Aug 11

Gio Gonzalez: About Last Night (8/10)

The good news for Washington is that Ian Desmond has been hitting the ball with authority again. After a fairly awful first half of the season where he hit .211/.255/.334 with seven home runs in 84 games, he’s hitting .277/.341/.578 with seven home runs over the last 23 games. This is important because he hit another two homers last night, driving in the first two Nationals runs with a two-run homer in the first.

Gio Gonzalez (9-4) didn’t need much more than that. The Nationals did, as Doug Fister allowed three runs in the ninth (we have a Carl Crawford sighting!) in his learn on the job bullpen change, but Gio pitched well in the warm Los Angeles night air. He tossed eight innings, and after Gio lasted five or fewer in his past three starts the Nationals had to be excited by Gonzalez making it into the eighth for the first time this season. He’d only made it into the seventh inning seven times (in 20 prior starts), and he’d only completed seven innings of work four times. The Nationals are in a stretch of 20 straight days without an off day, including this 10-game West Coast swing, so it was a nice break for the bullpen.

Except Fister that is.

The Dodgers got their hits. Gonzalez allowed seven of them, but he only walked one and he struck out six to limit any damage. One reason Gio made it into the eighth was that the Dodgers were extremely aggressive. Of the first nine batters, only one of those saw more than three pitches, Enrique Hernandez in the second, and most of those at-bats ended after two pitches. An efficient Gio or an aggressive Dodgers? It doesn’t matter. The result is still the same. Gio and his big sweeping curveball (take note of that strikeout of Yasiel Puig to end the third inning. Mercy, is that pitch beautiful) took the first game of the road trip against the West’s first place team. I guess. Maybe. I haven’t checked the standings, and after Pittsburgh laid waste and devastation to LA this weekend who knows.

For the night, Gonzalez tossed eight innings (it feels good to read that doesn’t it?), allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out six.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    22 18.8
##   Curveball    23 19.7
##    Fourseam    63 53.8
##    Two-seam     9 7.69

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2 3 4  5 6  7  8
## Changeup  0 4 2 1  0 9  2  4
## Curveball 2 0 6 2  4 4  3  2
## Fourseam  2 8 7 4 10 8 11 13
## Two-seam  3 1 1 1  0 2  0  1

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Ball                             6        11       20        1
## Ball In Dirt                     1         2        0        0
## Called Strike                    3         3       10        3
## Foul                             3         3       11        1
## Foul Bunt                        0         0        1        0
## In play, no out                  1         0        5        1
## In play, out(s)                  3         1       11        3
## Swinging Strike                  5         1        5        0
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         2        0        0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Double           0         0        2        0
## Flyout           0         0        1        2
## Forceout         1         0        1        0
## Groundout        2         1        4        0
## Lineout          0         0        2        1
## Pop Out          0         0        2        0
## Sac Bunt         0         0        1        0
## Single           1         0        2        1
## Strikeout        0         3        3        0
## Triple           0         0        1        0
## Walk             0         0        1        0

Strikeouts by Description

##                           Curveball Fourseam
## Called Strike                     0        1
## Swinging Strike                   1        2
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)         2        0

Strikeouts by Batter

##      Batter Name Strikeout(s)
##    Jimmy  Rollins            2
##     Joc  Pederson            1
##  Scott  Van  Slyke            1
##      Yasiel  Puig            2

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 81.7 84.4 86.0    8.405     4.509        7.924         3.022
##   Curveball 76.2 78.6 80.6   -6.059    -7.369       -6.787        -9.119
##    Fourseam 89.9 92.4 94.6    6.660     8.249        6.166         7.216
##    Two-seam 88.7 91.3 93.3    9.167     5.932        8.801         4.765

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:

2015-08-11_Gio Gonzalez_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-11_Gio Gonzalez_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-11_Gio Gonzalez_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-11_Gio Gonzalez_Batters

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