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Sep 05

Jacob deGrom: About Last Night (September 04)

One thing I find impressive interesting about Mets games lately is that you never quite know what the infield is going to look like. One day Wilmer Flores is playing short, the next he’s playing the second, and then he won’t be seen for a few days. Michael Cuddyer starts at first. Daniel Murphy starts at first. Murphy hurts his quad, Cuddyer has wrist tendonitis, and Kelly Johnson who was playing second moves over to first. Thank goodness David Wright is rounding into form. All the different targets at first base might begin to make his head spin. Certainly Terry Collins would prefer to stop the carousel at first by simply penciling in Lucas Duda’s name into the lineup card, but, you know, injuries.

I wonder if Jacob deGrom could do it all over again, he’d challenge Justin Bour with another fastball up or go to the curve 2-2 rather than throw his changeup again. What? Did I write that? Aren’t I the one that wants to write sonnets to deGrom’s change and have repeatedly begged him to throw more of them? I am.

After starting off the inning by allowing a Martin Prado double (an at-bat that nearly ended on a close 1-2 slider on the outer black), deGrom starts Bour off with a fastball up. He then goes fastball low and outside for ball two.  deGrom throws Bour three straight changeups, resulting in two ugly swings and a foul ball, but on the third changeup you can see Bour getting solid contact on that pitch. deGrom goes back upstairs with a 96-mph fastball near Bour’s eyeballs that Bour fouls off. Finally, deGrom returns with a changeup that Bour slaps up the middle that glances off a sliding Ruben Tejada’s glove and Prado scores the game’s first run. Bour didn’t exactly hit the stitching off the ball, but he wasn’t exactly fooled by the pitch either. Perhaps a fastball up and in would have served deGrom better.

Ultimately the Marlins recorded four straight hits, five total in that fourth inning, and they scored three runs off of deGrom. The Bour at-bat didn’t necessarily change anything, though Bour did drive in Prado with his single and came around to score on a J.T. Realmuto sacrifice fly. If Tejada reaches that ball on the slide he might have had Bour at first, and that entire paragraph is replaced with musings on if deGrom wishes he had that hanging slider to Derek Dietrich or the fastball to Marcell Ozuna back. An interesting AB. In this next at-bat against Bour, deGrom attacked him with fastballs and threw him one changeup, so maybe I’m not completely out of my mind here.

It doesn’t take a pitching whisperer to explain that fourth inning. deGrom started elevating his pitches, catching too much of the middle of the plate, and the Marlins made him pay. Give the Marlins credit here, though. They worked deGrom in that inning.  After Christian Yelich finished the third with an eight pitch at-bat, Prado led off the fourth with six pitches, Bour saw seven pitches, and Miguel Rojas fouled off some good pitches to work a six pitch single. To finish the inning Dee Gordon saw seven pitches. deGrom threw 33 pitches in the fourth after throwing 35 pitches total through the first three.

deGrom allowed those three runs on the night, but he had trouble putting away Marlins with his fastball. Instead of getting the big strikeouts, the Marlins batters fouled off those pitches, and his fastball up that serves him so well just wasn’t there unless you discuss the Gordon strikeout to start the game where he waved at a pitch nearly over his head. deGrom also didn’t have a particularly sharp breaking ball.

The bigger concern here is if deGrom is starting to feel fatigued as he nears the end of his first full year in the major leagues. I imagine yes. deGrom has thrown nearly 30 more innings than he did last year, and for most of those innings it’s been in low scoring games where the Mets haven’t given him any run support. I like to call that time the pre-trade deadline era. In those PTD starts, he essentially had to throw a shutout to have even the remotest of a chance to win the game. It’s funny to think that a guy who struck out 10 in his last start might be feeling fatigued, but there wasn’t much life on that fastball last night. Maybe this six-man rotation with the extra day off will help out here.

On this night, deGrom pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs on nine hits and struck out four. The good news is if he you pretend that fourth inning didn’t happen deGrom pitched a shutout over five innings and allowed only four hits. It’s like the old Kids in the Hall skit. I’m sticking my thumb in front of my eye: “there’s nobody home!”

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    10 10.2
##   Curveball     9 9.18
##    Fourseam    41 41.8
##    Two-seam    16 16.3
##      Slider    22 22.4

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                   2         2        8        7      6
## Ball In Dirt           0         2        0        0      0
## Called Strike          0         3        9        1      1
## Foul                   3         1       10        3      5
## Foul Bunt              0         0        1        0      0
## Foul Tip               0         0        1        0      0
## In play, no out        0         0        1        3      3
## In play, out(s)        2         0        6        2      3
## In play, run(s)        1         1        0        0      1
## Swinging Strike        2         0        5        0      3

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

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

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   45.92         54.08     40.68     65.33

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       4           6     0.500      1.00
##   Curveball       3           6     0.167      0.00
##    Fourseam      20          21     0.476     0.600
##    Two-seam       9           7     0.143     0.778
##      Slider       9          13     0.538     0.778

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Fourseam
## Called Strike          1
## Swinging Strike        3

Standard Batting Lines Against Jacob DeGrom

##            Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##  Christian  Yelich  3  3 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.667      14
##    Derek  Dietrich  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       9
##    Devaris Gordon  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      13
##     Ichiro  Suzuki  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5
##    Jacob Realmuto  3  2 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  1 0.500 0.333 0.500       8
##       Justin  Bour  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      13
##     Marcell  Ozuna  3  3 2  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000       9
##      Martin  Prado  3  3 2  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000      13
##      Miguel  Rojas  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      10
##       Tom  Koehler  2  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  1 0.000 0.000 0.000       4


Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 84.8 86.0 88.0   -6.950     3.463       -6.932         2.042
##   Curveball 79.1 81.4 83.2    5.214    -3.553        5.558        -5.088
##    Fourseam 93.4 95.5 97.1   -4.130     10.13       -3.882         9.112
##    Two-seam 93.7 95.2 96.4   -7.876     6.749       -7.841         5.573
##      Slider 87.7 90.0 91.6    1.558     4.425        2.121         3.246

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:

2015-09-05_Jacob DeGrom_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-09-05_Jacob DeGrom_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-09-05_Jacob DeGrom_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-09-05_Jacob DeGrom_Batters

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