to score with the bases load and one out in the seventh. These are nitpicky things.

Steven Matz pitched well, lasting 4 2/3 innings. He motored through the first three innings and ran into trouble in the fourth after Jorge Soler hit a leadoff double, Kris Bryant walked, and Anthony Rizzo singled to load the bases. Starlin Castro hit a laser beam into David Wright’s mitt, and then a Kyle Schwarber groundout to Duda scored the Cubs only run off the lefty. Colon relieved Matz in the fifth after the Fowler popup/single and Soler singled.

Tuesday, huh? Wow.

 

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    12 15.8
##   Curveball    13 17.1
##      Sinker    51 67.1

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1  2 3  4 5
## Changeup  3  0 4  3 2
## Curveball 2  2 3  5 1
## Sinker    8 11 9 16 7

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Sinker
## Ball                   6         5     19
## Called Strike          1         3     12
## Foul                   1         2      6
## In play, no out        0         0      4
## In play, out(s)        2         0      7
## In play, run(s)        0         1      0
## Swinging Strike        2         2      3

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##           Changeup Curveball Sinker
## Double           0         0      1
## Flyout           0         0      1
## Groundout        1         1      4
## Lineout          0         0      2
## Pop Out          1         0      0
## Single           0         0      3
## Strikeout        1         2      1
## Walk             0         0      2

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   56.58         43.42     13.82     40.65

Note: Zone % is the number of pitches thrown that were considered in the strike zone; Out of Zone is the number of pitches thrown out of the strike zone; and O-Swing % and Z-Swing % relate to those pitches out of the zone and in the zone that were swung at by batters.

Calculations: I calculated the strike zone based upon the formula provided by Mike Fast in a post for Baseball Prospectus. O-Swing % = Swings at Pitches Out of the Zone / Total Pitches Out of the Zone, and Z-Swing % = Swings at Pitches In the Zone / Total Pitches In the Zone. Fangraphs has a great explanation regarding plate discipline, and I encourage you to read about it if you get a chance. After enjoying my site first, of course.

Pitch Types by Zone Location

##  Pitch Type In Zone Out of Zone O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##    Changeup       4           8     0.250     0.750
##   Curveball       6           7     0.286     0.333
##      Sinker      33          18     0.111     0.545

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Sinker
## Called Strike          0         0      1
## Swinging Strike        1         2      0

Standard Batting Lines Against Steven Matz

##          Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##   Anthony  Rizzo  2  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       7
##  Austin  Jackson  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       3
##      David  Ross  2  1 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.000 0.500 0.000       6
##   Dexter  Fowler  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      10
##     Javier  Baez  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##     Jorge  Soler  3  3 2  1  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000       9
##     Kris  Bryant  2  1 0  0  0  0 1  1   0  0 0.000 0.500 0.000      13
##  Kyle  Schwarber  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##  Starlin  Castro  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5
##     Travis  Wood  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 83.2 84.7 85.7    8.744     4.633        8.511         3.432
##   Curveball 76.5 78.8 81.7   -4.864    -7.023       -5.523        -8.358
##      Sinker 92.4 94.6 96.5    8.602     6.260        8.201         5.221

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate. As measured from the corner of home plate, the x-axis (horizontal) runs to the catcher’s right, the y-axis points at the pitcher, and the z-axis (vertical) runs up and down.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois and account for the elimination of both gravity and drag. The corrected averages more accurately reflect the true movement of the baseball.

Average (MPH) Velocity for Pitches by Starters Last Night:

2015-10-22_Steven Matz_BoxPlot

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-22_Steven Matz_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-22_Steven Matz_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-22_Steven Matz_Batters

Oct 22

MLB LCS Heat Check Wednesday, October 21

heatIndexHere you’ll find information regarding the pitchers that light up the radar gun each and every night. I’ve listed for both starters and relievers the top average pitch velocity with a heading for type. It doesn’t equate to quality of an outing or take into consideration the end result of the pitch (sometimes really, really good fastballs go a long way), but it’s fun.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Edinson Volquez Fourseam 96.42 4
Edinson Volquez Sinker 95.99 61
Steven Matz Sinker 94.56 51
Jason Hammel Fourseam 93.16 22
Jason Hammel Two-seam 92.46 8
Marco Estrada Fourseam 90.09 54
Marco Estrada Cutter 88.24 11
Jason Hammel Slider 87.12 6
Edinson Volquez Changeup 85.03 10
Jason Hammel Changeup 84.70 3

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Danny Duffy Two-seam 98.40 2
Kelvin Herrera Fourseam 98.28 6
Roberto Osuna Fourseam 97.43 3
Danny Duffy Fourseam 97.12 18
Roberto Osuna Two-seam 96.70 1
Hector Rondon Two-seam 96.60 2
Jeurys Familia Fourseam 96.57 3
Aaron Sanchez Two-seam 96.17 6
Hector Rondon Fourseam 96.07 6
Fernando Rodney Two-seam 95.96 13

Oct 21

NLCS Game 3, Where Murphy Hits a HR or Something

By now you’ve probably heard that Daniel Murphy is doing something extraordinary.  With his home run in the third off of Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, Murphy has now hit a homer in five straight games.  That’s sort of impressive.  It ties Carlos Beltran for the major league record for consecutive postseason games with a home run, and it now makes it six in this postseason, which gives Murphy the Mets record for most postseason homers in team history.  Technically, too, it gives him the most homers in a single Mets postseason even if that goes without saying.  I’m sure you expected all of this as much as I did.
Murphy’s home run didn’t win the game for the Mets.  The team scored five runs, and at the time, Murphy’s solo shot put the team up 2-1.  Jacob deGrom (1-0) would allow a solo shot to Jorge Soler in the fourth to tie the game, a ball hit in a similar spot to Murphy’s, as if the baseball gods were evening things out for all of the wackiness to come.  There are lots of reasons why the Mets won on Tuesday night and are now up 3-0 in the NLCS, and Murphy’s home run wasn’t the only one.  No.  The Mets might want to thank Murphy’s legs that have suddenly morphed into those of Bart Allen’s for a greater share of this team’s win.  They won’t begrudge him his home runs, though.  Those he can hit as he sees fit.
I found it interesting in the seventh when Cal Ripken, Jr. discussed Murphy’s hustling down the line and beating Kris Bryant‘s throw by discussing how a runner lunging for the bag actually slows the runner down.  The lunge, and headfirst slide as well, takes fractions of a second longer than running through the bag with a normal stride.  I suppose this is true.  I’ve heard it so many times over the years, particularly in regards to the slide, that it might as well be a fact.  Since Ripken will most likely be the Nationals next manager (speculation) and he’s a Hall of Famer, I naturally assume he’s privy to HOF type inside information.  It’s like the Book of Secrets, only it discusses when to pitch out and when to suicide squeeze.  Also, let’s face it; there wasn’t a major leaguer around during Ripken’s tenure that understood angles and positioning as well as he did, so if he says something slows you down then I’m not arguing the point.
I thought it was an interesting point because this is Game 3 of the NLCS and what the heck makes sense at all in this series?  Murphy can’t be stopped.  Lucas Duda can’t be started.  deGrom can’t get going until around the second inning or so.  Ripken’s comment was factual and great commentary, and it came right after discussing the spin on the ball and how Bryant likely couldn’t get a good grip on the ball.  It was great commentary only I was staring at that replay of Murphy’s lunge, willing that foot to go all Reed Richards and stretch out enough to tap that bag before Bryant’s throw reached Anthony Rizzo‘s glove.  If ever there was a comment that was perfectly reasonable yet ran counter to half the viewer’s wishes here it was.
Was that a critical play?  If Murphy doesn’t hustle out of the box or if Bryant makes the throw, there are two outs with David Wright on third.  Maybe Joe Maddon decides to pitch around Yoenis Cespedes who had already doubled and singled in the game.  Pitch to Duda?  That makes more sense than daring Cespedes to deliver a key two-out hit, something he did routinely for his new team.  Only Murphy hustled, stretched, defied the statistics, and made it to first in time.  Still there was a base open.  The idea of a double play getting the Cubs out of it was too much to pass up, so Cespedes was afforded the opportunity to drive in Wright, and Murphy hustled onto third on the throw.  It was his hustle that beat Rizzo’s throw home on Duda’s groundout to first, and while Murphy’s run made it 5-2 you can make a real argument that he helped with both runs in the inning.  In the box score, the real plus/minus of Murphy’s contributions will remain something of a blank ledger (on the field for two Cubs runs while credited with an RBI and run scored), but he once again showed a complete game that helped the cause.  He might not be a 30/30 guy, but this has all the makings of a 30 for 30 someday.
***
Speaking of Lucas Duda, his struggles have been well documented this postseason.  So far, counting the LDS and the LCS, Duda is hitting a rather anemic .125/.192/.125 without an extra base hit and striking out in 13 of his 24 official at-bats.  His greatest contribution might have been the walk that led to the Murphy steal in Game 5 of the LDS.  Last night, there was some honest to goodness effort on Duda’s part to break out of this funk by going to the opposite field (a ball Kyle Schwarber nearly overran in the first) and his sacrifice bunt in the sixth.  Does anyone else want Duda to stop worrying about this nonsense?  Take your hacks, Duda.  Stop worrying about that gaping expanse of open field from left-center to the line.  One of these games we’re going to see Duda rip a double to right that finds an open spot in the shift.  It won’t be a popup.  It won’t be a strikeout.  It won’t be a weak grounder.  When that time comes, be it today or tomorrow or whenever, we’ll all know that the next at-bat will bring a ball that lands 10 rows deep in right-center.
All those people arguing that Terry Collins should sit Duda and play Kelly Johnson or Michael Cuddyer are crazy.  Duda is slumping.  Whatever.  There will be a game that he single-handedly wins for this team, and then we’ll forget all about these last two weeks.
***
I won’t get too crazy discussing Jacob deGrom’s start.  That sounds a little crazy simply because I list all of his pitching information below, but his start has been well documented elsewhere, and from a first inning where he threw 29 pitches he somehow lasted seven innings.  Like with Murphy, I’m at the point that nothing surprises me about deGrom anymore.  For the game he allowed two earned runs, both on home runs, and the first one to Schwarber in the first was basically hit with a strong kid flicking his wrists.  Did Schwarber hit that ball or serve it into left?  Guy is strong.
On the game, deGrom lasted seven innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits (three of them in the first inning) and a walk while striking out seven.

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    16 16.0
##   Curveball    26 26.0
##    Fourseam    23 23.0
##    Two-seam    28 28.0
##      Slider     7 7.00

Pitch Type by Inning

##            1 2 3 4 5 6 7
## Changeup   3 3 5 3 0 0 2
## Curveball  4 3 3 5 6 3 2
## Fourseam   8 5 1 2 1 5 1
## Two-seam  12 3 5 3 2 1 2
## Slider     2 0 0 1 2 0 2

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             8         9       10        3      3
## Ball In Dirt                     0         0        0        1      0
## Called Strike                    2         8        4        4      0
## Foul                             1         2        3        3      2
## Foul Tip                         0         0        0        1      0
## In play, no out                  0         0        0        2      0
## In play, out(s)                  0         4        2        8      0
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        0        2      0
## Swinging Strike                  4         3        4        4      2
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        1         0        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Flyout           0         2        1        3
## Groundout        0         2        0        4
## Home Run         0         0        0        2
## Lineout          0         0        1        0
## Pop Out          0         0        0        1
## Single           0         0        0        2
## Strikeout        3         1        2        1
## Walk             0         0        0        1

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   34.00         66.00     39.39     55.88

Note: Zone % is the number of pitches thrown that were considered in the strike zone; Out of Zone is the number of pitches thrown out of the strike zone; and O-Swing % and Z-Swing % relate to those pitches out of the zone and in the zone that were swung at by batters.

Calculations: I calculated the strike zone based upon the formula provided by Mike Fast in a post for Baseball Prospectus. O-Swing % = Swings at Pitches Out of the Zone / Total Pitches Out of the Zone, and Z-Swing % = Swings at Pitches In the Zone / Total Pitches In the Zone. Fangraphs has a great explanation regarding plate discipline, and I encourage you to read about it if you get a chance. After enjoying my site first, of course.

Pitch Types by Zone Location

##  Pitch Type In Zone Out of Zone O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##    Changeup       4          12     0.333     0.500
##   Curveball       7          19     0.368     0.286
##    Fourseam       8          15     0.333     0.500
##    Two-seam      13          15     0.533     0.692
##      Slider       2           5     0.400      1.00

Strikeouts by Description

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Called Strike                    0         0        1        0
## Foul Tip                         0         0        0        1
## Swinging Strike                  2         1        1        0
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        1         0        0        0

Standard Batting Lines Against Jacob DeGrom

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Anthony  Rizzo  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      10
##    Chris  Coghlan  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       4
##    Dexter  Fowler  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      15
##      Javier  Baez  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##      Jorge  Soler  3  3 1  0  0  1 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 1.333      14
##      Kris  Bryant  3  3 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##   Kyle  Hendricks  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       4
##   Kyle  Schwarber  3  2 1  0  0  1 0  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 2.000      16
##   Miguel  Montero  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      13
##   Starlin  Castro  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       7
##  Tommy  La  Stella  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       1

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 84.5 85.9 87.7   -8.822     2.601       -8.788         1.306
##   Curveball 76.8 80.6 83.4    3.680    -3.078        3.908        -4.468
##    Fourseam 93.4 94.9 96.2   -4.965     10.04       -4.640         9.004
##    Two-seam 86.1 92.9 96.4   -9.137     6.158       -9.074         4.971
##      Slider 86.8 88.6 89.7   0.2257     3.673       0.6872         2.372

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate. As measured from the corner of home plate, the x-axis (horizontal) runs to the catcher’s right, the y-axis points at the pitcher, and the z-axis (vertical) runs up and down.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois and account for the elimination of both gravity and drag. The corrected averages more accurately reflect the true movement of the baseball.

Average (MPH) Velocity for Pitches by Starters Last Night:

2015-10-21_Jacob DeGrom_BoxPlotBelow are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-21_Jacob DeGrom_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-21_Jacob DeGrom_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-21_Jacob DeGrom_Batters

Oct 21

MLB LCS Heat Check Tuesday, October 20

heatIndexWhat does it mean when Chris Young, Kyle Hendricks, and R.A. Dickey appear in the heat check list? It’s playoff baseball! Here you’ll find information regarding the pitchers that light up the radar gun each and every night. I’ve listed for both starters and relievers the top average pitch velocity with a heading for type. It doesn’t equate to quality of an outing or take into consideration the end result of the pitch (sometimes really, really good fastballs go a long way), but it’s fun.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Jacob deGrom Fourseam 94.91 23
Jacob deGrom Two-seam 92.86 28
Jacob deGrom Slider 88.56 7
Chris Young Fourseam 87.77 50
Kyle Hendricks Cutter 86.73 6
Kyle Hendricks Sinker 86.52 38
Jacob deGrom Changeup 85.89 16
R.A. Dickey Fourseam 83.20 2
Chris Young Changeup 82.95 2
Chris Young Slider 82.18 26

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Kelvin Herrera Fourseam 98.61 7
Kelvin Herrera Two-seam 98.00 1
Hector Rondon Fourseam 96.88 5
Hector Rondon Two-seam 96.50 3
Jeurys Familia Sinker 95.82 9
Ryan Madson Fourseam 95.54 7
Pedro Strop Two-seam 95.37 3
Justin Grimm Fourseam 95.35 4
Liam Hendriks Fourseam 95.35 10
Pedro Strop Fourseam 95.30 2

Oct 19

NLCS Game 2, Syndergaard, & Murph!

What have we learned about Noah Syndergaard (1-0) after Sunday night’s NLCS Game 2? His changeup has really improved over the course of the year for one. At the beginning of the year, Syndergaard was all fastballs and balls that broke for dirt. In June, the pitch was considered in his repertoire in name only with using it about 3% of the time. If you received three percent on a savings account in this day and age you’d be ecstatic, but that’s not the kind of percentage that makes you believe a pitcher has any faith in one of his pitches. I’d be willing to bet you could talk a major league pitcher into trying out a knuckleball three percent of the time, but that wouldn’t turn David Price into R.A. Dickey. Three percent is typically when you throw in a few practice sliders to the pitcher.

As you can well imagine, since I’m spending a considerable amount of time harping on it, Syndergaard’s use of the changeup has increased over the course of the year. Sometimes he’d sit around 12%, jumping up to around 25% of the time in starts against Boston and Atlanta in late August, early September starts. Typically when he’d used the changeup as his primary secondary pitch, it was because he didn’t have a great feel for the curveball, but what was remarkable about last night is that his breaking ball was sharp as well. In the first inning Syndergaard struck out Kyle Schwarber on back-to-back changeups, and they were particularly nasty offerings. In the third, after showing Javier Baez three straight 96+ mph fastballs, Syndergaard struck him out with a pair of curves.

Heck, Syndergaard even tossed in a couple of sliders in the later innings. You know, something around 2-3%.

When Syndergaard did throw his fastball (and he did throw his fastball around 60% of the time) he didn’t bring that 100-mph heater that makes all us geeky fans overly excited. No. Syndergaard reached back a few times and hit 98, stayed around 96-97, but the way he mixed speeds and started batters out with changeups and curves that fastball moved with a bit more authority on occasion. Actually, the way Syndergaard worked the corners and the knees, he reminded me of the way Jacob deGrom sometimes gets when he’s locked in. On his second strikeout of Schwarber in the third, he painted the inside black at the knees like he was throwing darts.

We’ll call this a successful start.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Mets have two rookies making starts in this NLCS. That’s pretty remarkable. Lots of teams have rookie pitchers. Look at the Reds. They managed to spend the entirety of the second half of the season giving rookies an opportunity to start games, but that didn’t mean the Reds ended up in the postseason. Rookies take their lumps. Learning on the job is tough, and major league hitters aren’t looking to help these guys out much. The thing about Syndergaard, and to a lesser extent for Steven Matz because he made so few starts during the season due to injuries, is that he doesn’t seem like a rookie anymore.

Is it familiarity? The 150 innings he threw during the regular season? Whatever it is he’s pitched so well in the postseason that it’s been a non-factor so far.

***

Yesterday I was thinking about this series. I was on a hike with a couple of good friends (you should remember Chuck from his Sportsmaster post) and my wife, thinking about baseball as I tried to forget about tumbling down Maryland Heights. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked before. Not on purpose. My knees are currently not thanking me, but it was a great day for it, and it was also a great day to think about baseball. Anyway, I was thinking about what this Mets lineup will look like when David Wright really gets going. Was his back bothering him? All of the extra days off in these series was hopefully giving him enough rest, but was it simply some kind of funk at the plate. He’s looked solid in the field, even making a great play in the fifth inning of last night’s game.

As an aside, was anyone else terrified when Wright stole second in Game 1? It was a stolen base that kicked off the journey of spinal stenosis discovery, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch another Wright steal without holding my breath a little.

Wright may not have proven last night that his bat is now considered a lethal weapon, but he absolutely tattooed one to center over Dexter Fowler’s head for an RBI double, bringing in Curtis Granderson for the game’s first run. While I love the idea of a continued Daniel Murphy home run barrage, I can’t imagine Joe Maddon will continue to have his pitchers throw to him if he’s hitting homers in every game. We saw that in the third inning when Jake Arrieta (0-1) intentionally walked Murphy to get to Yoenis Cespedes.

What world is this when pitchers are trying to get to Cespedes?

Nothing about that third inning likely produces a run if not for Granderson. In the second inning, Granderson flashed a little leather by robbing Chris Coghlan of a home run:

Then in the third, Granderson worked Arrieta for a walk, stole second, forcing Maddon to walk Murphy to set up the double-play, and then Granderson stole third, scoring on Cespedes’ infield single to Baez at short. He also singled in the first to score on Wright’s double. Yesterday I discussed how Granderson has sort of been the quiet force in this lineup, but he wasn’t particularly quiet yesterday. He was all over the place, being a Cubs menace for nine great innings.

So, Daniel Murphy:

Let me get this right. In four straight games, Murphy has hit home runs against Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, and now Arrieta. If you’re looking for descriptions, let’s go with this: the greatest pitcher in the world; a former Cy Young winner with a 1.66 ERA on the season; a big ticket free agent signing and three-time All Star; and one of the frontrunners for the NL Cy who had the greatest second half of pitching in MLB history.

Okay, sure. Why the heck not?

Murphy just tied Mike Piazza for the most homers in Mets postseason history, and I think we’re now approaching Carlos Beltran in 2004 level of unconsciousness. Beltran belted eight in the greatest postseason prior to free agency, and Murphy is making a nice run at Beltran’s quantity of highlights. I don’t know if Murphy will bank the contract that Beltran did, but I’m at the point that I’d be willing to start a Kickstarter project to keep him in New York for another year or two. How do they not offer him arbitration?

Sign me up for another year of this.

 

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    15 14.9
##   Curveball    23 22.8
##    Fourseam    30 29.7
##      Sinker    31 30.7
##      Slider     2 1.98

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2 3 4 5 6
## Changeup  4 3 1 2 2 3
## Curveball 4 4 7 2 3 3
## Fourseam  7 5 7 2 3 6
## Sinker    5 2 5 6 4 9
## Slider    0 0 0 1 1 0

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Sinker Slider
## Ball                             7        11        4     12      0
## Ball In Dirt                     0         3        0      0      0
## Called Strike                    0         4        7      9      0
## Foul                             1         2        9      4      1
## Foul Tip                         0         0        0      1      0
## In play, no out                  0         0        2      0      0
## In play, out(s)                  2         0        3      3      0
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        0      1      0
## Swinging Strike                  5         2        5      1      1
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0      0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Sinker
## Double           0         0        0      1
## Flyout           1         0        1      1
## Groundout        0         0        2      2
## Pop Out          1         0        0      0
## Single           0         0        2      0
## Strikeout        2         2        3      2
## Walk             0         0        0      1

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   50.50         49.50     24.24     59.41

Note: Zone % is the number of pitches thrown that were considered in the strike zone; Out of Zone is the number of pitches thrown out of the strike zone; and O-Swing % and Z-Swing % relate to those pitches out of the zone and in the zone that were swung at by batters.

Calculations: I calculated the strike zone based upon the formula provided by Mike Fast in a post for Baseball Prospectus. O-Swing % = Swings at Pitches Out of the Zone / Total Pitches Out of the Zone, and Z-Swing % = Swings at Pitches In the Zone / Total Pitches In the Zone. Fangraphs has a great explanation regarding plate discipline, and I encourage you to read about it if you get a chance. After enjoying my site first, of course.

Pitch Types by Zone Location

##  Pitch Type In Zone Out of Zone O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##    Changeup       4          11     0.364      1.00
##   Curveball       5          18     0.222     0.200
##    Fourseam      24           6     0.333     0.708
##      Sinker      17          14    0.0714     0.412
##      Slider       1           1      1.00      1.00

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Sinker
## Called Strike          0         0        1      1
## Foul Tip               0         0        0      1
## Swinging Strike        2         2        2      0

Standard Batting Lines Against Noah Syndergaard

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Anthony  Rizzo  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##    Chris  Coghlan  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##    Dexter  Fowler  3  2 1  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 0.500      15
##     Jake  Arrieta  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##      Javier  Baez  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##      Kris  Bryant  3  3 2  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000      15
##   Kyle  Schwarber  3  3 0  0  0  0 3  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      13
##   Miguel  Montero  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##   Starlin  Castro  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##  Tommy  La  Stella  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       7

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 87.5  89. 90.5   -10.35     6.259       -10.57         4.348
##   Curveball 78.0 80.6 83.0    9.059    -1.721        9.546        -3.733
##    Fourseam 96.2 97.5 99.2   -3.429     11.51       -3.461         9.849
##      Sinker 96.3 97.6 99.1   -7.965     9.799       -8.125         7.957
##      Slider 86.3 86.8 87.2    4.660    -2.110        4.787        -4.186

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate. As measured from the corner of home plate, the x-axis (horizontal) runs to the catcher’s right, the y-axis points at the pitcher, and the z-axis (vertical) runs up and down.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois and account for the elimination of both gravity and drag. The corrected averages more accurately reflect the true movement of the baseball.

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_BoxPlot 2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Batters 2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Pitches 2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Stance

Oct 18

Sometimes You Dream Big

IMG_1146

A Recondo and Dazzler mashup? You bet!

I was watching Yordano Ventura pitch in Game 2 of the ALCS yesterday. That’s a cruddy opening isn’t it? I was eating chips yesterday. Well, so what? While watching Ventura throw 98-mph fastballs to the likes of Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, I began to wonder two things: what would happen if there was a mashup between Marvel’s Dazzler and GI Joe’s Recondo, and what would I do if I threw a 98-mph fastball? The first question was easy enough to answer with a little help from Photoshop, but the second took some thought. I had the afternoon free to think about such things, however, so I thought I’d share what I’d do if I threw really, really, ridiculously hard.

  • Reach all the juiciest, tastiest apples at the top of apple trees. There’s one that can be said to be called the unattainable fruit. Well, it’s attainable for me. Maybe you can eat those apples that have been picked over and palmed by germy-handed toddlers. Not this guy. I’m going for the place where worms can’t reach. Look it up. There’s probably some kind of fact somewhere that says worms can’t breathe that high off the ground. Or they get tired climbing. Or the birds that perch that high pick them off.
  • Plant one in Chase Utley’s ribs.
  • Strike out The Whammer.
  • Turn off the lights. We have push button lights in our house. They’re pretty sweet. I don’t have to go through all the trouble of twisting my wrist like you suckers, risking carpal tunnel. My curveball also suffers because I don’t build up those muscles, but I consider the tradeoff worth it in the long run. Still. I’m pretty lazy. I have to stand up, walk over to the switch, and push a button. There’s a satisfying click. What if I miss? I could sprain a finger. A 98-mph fastball would solve a few problems immediately.
  • Stand in front of a radar speed sign and test my stuff.
  • Never once throw a changeup. That’s weak, bro.
  • See if I could make plastic 2-liters explode, preferably in slow motion.
  • Have Daniel Murphy say I threw every speed.
  • Would not become a Real American Hero. You can’t convince me Hardball was a legitimate GI Joe character.
  • Feel better about all those made up characters in a lifetime of video games that had my name and finished the season 32-0. With a 98-mph fastball? I don’t feel so bad now. Maybe I convince myself I really did those things.
  • Throw out Starlin Castro from leftfield.

 

  • Reverse the Earth’s rotation to travel back in time. I could do this. I’d throw so hard I could grow younger instead of older like mere mortals. I’d make a few timely bets. Maybe I’d even edit a few of these posts.
  • Dominate snowball battles.
  • Win everything at carnivals. From cement weighted milk jugs to guess your speed, I’d be a force. How many balloons can a man pop with a 98-mph fastball? Forget those dull darts. My heater melts balloons and wins the hearts of kewpie dolls everywhere. The mouse may find the blue diamond, but this cat is hunting for Motley Crew t-shirts.
  • Dare police to ticket me.
  • Grab the most top shelfiest of all items at every store. Ladder? Go get the stock clerk if you want. This guy brought his own extendable arm. You know they only put the best stuff up there, far out of the roving eyes of average people, right?
  • Rule duckpin bowling.
  • Clean my gutters.
  • Create my own hot sauce brand.
  • Become an ambassador. A guy with a 98-mph heater makes world leaders listen. That’s a guy with power.
  • Whatever I want.

Oct 18

NLCS Game One, Harvey, and Murphy’s Heroics

Yesterday I’m doing a bit of channel surfing and for some reason I end up on the NFL Network. I never watch the NFL Network. It’s a fairly useless channel in my opinion because who the heck wants 24-hours of football analysis? Let me rephrase that. Who the heck wants 24-hours of guys talking about random guy’s leadership qualities and intangibles? Eh. I’m sure 90% of the people love the NFL Network, but consider me the in the 10% that thinks there’s enough talk about the NFL on Sunday.

This is all because I’m bitter my fantasy teams are horrible.

I stopped on the channel specifically because the show was dedicated to Madden. A show dedicated to a video game? Okay. I’ll bite. How could the NFL Channel discuss a video game for 30 minutes? Would it be like all those stupid DraftKing/FanDuel segments that talk about players you should pick up? Would it give hints on how to draft a super-duper-star lineman and go all J.J. Watt on another team? What could it be. Well, it was two guys talking about the Kansas City Chiefs playbook, then it cut away to Maurice Jones-Drew fumbling around on a controller while trying to explain how to break tackles. In a video game. I feel like I came to the end of television as a viable means of communication. Now we’re just going all Jackson Pollock and hoping something is made from it.

The point of mentioning my find was after seeing that and then seeing Michigan blow their playoff chances on one of the weirdest plays imaginable, I was ready for anything last night. Would the Mets win 50-1? Would the Cubs somehow score 9 in the ninth with two outs and the bases empty, all on passed ball strikeouts? Would TBS spend 30 minutes of its pregame discussing the Wilpon’s family vacation in Cabo. Anything was possible, right? This could be something special.

I’m pretty sure we’re seeing something special here. What’s the ceiling with Daniel Murphy at this point? I apologize for asking all of these questions today, using some silly literary technique to pique interest, but I’m at a loss, and I’d imagine most people are as well. He’s so ridiculously hot that he crushes his fourth home run of this postseason in the first inning then makes a diving stop to finish off the game. Short of throwing his trademark jumper to Travis d’Arnaud on Starlin Castro’s RBI double, is there anything he can’t do at this point? Murphy has four homers in this postseason, which is one behind Mike Piazza for the Mets all-time record for homers in career postseason games. Piazza hit four homers in 2000 against the Cardinals and Yankees and another against the Braves in ’99.

I’m a huge Piazza fan, but I’d be happy to see Murphy zip past that number. Maybe on Sunday against Jake Arrieta.

The other day I mentioned how I was convinced Matt Harvey (1-0) would show up big time for this game and quiet some of the doubters. I feel like I’ve been defending Harvey for so long, and it didn’t make any sense. Why were people so down on this guy all of a sudden? Maybe he had some missteps along the way this season, but he’s still the same guy that New York fell in love with in 2013. He’s a legitimate ace, and all this ridiculous talk about needing to trade him because people would blame him for bad outings, failed postseason dreams, Global Warming, Mr. Met’s migraines, etc. was silly. He’s 26, throws 97-mph bullets, and loves the spotlight of pitching in NYC.

You don’t trade a guy like that. You offer him $200M over seven years.

So how did Harvey do yesterday? He came out pitching. Not over-throwing. Not trying to make a point with adrenaline-fueled fastballs. He struck out Dexter Fowler on a changeup. He struck out Kyle Schwarber on a nasty curveball. He had five strikeouts through three innings, six through four, and he didn’t allow his first hit until the fifth inning when Castro doubled in Anthony Rizzo on a ball that Juan Lagares should have caught but misread. Yeah. Maybe there were a few near home runs by David Ross or Schwarber lineouts thrown in there, but Harvey pitched about as well as people could have hoped he would pitch. Will the fans and media finally get off this guy’s back already?

In all fairness, Harvey wasn’t particularly sharp in his last (first) postseason start against the Dodgers, and there have been plenty of examples where the extra time off and the innings limit have caused Harvey all kinds of frustration and embarrassment. I’m thinking of his seven earned runs allowed against Washington (you know, the game where the Mets came back from being down 7-1 and essentially caused all of D.C. to say screw it) and the lights out performance against the Yankees where he left after five innings. I don’t care, though. He’s the same guy that gave the fans hope back in 2013, and he’s the same guy that embraces being a cult hero in the largest media market in the world. He runs with not from being called the Dark Knight for Gotham’s sake.

On the night, Harvey finished with 7 2/3 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out nine. Harvey’s night ended on a Schwarber home run that might still be in the air. According to ESPN, the ball traveled 461 feet. I think I hit a golf ball that far once. Maybe.

d’Arnaud’s homer to center that hit the apple traveled 436 feet. I thought that was a Michael Taylor-esque shot. Schwarber decided to tack on a first down atop of that so he could take a quick tour of all the bases.

Last night didn’t seem like the kind of night where hitting the ball 430+ feet was possible. It was windy and cold. It was October on the East Coast, which should be interesting as this series continues and if additional baseball is played in the coming weeks. I’m sure it’s something the Mets players will gladly deal with.

On another note, how about Curtis Granderson? He drove in five runs in the NLDS, and he came up huge last night with a two-out RBI single and a sac fly that drove in the Mets fourth run. He’s so understated most of the time that you kinda forget that Granderson is a big reason why this team is here in the first place. While Yoenis Cespedes is showing off his upper deck power and cannon for an arm, Murphy is writing his way into Mets postseason history, and Wilmer Flores decides to tap his glove thirty times before throwing to first (get rid of the ball already!), Granderson takes great at-bats, gets big hits and drives in runs. I was skeptical of the Granderson signing before the 2014 season. $60M over four years seemed like a lot of money, then, for those mid-30s years.

I was wrong. Again.

Tonight is onto game two with Noah Syndergaard matched up against Arrieta. Well, after seeing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice each in the last series, I can’t imagine Arrieta will bring a lot of night shakes.

LOL.

Let’s hope Arrieta has another shaky outing like against St. Louis.

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    12 12.4
##   Curveball    15 15.5
##    Fourseam    43 44.3
##    Two-seam     5 5.15
##          IN     3 3.09
##      Slider    13 13.4
##        <NA>     6 6.19

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2 3 4 5 6  7 8
## Changeup  3 1 1 1 0 4  2 0
## Curveball 2 1 1 3 1 3  2 2
## Fourseam  2 3 7 4 7 3 13 4
## Two-seam  1 1 2 0 0 0  1 0
## IN        0 0 0 0 3 0  0 0
## Slider    1 1 2 1 6 0  2 0

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam IN Slider
## Ball                   2         8       12        2  0      1
## Ball In Dirt           0         0        0        0  0      1
## Called Strike          4         2       13        2  0      2
## Foul                   1         1        4        0  0      0
## Hit By Pitch           0         0        1        0  0      0
## In play, no out        0         0        0        0  0      1
## In play, out(s)        1         1        7        0  0      4
## In play, run(s)        0         0        1        0  0      1
## Intent Ball            0         0        0        0  3      0
## Swinging Strike        4         3        5        1  0      3

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##              Changeup Curveball Fourseam IN Slider
## Double              0         0        0  0      1
## Flyout              0         0        2  0      0
## Groundout           0         1        2  0      3
## Hit By Pitch        0         0        1  0      0
## Home Run            0         0        1  0      0
## Intent Walk         0         0        0  1      0
## Lineout             1         0        2  0      0
## Pop Out             0         0        1  0      0
## Single              0         0        0  0      2
## Strikeout           2         1        4  0      1
## Walk                0         0        1  0      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   52.58         47.42     27.41     55.16

Note: Zone % is the number of pitches thrown that were considered in the strike zone; Out of Zone is the number of pitches thrown out of the strike zone; and O-Swing % and Z-Swing % relate to those pitches out of the zone and in the zone that were swung at by batters.

Calculations: I calculated the strike zone based upon the formula provided by Mike Fast in a post for Baseball Prospectus. O-Swing % = Swings at Pitches Out of the Zone / Total Pitches Out of the Zone, and Z-Swing % = Swings at Pitches In the Zone / Total Pitches In the Zone. Fangraphs has a great explanation regarding plate discipline, and I encourage you to read about it if you get a chance. After enjoying my site first, of course.

Pitch Types by Zone Location

##  Pitch Type In Zone Out of Zone O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##    Changeup       6           6     0.333     0.667
##   Curveball       5          10     0.300     0.400
##    Fourseam      26          17     0.118     0.538
##    Two-seam       2           3      0.00     0.500
##          IN       0           3      0.00       NaN
##      Slider       6           7     0.429     0.833
##        <NA>       6           6     0.500     0.500

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Slider
## Called Strike          0         0        2      0
## Swinging Strike        2         1        2      1

Standard Batting Lines Against Matt Harvey

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Anthony  Rizzo  3  1 0  0  0  0 0  1   1  0 0.000 0.667 0.000       9
##    Chris  Coghlan  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       2
##       David  Ross  2  1 0  0  0  0 1  1   0  0 0.000 0.500 0.000      11
##    Dexter  Fowler  4  4 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      16
##      Javier  Baez  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       8
##       Jon  Lester  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##      Jorge  Soler  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      11
##      Kris  Bryant  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      11
##   Kyle  Schwarber  4  4 1  0  0  1 1  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 1.000      11
##   Starlin  Castro  3  3 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.667       7
##  Tommy  La  Stella  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 85.5 87.4 90.5   -9.600     6.971       -9.484         5.217
##   Curveball 77.8 82.6 84.6    1.037    -2.287        1.377        -4.236
##    Fourseam 90.5 94.4 96.5   -6.439     10.52       -6.094         8.960
##    Two-seam 93.7 94.5 95.2   -8.908     8.242       -8.674         6.381
##          IN 78.9 79.8 80.5   -8.780     8.720       -6.908         7.900
##      Slider 87.5 89.1 91.4  0.02615     4.965       0.5867         3.245
##        <NA>   NA   NA   NA       NA        NA           NA            NA

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate. As measured from the corner of home plate, the x-axis (horizontal) runs to the catcher’s right, the y-axis points at the pitcher, and the z-axis (vertical) runs up and down.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois and account for the elimination of both gravity and drag. The corrected averages more accurately reflect the true movement of the baseball.

Average (MPH) Velocity for Pitches by Starters Last Night:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_BoxPlot

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_Batters

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