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Pitching Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Yankees Will Play by Their Own Pitching Rules in October

Are you old enough to remember when the Yankees invited criticism for not trading for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline? Oh, right. That was only two months ago. Since then the Yankees are 30-14, and are going full steam into the postseason with a pitching script that fits the modern game, not your fossilized narrative of what wins in October.

“We’re going to be a little untraditional,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The only one we might use as a traditional starter is [James] Paxton.”

By traditional, Boone means a starting pitcher who goes as deep as he can into a game. Otherwise, New York is prepared to script each game with piggyback starters and six key relievers. That doesn’t make the Yankees vulnerable. It makes them smart.

Traditional starters always will be the preferred model in the postseason. The Astros and Nationals will try to win the traditional way. But because bullpens are so deep and because lineups are so powerful, most teams don’t have enough starters to play that game. Now postseasons are decided not by starters “pitching deep into games” but by how a team decides to deploy pitchers in “untraditional” ways–rovers, openers, third-time around pitching changes, etc.

Did Verducci forget about the Royals of 2014 and 2015, or is he hoping that we did?

 

QLE Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, yankees

Thursday, September 05, 2019

LRP: Quantifying the Location Aspect of Command – Six Man Rotation

Interesting stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 05, 2019 at 10:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Ringer: How Lance Lynn Became the Best Pitcher in the AL

Like all great bits, my effusive adoration for Lynn was grounded partially in the truth—two truths, to be exact. The first is that Lynn specifically was underrated. From 2010 to 2018, 24 starting pitchers had at least three seasons with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and an ERA+ of 120 or better. Ten of them have won at least one Cy Young Award, and another eight have finished third or better. But of those 24 starting pitchers, only Lynn and Hiroki Kuroda have never earned a single Cy Young vote.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 14, 2019 at 08:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: lance lynn, pitching, rangers, war

Monday, August 05, 2019

Astros formidable, but great rotations can still fall short

Yes, the Houston Astros can still be beat, even after assembling baseball’s newest super rotation.

The Astros acquired six-time All-Star Zack Greinke from Arizona just before Wednesday’s trade deadline, adding him to a pitching staff that already included Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Then, as if to show off, Houston threw a combined no-hitter Saturday night against Seattle — with Aaron Sanchez, another new acquisition, tossing six innings.

Still, recent history tells us that in baseball’s fickle postseason, even a trio of aces often isn’t enough. Here’s a look at some of the best rotations of the wild-card era — and how those teams ultimately fared.

Atlanta Braves (1995-99): The Atlanta trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz actually joined forces before the wild-card era and stayed together into the new century, but the peak was probably the mid-to-late 1990s, when the Braves won three pennants and a World series in a five-year span. Maddux won the Cy Young Award in 1995, Smoltz in 1996 and Glavine in 1998.

I’ll take “Things We Already Knew” for $80, Art.

QLE Posted: August 05, 2019 at 03:35 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, pitching, rotation

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Desperate for pitching, Brian Cashman and the Yankees strike out

The New York Mets got Marcus Stroman. The Cincinnati Reds got Trevor Bauer. The Houston Astros got Zack Greinke.

And the New York Yankees got the title character in a spaghetti western.

That’s how the 2019 MLB trade deadline has shaken out for GM Brian Cashman and his staff of analytics experts.

While teams all over the league were improving their pitching staffs — especially Houston, through which New York’s road to the World Series probably passes — the Yankees added a 20-year-old left-handed pitcher in the low minors whose name might ring a bell with movie fans of a certain age.

So, what might the Yankees try next- Option J, or Operation Shutdown?

QLE Posted: August 01, 2019 at 03:36 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, pitching, trade deadline, yankees

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Caleb Smith goes 7 innings to help Marlins beat Arizona 11-6

By the second inning, Caleb Smith had infield dirt on his jersey, his knee and the backside of his pants, which is why his third inning of pitching was less than clean.

Smith endured a bad stretch after a baserunning adventure but recovered to pitch seven innings and help the Miami Marlins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 Monday.

Smith laid down a bunt in the second and wound up at third base thanks to two errors on the play. The next inning he gave up three hits, including a three-run homer by Ketel Marte, and acknowledged his jaunt on the bases took a toll.

“We need to keep oxygen tanks in the dugout,” Smith joked. “My legs were definitely tired. It took probably two innings to get my legs back under me.”

Remember when pitching for seven innings was the norm, and not something mentioned in sports headlines?

 

QLE Posted: July 30, 2019 at 05:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: caleb smith, marlins, pitching

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pitching the name of the game heading into MLB’s trade deadline

If the past few winters have revealed little else, it is that the game lacks the stomach for mediocrity. Or make that, perhaps, inevitable mediocrity. Planned mediocrity. That leaves winning, or trying to win, which is where the money is. And it allows for rebuilding or tanking or whatever today’s idiom is, which is where the alibis are. (And where the money is.)

The rest is a clock-punching slog dressed up as second wild-card ambition and Mike Trout highlights. Nobody shoots for mediocrity as a place to hang out until the Double-A cavalry arrives, assuming it’s headed this way at all, except here we are, a third of Major League Baseball there anyway, selling hope and $25 parking spaces in the name of “meaningful games in September.”

It is, of course, just this sort of accidental relevance that fuels and complicates the final days of July and a trade deadline in which the winners are expected to deal away potential prospects for the players they wouldn’t sign in the winter because of the cost in draft picks, so potential prospects. And the rebuilders (and tankers) are expected to send their best players to the New York Yankees for what is safely assumed to be the next Mickey Mantle. The rest, the accidentally relevant, are supposed to choose between selling out and buying in based on the results of, like, four late-July games played against other equally adventitious souls. General managers will make these decisions and the subsequent deals—or non-deals—with great confidence. They will, by and large, be guessing.

Anyway, this is basically the system that had Yu Darvish pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of a World Series and Steve Pearce driving in three runs for the Boston Red Sox against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the next World Series, that has Fernando Tatis Jr. growing up in San Diego and not Chicago and Chris Paddack growing up in San Diego and not Miami and why, otherwise, the Padres should hardly ever make trades.

Wait a minute- I thought fame was the name of the game! Curse you, Anthony Franciosa!

QLE Posted: July 27, 2019 at 11:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, the name of the game, trade deadline

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Nationals, Orioles have all-time bad MLB bullpens | SI.com

Relief pitching has reached a tipping point.

For half a century, ever since the mound was lowered in 1969, relief pitchers posted a lower ERA than starting pitchers. That no longer is true.

As managers go to bullpens earlier and earlier, and as the use of openers grows, workload is catching up to bullpens.

Relievers have a higher ERA (4.50) than starters (4.44) for the first time since 1969. Only three years ago, relievers’ ERA was almost half a run better than that of starters (3.93 to 4.34).

Bullpen ERA this year is the second worst in the past 69 years (only 2000 was worse) and the eighth worst of all time. And it’s getting worse as the workload piles up. Monthly bullpen ERA this year: 4.37 in April, 4.45 in May and 4.72 in June, making this the worst June for relievers since 1950.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 25, 2019 at 06:25 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Sinker Paradox | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m left with a sinking feeling about sinkers.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

WSJ:  There Is a Hit-by-Pitch Epidemic in Baseball (Reg Req’d)

But all this talk about pitchers hitting batters on purpose has distracted from a more puzzling question: Why are pitchers hitting so many batters by accident?

One out of every 96 plate appearances across the major leagues in 2018 ended with a batter being drilled. That was most often since 1900, a time when the National League consisted of teams called the Chicago Orphans, the Boston Beaneaters and the Brooklyn Superbas. This year is on track to leave even more bruises, with a batter being hit every 94 plate appearances.

With pitchers throwing harder than at any other point in history, it’s fair to say there has never been a more painful time to be a hitter.

Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 15, 2019 at 12:46 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, pitching

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The entire 2019 Kentucky Derby could have been run between these two MLB pitches

Since taking office on Jan. 25, 2015, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s top priority has been improving MLB’s pace of play.

Since then, we’ve seen numerous changes made that were geared toward speeding up the game. We’ve even heard talks of MLB adding a pitch clock to keep things moving.

If you’re wondering why Manfred might think a pitch clock is necessary, look no further than this incredible sequence during Friday’s Braves-Diamondbacks game in Arizona.

Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke took his sweet time between pitches to the Braves’ Ozzie Albies during the seventh inning.

Even more alarming: it would have taken only a half-inning or so to replace the entire dispute over the Derby results….

 

QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, pitching

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Mickey Callaway on Mets’ pitching issues: ‘It’s not concerning’

The Mets’ 5.57 team ERA is the third-worst in the majors, better than only the Orioles and Red Sox. But manager Mickey Callaway isn’t ready to sound the alarm.

“It’s not concerning,” Callaway said at Citi Field before Monday night’s game against the Phillies, noting that the sample size is far too small for the team to be worried.

Is Callaway right to not be alarmed? Maybe…

Famous last words….

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, mickey callaway, pitching

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Now that Jacob deGrom’s historic streak is over, where does it rank among MLB’s best?

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is human after all.

After allowing six runs over four innings in Tuesday’s 14-8 loss to the Minnesota Twins, his historic streak of quality starts came to an abrupt and unceremonious end.

A quality start requires a pitcher to throw at least six innings, while allowing no more than three runs. There’s no wiggle room there either. Four runs, regardless of the innings pitched, or less than six innings, regardless of the run total allowed, does not qualify as a quality start.

With that in mind, deGrom’s streak was a run of consistent brilliance matched by few in MLB history. DeGrom’s streak ends at 26, which equaled the all-time record set by St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson between the 1967 and 1968 seasons.

A consideration of various streaks in MLB pitching.

 

QLE Posted: April 10, 2019 at 07:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, pitching, quality starts, streaks

Monday, April 08, 2019

BtBS: The Cardinals’ homegrown pitching system

According to the Sports Daily, of all the Cardinals first round draft picks from 2012-2018, 23 of them are in the starting rotation for an MLB team in 2019.

bobm Posted: April 08, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, pitching

Sunday, April 07, 2019

3 reasons the Red Sox have started worse than any World Series champion since 1998

The Boston Red Sox are looking for the reset button.

After dominating Major League Baseball throughout the entire 2018 season, leading to a franchise-record 108 regular season wins and a World Series victory, the Red Sox are off to a dreadful start in 2019.

Friday’s 15-8 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their record to 2-7, which is the worst nine-game start by a reigning World Series champion since the 1998 Florida Marlins.

It seems that panic hits earlier and earlier each year….

 

 

QLE Posted: April 07, 2019 at 03:25 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: baserunning, defense, pitching, red sox

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Ranking all 30 of MLB’s opening day starters for 2019

Brace yourself, baseball fans. Opening day is almost here.

We got a small taste of meaningful baseball last week when the Seattle Mariners swept a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics in Japan. Now, though, we’re primed and ready for the season’s first full slate on March 28.

That’s right, all 30 teams will be in action on this year’s traditional opening day. And as always, one of the more interesting aspects leading into the big day is which pitchers will get the honor of throwing their team’s first pitch.

A listing of everyone scheduled to be (or, in two cases, already have been) opening day starters- curious to know what criteria you’d use and how your lists would look.

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day, pitching, rankings

 

 

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