Oct 18

MLB LCS Heat Check Saturday, October 17

heatIndexHere 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Yordano Ventura Fourseam 97.08 10
Yordano Ventura Two-seam 96.95 47
David Price Two-seam 94.55 14
Matt Harvey Two-seam 94.50 5
Matt Harvey Fourseam 94.44 43
David Price Fourseam 94.37 28
Jon Lester Fourseam 91.53 44
Yordano Ventura Cutter 91.35 8
Jon Lester Sinker 90.41 23
David Price Cutter 89.80 17

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Danny Duffy Fourseam 97.17 12
Kelvin Herrera Fourseam 97.09 7
Aaron Sanchez Two-seam 96.85 10
Wade Davis Fourseam 96.47 11
Jeurys Familia Sinker 96.32 16
Aaron Sanchez Fourseam 95.23 3
Justin Grimm Fourseam 95.20 3
Luke Hochevar Fourseam 94.15 2
Trevor Cahill Sinker 94.12 6
Wade Davis Cutter 92.63 7

 

Oct 17

Jacob DeGrom: About NLDS Game Five (October 15)

Under different circumstances, Justin Turner going 3-for-3 against Jacob deGrom, one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, would bring with it accolades and discussions of holidays named in his honor.  At the very least, his batting a combined .526/.550/.842 with six doubles and four RBI against the likes of deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz would bring with it national recognition and free coffee from all the Los Angeles baristas that he should run into.  I can’t speak for the coffee, but I always liked Turner and I’m both happy for his success and sad for him this morning.
I’m sure you can guess which emotion runs stronger.
Turner’s ownership of the Mets will of course be overshadowed by Daniel Murphy‘s hot hitting, heady base running, and timely heroics.  His at-bats against deGrom are largely lost as a side note to describe deGrom’s gritty, gutsy performance.  Those are the descriptions ascribed to deGrom last night by the national media.  They’re certainly accurate.  There was nothing about last night that had the overpowering majesty of Game 1.  I’m jumping a bit.  This started out discussing Turner, and here we are discussing deGrom.  When next we see Turner, we’ll see him strikeout on a Syndergaard curveball.
If it seems odd to discuss last night’s Mets 3-2 win by opening with Justin Turner, it’s probably because everything you can say about Murphy’s and deGrom’s performances last night have already been said.  You don’t need me to tell you that deGrom pitched through inning after inning with Dodger blue staring at him on the bases or Murphy was the Mets offense last night with an RBI double in the first inning, a heady stolen base in the fourth that led to the tying run on Travis d’Arnaud sac fly, and the go-ahead home run in the sixth.  Sure, I just wrote about them, but mostly everything has been said.
This seems like the perfect place to emote and say those were some of the finest performances I’ve ever seen, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say Murphy’s game last night was every bit as brilliant in my mind as Robin Ventura‘s grand slam single or Melvin Mora‘s ownership of the Braves in the 1999 NLCS.  Really, that’s what we’re down to isn’t it?  How does either a pitcher making the leap into an ace or a guy that was repeatedly discussed in trade rumors relate to me?  I’m oddly subdued this morning, and only some of that is because I’m groggy.  It’s probably because it’s tough to get too effusive when there are (hopefully) so many more games to go, but also because baseball seasons are long and it’s tough to think you just spent seven-eight months watching baseball and it could just as easily be over.  There were ten teams that entered this postseason with hopes of winning the Series, and we’re already down to four.  That means six distinct groups of fans are disappointed with various degrees of loathing for Jose Bautista, bat flips, or taekwondon’t type slides.
Maybe that’s a good reason to be overly excited.
This is personal, remember?  This isn’t about Murphy, deGrom, Jeurys Familia six-out saves (huge), floppy hairstyles, or 100-mph fastballs.  Spending six months watching your guys win a division they had no business winning and coming within a middle infielder racing to cover a bag of this season being over and trying to talk yourself into doing it again takes it out of you.  I need the day to mentally prepare for the Cubs.
As difficult as it is to believe that the Mets somehow made it through a series by facing both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice each, splitting those four games because the guy who won both pitched about as well as a human being can in one and struggled in the other like he was fighting through 121-pitch fatigue.  On Saturday we’ll see Matt Harvey deliver like an ace because he’s a guy that embraces the spotlight.  It’s who he is.  This season took a crazy turn for the cuckoo house with press conferences in a Miami dugout, back tracking, give me the ball because now I don’t care, and the media/fan freak out over a contrived excuse for arriving late to a mandatory team practice, but through it all Harvey still is the guy Mets fans earmarked for ace status before deGrom assumed the role.
The Dodgers had two of the best starters in all of baseball make an absurd 80% of the starts in a five-game series, but it was largely because the Mets had their own starter pitch his best baseball of the season when it mattered the most.
Maybe the Mets shouldn’t be here.  We’ve been told that all year long, right?  It’s the Nationals division to lose.  The Mets don’t belong.  They’re moving on to play the Cubs because of a pitcher that no one figured would be here and a second baseman that’s been here through so many lean years that even a hint of postseason baseball must look like a buffet of games.  Seven more games?  Murphy is still hungry.
So let the man eat already.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    14 13.3
##   Curveball    15 14.3
##    Fourseam    49 46.7
##    Two-seam    15 14.3
##      Slider    12 11.4

Pitch Type by Inning

##            1  2 3 4 5 6
## Changeup   3  1 1 4 2 3
## Curveball  2  1 2 2 5 3
## Fourseam  11 10 8 7 9 4
## Two-seam   6  5 1 3 0 0
## Slider     5  1 2 1 0 3

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             5         0       18        7      4
## Ball In Dirt                     2         1        0        1      0
## Called Strike                    3         6        8        0      1
## Foul                             2         2        9        4      0
## Foul Tip                         0         0        1        0      0
## In play, no out                  0         1        2        0      2
## In play, out(s)                  0         2        5        2      1
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        1        0      1
## Swinging Strike                  2         2        5        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         1        1        0      0
## Field Error             0         0        0        0      1
## Flyout                  0         0        0        0      1
## Grounded Into DP        0         1        0        0      0
## Groundout               0         1        0        0      0
## Lineout                 0         0        1        2      0
## Pop Out                 0         0        2        0      0
## Sac Bunt                0         0        2        0      0
## Single                  0         0        2        0      2
## Strikeout               2         1        3        1      0
## Walk                    1         0        2        0      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   47.62         52.38     32.45     60.90

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           9     0.222     0.400
##   Curveball       6           9     0.556     0.500
##    Fourseam      26          23     0.261     0.577
##    Two-seam       9           6     0.167     0.667
##      Slider       4           8     0.375     0.750

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam
## Called Strike          1         0        0        0
## Foul Tip               0         0        1        0
## Swinging Strike        1         1        2        1

Standard Batting Lines Against Jacob DeGrom

##             Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Adrian  Gonzalez  3  3 1  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      11
##       Andre  Ethier  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      12
##       Corey  Seager  3  3 1  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      18
##  Enrique  Hernandez  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##    Howard Kendrick  3  3 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       7
##       Joc  Pederson  3  1 0  0  0  0 0  2   0  0 0.000 0.667 0.000      18
##      Justin  Turner  3  3 3  2  0  0 0  0   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.667       9
##    Yasmani  Grandal  3  2 0  0  0  0 2  1   0  0 0.000 0.333 0.000      15
##       Zack  Greinke  3  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  2 0.000 0.000 0.000       6

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 84.8 86.2 88.4   -7.474     3.384       -7.442         2.147
##   Curveball 79.1 82.3 84.8    4.077    -1.753        4.347        -3.145
##    Fourseam 94.0 96.0 98.2   -4.399     8.638       -4.232         7.722
##    Two-seam 88.2 95.4 97.6   -8.090     6.610       -8.075         5.446
##      Slider 89.4 90.6 91.6   0.9000     3.400        1.423         2.207

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:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-16_Jacob DeGrom_Batters

Oct 16

MLB Playoff Heat Check Thursday, October 15

heatIndexHere 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Jacob deGrom Fourseam 96.04 49
Jacob deGrom Two-seam 95.35 15
Zack Greinke Fourseam 93.66 38
Zack Greinke Two-seam 90.79 23
Jacob deGrom Slider 90.61 12
Zack Greinke Changeup 88.98 14
Zack Greinke Slider 87.48 22
Jacob deGrom Changeup 86.21 14
Jacob deGrom Curveball 82.29 15
Zack Greinke Curveball 75.63 6

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Noah Syndergaard Sinker 99.60 6
Noah Syndergaard Fourseam 99.14 7
Jeurys Familia Sinker 97.30 14
Chris Hatcher Fourseam 96.67 4
Jeurys Familia FS 95.50 1
Kenley Jansen Cutter 94.08 14
Luis Avilan Fourseam 93.90 3
Jeurys Familia Slider 88.97 6
Chris Hatcher Slider 86.78 5
Kenley Jansen Slider 83.50 2

Oct 15

MLB Playoff Heat Check Wednesday, October 14

heatIndexHere 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Cole Hamels Two-seam 93.78 31
Johnny Cueto Two-seam 93.22 38
Marcus Stroman Fourseam 93.00 3
Johnny Cueto Fourseam 92.92 12
Marcus Stroman Two-seam 92.75 56
Cole Hamels Fourseam 92.09 31
Collin McHugh Two-seam 92.07 13
Collin McHugh Fourseam 90.85 12
Marcus Stroman Cutter 90.20 3
Cole Hamels Cutter 89.49 8

Fastest Starters Pitches Thrown Last Night (MPH):

Pitcher Velocity (MPH) Pitch Type
Johnny Cueto 95.90 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 95.80 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 95.40 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 95.10 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 95.00 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 95.00 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 95.00 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 95.00 Fourseam
Cole Hamels 94.90 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.80 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 94.80 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.70 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.60 Fourseam
Cole Hamels 94.50 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 94.50 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 94.50 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 94.50 Two-seam
Marcus Stroman 94.40 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.40 Fourseam
Cole Hamels 94.40 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.40 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.40 Fourseam
Cole Hamels 94.30 Two-seam
Cole Hamels 94.30 Two-seam
Johnny Cueto 94.30 Two-seam

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Samuel Dyson Fourseam 98.40 1
Jake Diekman Two-seam 97.93 3
Aaron Sanchez Two-seam 97.69 21
Samuel Dyson Two-seam 97.06 12
Roberto Osuna Fourseam 96.70 22
Wade Davis Fourseam 95.72 6
Aaron Sanchez Fourseam 94.85 2
Wade Davis Cutter 92.80 1
Tony Sipp Fourseam 90.67 9
Dallas Keuchel Two-seam 90.50 2

Oct 14

MLB Playoff Heat Check Tuesday, October 13

heatIndexHere 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Clayton Kershaw Fourseam 94.42 55
Steven Matz Sinker 93.99 54
John Lackey Two-seam 93.69 15
John Lackey Fourseam 93.34 23
Jason Hammel Fourseam 93.08 23
Jason Hammel Two-seam 90.78 6
Clayton Kershaw Slider 90.47 21
Jason Hammel Slider 87.85 17
John Lackey Cutter 84.79 9
Steven Matz Changeup 84.02 12

Fastest Starters Pitches Thrown Last Night (MPH):

Pitcher Velocity (MPH) Pitch Type
Steven Matz 95.90 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.80 Fourseam
Steven Matz 95.70 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.70 Fourseam
Steven Matz 95.60 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.60 Fourseam
Steven Matz 95.50 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.50 Fourseam
Steven Matz 95.40 SI
Steven Matz 95.30 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.30 Fourseam
Steven Matz 95.30 SI
Steven Matz 95.30 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
Clayton Kershaw 95.20 Fourseam
John Lackey 95.10 Two-seam
Steven Matz 95.10 SI
Clayton Kershaw 95.10 Fourseam
Steven Matz 95.00 SI
Steven Matz 95.00 SI

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Trevor Rosenthal Fourseam 99.31 21
Chris Hatcher Fourseam 97.52 5
Hector Rondon Two-seam 97.40 1
Jeurys Familia Sinker 97.32 5
Chris Hatcher Two-seam 97.00 1
Hector Rondon Fourseam 97.00 8
Clayton Richard Fourseam 96.30 1
Justin Grimm Fourseam 96.07 11
Fernando Rodney Two-seam 94.88 11
Pedro Strop Two-seam 94.77 3

Oct 13

Matt Harvey: About NLDS Game Three (October 12)

I thought I’d looked over the postseason roster with a reasonable amount of attention. I didn’t study the list of Mets’ players like I was looking at a Where’s Waldo? picture, but I spent more time than looking at a passing advertisement on the Metro. Still, I was surprised to see that Erik Goeddel was not only on the roster but he was also going to pitch in Game 3. The Mets were up 13-4. What harm could their be?

Kudos to you Terry Collins for stopping that Dodgers mini rally in its tracks by bringing in Jeurys Familia to finish off the ninth. If Monday taught us anything it’s that by leaving in a guy too long when he’s having a bad night a large lead can quickly turn (it’s like the word should be evaporate, but that’s not the right one either. That’s the announcer word. A more descriptive way to explain that situation to someone is that losing a big lead is like the collective nerves of millions bundled into one big ball of dread, then used as a punching bag by all the joyous Kansas City Royals fans.).

Unless you’re a Royals fan, that was a pretty excruciating inning to watch in the Royals/Astros game. After Carlos Correa and Colby Rasmus helped to put the Astros up 6-2 with changeup destroying swings off of Ryan Madson (as a former Phillies player, I didn’t really feel too much sympathy for him), the Astros chances of winning that game jumped all the way to 97.4% and would peak at 98.4% after Evan Gattis and Carlos Gomez singled. Anyone who watched last postseason knows that there really should be a curve when playing against the Royals. The Astros and their fans had to feel pretty with their chances of winning, but I couldn’t help but think that they needed to get through the eighth quickly. Don’t give the Royals a chance. Well, five straight singles and an error later the game is tied and there still aren’t any outs. Ugh. What a horrible inning.

I hope Correa comes back and plays a heck of a Game 5. He was a monster yesterday at the plate, and you’d hate for one misjudged grounder to help define this postseason for him. Of course, he singled off of Wade Davis in the ninth, a liner right back up the middle, so it doesn’t look like much phases the 21-year old.

The Mets had their own 21-year old phenom back in the day, and while David Wright is now 32, he made one heck of a play in the second inning to save a fourth Dodgers run from scoring. It’s so good to see Wright back playing great baseball. That run probably doesn’t seem like all that much after the final score, but after all the buildup to this game with all the additional drama it wouldn’t of helped to head to the bottom of the second down 4-0. The Mets plating four in the second were huge, especially after loading the bases with no outs. Coming away with a single run there would have been a huge disappointment.

Is anyone else glad that a game was played last night? I was worried that the Mets were going to engage in some petty vendetta against some random Dodgers player and the game would become a vicious slog (as opposed to a viscous slog). I refused to even write about Saturday’s game I was so angry about that Chase Utley flying leg kick to Ruben Tejada. There was absolutely no way to write about the situation on Sunday without coming out saying mean, angry, retaliation type drivel. You know, the perfect time to use Twitter. That Utley has done this type of stuff before and his kick had a Karate Kid, sweep the leg type feel to it, made it all the more deplorable. So, I spent the day with my daughter, enjoyed reliving the Haunted Mansion ride on YouTube (many, many, many times as she can’t get enough of it apparently), and decided to forget all about Utley.

I’m glad Matt Harvey decided to not go after someone too. The best way to solve an issue with thuggery is winning the series. The Mets are one game away from doing that, and focusing in on retribution when Clayton Kershaw is readying to pitch Game 4 is a good way to end your season prematurely.

As for Harvey, he pitched okay. His slider didn’t look particularly sharp, but the boxscore is sort of a liar this morning. He pitched five innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits while walking two and striking out seven. The seven hits were all singles, and I don’t recall many of those being hit particularly hard. Mostly they were balls just out of the reach of Daniel Murphy or Lucas Duda or some such. He hadn’t pitched since the third of October, so he was working out control and feel. Honestly, I thought he pitched fairly well. When he was missing with his fastball, he was missing just off the plate or like in the case of Justin Turner in the second elevating a fastball letter high instead of at the eyebrow.

He pitched his way out of more trouble in the second with Yasmani Grandal on second after Curtis Granderson’s throwing error and no outs. Harvey pitched out of that, and there were multiple runners on in both the third and fifth that failed to score. I don’t think we’ll consider this one as a masterpiece, but it was serviceable.

Thanks to Granderson, Yoenis Cespedes, and Travis d’Arnaud (and others, just listing the big hits) Harvey enjoyed a sizable lead and Collins didn’t have to head to Bartolo Colon or Jon Niese by the third.

Speaking of Granderson, Cespedes, and d’Arnaud. The trio combined to go 8-for-15 with 11 RBI, eight runs scored, two home runs, and two doubles. Granderson missed a grand slam by about 10 feet as his double in the second with two outs hit at the base of the right-centerfield wall. Huge at-bat.

We all know that playing well in the postseason can leave lasting images, but how about Cespedes crushing that ball into the second deck?

We’ll call that souvenir a keeper.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    10 10.3
##   Curveball    10 10.3
##    Fourseam    44 45.4
##    Two-seam    19 19.6
##      Slider    14 14.4

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2  3 4 5
## Changeup  0 0  3 5 2
## Curveball 2 3  3 1 1
## Fourseam  6 9 12 8 9
## Two-seam  4 4  6 0 5
## Slider    2 3  4 3 2

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             3         1       16        8      9
## Called Strike                    3         1        8        2      1
## Foul                             0         2        7        4      1
## Foul Bunt                        0         0        1        0      0
## Foul Tip                         0         1        0        0      1
## In play, no out                  0         0        4        2      0
## In play, out(s)                  1         2        5        0      0
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        0        0      1
## Swinging Strike                  2         2        3        3      1
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        1         1        0        0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

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

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   45.36         54.64     31.11     55.11

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           5     0.600     0.200
##   Curveball       3           7     0.857     0.333
##    Fourseam      23          21     0.286     0.609
##    Two-seam       9          10     0.200     0.778
##      Slider       4          10      0.00     0.500

Strikeouts by Description

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Foul Tip                         0         0        0        0      1
## Swinging Strike                  2         0        2        1      0
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0        0      0

Standard Batting Lines Against Matt Harvey

##             Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Adrian  Gonzalez  3  2 1  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 0.500      17
##       Andre  Ethier  3  3 2  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 0.667      10
##     Brett  Anderson  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       3
##      Carl  Crawford  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      11
##  Enrique  Hernandez  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5
##    Howard Kendrick  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##      Jimmy  Rollins  3  3 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      12
##       Joc  Pederson  1  0 0  0  0  0 0  1   0  0   NaN 1.000   NaN       5
##      Justin  Turner  3  3 2  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 0.667      16
##    Yasmani  Grandal  2  2 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 0.500       8

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 87.1 88.0 89.2   -8.859     4.192       -8.705         2.608
##   Curveball 82.9 84.7 85.7   0.8530    -3.687        1.083        -5.491
##    Fourseam 94.0 95.8 97.2   -5.662     8.197       -5.294         6.855
##    Two-seam 94.8 96.2 97.6   -6.794     6.246       -6.596         4.849
##      Slider 85.7 90.2 91.6   0.4721     4.134        1.067         2.743

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:

2015-10-13_Matt Harvey_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-13_Matt Harvey_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-13_Matt Harvey_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-13_Matt Harvey_Batters

Oct 13

MLB Playoff Heat Check Monday, October 12

heatIndexHere 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Yordano Ventura Fourseam 96.20 41
Matt Harvey Two-seam 96.16 19
Yordano Ventura Two-seam 95.87 16
Matt Harvey Fourseam 95.75 44
Jake Arrieta Fourseam 94.62 11
Michael Wacha Fourseam 94.55 58
Jake Arrieta Sinker 94.33 49
Lance McCullers Fourseam 94.30 51
Derek Holland Sinker 93.29 22
Derek Holland Fourseam 93.20 1

Fastest Starters Pitches Thrown Last Night (MPH):

Pitcher Velocity (MPH) Pitch Type
Yordano Ventura 98.30 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 98.30 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.60 Fourseam
Matt Harvey 97.60 Two-seam
Yordano Ventura 97.40 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.40 Fourseam
Matt Harvey 97.40 Two-seam
Yordano Ventura 97.30 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.20 Two-seam
Yordano Ventura 97.20 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.20 Two-seam
Yordano Ventura 97.20 Fourseam
Matt Harvey 97.20 Fourseam
Matt Harvey 97.20 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.10 Fourseam
Lance McCullers 97.10 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.10 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.10 Two-seam
Matt Harvey 97.10 Fourseam
Matt Harvey 97.10 Two-seam
Yordano Ventura 97.00 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 97.00 Fourseam
Matt Harvey 97.00 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 96.90 Fourseam
Yordano Ventura 96.80 Fourseam

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Pedro Baez Fourseam 98.62 12
Pedro Baez Two-seam 97.70 2
Kelvin Herrera Fourseam 97.61 20
Hector Rondon Two-seam 96.80 3
Aaron Sanchez Two-seam 96.45 4
Hector Rondon Fourseam 96.41 7
Keone Kela Fourseam 96.15 6
Jeurys Familia Sinker 95.93 3
Jake Diekman Two-seam 95.87 13
Roberto Osuna Fourseam 95.87 9

 

Oct 12

MLB Playoff Heat Check Sunday, October 11

heatIndexHere 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Edinson Volquez Sinker 94.70 23
Edinson Volquez Fourseam 94.68 21
Martin Perez Fourseam 92.70 16
Martin Perez Two-seam 92.26 25
Dallas Keuchel Two-seam 89.12 50
Marco Estrada Fourseam 88.81 61
Dallas Keuchel Fourseam 88.74 19
Dallas Keuchel Cutter 86.17 3
Martin Perez Slider 86.15 19
Edinson Volquez Changeup 85.29 20

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Aaron Sanchez Fourseam 97.10 2
Danny Duffy Two-seam 96.90 2
Aaron Sanchez Two-seam 96.72 8
Danny Duffy Fourseam 95.47 4
Roberto Osuna Fourseam 95.27 3
Luke Hochevar Fourseam 94.79 8
Roberto Osuna Two-seam 94.55 2
Mark Lowe Fourseam 94.25 2
Alex Gonzalez Two-seam 93.37 3
Ross Ohlendorf Fourseam 92.60 7

 

Oct 11

MLB Playoff Heat Check Saturday, October 10


heatIndex

You know it’s the playoff edition when you see names like Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn make the list. Also, welcome back Adam Wainwright! When the average for Noah Syndergaard‘s changeups and sliders make our list, I don’t think of ways to update the script. I say go with it. It’s the playoffs! 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 average pitch velocity with a heading for type. 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.

Starters Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Noah Syndergaard Sinker 98.62 37
Noah Syndergaard Fourseam 98.51 24
Zack Greinke Fourseam 92.92 36
Zack Greinke Two-seam 90.88 11
Jaime Garcia Fourseam 90.11 19
Jaime Garcia Two-seam 90.03 7
Jaime Garcia Cutter 89.60 1
Noah Syndergaard Changeup 89.25 22
Zack Greinke Changeup 88.71 25
Noah Syndergaard Slider 88.39 15

Relievers Pitches by Average MPH:

Name Pitch Avg Count
Hansel Robles Fourseam 98.37 6
Hector Rondon Two-seam 96.93 3
Hector Rondon Fourseam 96.90 7
Chris Hatcher Fourseam 96.48 6
Addison Reed Fourseam 94.23 7
Kenley Jansen Cutter 94.11 16
Lance Lynn Fourseam 93.87 17
Trevor Cahill Sinker 93.70 5
Adam Wainwright Fourseam 92.52 5
Lance Lynn Two-seam 92.30 7

Oct 10

Jacob deGrom: About NLDS Game One

Personally, yesterday was about as good as it gets for a baseball fan. I left work around noon, making it home in time for the start of the Texas/Toronto game; watched Texas take a 2-0 lead in their series after tying the game 4-4 in the eighth and letting their bullpen absolutely shut the Blue Jays down until winning it in the 14th; moved onto watching John Lackey pitch one heck of a game against the Cubs (thought I might see my second postseason no-hitter after watching Roy Halladay’s no-hitter against the Reds in 2010); and then capped my evening by watching the Mets play postseason baseball for the first time since 2006.

I now have new Mets postseason memories that are fresher than a stupid Yadier Molina homerun and an amazing Endy Chavez catch.

Hooray!

So, on the excitement scale, we had: a come from behind thriller that kept the Royals from starting their series down two games, a gem of a start from Lackey that ended up as a shutout, a 14-inning game that took an eighth inning run to tie it and now has the Rangers up 2-0, and a particularly thrilling pitching matchup that had a three-time Cy Young winner against last season’s Rookie of the Year who’s morphed into a staff ace.

A few notes on the other games before discussing the Mets/Dodgers game.

Does Josh Donaldson yell at everyone? I haven’t watched that many Blue Jays games this year admittedly, but two of the games I watched involved Donaldson cursing out the opposing team’s pitcher.  The first time was when Edinson Volquez hit Donaldson on the left arm, then later tried to plant one in his ear. Okay, I get that.  Getting hit in the arm really hurts, and sometimes you have to let a guy know about it. Yesterday, though, I’m curious what Keone Kela said to to Donaldson in the 13th that set the potential AL MVP to curse at Kela the way he did. I imagine Kela said something like, “Stop staring at your long foul ball, loser.” Maybe Donaldson was upset he didn’t have that magical walk-off moment.

Then, I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the Jose Bautista bat flip walk. Some might find the bat flip excessive, but not me. If you’re going to walk, do it in style.

I’m really glad to see Colby Rasmus doing well in the postseason so far. In the offseason, I wrote about hoping he found a place that allowed him the opportunity to start enjoying baseball again, and he’s a guy I’ve been pulling for.

Keep doing your thing Colby.

Seriously, Matt Carpenter has 28 home runs? WTH? Also, why is it the Fangraph’s site is constantly opening up the App Store on my iPhone and trying to make me download some stupid app? The site is basically unusable on my phone. Is that because of their ads? So annoying.

Of all the pitching matchups that we’ve been treated to since the start of the playoffs, I find it sort of amazing that Major League Baseball decided to bury the best one at 9:45 Eastern time. I know the game is in Los Angeles, but why in the heck would you start this game so late when more than a few people might be interested in it? How about an eight o’clock start? You have two of the largest media markets in the world directly involved in this series, and they couldn’t figure out a way to highlight a Jacob deGrom (1-0) vs Clayton Kershaw (0-1) start in a more East Cost friendly time slot?

They sort of dropped the ball on this one.

Who did not drop the ball in this game was deGrom. According to Ron Darling with the TBS crew, deGrom became the first person ever to strike out six batters in the first two innings of his postseason debut. Yeah, he did respectable work. It was funny, TBS flashed the pitching line for deGrom after four innings and it read something like four innings pitched, five hits, zero runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts. Seeing how the walk was an intentional walk to Joc Pederson to get to Kershaw and two of those hits were Michael Cuddyer misplays on a Justin Turner double in the second and a Cory Seager double in the third, you can see that deGrom was pretty impressive in this game.

Kershaw was pretty darn good too, except for this Daniel Murphy shot:

I’ve professed my love for both of these starters multiple times in this blog, so you can well imagine that this game held a certain appeal to me. It’s difficult to imagine that a matchup between Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole could take second billing over the first four days of the playoffs, but deGrom/Kershaw was about as good as it gets. If not for Kershaw walking the bases loaded in the seventh, we’re probably discussing how this game ended up in extra innings and who knows? A lot will be made about Kershaw’s postseason failings, and walking the bases loaded won’t help quell those voices. I would like to say that Ruben Tejada worked that count from 0-2, fighting off some good pitches, and it wasn’t entirely Kershaw falling apart. Ball four was nearly to the backstop, but still. I guess if you’re going to make a case for a guy who can’t quite get it done when it matters, you might wonder why Kershaw didn’t just go after Tejada. On top of that, Kershaw had Curtis Granderson 1-2, but Granderson didn’t bite on a mid-90s fastball up, and Granderson worked his walk. The 3-2 pitch was close, outside, but it was close enough that a lot of guys swing.

Then this happened:

deGrom had his tense moments as well. Turner’s double on the Cuddyer misplay in the second made it a runner on second with no outs, but deGrom struck out Andre Ethier on a check swing, struck out A.J. Ellis, and then after intentionally walking Pederson, struck out Kershaw. Kershaw as also the final out in the fourth when the Dodgers had runners on first and second and were threatening to score. In this at-bat, Kershaw drove the ball deep to center but right into Yoenis Cespedes’ glove. Sometimes it’s about who’s up when bad things happen as well as how capable a pitcher is of making his pitch.

How did deGrom work the Dodgers? He relied primarily on a fastball that was hitting 97 and 98 consistently early on. He mixed in his slider, particularly early in the game, and he would occasionally work in a curve. He worked up in the zone, striking out Carl Crawford twice on fastballs up and out of the zone. The Dodgers were pretty aggressive last night. They swung at 40% of deGrom’s pitches out of the zone. I didn’t remember too many changeups (10 were thrown apparently), but he struck out Pederson in the seventh on a changeup that had Bartolo Colon wiffle-ball movement. That was a nasty pitch. What seems even crueler is that two pitches prior he’d thrown Pederson a 97-mph fastball, then threw him a changeup that Pederson hit off the end of the bat. Back-to-back changeups? No. deGrom wouldn’t do that would he?  Yeah, he’ll do that. deGrom also struck out Chase Utley on a changeup to tie a Mets postseason record with 13 strikeouts.

Must be nice to have five usable, major league quality pitches.

Aggressive? How aggressive were the Mets in this game as both Granderson and David Wright attacked Kershaw’s first offering to each. Granderson flew out to deep right to start the game, and it was clear the Mets weren’t going to wait around, take pitches, and hope good things happened. I thought the Wright at-bat was big, though. He worked a 12-pitch walk in the first, giving his team some time to take a few breaths and remember it’s still just baseball. You wonder if a eight or nine pitch inning by Kershaw with a couple of strikeouts might have altered the tone of this game.

Just thoughts.

I also think that winning this game is important for Saturday’s game as well. Of course, it’s preferable to start a best of five series 1-0, but you have a young guy in Noah Syndergaard starting game two, and winning the first one takes a little pressure off of him. Instead of coming out and overthrowing, Syndergaard can hit 100-mph on the radar gun and not stress himself out.

Wondering why this Mets team is dangerous?

On the night, deGrom pitched seven shutout innings and struck out 13 while allowing five hits and one intentional walk. He also laid down one heck of a sacrifice bunt in the seventh, which gives me hope that the pitchers actually know how to bunt. In the regular season, I don’t remember too many of those.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    10 8.26
##   Curveball    11 9.09
##    Fourseam    45 37.2
##    Two-seam    31 25.6
##          IN     4 3.31
##      Slider    20 16.5

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1  2 3 4 5 6  7
## Changeup  0  1 3 2 0 0  4
## Curveball 1  3 1 2 1 2  1
## Fourseam  8 13 2 7 2 2 11
## Two-seam  9  0 6 6 3 5  2
## IN        0  4 0 0 0 0  0
## Slider    2  4 2 4 5 1  2

Pitches by Outcome:

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam IN Slider
## Ball                   1         3       13       12  0      5
## Ball In Dirt           2         2        0        0  0      0
## Called Strike          1         2        7        2  0      5
## Foul                   1         2       12        4  0      6
## Foul Tip               0         0        1        1  0      0
## In play, no out        1         0        2        2  0      0
## In play, out(s)        0         1        5        2  0      0
## Intent Ball            0         0        0        0  4      0
## Swinging Strike        4         1        5        8  0      4

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

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

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   54.55         45.45     39.60     77.00

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           5     0.400     0.800
##   Curveball       5           6     0.167     0.600
##    Fourseam      25          20     0.400     0.640
##    Two-seam      20          11     0.273     0.650
##          IN       0           4      0.00       NaN
##      Slider      11           9     0.444     0.545

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Foul Tip               0         0        0        1      0
## Swinging Strike        4         1        4        1      2

Standard Batting Lines Against Jacob DeGrom

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##       A.J.  Ellis  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      16
##  Adrian  Gonzalez  3  3 0  0  0  0 3  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      20
##     Andre  Ethier  3  3 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      11
##    Carl  Crawford  3  3 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      14
##      Chase  Utley  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5
##  Clayton  Kershaw  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      12
##     Corey  Seager  3  3 1  1  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.667       9
##  Howard Kendrick  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       9
##     Joc  Pederson  3  2 0  0  0  0 1  1   0  0 0.000 0.333 0.000      14
##    Justin  Turner  3  3 2  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000      11

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 84.6 86.1 87.1   -7.449   0.02200       -7.379        -1.308
##   Curveball 81.1 82.4 83.4    4.140    -3.803        4.567        -5.102
##    Fourseam 94.7 96.5 98.3   -4.075     7.609       -3.844         6.720
##    Two-seam 88.4 96.5 97.9   -7.549     5.500       -7.527         4.530
##          IN 71.9 74.4 76.3   -4.697     6.550       -5.833         6.309
##      Slider 87.4 90.0 92.9   0.8410     1.308        1.286        0.2337

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:

2015-10-10_Jacob DeGrom_BoxPlotBelow are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-10_Jacob DeGrom_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-10_Jacob DeGrom_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-10_Jacob DeGrom_Batters