Aug 13

Jordan Zimmermann: About Last Night (August 12)

Back in the 80s and 90s you had set the VCR to record if you were likely to miss a show on television. This is obvious to individuals of a certain age. The VCR was such a great invention. I remember recording Voltron episodes, somehow stumbling on a young Sarah Michelle Gellar in some kid’s soap opera called Swann’s Crossing, and then being disappointed with the tape being slowly destroyed by viewings, recording over, and general wear. You might not care about my youthful crush on Gellar (my little heart was aflutter over Lark Voorhies from Saved by the Bell too if you care) or why a kid of 13 still watched Voltron, but the larger point is that there are so many more options to watch and re-watch a game like last night’s Nationals / Dodgers game that it was a funny memory that popped into my head. It’s my blog. Indulge me.

I have this game recorded on my DVR. I record all Mets and Nats games if you must know, but this is kind of silly since I can watch any game I want on my phone or my computer or probably on my coffee cup if I Googled hard enough. Let’s just say that I’ll probably watch this game a few times today.

Both pitchers were that good.

Jordan Zimmermann (8-8) lost because he allowed two hits (one of those wiped out by a nifty double play by Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman in the first after a leadoff Carl Crawford double), a walk, and one measly run in seven innings. One run because Crawford singled in Joc Pederson in the third. One run because Crawford was the only Dodger capable of hitting him last night. Think about this: Zimmermann’s pitching line, one could argue, is better than Jacob deGrom’s was earlier in the night, and deGrom and the Mets had all smiles after the game while Zimmermann and the Nationals can only shake their heads. There are no answers to find. They faced Clayton Kershaw.

That curveball! Enough said.

In typical Zimmermann fashion, he worked up in the zone with his fastball. Is that something Nats pitching coach Steve McCatty teaches? It seems to be a trait shared by the Nationals pitchers, along with limiting the number of pitches thrown to just a few really, really good ones. Joe Ross throws three pitches, works up in the zone. Zimmermann basically throws three pitches, works up in the zone. I think they call that inductive reasoning. I think I’m still a little punch-drunk from watching this game.

His curveball was sharp. Yasmani Grandal could do nothing with the pitch in the second except drive into the dirt. Adrian Gonzalez half-heartedly swung at one in the fourth on a strikeout. Resignation? I think he realized that sometimes a batter has no chance. Watching Kershaw pitch gives one that perspective. He got him again in the seventh with a not as sharp curve, but there was the same look. Who knows? Zimm’s slider was sharp. Enrique Hernandez swung at one to end the third that broke sharply enough that it would have gone to the Nats dugout on its own if Wilson Ramos hadn’t of carried it with him.

When the Dodgers weren’t striking out they were hitting the ball into the ground, and this game reminded me all too much of Zimmermann’s outings last year against the likes of Lance Lynn and the Cardinals (both 1-0 losses). If there’s a hard luck pitcher out there, it sure seems like Zimmermann is that guy.

On the night, Zimmermann tossed seven innings, allowing that one run on two hits and a walk while striking out nine.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##   Curveball    17 18.3
##    Fourseam    52 55.9
##    Two-seam     3 3.23
##      Slider    21 22.6

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2  3 4 5 6  7
## Curveball 1 1  3 2 5 3  2
## Fourseam  7 9 13 5 5 3 10
## Two-seam  2 0  1 0 0 0  0
## Slider    4 1  6 1 1 4  4

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                              3        9        3      7
## Called Strike                     5        8        0      6
## Foul                              4       13        0      4
## Foul Tip                          0        1        0      0
## In play, no out                   0        1        0      0
## In play, out(s)                   2        8        0      1
## In play, run(s)                   0        1        0      0
## Swinging Strike                   2       11        0      3
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)         1        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##             Curveball Fourseam Slider
## Double              0        1      0
## Double Play         0        0      1
## Flyout              0        1      0
## Groundout           2        3      0
## Lineout             0        3      0
## Pop Out             0        1      0
## Single              0        1      0
## Strikeout           3        3      3
## Walk                0        0      1

Strikeouts by Description

##                           Curveball Fourseam Slider
## Called Strike                     0        1      2
## Swinging Strike                   2        2      1
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)         1        0      0

Strikeouts by Batter

##        Batter Name Strikeout(s)
##    Adrian  Gonzalez            3
##    Clayton  Kershaw            1
##  Enrique  Hernandez            2
##        Yasiel  Puig            2
##    Yasmani  Grandal            1

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##   Curveball 79.6 81.6 83.0    2.411    -4.625        2.850        -5.827
##    Fourseam 92.5 93.6 95.0   -4.606     7.896       -4.195         6.961
##    Two-seam 94.1 94.4 94.9   -6.945     4.901       -6.707         4.184
##      Slider 86.6 88.2 89.7    1.331     2.566        1.938         1.468

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:

2015-08-13_Jordan Zimmermann_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-13_Jordan Zimmermann_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-13_Jordan Zimmermann_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-13_Jordan Zimmermann_Batters

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