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Friday, September 07, 2018

Could a pitching staff built around guys who throw 88-mph balls succeed in today’s MLB?

This is a little old but it’s relevant to some recent events.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 09:10 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pitching, tommy john

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   1. Stevis Posted: September 07, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5740807)
Obviously not. If they don't thrown any strikes it'll be a disaster.
   2. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 07, 2018 at 10:07 PM (#5740811)
^SOMEONE SMACK HIM
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 08, 2018 at 12:49 AM (#5740834)
If every radar gun on the planet exploded tomorrow it wouldn’t be soon enough. Tonight was a great example, Joe Kelly was throwing 100 mph regularly tonight and people around me were oohing and ahhing. Of course while he was doing that the Astros were hitting line drives all over the place. The radar gun is just the new “selling jeans.” How hard someone throws isn’t relevant, if he gets people out is.
   4. Leroy Kincaid Posted: September 08, 2018 at 06:46 AM (#5740846)
How hard someone throws isn’t relevant


How often do soft-tossers get people out vs the power-pitchers? 8 out of the top 10 in pitching WAR this season throws a faster than average 4-seamer. I'm not trying to go to the opposite of your extreme but it seems pretty relevant.

   5. bunyon Posted: September 08, 2018 at 07:24 AM (#5740847)
All else equal, faster fastballs are better for the pitcher. But if all isn’t equal, I’d rather have the soft tosser with command and movement than a flamethrower without those things.

Of course, it’s not like most of today’s flamethrowers aren’t also good pitchers.
   6. Rally Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5740863)
Article mentions Greg Maddux as alternative to Randy Johnson. Problem is finding a pitcher with command and movement at Maddux level is as hard as finding a 6-10 pitcher who can throw 100.

I’ve only seen one pitcher who truly compares to Maddux on movement and command. That pitcher happened to throw 95+ in his prime. Pedro.
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5740868)
I’ve only seen one pitcher who truly compares to Maddux on movement and command.

Whitey Ford (though a lot of the movement came from Elston Howard scratching the ball with his shinguard buckle)
   8. dlf Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5740870)
Ford's control was nothing like Maddux's. In a much smaller league, he was never 1st in BB/9, only once in the top 5. Maddux led his league 9 times and was top five seven more. For their careers, Maddux walked 1.8/9 compared to Ford's 3.1.
   9. BDC Posted: September 08, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5740880)
The Rangers have a LH reliever named Alex Claudio, kind of a frail guy for a big-league pitcher. He is listed at 6'3", 180, but both seem overstatements to me. He sets up way on the first-base side of the rubber and throws sidearm. Fangraphs lists his fastest pitch, supposedly a "sinker-curve," at 86.5, his changeup at 71.3. His control is fine and he keeps the ball in the park. A couple of years ago, when he was having his most success, his range was 89.4 to 68.5. He was getting a lot of "soft contact" at that rate. This year he hasn't been quite as successful, though who knows why. Last year Claudio's ERA was distinctly better than his FIP, this year his FIP is about the same but he's giving up a huge number of hits on balls in play so his ERA is much higher. It could be a fluky thing or it could be that the difference between a 21-mph range of pitches and 15-mph is really significant. Visually, he just seems to be streaky this year; some days he looks like his old self and some days he looks helpless.

Anyway, that's the profile of a guy who succeeds throwing no better than 88. (Claudio has a ML ERA+ of 145 in 222 innings.) He has to really be able to change speeds, he needs good control, he needs movement on the pitches. He has less room for error than a guy who can throw 95+. There are a fair number of ML batters who can hit 95+ pitches if they know they're coming and where, but there are always some who just can't hit anything that fast, and the faster pitchers feast on them. Claudio cannot overpower any ML hitter.

Of course the converse applies. Not all of these guys with good fastballs are good pitchers, and I think it was ever thus. Some opposing reliever came into a Ranger game the other day, and the radio guys described his fastball as 92 mph and his changeup as 89. They might have been wrong (it is really not always immediately 100% clear what pitch a guy just threw). But in any event, if a guy isn't changing speeds much at all, he will get hammered sooner than later.
   10. bobm Posted: September 08, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5740899)
2018 qualified IP, sorted by least fastball velocity, from fangraphs

            Name         Team FB%   FBv
    Wade LeBlanc     Mariners 36%  86.3 
  Kyle Hendricks         Cubs 63%  86.8 
   Bartolo Colon      Rangers 78%  87.4 
      Mike Leake     Mariners 39%  88.7 
  Dallas Keuchel       Astros 53%  89.2 
      Mike Fiers        - - - 48%  89.3 
 Felix Hernandez     Mariners 42%  89.3 
   James Shields    White Sox 36%  89.4 
    Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 48%  89.5 
   Julio Teheran       Braves 63%  89.7 
    Gio Gonzalez    Nationals 56%  89.7 
       Alex Wood      Dodgers 43%  90.0 
  Jhoulys Chacin      Brewers 48%  90.0 
     Zack Godley Diamondbacks 32%  90.0 
 Clayton Richard       Padres 66%  90.1 
       Matt Boyd       Tigers 48%  90.2 
  Marco Gonzales     Mariners 33%  90.2 
 Trevor Williams      Pirates 70%  90.4 
   Rick Porcello      Red Sox 50%  90.4 
     Sean Manaea    Athletics 56%  90.5 
  Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks 49%  90.7 
      Jon Lester         Cubs 50%  91.0 
     Jakob Junis       Royals 52%  91.0 
   Jake Odorizzi        Twins 55%  91.0 
      Tyson Ross        - - - 42%  91.1 
   Kyle Freeland      Rockies 52%  91.4 
    Tanner Roark    Nationals 59%  91.4 
   Jose Quintana         Cubs 68%  91.5 
   Derek Holland       Giants 56%  91.6 
     Dylan Bundy      Orioles 56%  91.6 
 Masahiro Tanaka      Yankees 26%  91.7 
  Tyler Anderson      Rockies 46%  91.8 
     Cole Hamels        - - - 44%  91.9 
       J.A. Happ        - - - 73%  91.9 
   Andrew Heaney       Angels 58%  91.9 
       Alex Cobb      Orioles 51%  92.0 
    Corey Kluber      Indians 42%  92.1 
      Aaron Nola     Phillies 50%  92.4 
  Chase Anderson      Brewers 53%  92.4 
  Andrew Cashner      Orioles 60%  92.4 
   Lucas Giolito    White Sox 60%  92.4 
     David Price      Red Sox 48%  92.7 
     Kyle Gibson        Twins 58%  92.9 
    Sean Newcomb       Braves 62%  92.9 
    Jake Arrieta     Phillies 57%  93.0 
    Jose Berrios        Twins 61%  93.1 
     Danny Duffy       Royals 56%  93.1 
  Mike Clevinger      Indians 53%  93.5 
 Carlos Carrasco      Indians 45%  93.5 
   Kevin Gausman        - - - 59%  93.7 
   Miles Mikolas    Cardinals 49%  93.9 
    Max Scherzer    Nationals 50%  94.4 
    Trevor Bauer      Indians 43%  94.6 
    Nick Pivetta     Phillies 59%  94.8 
        Jon Gray      Rockies 50%  94.8 
      Chris Sale      Red Sox 50%  94.9 
Justin Verlander       Astros 62%  95.1 
  German Marquez      Rockies 55%  95.1 
 Jameson Taillon      Pirates 58%  95.3 
    James Paxton     Mariners 64%  95.4 
  Reynaldo Lopez    White Sox 60%  95.5 
   Luis Castillo         Reds 58%  95.6 
     Blake Snell         Rays 54%  95.7 
    Jacob deGrom         Mets 52%  95.8 
  Charlie Morton       Astros 58%  95.8 
      Jose Urena      Marlins 58%  95.8 
    Zack Wheeler         Mets 58%  95.9 
Mike Foltynewicz       Braves 57%  96.5 
     Gerrit Cole       Astros 56%  96.6 
   Luis Severino      Yankees 51%  97.7 

 


The % numbers refer to percentage and the “v” numbers refer to average velocity.

FB% (Fastball Percentage)

FBv (Average Fastball Velocity)

   11. Bote Man Posted: September 08, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5740923)
Of course, it’s not like most of today’s flamethrowers aren’t also good pitchers.

It seems that there's a point of diminishing returns above about 97-98 mph.

They made a big deal out of that flame-thrower Hicks coming on for the Cardinals the other day, then he was all over the place; I don't mean just the strike zone, he was outright wild. Speed without control is not only undesirable, it's downright dangerous for hitters!

Then there's my belief that above a certain speed the risk for serious injury increases exponentially.

I will also note that Dan Haren's handle on Twitter is @ithrow88 which tracks back to the title of this piece.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 08, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5740934)
The one thing we have to remember in all these discussions is that velocity is not equal over time. There's substantial measurement bias.

Guys who were throwing 93-95 in the 1990s or 91-93 in the 1970s would be throwing 96-98 today. There's a huge velocity difference between a pitch when it's just leaving the hand, and when it's reaching the plate. A 100 MPH FB loses about 12 MPH between release and home. A 90 MPH fastball loses 10 MPH.

More guys throw hard, but the hardest throwers don't throw any harder. Severino is not faster than Randy Johnson, or Nolan Ryan.
   13. Michael Paulionis Posted: September 08, 2018 at 09:18 PM (#5741066)
https://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2018/7/31/17563486/how-jack-flaherty-turned-the-corner-part-one-curveball-slider-breaking-ball-pitches-stats

I thought this was a great article about the importance of rotations per minute. Flaherty has looked really good at times for the Cardinals this season. His slider has really become his go-to complementary pitch along with his fastball.

As for OP's article and Maddux, I'm pretty sure in the 1990's, Maddux could still consistently hit 92 mph when he needed. I don't know why this article is trying to make it out to seem like Maddux was maxing out at 88. It seems like if the writer is going to start his argument with a stretch of the truth like that, the rest of his case is going to be pretty weak. In addition to being a groundball pitcher, Maddux was also a fairly decent Strikeout pitcher. In today's modern K-heavy era, Maddux would have easily gotten to 4000 Career Strikeouts. It's also funny how there is no mention of the fact that Maddux's compliment, Randy Johnson, didn't become an effective Starter until he stopped hurling the ball (i.e. throwing 102 mph) so he could reliably throw strikes. He had 152 BB's as a 27-year-old!

Bob Nightengale of USA Today pointed out how Maddux had dominated the game for years without being a power pitcher: “Maddux, whose fastball is routinely clocked at only 88 mph, remarkably throws more fastballs than any established pitcher in the game. The difference is control and movement. He can throw the fastball with nearly pinpoint control, while the ball darts and spins as if he’s controlling it like a yo-yo.”


I think Shaikin is basing his 88 mph claim on this Nightengale quote. That quote reads more like a low-end of Maddux's fastball speeds. His wikipedia says he peaked throwing 93 mph and was averaging below 86 mph near the end, when he was into his 40's.
   14. Rally Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5741128)
Maddux averaged 86 in 2002 according to Baseball Info Solutions data, available on Fangraphs. He was down to 83-84 at the end.
   15. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5741137)
I think Shaikin is basing his 88 mph claim on this Nightengale quote. That quote reads more like a low-end of Maddux's fastball speeds. His wikipedia says he peaked throwing 93 mph and was averaging below 86 mph near the end, when he was into his 40's.


Also remember, that gun readings from back then were calculated differently than they are today, if he was 92-93 back then, he'd be 95 now.
   16. bunyon Posted: September 09, 2018 at 08:40 AM (#5741193)
Maddux very definitely changed speeds a lot. If he needed to hit 93, old gun, he had no problem doing it and with not much (but not none, either) loss of control. He just didn't need to. His command and movement and knowledge of the hitters was such that he could throw 90 and carve them up.

But he definitely threw harder than is being granted by Nightengale. At the end, as a 40 year old, sure, he didn't throw very hard. OTOH, he got lit up quite often. In his prime, he didn't have the fastest fastball in the game but he was in the top quartile probably. Certainly top half.
   17. Sweatpants Posted: September 09, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5741205)
I remember a year ago or something I was watching a Maddux start on YouTube - 1999, Turner Field, ESPN broadcast. If I remember correctly, the gun they used had his fastball at about 85-88. I don't think that even by 1999 standards that was top quartile or even top half. Another ESPN broadcast from Turner Field that year had Tom Glavine of all people sitting in the low 90s with his fastball.

I seem to recall Maddux marveling about how he could get all the way up to 93 when Bobby Cox used him as an emergency closer in the 1998 playoffs.
   18. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 09, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5741237)
Less than 10 years ago, Cliff Lee and Jamie Moyer were still pitching. Neither of them threw that hard (especially Moyer).
   19. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 09, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5741289)
A staff of Maddux/Glavine types would have to not only not walk guys, change speeds well, but also get a bunch of ground ball outs. For pitchers since 1980, Maddux induced 422 GIDPs, Glavine 420 GIDPs, and nobody else is even close. (They are 5 and 6 all-time in GIDPs.) If you don't walk guys, limit hard contact, and get a lot of ground balls to keep homers down and double plays up, that's a pretty classic formula for pitching success. It's definitely doable to find a staff of good pitchers who can do that, but I wouldn't count on finding another Maddux, because you won't. I'm always suspicious of arguments that need an all-time great as an example for why it works. Maddux is an extreme outlier, and should never be used as an example for anything.
   20. bunyon Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5741517)
Even Glavine was an extreme outlier. As for Maddux in 99, I don't remember him being that slow, but he wouldn't turn it up very often. I suppose there is a difference between "can throw 95" and "usually throws 95". Maddux could but didn't need to. I doubt he could have kept it up for a long stretch.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5741521)
I don't see anything in today's game that would prevent a Glavine-type pitcher from being successful. And a team that had five Glavinesque starters would have the best rotation in the league.

   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5741526)
I don't see anything in today's game that would prevent a Glavine-type pitcher from being successful.
Would he still consistently get strikes called on pitches 6 inches off the plate?
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5741530)
Would he still consistently get strikes called on pitches 6 inches off the plate?


That really is the issue for that particular pitcher, rather than simply one of his type.
   24. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5741534)
I don't know if maddux could ever throw 95. His lack of zip is what he said made him the pitcher he became. He knew he couldn't blow two seamers passed hitters so he changed fastballs and worked on location and movement.

I think in his youth (of his MLB career) he could touch 92 if he really tried.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: September 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5741535)
There was a recent Fangraphs article that analyzed Kyle Freeland as a Glavine-type pitcher. He almost never throws the ball down the middle of the plate, lives on the corners with incredible consistency.
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5741536)
That really is the issue for that particular pitcher, rather than simply one of his type.
Is it? Seems like any pitcher would be helped out a lot by that much leeway, but in particular if non-power-type pitchers got those calls, it would help to bridge the gap in pure power stuff.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: September 10, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5741539)
Is it? Seems like any pitcher would be helped out a lot by that much leeway, but in particular if non-power-type pitchers got those calls, it would help to bridge the gap in pure power stuff.


You misunderstand. I meant that Tom Glavine might not be given such a generous strike zone now, which would reduce his effectiveness. But there is otherwise nothing that would prevent a non-power pitcher who was successful in the past (say Buehrle, who was still a capable starter for most of his final campaign just a couple of seasons back) from enjoying similar success now.

   28. PreservedFish Posted: September 10, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5741547)
How hard did Glavine throw? Here's Tony Gwynn from an undated ESPN column, written maybe 15 years ago? "When Glavine first started in the majors, he threw around 93-94 mph with a good breaking ball and changeup."

Fangraphs has velocity data as far back as 2002. Tom Glavine was at 85mph that year, age 36, and there were 10 slower non-Knuckleball starters, mostly guys like Kirk Reuter, Kenny Rogers, Paul Byrd, John Burkett. He was still a good pitcher, but diminished from his peak.

That year, the highest qualifying pitcher was AJ Burnett at 94.5, followed by Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson. I'm gonna have to agree with comments about that there's no way these guys truly threw 2 mph slower than Jose Urena and Zack Wheeler.

If he was an 88mph guy during his best years, that makes him something like a 90mph guy with today's gun, within the general range of many good pitchers, like Keuchel, Wood, Grienke, Gio, even possibly Maneaa, Lester and Corbin.
   29. Rally Posted: September 10, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5741622)
Less than 10 years agoCliff Lee and Jamie Moyer were still pitchingNeither of them threw that hard (especially Moyer). 


Cliff Lee wasn't a flamethrower, but nowhere near a soft tosser. Probably average or a bit above among starters. His best season average was 91.7 in 2012.
   30. Khrushin it bro Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5741656)
Grienke is a pretty good comp to Maddux, Maddux was just good Grienke every year.
   31. Ziggy's screen name Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5741667)
Bartolo Colon Rangers 78% 87.4


This is what blows my mind. If you're throwing 78% fastballs at 87 mph, all of them in the strike zone (remember Bartolo doesn't walk anybody), how do you not get lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree? I mean, now he is, but this has been his act for ages.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: September 10, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5741720)
Bartolo was an All-Star in 2016. I clicked on his 2016 heatmap expecting something interesting. And it is interesting, how often he threw the ball straight down the middle.

Now look at Grienke from last year. A ton of junk way outside the zone.
   33. Colin Posted: September 10, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5741802)
Maddux explained after retirement that his biggest skill was that his delivery and release looked exactly the same on every pitch. It was impossible for hitters to read the delivery to know what was coming, so he could change speeds from slow to fast (but not blazing) and hitters could not get him timed.
   34. BDC Posted: September 10, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5741878)
Jered Weaver was a guy who never seemed to throw very hard, but when you look him up on Fangraphs, he too threw ~90-91 in his very best seasons. The thing is, he threw a ~70-mph curveball in those same years, and like Maddux from the same effortless motion as the fastball. That must have been extremely frustrating to face. It certainly looked like the Rangers had problems with it :)

Interestingly, the year Weaver had the greatest Fangraphs differential in speed between fastball and curveball (2010), he also had the best FIP of his career and led the league in strikeouts. (And it was one of his worst W-L years, just 13-12.)
   35. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5741929)
Should have been he couldn't throw 4 seamers passed hitters so he switched to a two seamer.

Not only could maddux make every single one of his pitches look the same coming out of his hand but he put movement on every one of his pitches and understood the value of pitch angles altering how a ball looks to a batter.

Back in his youth he had a curveball that scouts thought was the most curveball possible but he ended up creating and cementing his legacy on two seam fastballs and a circle change.

He was the right kind of pitcher for the era he ended up playing in. I don't know if he's a HoF pitcher in the 60's and 70's.


Edit: ok, that night be an oversell to get a conversation going.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: September 10, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5741932)
a curveball that scouts thought was the most curveball possible


That's quite a claim.
   37. Sweatpants Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5741986)
That year, the highest qualifying pitcher was AJ Burnett at 94.5, followed by Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson. I'm gonna have to agree with comments about that there's no way these guys truly threw 2 mph slower than Jose Urena and Zack Wheeler.
Johnson, Burnett, and Wood were often tasked with pitching eighth or ninth innings, though. Presumably their fastball lost some zip in those innings, which would have dragged their averages down.
He was the right kind of pitcher for the era he ended up playing in. I don't know if he's a HoF pitcher in the 60's and 70's.
Maddux pitched to contact more than any of the elite pitchers of his era, and, despite the fact that '90s hitters were blasting the baseball when they did hit it, he still routinely posted ERAs under 2.50. I don't see why playing in an era with weaker contact would make those numbers worse.
   38. Rally Posted: September 10, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5742022)
Johnson yes. Wood pitched 2 CG that year and 6 games going at least 8. Burnett had 7 CG and 3 more going 8. It was 2002, not 1972.
   39. Sweatpants Posted: September 11, 2018 at 01:48 AM (#5742031)
"Often" was a relative term. They're being compared to two guys who have pitched into the eighth inning three times between them in 2018. On just a pitches/game or IP/game basis, Wheeler is not that far behind either Wood or Burnett (although he is behind both), but Urena is averaging over ten fewer pitches per game than the 2002 guys, without even accounting for the fact that two of Burnett's outings that year were in relief.
   40. Rally Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:34 AM (#5742046)
They didn't pitch enough in the 8th or 9th for it to drag their averages down that much. Burnett pitched 10 8th innings and 7 in the 9th. If his velocity was 95 for the first 7 and dropped 5 MPH after that, it would knock him down to 94.6.

That's an extreme case that is not realistic, a 5 MPH drop is noticeable and often a sign of injury (like Burnett had the following year). If he dropped 1 MPH in the 8th and 1 more in the 9th, his overall average would be 94.9.

It's possible that Burnett or Wood were pacing themselves more than 2018 pitchers do just in case they were asked to go 9. But there's no way their inning 1-7 velocity was substantially higher than the reported overall numbers. There just aren't enough 8th/9th innings there to counteract that.

I think there is something to the measurement problem, pitch f/x came out in 2006/2007. From 2002 up until then, BIS (I think) is getting the velocity from their video scouts recording the number shown on TV broadcasts. We should expect a lot of inconsistency in those measurements.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:40 AM (#5742051)
It's possible that Burnett or Wood were pacing themselves more than 2018 pitchers do just in case they were asked to go 9. But there's no way their inning 1-7 velocity was substantially higher than the reported overall numbers.


They must have been pacing themselves differently. But the "hot gun" phenomenon is real. It is known, for example, that on Opening Day 2017 the whole league gained about .6 mph with the introduction of statcast. And that wasn't the only technology/reporting change since the days of Glavine and Maddux.
   42. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5742052)
Maddux struggled with contact hitters. Now obviously Tony Gwynn is not your standard contact hitter but he is a good example of the type of hitter Maddux struggled to get out.

Maddux would have a good time against Schmidt and Jackson but guys like Carew and Brett would have caused him trouble.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5742056)
Sorry, Maddux is one of the greatest pitchers of all time. This is like saying that Barry Bonds would have struggled in the 60s because, I dunno, pitchers threw inside more often or something. It's nonsense.
   44. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5742063)
Well, more like he wouldn't have access to steroids.

Maddux "struggled" the most against contact hitters. An environment with more contact hitters should lead to a lower performance.
   45. Rally Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5742064)
Looking at the batters faced most often who didn't have power:

Gwynn .415
Ozzie .191
Magadan .203
Milt Thompson .338
W McGee .261
D Martinez .159
Deshields .220
E Young .274
Coleman .328

Some of them hit Maddux OK, but in general I don't think he had a problem with contact hitters. He had a Tony Gwynn problem. As did most pitchers. You're probably right that he would have had a problem with Brett and Carew (who didn't?).

Maybe not though, another in that general class (LH multiple batting champ) is Wade Boggs. Wade was just 1 for 13, a single, against Maddux. No walks or strikeouts. This includes postseason, Boggs had 7 of his AB (and his only hit) off Maddux in the 1996 World Series.


   46. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5742068)
Greg Maddux with lower performance is still, well, Tom Glavine. And I'm not sure what you're saying is even true, it seems like you might be remembering that Tony Gwynn fact and confabulating a trend that didn't exist.

The batters that hit Maddux hardest, in descending order:

Mike Lowell
Andy Van Slyke
Vinny Castilla
Bobby Abreu
Geoff Jenkins
Luis Gonzalez
Tony Gwynn
Fred McGriff
Orlando Cabrera
Pat Burrell
Will Clark
Howard Johnson
Jeff Kent


The batters he dominated:

Darrin Fletcher
Luis Castillo
Charlie Hayes
Lenny Harris
Dave Martinez
Robbie Thompson
Rich Aurillia
Ozzie Smith
Mike Lieberthal
Eric Davis
Todd Hundley
Ron Gant
Derek Bell
Orlando Merced
Delino Deshields


I'm sure he would have been quaking in his boots at the thought of facing a bunch of scrub infielders that didn't swing very hard.
   47. Sweatpants Posted: September 11, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5742179)
Fair enough on the eighth/ninth innings theory.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 11, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5742183)
Maddux had all-time great command and control. I think that plays as elite in any era.

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