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Oct 17

Jacob DeGrom: About NLDS Game Five (October 15)

Under different circumstances, Justin Turner going 3-for-3 against Jacob deGrom, one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, would bring with it accolades and discussions of holidays named in his honor.  At the very least, his batting a combined .526/.550/.842 with six doubles and four RBI against the likes of deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz would bring with it national recognition and free coffee from all the Los Angeles baristas that he should run into.  I can’t speak for the coffee, but I always liked Turner and I’m both happy for his success and sad for him this morning.
I’m sure you can guess which emotion runs stronger.
Turner’s ownership of the Mets will of course be overshadowed by Daniel Murphy‘s hot hitting, heady base running, and timely heroics.  His at-bats against deGrom are largely lost as a side note to describe deGrom’s gritty, gutsy performance.  Those are the descriptions ascribed to deGrom last night by the national media.  They’re certainly accurate.  There was nothing about last night that had the overpowering majesty of Game 1.  I’m jumping a bit.  This started out discussing Turner, and here we are discussing deGrom.  When next we see Turner, we’ll see him strikeout on a Syndergaard curveball.
If it seems odd to discuss last night’s Mets 3-2 win by opening with Justin Turner, it’s probably because everything you can say about Murphy’s and deGrom’s performances last night have already been said.  You don’t need me to tell you that deGrom pitched through inning after inning with Dodger blue staring at him on the bases or Murphy was the Mets offense last night with an RBI double in the first inning, a heady stolen base in the fourth that led to the tying run on Travis d’Arnaud sac fly, and the go-ahead home run in the sixth.  Sure, I just wrote about them, but mostly everything has been said.
This seems like the perfect place to emote and say those were some of the finest performances I’ve ever seen, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say Murphy’s game last night was every bit as brilliant in my mind as Robin Ventura‘s grand slam single or Melvin Mora‘s ownership of the Braves in the 1999 NLCS.  Really, that’s what we’re down to isn’t it?  How does either a pitcher making the leap into an ace or a guy that was repeatedly discussed in trade rumors relate to me?  I’m oddly subdued this morning, and only some of that is because I’m groggy.  It’s probably because it’s tough to get too effusive when there are (hopefully) so many more games to go, but also because baseball seasons are long and it’s tough to think you just spent seven-eight months watching baseball and it could just as easily be over.  There were ten teams that entered this postseason with hopes of winning the Series, and we’re already down to four.  That means six distinct groups of fans are disappointed with various degrees of loathing for Jose Bautista, bat flips, or taekwondon’t type slides.
Maybe that’s a good reason to be overly excited.
This is personal, remember?  This isn’t about Murphy, deGrom, Jeurys Familia six-out saves (huge), floppy hairstyles, or 100-mph fastballs.  Spending six months watching your guys win a division they had no business winning and coming within a middle infielder racing to cover a bag of this season being over and trying to talk yourself into doing it again takes it out of you.  I need the day to mentally prepare for the Cubs.
As difficult as it is to believe that the Mets somehow made it through a series by facing both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice each, splitting those four games because the guy who won both pitched about as well as a human being can in one and struggled in the other like he was fighting through 121-pitch fatigue.  On Saturday we’ll see Matt Harvey deliver like an ace because he’s a guy that embraces the spotlight.  It’s who he is.  This season took a crazy turn for the cuckoo house with press conferences in a Miami dugout, back tracking, give me the ball because now I don’t care, and the media/fan freak out over a contrived excuse for arriving late to a mandatory team practice, but through it all Harvey still is the guy Mets fans earmarked for ace status before deGrom assumed the role.
The Dodgers had two of the best starters in all of baseball make an absurd 80% of the starts in a five-game series, but it was largely because the Mets had their own starter pitch his best baseball of the season when it mattered the most.
Maybe the Mets shouldn’t be here.  We’ve been told that all year long, right?  It’s the Nationals division to lose.  The Mets don’t belong.  They’re moving on to play the Cubs because of a pitcher that no one figured would be here and a second baseman that’s been here through so many lean years that even a hint of postseason baseball must look like a buffet of games.  Seven more games?  Murphy is still hungry.
So let the man eat already.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    14 13.3
##   Curveball    15 14.3
##    Fourseam    49 46.7
##    Two-seam    15 14.3
##      Slider    12 11.4

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             5         0       18        7      4
## Ball In Dirt                     2         1        0        1      0
## Called Strike                    3         6        8        0      1
## Foul                             2         2        9        4      0
## Foul Tip                         0         0        1        0      0
## In play, no out                  0         1        2        0      2
## In play, out(s)                  0         2        5        2      1
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        1        0      1
## Swinging Strike                  2         2        5        1      3
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Double                  0         1        1        0      0
## Field Error             0         0        0        0      1
## Flyout                  0         0        0        0      1
## Grounded Into DP        0         1        0        0      0
## Groundout               0         1        0        0      0
## Lineout                 0         0        1        2      0
## Pop Out                 0         0        2        0      0
## Sac Bunt                0         0        2        0      0
## Single                  0         0        2        0      2
## Strikeout               2         1        3        1      0
## Walk                    1         0        2        0      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   47.62         52.38     32.45     60.90

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       5           9     0.222     0.400
##   Curveball       6           9     0.556     0.500
##    Fourseam      26          23     0.261     0.577
##    Two-seam       9           6     0.167     0.667
##      Slider       4           8     0.375     0.750

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Called Strike          1         0        0        0
## Foul Tip               0         0        1        0
## Swinging Strike        1         1        2        1

Standard Batting Lines Against Jacob DeGrom

##             Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Adrian  Gonzalez  3  3 1  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      11
##       Andre  Ethier  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      12
##       Corey  Seager  3  3 1  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      18
##  Enrique  Hernandez  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##    Howard Kendrick  3  3 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       7
##       Joc  Pederson  3  1 0  0  0  0 0  2   0  0 0.000 0.667 0.000      18
##      Justin  Turner  3  3 3  2  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.667       9
##    Yasmani  Grandal  3  2 0  0  0  0 2  1   0  0 0.000 0.333 0.000      15
##       Zack  Greinke  3  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  2 0.000 0.000 0.000       6

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 84.8 86.2 88.4   -7.474     3.384       -7.442         2.147
##   Curveball 79.1 82.3 84.8    4.077    -1.753        4.347        -3.145
##    Fourseam 94.0 96.0 98.2   -4.399     8.638       -4.232         7.722
##    Two-seam 88.2 95.4 97.6   -8.090     6.610       -8.075         5.446
##      Slider 89.4 90.6 91.6   0.9000     3.400        1.423         2.207

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:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_Batters

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