Aug 12

Joe Ross: About Last Night (August 11)

It started out okay for Joe Ross (3-4). Jimmy Rollins popped up the second pitch to Ian Desmond; Alberto Callaspo popped up the sixth pitch to Yunel Escobar; and Adrian Gonzalez hit the eighth pitch deep to center but right into Michael Taylor‘s glove. Eight pitches, seven strikes, and three quick outs. This pitching stuff is easy. There wasn’t any time to throw that slider of Ross’, and at this kind of pace, that 36.1% usage rate for the slider (thanks to the MASN crew for the visual) would go way down.
The second inning was odd. Ross walked the first two batters, and coming from a guy that doesn’t walk anyone, that was troubling. He escaped the inning without allowing a run, but his slider didn’t look especially sharp. The sinker still came with a little extra oomph. 95-mph heaters on the inside corner to Joc Pederson. Okay. Now we’re back to business. In the third, Ross through Rollins a nasty slider 0-1 that let you know that the second inning was just a guy still trying to get loose. Remember, in that first inning, Ross essentially threw warm up pitches, then threw warm up pitches. Another slider to Callaspo that he had absolutely zero chance of hitting even with a Captain Caveman sized bat. Okay, so Callaspo singled. Still. A two out single is okay. The slider to finish off Gonzalez was filthy too. I love L.A. indeed.
The triple by Andre Ethier in the fourth wasn’t necessarily a bad pitch. It was low, catching maybe a little too much in the middle of the zone. Michael Taylor misplayed the ball in center, turning a double into an opportunity to show off the cannon he calls a right arm. (Even Jimmy Rollins was impressed and didn’t even challenge that arm when on second and Gonzalez flew out to center. “Wow,” Rollins said.) One out later Yasiel Puig decided to hit his ninth home run of the season. Ross grooved that one. Ugh. I can’t imagine Ross wanted to throw the ball right there. Maybe F.P. Santangelo was right. Just throw Puig nothing but sliders. If the balls not dirty and scuffed with every pitch to Puig you probably missed your spot. According to the MASN crew, that was the first extra-base hit Ross has allowed to a right handed batter this season.
Ross missed an opportunity in the fifth. After two singles to lead off the inning, Ross worked his way to two outs before issuing a walk to bring Puig up with the bases loaded. Four walks on the evening? Ross was out of sorts, and his first pitch to Puig proved it. A fastball down the middle of the plate that Puig swung through. 0-1. Okay. Everything is fine. His second pitch caught too much plate, and Puig hit the ball in front of a diving Cliff Robinson in right. 5-0 and Kanye on the sound system.
Ross didn’t necessarily pitch poorly. He missed his spots to Puig, obviously, and by the fifth he looked gassed. Maybe it was the adrenaline from returning to the West Coast. Maybe he got sleepy stuck in that long Los Angeles rush hour traffic. On the night he threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing five Puig-produced runs on six hits and four walks while striking out one. For style points, whatever that’s worth, the one strikeout of Gonzalez sure ended with a pretty slider. The five runs were one fewer than he’d allowed in his previous three starts combined, and the four walks doubled his season total. Oh, and for that whole 36.1% of Ross’ pitches are sliders thing? On Tuesday, he threw the slider 40.4% of the time.

Overall, it probably wasn’t how Ross imagined his first start post-Doug Fister to the bullpen.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup     3 3.37
##      Sinker    50 56.2
##      Slider    36 40.4

Pitch Type by Inning

##          1  2  3  4  5
## Changeup 0  1  1  1  0
## Sinker   7 12  7 12 12
## Slider   1 10 12  7  6

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Sinker Slider
## Ball                   1     20     14
## Ball In Dirt           0      1      1
## Called Strike          0      8      3
## Foul                   0      9      2
## Foul Tip               0      1      0
## In play, no out        1      2      1
## In play, out(s)        0      6      7
## In play, run(s)        0      1      1
## Swinging Strike        1      2      7

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##           Changeup Sinker Slider
## Flyout           0      3      2
## Forceout         0      0      2
## Groundout        0      0      1
## Home Run         0      0      1
## Pop Out          0      3      2
## Single           0      2      1
## Strikeout        0      0      1
## Triple           1      1      0
## Walk             1      3      0

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Slider
## Swinging Strike      1

Strikeouts by Batter

##      Batter Name Strikeout(s)
##  Adrian  Gonzalez            1

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 87.4 88.2 89.0   -8.490     6.220       -7.599         5.207
##      Sinker 91.1 93.4 95.3   -9.030     6.148       -8.074         5.058
##      Slider 81.2 83.8 85.3   -1.573     1.072      -0.5265       -0.3284

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:

2015-08-12_Joseph Ross_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-12_Joseph Ross_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-12_Joseph Ross_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-12_Joseph Ross_Batters

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