Max Scherzer: About Last Night

Well, Max Scherzer’s outing for the Nationals yesterday was a nice bounce back game for the major league leader in fWAR. He tossed seven shutout innings against the Miami Marlins, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six. In his prior start against Pittsburgh, he’d allowed five runs in five innings (on three home runs no less) and had allowed five earned runs in two of his prior five starts. The Nationals won 1-0 because they, unlike the Mets, know how to use their closer(s).

Below I’ve listed the particulars for the Nationals starting pitcher for yesterday’s game. The tables and charts don’t exactly tell the entire story of last night’s pitching performance. These are just numbers, not stories, and each start is its own individual story. I like to think of these charts as the footnotes at the bottom of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. They’re not essential to making sense of the story’s narrative flow, but it definitely adds to the story’s richness if you understand the political and religious climates of late nineteenth century Ireland. In other words, it’s one thing to know that a thing occurred in a linear fashion, but it’s best to gain a deeper understanding as to why those events occurred.

Pitch Type Thrown Percentage
Changeup 19 17.4%
Curveball 5 4.6%
Fourseam 62 56.9%
Slider 23 21.1%

Max Scherzer Pitches by Type

Here’s a breakdown of pitch outcomes:

Outcome Changeup Curveball Fourseam Slider
Ball 11 3 16 3
Called Strike 0 2 11 1
Swinging Strike 1 0 8 5
Foul 2 0 20 6
In play, no out 1 0 0 2
In play, out(s) 4 0 7 2
Missed bunt 0 0 0 1

Max Scherzer Pitches by Outcome


Pitch Type Min (mph) Mean (mph) Max (mph)
Changeup 82.7 84.9 87.6
Curveball 77.9 78.6 80.3
Fourseam 90.4 92.9 96
Slider 82.7 85.4 87.6

Max Scherzer Pitch Velocities

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

150730_MaxStancePitch Location by Batter

By pitch type:

150730_MaxPitchLocationsPitch Location by Pitch Type


MLB Daily Heat Check

Here you’ll find information regarding the pitchers that light up the radar gun each and every night. I’ve listed for both starters and relievers the top five by average velocity and the pitchers that threw the hardest single pitch. It doesn’t equate to quality of an outing or take into consideration the end result of the pitch (sometimes really, really good fastballs go a long way), but it’s fun. For the charts below, I’m tracking fourseam fastballs.

Pitcher Name Team Pitch Type Avg. Start Speed (mph)
Carlos Martinez St. Louis FF 96.8
Carlos Carrasco Cleveland FF 95.3
Jake Arrieta Chicago Cubs FF 94.4
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee FF 94.3
Max Scherzer Nationals FF 93.7

Starters Top Five Fastballs by Average (MPH)

The five fastest pitches by starting speed all belong to Carlos Martinez. But, Chris Sale showed up on the list with the ninth hardest thrown pitch at 98.

The relievers are listed below:

Pitcher Name Team Pitch Type Start Speed
Ken Giles Phillies FF 99.5
Jeurys Familia Mets FF 99
Kelvin Herrera Royals FF 98.5
Dellin Betances Yankees FF 97.6
Craig Kimbrel Padres FF 97.4

Relievers Top Five Fastballs by Average (MPH)

Like the starters above, one man dominated the top six spots. Kenneth Giles threw the hardest fourseamer of the night at 101.3. He topped 100 four times. Kelvin Herrera nearly hit 100, coming in at 99.8 and good for seventh in our list.

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