Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback



All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher


First Pitch Newsbeat

Saturday, March 21, 2020

First Pitch Follies

One of the joys of baseball, and sports in general, is that the narrative arc of the game isn’t preordained. You can’t know when the most important pitch of the game will be before the game starts. This isn’t a TV procedural, where nothing decisive can happen in the first 20 minutes. The visiting team might go up 3-0 in the first inning and never relinquish the lead, or they might rally furiously from down five only to lose in the bottom of the ninth.

Even though the most exciting pitch of the game isn’t a given, one thing more or less is: the first pitch of a game won’t be the most exciting one. That’s partially due to the rules of baseball — no one is on base, and most at-bats take more than one pitch — but the first pitch is unique in its own way. For one, no one swings. Combining the first pitches thrown by each starter in a game, batters swing at 23% of offerings, significantly lower than the 29% overall swing rate on 0-0 counts.

Secondly, it’s almost always a fastball. Sam Miller delved into the thinking behind game-opening fastballs, and pretty much everything from his piece still holds. Pitchers throw fastballs because batters don’t swing, and batters don’t swing because they already don’t swing much on 0-0, and particularly so when they haven’t seen the pitcher throw anything yet.

But batters aren’t static opponents. In 2010, they swung at 25.1% of 0-0 pitches. In 2019, that number was a meaty 29.4%. Strikeouts are rising, pitchers are fastball-happy on 0-0 counts, and batters increasingly can’t afford to hang around waiting for something to hit given the decline in overall fastball usage.

Disappointingly, this isn’t about ceremonial first pitches- but it still has interest in other regards.


QLE Posted: March 21, 2020 at 01:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Juan Soto advocates for Gerardo Parra to throw out first pitch Opening Day

When Gerardo Parra signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, one player among those most disappointed he wouldn’t be returning to the Nationals was leftfielder Juan Soto.

At 21 years old, Soto and his jubilant personality attached to Parra’s fun-loving antics like a magnet. The star outfielder embraced the dugout dance parties and “Baby Shark” hit celebrations. But heading into 2020, Soto has been forced to come to terms with playing without Parra in D.C.

“We’re gonna miss him on the Nationals,” Soto told NBC Sports Washington’s Matt Doolin on the Nationals Talk podcast. “I was talking to him at his house…we’re gonna work on the golf…he told me he wants me to get that and help me do that and I’m gonna work on that.”



QLE Posted: February 06, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch, gerardo parra, juan soto, opening day




All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog“Is MLB Going to Be Able to Pull This Back?” Health Experts Break Down Baseball’s Plan
(2 - 2:22am, May 27)
Last: puck

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(4124 - 2:14am, May 27)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogMLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players
(10 - 1:46am, May 27)
Last: Tin Angel

NewsblogOT – NBA CoronaThread 2020
(3039 - 1:31am, May 27)
Last: never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135

NewsblogMLB, players’ union are working to salvage season, and the next two weeks are critical
(5 - 11:35pm, May 26)
Last: Stevey

NewsblogGregg Jefferies complicated Mets’ failure looks different now
(52 - 10:28pm, May 26)
Last: DanG

NewsblogNoah Syndergaard offers fiery response to landlord's lawsuit: 'See you in court pal'
(64 - 9:29pm, May 26)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogCrew chief: Umpire told Jeter he was tagged by Rolen in stolen base attempt
(159 - 9:19pm, May 26)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogEx-Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang suspended one year by KBO for past DUIs
(1 - 7:46pm, May 26)
Last: flournoy

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(244 - 6:30pm, May 26)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (May 2020)
(228 - 5:32pm, May 26)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

Newsblog'The Wild West:' MiLB Teams On Chopping Block Scramble To Find MLB Partner
(26 - 5:00pm, May 26)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogMLB owners approve historic revenue-sharing plan amid coronavirus pandemic
(172 - 4:39pm, May 26)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Newsblogcoronavirus and baseball collide in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea
(5 - 3:13pm, May 26)
Last: Karl from NY

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2020
(31 - 3:05pm, May 26)
Last: The Mighty Quintana

Page rendered in 1.0257 seconds
49 querie(s) executed