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Aug 12

Matt Harvey: About Last Night (August 11)

It always seems a little odd to me that a 1-0 game can be frustrating for both the team that wins and the team that loses. Shouldn’t the winners take comfort in the fact that they won a pitchers’ duel? This is just one of those questions, really, since the Mets ended up scoring three runs in the eighth and the final score was 4-0, but it was an extremely frustrating 1-0 headed into the late innings because the team left runs on the bases all night. Before Ruben Tejada singled in the game’s first run, the Mets were 0-for-7 with RISP, and that seems like an extremely low number. I think it was 0-for-17. That seems more reasonable. It felt like 0-for-17. We’ll go with that number because, honestly, it’s probably just you and me. They got their hits, and they made Chris Rusin (3-5) work, but they couldn’t score.

The Rockies couldn’t score either. Unlike the Mets they didn’t really have many opportunities because Matt Harvey (11-7) essentially threw whatever he felt like throwing, whenever he felt like throwing it, and the Rockies hit grounders into waiting mitts. Well, sometimes. Sometimes Juan Uribe tries a barehanded grab. Watch Nolan Arendado’s barehanded play on Daniel Murphy’s soft roller in the seventh for a fielding lesson on awesome. He’s pretty good, right? Every game against these guys.

Harvey struck out four last night, which is low if you believe every night Harvey should strike out 10 or more. He could. Matt Harvey can do whatever he wants with a baseball at times. He mixed his pitches, never allowing the Rockies batters to settle on any one pitch (much like Jon Niese on Monday), and Harvey finished the night with eight innings of work and only four hits allowed. Over his last two starts, Harvey’s allowed six hits in 15 innings of work while not allowing a single run. I’m not saying he’s fully back after his year off, but let’s just say signs are positive that he’s doing the right things. Over his last 36 2/3 innings (since the All Star break), batters are hitting a light .162 against him.

Over those eight innings, Harvey threw 97 pitches, of which 66 were strikes. That’s not quite Bartolo Colon territory, but when a guy throws 96-mph fastballs, mixes in a change, curve, and slider, and can locate like he did on Tuesday, that sort of makes for a bad night for the batters. By the sixth, the Rockies figured why wait for magic to happen. They need to start swinging. Charlie Blackmon, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Gonzalez all saw but two pitches, and in the seventh Arenado jumped on the first pitch. Harvey threw 24 pitches across his last three innings of work, and Ben Paulsen was the only batter to reach base with a double down the right field line. He was promptly doubled off second with a DJ LeMahieu liner to Wilmer Flores at second and a toss to Tejada.

To summarize, Harvey’s night ended after eight innings. He allowed four hits and struck out four.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    15 15.5
##   Curveball    13 13.4
##    Fourseam    31  32.
##    Two-seam    26 26.8
##      Slider    12 12.4

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
## Changeup  0 0 3 5 2 2 1 2
## Curveball 1 1 3 4 3 0 1 0
## Fourseam  1 9 3 7 5 1 3 2
## Two-seam  8 3 0 0 4 3 3 5
## Slider    0 3 2 3 3 0 0 1

Pitches by Outcome:

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

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##             Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Double             0         0        0        1      0
## Double Play        1         0        0        0      0
## Flyout             0         0        2        2      0
## Groundout          3         0        2        4      0
## Lineout            1         1        2        0      0
## Pop Out            0         0        1        0      0
## Single             0         1        1        0      1
## Strikeout          1         0        1        2      0

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Fourseam Two-seam
## Swinging Strike        1        1        2

Strikeouts by Batter

##      Batter Name Strikeout(s)
##      Ben  Paulsen            1
##  Carlos  Gonzalez            1
##      DJ  LeMahieu            1
##     Nick  Hundley            1

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 87.0 88.4 90.0   -8.503     4.965       -8.362         3.413
##   Curveball 82.7 84.4 85.4   0.6185    -4.512       0.8712        -6.021
##    Fourseam 94.0 95.8 97.9   -6.288     8.491       -5.902         7.001
##    Two-seam 93.8 95.6 97.4   -7.584     6.613       -7.356         5.202
##      Slider 86.6 89.6 90.9    1.353     1.798        1.823        0.3593

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 and 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_Matt Harvey_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-12_Matt Harvey_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-12_Matt Harvey_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-12_Matt Harvey_Batters

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