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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Searching for Under-Used Breaking Pitches with PITCHf/x – The Hardball Times

Great stuff.

McHugh threw 47.1 innings with the Mets and Rockies between 2012 and 2013, and his pitch selection looked something like this: 56 percent fastballs, 39 percent breaking balls (curve ball and slider), and five percent change-ups. McHugh relied primarily on his hard stuff, complemented it with some breaking balls, and threw in the occasional change-up, a pretty standard plan of action for a starting pitcher.

The Houston Astros, however, saw something more. Something about those breaking balls caught their eye: They had a ridiculous amount of spin on them. This discovery was brought to light in a recent piece in Business Week:

Jim Furtado Posted: December 02, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Here’s What Happens When A Pitcher Throws A Meatball

The batter asks for some spaghetti to go with that meatball.

But all types of meatballs hurt somehow. The off-speed ones aren’t swung at as often, but when hitters do make contact, they’re clobbering the ball. The fastball variety, meanwhile, do entice a hitter to take a swing, leading to a ball that’s more likely to find its way around the defense. And whether it’s a fastball or an off-speed pitch, meatballs are still the most homer-friendly pitch I’ve seen.

The more I looked into the meatball, the more it confirmed my suspicion: no matter the particulars, it’s the bad pitch we assumed it was.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 13, 2014 at 08:08 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Friday, August 08, 2014

Decline of the Curve

The fans laughed at the batter as he slunk back to the dugout, where he was greeted with his own teammates’ laughter and derision. Steineke shouted toward the opposing team’s bench, “That’s all right, Sonny. It ain’t over for you yet. You still got time to call Daddy, tell him you’ll be home in time for bailing hay, because, #######, Daddy, I ain’t never gonna be able to hit that f—-ing pitch.”
[...]
In early March, I drove down to Orlando, Fla., on an expedition to discover how, why and when the Unfair One became extinct. Who killed it? What killed it?

Even by Pat Jordan’s standards, this is a very good piece.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: general, history, pitches, pitching

 

 

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