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Aug 10

Bartolo Colon: About Yesterday Afternoon (8/9)

Fly ball to Michael Conforto. Fly ball to Yoenis Cespedes. Grounder to Lucas Duda. Sharp grounder past Daniel Murphy by Richie Shaffer. Fly ball to Conforto. Pop up to Duda. Fly ball to Kelly Johnson. Sharp grounder past Wilmer Flores by Shaffer. Long double by John Jaso. Fly ball. Pop up. Home run by Shaffer.

Maybe it went like that. It felt like it went like that. My mind sort of went into a trance watching the at-bats go by and Conforto backpedaling for another catch. Oh, there was that whole Johnson no catch that should have been a catch that led to the first Rays run, but there were no walks, no strikeouts (by Bartolo Colon that is. Mercy did the Mets make up for that absence by striking out 13 times against Chris Archer and company), and a whole lot of increasingly hard hit balls with each passing inning.

Colon is a strike throwing machine, and if he went the Steve Trachsel route and didn’t throw hard and nibbled and lasted five excruciatingly long innings then I might just lose my mind and become a soccer fan. Long swaths of time without much happening is sort of like watching the Mets batting from the third inning on. He started 20 of the 28 Rays he faced with strikes, and that sort of consistency will constantly keep you ahead in the count, but it doesn’t force the batters to worry too much if a strike is coming.

Strikes are nice. They’re especially nice when they remain down in the zone. When they get elevated, much like the pitch to Jaso for a double and the pitch to Shaffer for the home run, they typically go a long way. Let’s just say the margin for error for Colon is a lot less than for someone like Noah Syndergaard. It’s one thing to elevate when you’re cranking it up to 97-mph.  It’s another thing to elevate when you’d have to throw the pitch twice to reach 97, and even then it would likely be close.

Surprisingly, Colon threw more sliders yesterday than I’ve seen from him this year. There were 13, which doesn’t sound like all that much when discussing 83 total pitches, but for Colon, that’s the equivalent of a 50/50 split.

Colon has now allowed four or more runs in 9 of his 22 starts, and I’m always a little surprised that number isn’t more. He essentially throws a two-seamer to the left side of the plate and lets it run back over the corner. Sometimes he surprises the batter with a fourseamer that doesn’t have the late movement and there’s a popup or fly ball. The slider he throws occasionally just to prove that he can. I think.

Why am I discussing Colon’s repertoire rather than the game’s particulars? I can’t remember any. My brain just went numb from watching that game. I remember the first time watching The Fast and the Furious it did the same thing. Not once did I think about the plot. Not once did I think about plausibility. Grown men driving down the road at 100, climbing atop a sports car and jumping onto a tractor trailer. Heck yeah! Wait, Jesse, don’t drive off like that you silly fool. Ooooh, Johnny is going to be so mad. No. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker took me to a magical place of entertainment coma.

Think of yesterday as the same thing only opposite. On the afternoon, Colon went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits and no walks while striking out nothing except coherent thought. 14 of his outs were fly balls by the way. I didn’t make that part up. That’s 70% of his outs. Oh man, it was like watching a snowball fight with fungo bats. I swear, right now, I’m seeing old men in coach’s cleats spitting tobacco juice and slapping popups to Conforto until his feet blister.

I call that image Sunday.

The Mets probably could have swept that series. The Mets also could have been swept, so there’s a silver lining in those Tampa rain clouds.

What a weird day. Max Scherzer wields a lineup destroying, right arm of pure thunderbolts and gives up four runs. Nationals lose. Bartolo Colon throws wiffle ball fastballs with the consistency of a JUGS machine and gives up four.

I’m going to watch some G.I. Joe cartoons.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup     6 7.23
##    Fourseam    27 32.5
##    Two-seam    37 44.6
##      Slider    13 15.7

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                   3        9        5      6
## Called Strike          0        4       12      4
## Foul                   0        4        3      3
## Foul Bunt              0        1        0      0
## In play, no out        0        1        6      0
## In play, out(s)        3        5       10      0
## In play, run(s)        0        2        1      0
## Swinging Strike        0        1        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Fourseam Two-seam
## Double                  0        1        1
## Flyout                  1        3        3
## Grounded Into DP        0        0        1
## Groundout               1        0        2
## Home Run                0        0        1
## Lineout                 0        2        3
## Pop Out                 1        0        0
## Sac Bunt                0        0        1
## Sac Fly                 0        1        0
## Single                  0        1        5

Strikeouts by Description

## [1] "No strikeouts today!"

Strikeouts by Batter

## [1] "No strikeouts today!"

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 77.8 80.5 82.9   -6.470     7.185       -6.369         5.640
##    Fourseam 86.3 89.2 92.3   -2.103     10.93       -1.977         9.690
##    Two-seam 83.8  86. 89.0   -7.927     6.141       -7.760         4.776
##      Slider 78.3 80.6 83.4    3.378     2.023        4.019        0.5471

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 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:

2015-08-10_Bartolo Colon_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-10_Bartolo Colon_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-10_Bartolo Colon_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-10_Bartolo Colon_Batters

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