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Aug 17

Matt Harvey: About Yesterday Afternoon (August 16)

Sometimes it’s best to just step away and not say anything. This is sound advice. Not all advice is sound. Wrapping dirty socks around your neck to remedy a sore throat is pretty stupid advice, or putting chewing tobacco in your ear for an earache. You can probably think of a few others. Walking away when you’re mad, however, is very good advice, and I highly recommend it if you’re watching the Mets implode.

If I pretend that the seventh inning on never happened from yesterday’s late game Keystone Cops routine, then I can’t really discuss how the rain saved Terry Collins from making a silly decision that would be second guessed come late September / October. It got so bad there in the seventh that I swear that on all that is holy about baseball, namely Mr. Met, I thought I’d see Cousin Oliver pop his head up and push those dopey glasses up his nose. I won’t get into specifics about that inning.

What a cluster.

Yesterday wasn’t Matt Harvey at his most dominant. This wasn’t the Matt Harvey that pitched against Colorado and managed his workload so that he could finish eight. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. One could only hope that after the rain delay, Collins wouldn’t have sent him back out there (he learned that lesson against San Diego, right?). I was worried, though. After six, Harvey’s pitch count sitting at 103, I was worried that after the Mets did whatever they planned to do in the bottom half of the sixth—presumably this involved swinging a bat, but there was little evidence of this actually succeeding at Citi for the team this weekend—Collins would send Harvey out for the seventh.

There would be the typical reasons: they’d just finished two extra-inning games; there were off days coming up; Harvey was the guy that put a stop to losing streaks; and isn’t this a video game anyway? I don’t know if Collins would have sent him out, but I had this bad feeling that it probably was going to happen. “We needed to win this one,” I could hear him saying in the post-game news conference.

Obviously not if Bobby Parnell is the guy sent out in the seventh.

So, the rain saved Collins from embarrassing himself and adding another meaningless inning to Harvey’s every growing limit cap. Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy graciously took on the burden of assuming that embarrassment for Collins, then the team chipped in and left no man behind in the war of idiocy.

Fastballs up. That was Harvey’s out pitch on Sunday. The curveball wasn’t working and the slider was okay, not exceptionally sharp. He mixed in his changeup near the latter part of the game, and he used it a little more than he typically does during games. Of course, that’s because the curve wasn’t there Sunday. For the most part, he battled and worked through some tough at-bats. He worked in the fifth to strike out Starling Marte on nine pitches, and Chris Stewart’s strike out in the second lasted seven. Unlike in Colorado, there were few of those one and two pitch ground outs.

It’s tough to pitch to outs, though, when your team can’t score any runs. When you’re tasked with winning this game, every pitch is a grind because every pitch has to be perfect. I’ve seen too many of these games this year.

For the afternoon, Harvey threw six innings and allowed one earned run on seven hits and a walk while striking out six.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count     %
##    Changeup    14  13.6
##   Curveball     7  6.80
##    Fourseam    45  43.7
##    Two-seam    24  23.3
##      Slider    12  11.7
##        <NA>     1 0.971

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1  2 3  4  5 6
## Changeup  0  0 3  3  3 5
## Curveball 0  2 2  0  0 3
## Fourseam  6 10 6 10 11 2
## Two-seam  2  6 2  1  7 6
## Slider    1  3 3  1  2 2

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             5         2       12       10      2
## Called Strike                    3         0        7        4      1
## Foul                             2         0       15        4      2
## Foul Tip                         0         0        1        0      2
## In play, no out                  1         1        2        2      0
## In play, out(s)                  0         2        4        3      2
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        1        0      0
## Swinging Strike                  3         1        3        1      3
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Double                  0         0        0        1      0
## Flyout                  0         0        1        0      0
## Forceout                0         0        0        1      0
## Grounded Into DP        0         0        0        1      0
## Groundout               0         1        3        0      2
## Home Run                0         0        1        0      0
## Lineout                 0         1        0        1      0
## Single                  1         0        1        1      0
## Strikeout               0         1        3        0      2
## Triple                  0         1        1        0      0
## Walk                    0         0        0        1      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   51.46         48.54     35.02     68.02

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          10     0.400     0.500
##   Curveball       3           4     0.500      1.00
##    Fourseam      27          18     0.278     0.704
##    Two-seam      12          12     0.167     0.667
##      Slider       6           6     0.667     0.500
##        <NA>       1           1      0.00      0.00

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Curveball Fourseam Slider
## Called Strike           0        2      1
## Swinging Strike         1        1      1

Strikeouts by Batter

##         Batter Name Strikeout(s)
##       Chris  Stewart            1
##       Pedro  Alvarez            1
##  Pedro  Florimon Jr.            1
##      Starling  Marte            2
##     Travis  Ishikawa            1

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 86.4 88.1 89.8   -7.722     4.651       -7.466         3.157
##   Curveball 81.4 84.1 85.8   0.1286    -3.759       0.3874        -5.342
##    Fourseam 92.2 96.0 98.3   -5.574     7.929       -5.252         6.693
##    Two-seam 93.5 95.2 97.0   -7.014     6.231       -6.852         5.019
##      Slider 88.7 90.1 92.3    1.031     1.709        1.553        0.3722
##        <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 corner 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 up and down.

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:

2015-08-17_Matt Harvey_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-08-17_Matt Harvey_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-08-17_Matt Harvey_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-08-17_Matt Harvey_Batters

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