«

»

Aug 23

Jon Niese: About Last Night (August 22)

Sometimes I wonder if other people think in terms of songs. I do. I’ll think of a situation, and a song pops into my head. I imagine a lot of people think this way. Most people probably. I’m not a musically inclined person except a brief flirtation with classical guitar, so thinking in songs has likely more to do with how saturated our minds are with music than any special talent. In my case, yes. Perhaps you truly are musical.

Ahem! See, more throat clearing. These last two nights in Colorado deserve two songs, and by luck I have two songs. Last night, trying to sweat through a 14-3 lead that quickly evaporated into the ephemeral Denver air, I thought of Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser.” This morning, as I was prepping my numbers, Bing Crosby singing “What Can You Do with a General” from White Christmas popped into my head. I don’t normally think of Christmas songs in August. I’m not 100% holiday happy on a daily basis. When the normal rules of baseball stop applying, what do you make after a game like Saturday’s?

You figure out a way to win on Sunday and move along to Philadelphia for four.

I will miss the offense. From the Mets at least. Maybe you can’t have it both ways, but it sure is nice to watch a game and see the team score 14 runs on 16 hits Friday night and then follow that up with 14 runs on 21 hits Saturday. The team hit nine doubles and a home run. Every starter except Jon Niese (8-9) recorded at least two hits, and Juan Lagares, Curtis Granderson, and Wilmer Flores all had three hits and scored two runs apiece. The only player who didn’t score last night was Yoenis Cespedes, and you can only imagine that he was still winded from rounding the bases so many times Friday night.

Yeah. That part sure is fun.

I tried to think of positives with Niese last night. He didn’t pitch great. I don’t think you can consider allowing seven earned and 11 hits a great outing no matter where you pitch. I’m not surprised by the outing. Didn’t it seem like he was due? He’s pitched so well for the team since the beginning of June that it seemed like one of those games was coming (he also had one of those games against the Dodgers last month), and if one of those games is coming then why not have it be at Coors Field. Last night felt like one of those games, didn’t it? 3-0, then 3-3, then 10-3 with no outs in the third.

By the fifth it’s 14-3, and the score could have been 16 or 17-3 easily. The Mets were up 11 runs, and they left runs on the bases. I’m greedy. I wanted those extra runs. I wanted 20. Maybe then I’d feel comfortable.

In some ways, I thought Niese pitched well. I know, hard to believe with a WHIP hovering around 2.4, but it’s true. He pitched to both sides of the plate, and I thought he did a solid job of pitching inside. I kept thinking that Niese needs to sit down with Noah Syndergaard and just chat. Discuss pitching. If Syndergaard handled pitching inside to batters like Niese can he’d be an unstoppable force.

Niese also picked off Charlie Blackmon in the first when he was breaking for third. That play reminded me all too much of Chris Davis swiping third against Syndergaard in Wednesday’s game at Camden Yards.

I don’t even want to look at the numbers because they make me sad and will confirm everything I saw, which will make me sad. Niese looked great for the first few pitches of each at-bat, quickly getting batters to 0-2 (I’m thinking of Jose Reyes and Carlos Gonzalez in the fifth in particular), but he couldn’t finish them off with any consistency. I can’t even say it was a matter of the curve not being sharp, which it wasn’t, or the Rockies not chasing. They didn’t have to. After executing on the first few pitches of each at-bat, the pitch to deliver the out would find way too much plate and bad things happened.

The more I try to erase you / the more, the more / The more that you appear.

It could have been worse for Niese too. If not for working out of a runner on third with less than two outs (Kyle Parker in the second after his bases clearing triple and Gonzalez in the fifth) the score is even closer. He also added a couple runs with a two-run RBI single in that magical third inning, so if not for his problem management and batting skills perhaps this game is 12-11 instead of 14-9.

On the night, Niese threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out three.

Really, the only thing I took away from this game is that Star Wars Night at Coors Field looked pretty awesome, and I want a Cargo Fett figurine. Other than that, I’ll leave you with Ruben Tejada making it a personal mission to ruin DJ LeMahieu’s Saturday night with a diving grab and throw to first and a sliding catch and throw.

 

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count     %
##    Changeup    10  9.90
##   Curveball    16  15.8
##      Cutter    19  18.8
##    Fourseam    26  25.7
##    Two-seam    29  28.7
##        <NA>     1 0.990

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1  2 3 4 5 6
## Changeup  0  0 3 3 0 4
## Curveball 3  2 3 4 3 1
## Cutter    1  8 2 2 3 3
## Fourseam  6  9 3 3 2 3
## Two-seam  1 13 3 6 3 3

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Cutter Fourseam Two-seam
## Ball                   2         1      7       11       10
## Ball In Dirt           2         2      0        0        0
## Called Strike          0         4      7        5        6
## Foul                   2         2      5        3        3
## Foul Bunt              0         0      0        2        0
## In play, no out        2         2      0        1        3
## In play, out(s)        1         2      0        2        6
## In play, run(s)        1         0      0        2        0
## Swinging Strike        0         3      0        0        1

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

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

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   52.48         47.52     25.25     49.55

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       3           7     0.286      1.00
##   Curveball       8           8     0.500     0.625
##      Cutter      10           9      0.00     0.500
##    Fourseam      14          12    0.0833     0.357
##    Two-seam      17          12     0.417     0.471
##        <NA>       1           1      0.00      0.00

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Curveball Cutter Two-seam
## Called Strike           0      1        1
## Swinging Strike         1      0        0

Standard Batting Lines Against Jonathon Niese

##             Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##     Brandon  Barnes  1  1 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.000       3
##    Carlos  Gonzalez  3  3 2  1  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000      12
##   Charlie  Blackmon  4  4 2  0  0  1 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 1.250      15
##  Christopher Rusin  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##        DJ  LeMahieu  3  3 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      11
##     Dustin  Garneau  1  1 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 2.000       5
##         Jose  Reyes  3  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  1 0.500 0.500 0.500      10
##      Justin  Miller  1  0 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  1   NaN   NaN   NaN       3
##        Kyle  Parker  3  2 1  0  1  0 0  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 1.500      11
##       Matt  McBride  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       8
##       Nick  Hundley  2  1 1  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.000       6
##      Nolan  Arenado  3  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  1 0.500 0.333 0.500       9
## 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 79.9 82.5 84.0    7.143     2.978        6.645         1.556
##   Curveball 72.6  75. 76.2   -2.297    -2.674       -2.963        -4.311
##      Cutter 85.7 86.8 88.0   0.2788     4.147      -0.1955         3.018
##    Fourseam 86.7 89.3 91.9    4.662     5.631        4.084         4.538
##    Two-seam 87.4 89.5 91.2    8.218     3.621        7.632         2.484
##        <NA>   NA   NA   NA       NA        NA           NA            NA

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:

2015-08-23_Jonathon Niese_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-23_Jonathon Niese_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-23_Jonathon Niese_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-23_Jonathon Niese_Batters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>