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Aug 25

Jacob deGrom: About Last Night (August 24)

You’re really going to make me do this? Seriously? You are a cruel, sadistic individual to make me relive last night’s Jacob deGrom start. It was a tough night. It brought back all those mean, dark thoughts about the Phillies that I’ve suppressed for so long. At one point my wife asked if I wanted to watch something on television, which I typically reply with, “Yeah, I’m watching it,” but last night it became: “Anything but baseball.”

Shhhh, don’t tell her. I secretly watched it on my iPad.

This was supposed to be the triumphant return of David Wright. I’m all about narratives, and wasn’t this just about perfect. The Mets sit five games up in the division, traveling to Philadelphia after an offensive onslaught in Colorado, and here comes the return of Wright for the final quarter of the season.

Then the night started weird.

Cesar Hernandez grounded out, but it wasn’t a ground out because the umpires thought the ball hit him. The replays didn’t look like it hit him, but I couldn’t really tell one way or the other, so deGrom goes back to work. Then he walks Hernandez. On five balls. Home plate umpire Tom Hallion lost the count, probably because of the whole Hernandez out but not an out groundout and here we are.

This game reminded me of the game deGrom pitched against the Yankees earlier in the season. Every fastball he threw anywhere near the plate was hit hard somewhere. Perhaps it was a lack of movement. His location with the pitch wasn’t the best I’ve seen from him, but the Phillies were all over that pitch no matter where it was located. Ryan Howard hit a 96-mph fourseamer to the opposite field, and Cameron Rupp absolutely CRUSHED a home run to centerfield that landed in the bullpens. ESPN has that home run listed as 449 feet, but that seems like a low estimate. That fastball was basically middle of the plate, and Rupp, an extremely large man, got every part of that pitch.

It didn’t matter what deGrom threw honestly. It got so bad he basically abandoned the fastball by the beginning of the third and started throwing curveballs and changeups almost exclusively, pitching backwards. I was hoping the umpires would make a special allowance and make every at-bat just one pitch like in gym class softball. In the third deGrom started Cody Asche off with a swinging strike and I’d convinced myself that that was it. Asche was done, and it was now Domonic Brown’s turn to bat. The first strike Brown saw he hit 346 feet for a three-run homer, so maybe this wasn’t the best plan either.

I guess you could argue that deGrom was also a victim of poor planning a bit of bad luck. Hernandez’s walk in the first was probably an out, so you could erase one of those runs, and Brown’s home run in the third probably doesn’t happen if Daniel Murphy is playing behind Howard on first and then has time to field Andres Blanco‘s grounder and turns two. Maybe. In that case, we’re talking about a deGrom outing that lasts four innings instead of 2 2/3. It’s possible he figured out why his fastball wasn’t moving all that well.

This wasn’t a night for deGrom. The real story was the return of Wright, and like a man who understands how to grab headlines in New York City he promptly crushed a homer in his first at-bat. If you haven’t heard, the teams combined for 11 home runs, tying a NL record and one shy of the major league record, and the Mets hit eight home runs and totaled 15 extra base hits, which are both new team records. Wilmer Flores hit two home runs, drove in five, and scored three runs. Since the non-trade of Flores, he’s responded with four home runs and driven in 14 runs in 20 games. Down 7-2, the Mets turned it one and won 16-7. Wow.

Sometimes these narratives write themselves.

This was deGrom’s shortest outing of his career. On the night he pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs, six earned, on eight hits and three walks while striking out three. He allowed three home runs, which is tied with the most he’s allowed in a game this season. The other time he allowed three was against the Yankees.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    16 19.5
##   Curveball    20 24.4
##    Fourseam    16 19.5
##    Two-seam    25 30.5
##      Slider     5 6.10

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                   8         3        6       11      3
## Ball In Dirt           0         1        0        0      0
## Called Strike          2         3        0        7      0
## Foul                   2         4        6        2      0
## In play, no out        1         0        1        1      2
## In play, out(s)        0         3        1        1      0
## In play, run(s)        0         1        2        0      0
## Swinging Strike        3         5        0        3      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##              Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Bunt Pop Out        0         0        0        1      0
## Double              0         0        0        0      1
## Field Error         0         0        0        0      1
## Groundout           0         0        1        0      0
## Home Run            0         1        2        0      0
## Lineout             0         2        0        0      0
## Single              1         1        1        1      0
## Strikeout           1         2        0        0      0
## Walk                1         0        1        1      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   40.24         59.76     25.10     49.70

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           9     0.222     0.571
##   Curveball       6          14     0.571     0.667
##    Fourseam       7           9     0.333     0.714
##    Two-seam      13          12      0.00     0.538
##      Slider       0           5     0.400       NaN

Strikeouts by Description

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

Standard Batting Lines Against Jacob DeGrom

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##      Adam  Morgan  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##    Andres  Blanco  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##     Cameron  Rupp  2  1 1  0  0  1 0  1   0  0 1.000 1.000 4.000       8
##  Cesar  Hernandez  3  1 0  0  0  0 1  2   0  0 0.000 0.667 0.000      18
##       Cody  Asche  2  2 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 1.000       9
##    David Herrera  2  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       8
##    Domonic  Brown  2  2 1  0  0  1 1  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 2.000       9
##    Freddy  Galvis  2  2 2  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.000       7
##      Ryan  Howard  2  2 2  0  0  1 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 2.500       7
## 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 84.6 86.4 88.2   -7.836     2.558       -7.819         1.138
##   Curveball 77.8 80.7 83.1    3.369    -3.526        3.735        -5.153
##    Fourseam 93.7  95. 95.9   -5.141     8.009       -4.810         7.058
##    Two-seam 87.5 94.5 96.0   -8.656     6.011       -8.498         4.831
##      Slider 88.2 88.9 89.8  -0.3960     1.938      0.05679        0.5174

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:

2015-08-25_Jacob DeGrom_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-25_Jacob DeGrom_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-25_Jacob DeGrom_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-25_Jacob DeGrom_Batters

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