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Aug 22

Gio Gonzalez: About Last Night (August 21)

The Nationals now enter a rather favorable portion of their schedule. Entering Friday, they play 16 of their next 19 games at home (a nine game home stand against the Brewers, Padres, and Marlins with a quick three game series against the Cardinals followed by seven against the Mets and Braves), and if ever there’s a time to gain some ground in the East you’d think this would be the time. Game one of 19 didn’t go exactly as planned as the team fell 10-3 to the Brewers and slipped below .500 again. Worse, for the Nats, is that they lost ground in the East and now sit five back.

Dig a hole.

At least the team wore the pretty blue shirts to kick off the series against Milwaukee. Those are nice. The stars and stripes Curly W is a nice touch, and the pinstripes down the pants look solid too. Nice touch. They didn’t look so great when Yunel Escobar crashed into the wall chasing a foul ball, and good grief did this team not need any additional bad news in regards to injuries. I haven’t heard any news if it’s a serious injury, but he was pointing to the back of his neck, so that’s not particularly promising.

As for Gio Gonzalez (9-6), his night went well enough early on. He was effectively Gio-wild in the first, striking out Ryan Braun on a curveball inside and getting Adam Lind to chase a fastball away that wasn’t particularly close to the strike zone.

I’d like to take a moment to make an excuse for Anthony Rendon. It’s what I do. I think he’s a fantastic third baseman, and if he’s playing third all season long he makes that play on Jean Segura’s grounder in the third. It was ruled a hit, but Rendon makes that play 9 out of 10 times. Anthony, I forgive you. Segura steals second. Jonathan Lucroy doubles over the defensive mess that is Jayson Werth in left. Then there’s a wild pitch because it looked like Jose Lobaton and Gonzalez got confused on the calls. One Braun sac fly that Bryce Harper had no business making that close later, and the score is now 2-1. That entire inning one was one big defensive mess.

Didn’t it seem like one of those nights?

Lucroy’s single in the fifth hits Gio in his landing leg. Sure, why not? Like Reggie Hammond said in Another 48 Hours, “Anyone else want a limp.”

Did that make a difference? Eh. He certainly grooved a fastball to Lind for a long double, and that 0-2 fastball to Khris Davis caught way too much plate. He also had Domingo Santana 0-2, but Santana worked the count full, fought off some good pitches, and then hit a fastball barely over the left field wall to make the score 5-1. The pitch caught a little too much of the inside part of the plate, and Santana rocketed one into the railing. Who knows for sure if his leg was bothering him. It didn’t look like it. It probably stung more because everything seemed to be collapsing around him.

Once again, Gio failed to get past the fifth inning, and he’s now pitched five or fewer innings in five of his last six starts. It was only three years ago that Gonzalez finished third in the NL Cy Young award voting, and now it’s a big deal if he can get enough strikes and swings and misses on his curve to last into the sixth. I know the definition of a quality start isn’t necessarily the best way to gauge a pitcher’s performance, but Gonzalez hasn’t been able to meet the minimum innings requirement in 10 of his 23 starts. That puts a strain on the bullpen, and, not to mention, sorta negates the point of building a rotation filled with great starting pitching. Pitching just over half the game isn’t really money well spent, is it?

Enough complaining. I gripe. Whatever. On the night, Gonzalez pitched five innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits and two walks while striking out five. He looked sharp in those home blues, however.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    15 16.5
##   Curveball    16 17.6
##    Fourseam    29 31.9
##    Two-seam    31 34.1

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Ball                   6         8        3       14
## Ball In Dirt           0         1        0        0
## Called Strike          0         1        6        5
## Foul                   3         1       10        3
## Foul Tip               0         1        1        0
## In play, no out        0         0        2        4
## In play, out(s)        2         1        1        4
## In play, run(s)        1         0        3        0
## Swinging Strike        3         3        3        1

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

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

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   48.35         51.65     27.11     55.84

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       7           8     0.250     0.857
##   Curveball       6          10     0.100     0.667
##    Fourseam      20           9     0.778     0.450
##    Two-seam      11          20     0.200     0.727

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Curveball Fourseam
## Foul Tip                0        1
## Swinging Strike         2        2

Standard Batting Lines Against Gio Gonzalez

##             Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##          Adam  Lind  3  2 1  1  0  0 1  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 1.000      16
##    Domingo  Santana  3  3 1  0  0  1 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 1.333      12
##      Elian  Herrera  2  1 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.000 0.500 0.000       9
##       Hernan  Perez  3  3 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.667      11
##        Jean  Segura  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       9
##       Jimmy  Nelson  2  2 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       6
##    Jonathan  Lucroy  3  3 3  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.333      10
##  Khristopher Davis  3  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  1 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##         Ryan  Braun  3  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  1 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
## 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 80.0 82.9 84.7    8.158     1.867        7.684        0.6497
##   Curveball 76.7 78.7 80.3   -5.696    -8.897       -6.612        -10.47
##    Fourseam 90.9 92.4 93.9    6.697     8.311        6.042         7.225
##    Two-seam 89.3 91.1 93.2    9.449     5.076        9.025         3.793

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:

2015-08-22_Gio Gonzalez_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-22_Gio Gonzalez_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-22_Gio Gonzalez_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-22_Gio Gonzalez_Batters

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