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Sep 08

Jon Niese: About Last Night (September 07)

If you go back and look, you can see the seeds of that five run fourth inning take root in the third. Jon Niese walked the opposing pitcher Max Scherzer, ball four coming on a close inside fastball where Niese didn’t get the call, and walked Anthony Rendon. The pitches were close. Niese was perhaps trying to be too perfect in his execution, but that’s much better than the full on tantrum that he’s thrown on the field over the past few starts. Sometimes things don’t go your way. Take a deep breath. Move on.

Then came the fourth.

He hung a curveball to Ryan Zimmerman. Single. Yunel Escobar hit a slow roller to David Wright for an infield single. Niese walks Ian Desmond, and if Wilson Ramos doesn’t destroy the Mets like he does then maybe you could talk me into pitching Desmond so carefully. Desmond may have singled in his first at-bat, but he’s a free swinger who will chase pitches close to the plate. They have to be close, though. The curve to Ramos that he hit out for the grand slam wasn’t a horrible pitch. Other than the first pitch that he elevated, I thought he handled Ramos pretty well. Like on Sunday when Jeff Mathis golfed a home run, the Mets were torched by a catcher doubling as a long driver.

Michael Taylor singled. Jayson Werth crushed a changeup to deep center, and Niese’s day was over. A 3-0 lead suddenly turned into a 5-3 deficit. There’s little time for Niese to figure out what’s bothering him these days. Fewer days. Fewer games. You don’t need me to tell you that these games are becoming increasingly important. Thank goodness Bartolo Colon is pitching as well as he is.

In Niese’s career, he’s had only one other stretch similar to the one he’s in now, and that was way back in 2011. He allowed six earned runs in three of four starts and five earned runs in a fifth. Oh, wait. I’m sorry. That actually spanned the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. In his entire career he’s only four times where he’s had back-to-back starts where he’s allowed five or more starts, but never three in a row so obviously not the four games in a row where he’s allowed 5+. Five is an inning these days. He’s now had three straight starts where he’s allowed five runs in an inning.

Oy!

I’m not really sure what to say here. It’s not ideal. I’m certain Niese would prefer to be executing and making his pitches. The good news is Niese’s next start will come against Atlanta. Well, the good news for Niese is that he will at least make another start. Let’s start there. I miss those days when teams weren’t hitting .378 against him as they are in September or that sudden jump to .375 on BABIP. That will even out. He’s not exactly lobbing pitches up there for batters to smack around the yard.

Is there time for the averages to work out? There are at least four more starts.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    13  21.
##   Curveball     2 3.23
##      Cutter     2 3.23
##    Fourseam    10 16.1
##    Two-seam    34 54.8
##      Slider     1 1.61

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2  3  4
## Changeup  1 3  2  7
## Curveball 0 0  1  1
## Cutter    0 0  1  1
## Fourseam  4 1  2  3
## Two-seam  5 5 11 13
## Slider    0 0  0  1

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Cutter Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                   5         0      1        3       15      0
## Ball In Dirt           1         0      0        0        1      0
## Called Strike          2         1      0        5        8      0
## Foul                   0         0      0        0        3      0
## In play, no out        2         1      0        1        1      0
## In play, out(s)        2         0      1        0        5      0
## In play, run(s)        1         0      0        0        0      1
## Swinging Strike        0         0      0        1        1      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Curveball Cutter Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Double                  1         0      0        0        0      0
## Flyout                  0         0      0        0        1      0
## Forceout                1         0      0        0        0      0
## Grounded Into DP        1         0      0        0        0      0
## Groundout               0         0      0        0        2      0
## Home Run                0         0      0        0        0      1
## Lineout                 0         0      1        0        1      0
## Sac Bunt                0         0      0        0        1      0
## Single                  2         1      0        1        1      0
## Strikeout               0         0      0        1        0      0
## Walk                    1         0      0        0        2      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   53.23         46.77     14.97     20.67

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           9     0.333     0.250
##   Curveball       1           1      1.00      0.00
##      Cutter       2           0       NaN     0.500
##    Fourseam       6           4     0.250     0.167
##    Two-seam      20          14     0.143     0.400
##      Slider       0           1      0.00       NaN

Strikeouts by Description

##               Fourseam
## Called Strike        1

Standard Batting Lines Against Jonathon Niese

##          Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##  Anthony  Rendon  2  1 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.000 0.500 0.000       6
##    Bryce  Harper  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5
##     Ian  Desmond  2  1 1  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.000       9
##    Jayson  Werth  3  3 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.667      11
##    Max  Scherzer  2  0 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  1   NaN 1.000   NaN       9
##  Michael  Taylor  2  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       6
##  Ryan  Zimmerman  2  2 2  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.000       4
##    Wilson  Ramos  2  2 1  0  0  1 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 2.000       7
##   Yunel  Escobar  2  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       5


Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 83.0 84.1 84.8    9.450     1.960        9.088        0.6778
##   Curveball 74.8 75.6 76.4   -1.688    -5.706       -1.939        -6.846
##      Cutter 86.8 87.4 88.0   0.4245     2.451     -0.07233         1.629
##    Fourseam 86.3 88.8 92.2    4.394     5.194        3.895         4.161
##    Two-seam 85.1 89.9 92.1    10.12     3.170        9.617         2.123
##      Slider 77.9 77.9 77.9   -2.547    -2.963       -3.202        -4.187

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:

2015-09-08_Jonathon Niese_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-09-08_Jonathon Niese_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-09-08_Jonathon Niese_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-09-08_Jonathon Niese_Batters

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