«

»

Aug 24

Logan Verrett: About Yesterday Afternoon (August 23)

I’ve been spoiled this year. I’m not blind to this fact. I live in an area that allows me to watch the Nationals, and I follow the Mets because they’re my team. Because you’re on this site I don’t feel like that requires additional explanation. By lucky, I mean in terms of watching starting pitching, but it can expand out to the entire teams as well. It hasn’t always felt lucky. I’ve seen enough wretched play by both teams to make a Not-Top 100, but I’ve also seen enough good baseball to make the former just a footnote.

On Sunday, I was extremely lucky to watch baseball.

If you watch enough of the Mets and Nationals, you begin to grow accustomed to the constant stream of mid-90s hurlers each team brings to the mound each day. Oh, today Joe Ross will throw 95. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Hey, Jacob deGrom is today, and then there’s Matt Harvey, and don’t forget the guy who throws hard: Noah Syndergaard. It’s like watching baseball in terms of a chili cook-off in Texas. Everything is blazing hot, but you rarely ever walk away disappointed.

So, when a guy like Logan Verrett (1-1) makes his major league debut it’s a little disorientating on the baseball senses. Make no mistake: I like Verrett. I thought he was a fantastic reliever, and I was disappointed that he only went one inning and six pitches in Wednesday’s game against the Orioles. Pitching in today’s game was the reason, but on Wednesday night I thought Terry Collins was batty for taking him out. But, I just sat through two games where the Mets starters allowed a combined 20 hits and 14 earned runs in nine innings of work, so the thought of another 14-9 slugfest didn’t appeal to me. What I wanted was a low scoring game that reaffirmed all that was right in the world.

Thank you Logan Verrett for delivering.

It didn’t start out that way. After back-to-back singles by Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu gave the Rockies runners on first and second with nobody out, Verrett would have to face Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado with runners on. That’s fine. Gonzalez has only hit 25 homeruns since June coming into this game, and Arenado went deep on Friday, has 30 homers on the season, and crushes anything that doesn’t actually break vertically into the dirt since he flails a lot at breaking pitches. It’s even better, nervous jittering-wise, if you consider Blackmon is only on second because Yoenis Cespedes took a rolling dive to keep the ball from getting past him in center and Verrett spent an hour on pickoff throws to first because apparently it’s only a matter of time before Blackmon is picked off.

No worries. Gonzalez grounds to Daniel Murphy at first to start the double play, and then Wilmer Flores makes a diving stop on Arenado’s grounder and then promptly guns him out at first. Seriously, did you read that last sentence? Have you watched this team this year? Murphy at first against the Pirates was sort of a mess, and Flores at shortstop this year has been an adventure all in itself.

I don’t know how we got here, and I don’t know how it’s working, but for some reason it worked great yesterday (Murphy even made a diving stop on a Daniel Descalso grounder in the second), and I refuse to question it any further.

After the first, Verrett allowed two more hits in seven additional innings. One of those was Gonzalez’s 30th homer of the season, and you know what the 25-year old rookie did after watching Gonzalez crush one to center? He promptly struck out Arenado on three pitches, the last two sliders, and he got Ben Paulsen and Kyle Parker to ground out. Worry? No. Just throw strikes.

I was hoping for five or six innings. I thought five innings would be fantastic considering he’s been working out of the bullpen with the Mets. In the minors at Las Vegas he was used as a starter, but I didn’t want to ask for too much here. Five to six innings, give the bullpen a lead, and fly into Philadelphia on a roll.

Verrett did that and more.

He wasn’t overpowering. You can’t ever pick one moment and say that he dominated the Rockies batters, but when the game started the story was about the comments Jose Reyes made to the Denver Post, and by the end of the game the story was about Verrett. He may not have been dominant in the Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard way, but he stole the headlines and made you forget that it was Harvey whose start was skipped.

Verrett worked both sides of the plate well, pitching inside and keeping the Rockies batters off balance with a low 90’s fastball, his changeup, and a nice slider. Maybe it was because the Rockies were unfamiliar with Verrett. He’d logged a grand total of 22 1/3 major league innings between Texas and New York this season, so let’s not discount that. The Rockies chased a lot of those pitches—notably both his slider and curve that the Rockies chased out of the zone over half of the time each—but seven strikeouts by Rockies swings and misses is not entirely by unfamiliarity. He had good stuff.

On the day, Verrett threw eight innings and allowed one earned run on four hits and one walk while striking out eight.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    11 11.8
##   Curveball    12 12.9
##    Fourseam    43 46.2
##    Two-seam     7 7.53
##      Slider    20 21.5

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             3         2       14        3      3
## Called Strike                    1         1        8        2      2
## Foul                             3         3        8        0      5
## Foul Bunt                        0         0        1        0      0
## Hit By Pitch                     0         0        1        0      0
## In play, no out                  0         0        1        0      1
## In play, out(s)                  2         1        6        2      4
## In play, run(s)                  1         0        0        0      0
## Swinging Strike                  1         4        4        0      5
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Flyout                  1         0        1        1      2
## Grounded Into DP        1         0        0        0      0
## Groundout               0         1        2        1      1
## Hit By Pitch            0         0        1        0      0
## Home Run                1         0        0        0      0
## Lineout                 0         0        2        0      0
## Sac Bunt                0         0        1        0      0
## Single                  0         0        1        0      2
## Strikeout               0         2        3        0      3
## Walk                    0         0        1        0      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   52.69         47.31     40.16     60.73

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           6     0.500     0.600
##   Curveball       4           8     0.750     0.750
##    Fourseam      21          22     0.318     0.571
##    Two-seam       4           3      0.00     0.500
##      Slider      15           5     0.600     0.800

Strikeouts by Description

##                           Curveball Fourseam Slider
## Called Strike                     0        1      0
## Swinging Strike                   1        2      3
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)         1        0      0

Standard Batting Lines Against Logan Verrett

##            Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##       Ben  Paulsen  3  3 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      17
##   Carlos  Gonzalez  3  3 1  0  0  1 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 1.333      12
##  Charlie  Blackmon  4  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   1  0 0.333 0.500 0.333      11
##   Daniel  Descalso  3  3 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##        David  Hale  2  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  1 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##       DJ  LeMahieu  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      10
##    Dustin  Garneau  3  2 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.000 0.333 0.000      10
##       Kyle  Parker  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##      Matt  McBride  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       2
##     Nolan  Arenado  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       7
## 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 82.1 83.7 84.7   -6.023     2.409       -5.751         1.153
##   Curveball 77.7 79.3 80.1  -0.5425    -1.617      -0.2399        -3.132
##    Fourseam 88.3 90.2 92.9   -4.170     8.384       -3.733         7.122
##    Two-seam 89.0 90.3 91.9   -6.480     6.327       -6.145         4.987
##      Slider 83.3 84.6 87.1   -1.952    0.7295       -1.365       -0.4878

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:

2015-08-24_Logan Verrett_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-24_Logan Verrett_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-24_Logan Verrett_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-24_Logan Verrett_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>