NLCS Game 2, Syndergaard, & Murph!

What have we learned about Noah Syndergaard (1-0) after Sunday night’s NLCS Game 2? His changeup has really improved over the course of the year for one. At the beginning of the year, Syndergaard was all fastballs and balls that broke for dirt. In June, the pitch was considered in his repertoire in name only with using it about 3% of the time. If you received three percent on a savings account in this day and age you’d be ecstatic, but that’s not the kind of percentage that makes you believe a pitcher has any faith in one of his pitches. I’d be willing to bet you could talk a major league pitcher into trying out a knuckleball three percent of the time, but that wouldn’t turn David Price into R.A. Dickey. Three percent is typically when you throw in a few practice sliders to the pitcher.

As you can well imagine, since I’m spending a considerable amount of time harping on it, Syndergaard’s use of the changeup has increased over the course of the year. Sometimes he’d sit around 12%, jumping up to around 25% of the time in starts against Boston and Atlanta in late August, early September starts. Typically when he’d used the changeup as his primary secondary pitch, it was because he didn’t have a great feel for the curveball, but what was remarkable about last night is that his breaking ball was sharp as well. In the first inning Syndergaard struck out Kyle Schwarber on back-to-back changeups, and they were particularly nasty offerings. In the third, after showing Javier Baez three straight 96+ mph fastballs, Syndergaard struck him out with a pair of curves.

Heck, Syndergaard even tossed in a couple of sliders in the later innings. You know, something around 2-3%.

When Syndergaard did throw his fastball (and he did throw his fastball around 60% of the time) he didn’t bring that 100-mph heater that makes all us geeky fans overly excited. No. Syndergaard reached back a few times and hit 98, stayed around 96-97, but the way he mixed speeds and started batters out with changeups and curves that fastball moved with a bit more authority on occasion. Actually, the way Syndergaard worked the corners and the knees, he reminded me of the way Jacob deGrom sometimes gets when he’s locked in. On his second strikeout of Schwarber in the third, he painted the inside black at the knees like he was throwing darts.

We’ll call this a successful start.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Mets have two rookies making starts in this NLCS. That’s pretty remarkable. Lots of teams have rookie pitchers. Look at the Reds. They managed to spend the entirety of the second half of the season giving rookies an opportunity to start games, but that didn’t mean the Reds ended up in the postseason. Rookies take their lumps. Learning on the job is tough, and major league hitters aren’t looking to help these guys out much. The thing about Syndergaard, and to a lesser extent for Steven Matz because he made so few starts during the season due to injuries, is that he doesn’t seem like a rookie anymore.

Is it familiarity? The 150 innings he threw during the regular season? Whatever it is he’s pitched so well in the postseason that it’s been a non-factor so far.

***

Yesterday I was thinking about this series. I was on a hike with a couple of good friends (you should remember Chuck from his Sportsmaster post) and my wife, thinking about baseball as I tried to forget about tumbling down Maryland Heights. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked before. Not on purpose. My knees are currently not thanking me, but it was a great day for it, and it was also a great day to think about baseball. Anyway, I was thinking about what this Mets lineup will look like when David Wright really gets going. Was his back bothering him? All of the extra days off in these series was hopefully giving him enough rest, but was it simply some kind of funk at the plate. He’s looked solid in the field, even making a great play in the fifth inning of last night’s game.

As an aside, was anyone else terrified when Wright stole second in Game 1? It was a stolen base that kicked off the journey of spinal stenosis discovery, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch another Wright steal without holding my breath a little.

Wright may not have proven last night that his bat is now considered a lethal weapon, but he absolutely tattooed one to center over Dexter Fowler’s head for an RBI double, bringing in Curtis Granderson for the game’s first run. While I love the idea of a continued Daniel Murphy home run barrage, I can’t imagine Joe Maddon will continue to have his pitchers throw to him if he’s hitting homers in every game. We saw that in the third inning when Jake Arrieta (0-1) intentionally walked Murphy to get to Yoenis Cespedes.

What world is this when pitchers are trying to get to Cespedes?

Nothing about that third inning likely produces a run if not for Granderson. In the second inning, Granderson flashed a little leather by robbing Chris Coghlan of a home run:

Then in the third, Granderson worked Arrieta for a walk, stole second, forcing Maddon to walk Murphy to set up the double-play, and then Granderson stole third, scoring on Cespedes’ infield single to Baez at short. He also singled in the first to score on Wright’s double. Yesterday I discussed how Granderson has sort of been the quiet force in this lineup, but he wasn’t particularly quiet yesterday. He was all over the place, being a Cubs menace for nine great innings.

So, Daniel Murphy:

Let me get this right. In four straight games, Murphy has hit home runs against Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, and now Arrieta. If you’re looking for descriptions, let’s go with this: the greatest pitcher in the world; a former Cy Young winner with a 1.66 ERA on the season; a big ticket free agent signing and three-time All Star; and one of the frontrunners for the NL Cy who had the greatest second half of pitching in MLB history.

Okay, sure. Why the heck not?

Murphy just tied Mike Piazza for the most homers in Mets postseason history, and I think we’re now approaching Carlos Beltran in 2004 level of unconsciousness. Beltran belted eight in the greatest postseason prior to free agency, and Murphy is making a nice run at Beltran’s quantity of highlights. I don’t know if Murphy will bank the contract that Beltran did, but I’m at the point that I’d be willing to start a Kickstarter project to keep him in New York for another year or two. How do they not offer him arbitration?

Sign me up for another year of this.

 

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    15 14.9
##   Curveball    23 22.8
##    Fourseam    30 29.7
##      Sinker    31 30.7
##      Slider     2 1.98

Pitch Type by Inning

##           1 2 3 4 5 6
## Changeup  4 3 1 2 2 3
## Curveball 4 4 7 2 3 3
## Fourseam  7 5 7 2 3 6
## Sinker    5 2 5 6 4 9
## Slider    0 0 0 1 1 0

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Sinker Slider
## Ball                             7        11        4     12      0
## Ball In Dirt                     0         3        0      0      0
## Called Strike                    0         4        7      9      0
## Foul                             1         2        9      4      1
## Foul Tip                         0         0        0      1      0
## In play, no out                  0         0        2      0      0
## In play, out(s)                  2         0        3      3      0
## In play, run(s)                  0         0        0      1      0
## Swinging Strike                  5         2        5      1      1
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0         1        0      0      0

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##           Changeup Curveball Fourseam Sinker
## Double           0         0        0      1
## Flyout           1         0        1      1
## Groundout        0         0        2      2
## Pop Out          1         0        0      0
## Single           0         0        2      0
## Strikeout        2         2        3      2
## Walk             0         0        0      1

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   50.50         49.50     24.24     59.41

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          11     0.364      1.00
##   Curveball       5          18     0.222     0.200
##    Fourseam      24           6     0.333     0.708
##      Sinker      17          14    0.0714     0.412
##      Slider       1           1      1.00      1.00

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Changeup Curveball Fourseam Sinker
## Called Strike          0         0        1      1
## Foul Tip               0         0        0      1
## Swinging Strike        2         2        2      0

Standard Batting Lines Against Noah Syndergaard

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Anthony  Rizzo  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##    Chris  Coghlan  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##    Dexter  Fowler  3  2 1  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 0.500      15
##     Jake  Arrieta  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##      Javier  Baez  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       8
##      Kris  Bryant  3  3 2  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.667 0.667 1.000      15
##   Kyle  Schwarber  3  3 0  0  0  0 3  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      13
##   Miguel  Montero  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       9
##   Starlin  Castro  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      10
##  Tommy  La  Stella  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       7

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 87.5  89. 90.5   -10.35     6.259       -10.57         4.348
##   Curveball 78.0 80.6 83.0    9.059    -1.721        9.546        -3.733
##    Fourseam 96.2 97.5 99.2   -3.429     11.51       -3.461         9.849
##      Sinker 96.3 97.6 99.1   -7.965     9.799       -8.125         7.957
##      Slider 86.3 86.8 87.2    4.660    -2.110        4.787        -4.186

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.

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_BoxPlot 2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Batters 2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Pitches 2015-10-19_Noah Syndergaard_Stance

Sometimes You Dream Big

IMG_1146

A Recondo and Dazzler mashup? You bet!

I was watching Yordano Ventura pitch in Game 2 of the ALCS yesterday. That’s a cruddy opening isn’t it? I was eating chips yesterday. Well, so what? While watching Ventura throw 98-mph fastballs to the likes of Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, I began to wonder two things: what would happen if there was a mashup between Marvel’s Dazzler and GI Joe’s Recondo, and what would I do if I threw a 98-mph fastball? The first question was easy enough to answer with a little help from Photoshop, but the second took some thought. I had the afternoon free to think about such things, however, so I thought I’d share what I’d do if I threw really, really, ridiculously hard.

  • Reach all the juiciest, tastiest apples at the top of apple trees. There’s one that can be said to be called the unattainable fruit. Well, it’s attainable for me. Maybe you can eat those apples that have been picked over and palmed by germy-handed toddlers. Not this guy. I’m going for the place where worms can’t reach. Look it up. There’s probably some kind of fact somewhere that says worms can’t breathe that high off the ground. Or they get tired climbing. Or the birds that perch that high pick them off.
  • Plant one in Chase Utley’s ribs.
  • Strike out The Whammer.
  • Turn off the lights. We have push button lights in our house. They’re pretty sweet. I don’t have to go through all the trouble of twisting my wrist like you suckers, risking carpal tunnel. My curveball also suffers because I don’t build up those muscles, but I consider the tradeoff worth it in the long run. Still. I’m pretty lazy. I have to stand up, walk over to the switch, and push a button. There’s a satisfying click. What if I miss? I could sprain a finger. A 98-mph fastball would solve a few problems immediately.
  • Stand in front of a radar speed sign and test my stuff.
  • Never once throw a changeup. That’s weak, bro.
  • See if I could make plastic 2-liters explode, preferably in slow motion.
  • Have Daniel Murphy say I threw every speed.
  • Would not become a Real American Hero. You can’t convince me Hardball was a legitimate GI Joe character.
  • Feel better about all those made up characters in a lifetime of video games that had my name and finished the season 32-0. With a 98-mph fastball? I don’t feel so bad now. Maybe I convince myself I really did those things.
  • Throw out Starlin Castro from leftfield.

 

  • Reverse the Earth’s rotation to travel back in time. I could do this. I’d throw so hard I could grow younger instead of older like mere mortals. I’d make a few timely bets. Maybe I’d even edit a few of these posts.
  • Dominate snowball battles.
  • Win everything at carnivals. From cement weighted milk jugs to guess your speed, I’d be a force. How many balloons can a man pop with a 98-mph fastball? Forget those dull darts. My heater melts balloons and wins the hearts of kewpie dolls everywhere. The mouse may find the blue diamond, but this cat is hunting for Motley Crew t-shirts.
  • Dare police to ticket me.
  • Grab the most top shelfiest of all items at every store. Ladder? Go get the stock clerk if you want. This guy brought his own extendable arm. You know they only put the best stuff up there, far out of the roving eyes of average people, right?
  • Rule duckpin bowling.
  • Clean my gutters.
  • Create my own hot sauce brand.
  • Become an ambassador. A guy with a 98-mph heater makes world leaders listen. That’s a guy with power.
  • Whatever I want.

NLCS Game One, Harvey, and Murphy’s Heroics

Yesterday I’m doing a bit of channel surfing and for some reason I end up on the NFL Network. I never watch the NFL Network. It’s a fairly useless channel in my opinion because who the heck wants 24-hours of football analysis? Let me rephrase that. Who the heck wants 24-hours of guys talking about random guy’s leadership qualities and intangibles? Eh. I’m sure 90% of the people love the NFL Network, but consider me the in the 10% that thinks there’s enough talk about the NFL on Sunday.

This is all because I’m bitter my fantasy teams are horrible.

I stopped on the channel specifically because the show was dedicated to Madden. A show dedicated to a video game? Okay. I’ll bite. How could the NFL Channel discuss a video game for 30 minutes? Would it be like all those stupid DraftKing/FanDuel segments that talk about players you should pick up? Would it give hints on how to draft a super-duper-star lineman and go all J.J. Watt on another team? What could it be. Well, it was two guys talking about the Kansas City Chiefs playbook, then it cut away to Maurice Jones-Drew fumbling around on a controller while trying to explain how to break tackles. In a video game. I feel like I came to the end of television as a viable means of communication. Now we’re just going all Jackson Pollock and hoping something is made from it.

The point of mentioning my find was after seeing that and then seeing Michigan blow their playoff chances on one of the weirdest plays imaginable, I was ready for anything last night. Would the Mets win 50-1? Would the Cubs somehow score 9 in the ninth with two outs and the bases empty, all on passed ball strikeouts? Would TBS spend 30 minutes of its pregame discussing the Wilpon’s family vacation in Cabo. Anything was possible, right? This could be something special.

I’m pretty sure we’re seeing something special here. What’s the ceiling with Daniel Murphy at this point? I apologize for asking all of these questions today, using some silly literary technique to pique interest, but I’m at a loss, and I’d imagine most people are as well. He’s so ridiculously hot that he crushes his fourth home run of this postseason in the first inning then makes a diving stop to finish off the game. Short of throwing his trademark jumper to Travis d’Arnaud on Starlin Castro’s RBI double, is there anything he can’t do at this point? Murphy has four homers in this postseason, which is one behind Mike Piazza for the Mets all-time record for homers in career postseason games. Piazza hit four homers in 2000 against the Cardinals and Yankees and another against the Braves in ’99.

I’m a huge Piazza fan, but I’d be happy to see Murphy zip past that number. Maybe on Sunday against Jake Arrieta.

The other day I mentioned how I was convinced Matt Harvey (1-0) would show up big time for this game and quiet some of the doubters. I feel like I’ve been defending Harvey for so long, and it didn’t make any sense. Why were people so down on this guy all of a sudden? Maybe he had some missteps along the way this season, but he’s still the same guy that New York fell in love with in 2013. He’s a legitimate ace, and all this ridiculous talk about needing to trade him because people would blame him for bad outings, failed postseason dreams, Global Warming, Mr. Met’s migraines, etc. was silly. He’s 26, throws 97-mph bullets, and loves the spotlight of pitching in NYC.

You don’t trade a guy like that. You offer him $200M over seven years.

So how did Harvey do yesterday? He came out pitching. Not over-throwing. Not trying to make a point with adrenaline-fueled fastballs. He struck out Dexter Fowler on a changeup. He struck out Kyle Schwarber on a nasty curveball. He had five strikeouts through three innings, six through four, and he didn’t allow his first hit until the fifth inning when Castro doubled in Anthony Rizzo on a ball that Juan Lagares should have caught but misread. Yeah. Maybe there were a few near home runs by David Ross or Schwarber lineouts thrown in there, but Harvey pitched about as well as people could have hoped he would pitch. Will the fans and media finally get off this guy’s back already?

In all fairness, Harvey wasn’t particularly sharp in his last (first) postseason start against the Dodgers, and there have been plenty of examples where the extra time off and the innings limit have caused Harvey all kinds of frustration and embarrassment. I’m thinking of his seven earned runs allowed against Washington (you know, the game where the Mets came back from being down 7-1 and essentially caused all of D.C. to say screw it) and the lights out performance against the Yankees where he left after five innings. I don’t care, though. He’s the same guy that gave the fans hope back in 2013, and he’s the same guy that embraces being a cult hero in the largest media market in the world. He runs with not from being called the Dark Knight for Gotham’s sake.

On the night, Harvey finished with 7 2/3 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out nine. Harvey’s night ended on a Schwarber home run that might still be in the air. According to ESPN, the ball traveled 461 feet. I think I hit a golf ball that far once. Maybe.

d’Arnaud’s homer to center that hit the apple traveled 436 feet. I thought that was a Michael Taylor-esque shot. Schwarber decided to tack on a first down atop of that so he could take a quick tour of all the bases.

Last night didn’t seem like the kind of night where hitting the ball 430+ feet was possible. It was windy and cold. It was October on the East Coast, which should be interesting as this series continues and if additional baseball is played in the coming weeks. I’m sure it’s something the Mets players will gladly deal with.

On another note, how about Curtis Granderson? He drove in five runs in the NLDS, and he came up huge last night with a two-out RBI single and a sac fly that drove in the Mets fourth run. He’s so understated most of the time that you kinda forget that Granderson is a big reason why this team is here in the first place. While Yoenis Cespedes is showing off his upper deck power and cannon for an arm, Murphy is writing his way into Mets postseason history, and Wilmer Flores decides to tap his glove thirty times before throwing to first (get rid of the ball already!), Granderson takes great at-bats, gets big hits and drives in runs. I was skeptical of the Granderson signing before the 2014 season. $60M over four years seemed like a lot of money, then, for those mid-30s years.

I was wrong. Again.

Tonight is onto game two with Noah Syndergaard matched up against Arrieta. Well, after seeing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice each in the last series, I can’t imagine Arrieta will bring a lot of night shakes.

LOL.

Let’s hope Arrieta has another shaky outing like against St. Louis.

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

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    12 12.4
##   Curveball    15 15.5
##    Fourseam    43 44.3
##    Two-seam     5 5.15
##          IN     3 3.09
##      Slider    13 13.4
##        <NA>     6 6.19

Pitch Type by Inning

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

Pitches by Outcome:

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

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##              Changeup Curveball Fourseam IN Slider
## Double              0         0        0  0      1
## Flyout              0         0        2  0      0
## Groundout           0         1        2  0      3
## Hit By Pitch        0         0        1  0      0
## Home Run            0         0        1  0      0
## Intent Walk         0         0        0  1      0
## Lineout             1         0        2  0      0
## Pop Out             0         0        1  0      0
## Single              0         0        0  0      2
## Strikeout           2         1        4  0      1
## Walk                0         0        1  0      0

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   52.58         47.42     27.41     55.16

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       6           6     0.333     0.667
##   Curveball       5          10     0.300     0.400
##    Fourseam      26          17     0.118     0.538
##    Two-seam       2           3      0.00     0.500
##          IN       0           3      0.00       NaN
##      Slider       6           7     0.429     0.833
##        <NA>       6           6     0.500     0.500

Strikeouts by Description

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

Standard Batting Lines Against Matt Harvey

##           Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##    Anthony  Rizzo  3  1 0  0  0  0 0  1   1  0 0.000 0.667 0.000       9
##    Chris  Coghlan  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       2
##       David  Ross  2  1 0  0  0  0 1  1   0  0 0.000 0.500 0.000      11
##    Dexter  Fowler  4  4 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      16
##      Javier  Baez  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333       8
##       Jon  Lester  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##      Jorge  Soler  3  3 1  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      11
##      Kris  Bryant  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      11
##   Kyle  Schwarber  4  4 1  0  0  1 1  0   0  0 0.250 0.250 1.000      11
##   Starlin  Castro  3  3 1  1  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.667       7
##  Tommy  La  Stella  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 85.5 87.4 90.5   -9.600     6.971       -9.484         5.217
##   Curveball 77.8 82.6 84.6    1.037    -2.287        1.377        -4.236
##    Fourseam 90.5 94.4 96.5   -6.439     10.52       -6.094         8.960
##    Two-seam 93.7 94.5 95.2   -8.908     8.242       -8.674         6.381
##          IN 78.9 79.8 80.5   -8.780     8.720       -6.908         7.900
##      Slider 87.5 89.1 91.4  0.02615     4.965       0.5867         3.245
##        <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:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_BoxPlot

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

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-10-18_Matt Harvey_Batters

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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