Sep 06

Bartolo Colon: About Last Night (September 05)

In this episode of revolving door infielder pick ‘em, starting at first for your New York Mets is Eric Campbell. Over the last four games, the team has started Michael Cuddyer, Daniel Murphy, Kelly Johnson, and Campbell. What does Campbell do with his opportunity? He turns a sweet double-play on an Ichiro Suzuki grounder in the second, went 1-for-3, and was smacked on the hand in the second by an Andre Rienzo fastball.

There was a game played. Despite all the attention spent on Matt Harvey announcing his doctor-prescribed innings limit (which will hit 180 innings after about two more starts) prior to the game, the Marlins and the Mets decided to play the game anyway. Scott Boras approved this decision, and here we are.

You know you’re watching an out of town broadcast (non SNY) when half of the discussion on Bartolo Colon (13-11) is spent discussing his weight. Yeah. I think we get it. He’s a bigger guy. Do we really need Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton to spend 30 minutes of conversation on Colon’s “surprising athleticism” or a sport by sport account where bigger players can theoretically excel? I’d have to go through the earlier broadcasts, but I vaguely remember these two having the same conversation earlier in the season. Also, why is it my default option with Directv? Good work on occasionally discussing the game, though. Right before Colon’s behind the back flip in the sixth, we did get this little nugget of brilliance: “When you look at Bartolo Colon, you don’t think PEDs.” They actually pay these guys real money? The Miami sunset was pretty, though, so thanks.

In that regard, I too will finally decide to discuss this game.

One of the things I like to do when I write up these recaps/examinations is to look at how the game’s starter has used his pitches over the course of the season. It’s a way to see how a starter has changed over the season to keep batters guessing and to see little time capsules on what pitches were working that night. Colon is pretty easy. He’s always 75-80% fastballs. Mostly he relies on the two-seamer, but he’ll occasionally throw his fourseamer enough to make the split close. I bring this up because Colon has now thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings after last night’s complete game shutout. That streak covers his last three starts and a relief appearance against Boston, but what it also includes is an increase in the use of his changeup. Prior to his start against Philadelphia on August 26, Colon tossed his changeup three or four times a game. It was there. I imagine he didn’t really throw it all and it was either the PITCHf/x algorithms mislabeling the pitch or the ball came out of his hand awkwardly. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Since then, though, Colon is throwing his changeup about 10-15 times a game. It isn’t enough to make you think he’s suddenly morphed into James Shields, but it’s interesting to see he’s giving batters something else to think about.

Last night for Colon wasn’t exactly dominating. There were Marlins on base every inning it seemed, but Colon limited that damage with some timely double plays (three of them total), and when the Marlins hit the ball hard it found a Mets glove waiting for it. Colon made his pitches. He worked the corners like he does, and lets just say home plate umpire Laz Diaz didn’t exactly squeeze the strike zone. I only remember one inning where the Marlins threatened to score when in the fourth Martin Prado and Justin Bour each singled and the Marlins had two on with one out. Derek Dietrich then flew out to right and Ichiro grounded out. Threat over, and after that it was behind the back flips and good times.

Yesterday I discussed how Jacob deGrom approached Bour’s at-bat in the fourth, attacking him with changeups until he singled up the middle. In the second inning of last night’s game, Colon approached Bour in a similar fashion. Six pitches. Three fastballs. Three changeups. Bour is a free swinger and will attack a fastball, and early in the count he’s susceptible to the change, wildly over-swinging. He protects well, as far as I can tell in these few games, and he worked another single. This time it was a bloop single to centerfield, so if we’re discussing damage control I’ll take weakly hit bloopers over rockets over the right-centerfield fence like Bour did against the Nationals starters.

On the night, Colon threw nine scoreless innings and allowed nine hits while striking out two. According to Michael Baron with Just Mets it was the first Mets complete game this season and the first by a Mets starter since Zach Wheeler threw one against Miami June 19th of last season.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    14 14.0
##    Fourseam    25 25.0
##    Two-seam    50 50.0
##      Slider    11 11.0

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                   4        6       13      3
## Called Strike          1        8       10      4
## Foul                   4        5        7      0
## In play, no out        1        2        5      1
## In play, out(s)        2        3       15      2
## Swinging Strike        2        1        0      1

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Double                  0        0        1      0
## Double Play             0        0        1      0
## Flyout                  1        1        2      0
## Grounded Into DP        0        0        2      0
## Groundout               1        1        6      0
## Lineout                 0        1        2      2
## Pop Out                 0        0        2      0
## Single                  1        2        4      1
## Strikeout               0        0        1      1

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##     58.         42.00     35.71     62.07

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           8     0.500     0.833
##    Fourseam      17           8     0.375     0.471
##    Two-seam      28          22     0.318     0.714
##      Slider       7           4     0.250     0.429

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Two-seam Slider
## Called Strike          1      0
## Swinging Strike        0      1

Standard Batting Lines Against Bartolo Colon

##            Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##      Andre  Rienzo  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       2
##     Casey  McGehee  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       1
##  Christian  Yelich  4  4 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 0.250      15
##    Cole  Gillespie  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       2
##    Derek  Dietrich  4  4 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 0.250      12
##    Devaris Gordon  4  4 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 0.250       7
##     Ichiro  Suzuki  4  4 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      14
##    Jacob Realmuto  3  3 2  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000      13
##       Justin  Bour  4  4 2  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500      13
##      Martin  Prado  4  4 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 0.250      11
##      Miguel  Rojas  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      10
## Warning in rm(x): object 'x' not found

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 79.8 81.9 83.1   -7.770     5.922       -7.710         4.442
##    Fourseam 86.2 89.4 91.7   -4.400     10.50       -4.218         9.239
##    Two-seam 83.3 87.5 90.4   -8.890     5.868       -8.828         4.568
##      Slider 79.4 81.9 85.8    1.740     3.733        2.272         2.421

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 back point 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 upward.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois nd 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:

2015-09-06_Bartolo Colon_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-09-06_Bartolo Colon_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-09-06_Bartolo Colon_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-09-06_Bartolo Colon_Batters

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