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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Is MLB’s Crackdown on Spider Tack Already Exposing the Red Sox’ Pitching Staff?

On the day the SI piece came out,  Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi pitched at Yankee Stadium and allowed one earned run over six innings while striking out seven batters in a 5-2 victory. Though Eovaldi threw the ball well and got the win, the spin rate on the majority of his pitches was down substantially, with his cutter down 26 revolutions per minute compared to his yearly average, his slider down 30 RPM, his fastball down 51 RPM and his splitter down 166 RPM, according to The Boston Herald. In the 10 days after Eovaldi pitched, three other Red Sox starters (Rodriguez, Nick Pivetta and Martin Perez) also saw the spin rates on their off-speed pitches drop.

In the nine games since that win, the Red Sox have given up at least three runs in every game and allowed five or more in six straight games (as of Monday afternoon), including 18 to the Blue Jays in a Sunday slugfest that saw Toronto hit eight home runs and chase Perez after he recorded just four outs. That game was the third in a row against the Jays, a stretch that was preceded by three against the Astros. In those six games, the Red Sox surrendered 53 runs, which equates to 8.83 per game. Over the course of seven May games against the Jays and Astros, two of the best offensive teams in baseball, Boston pitchers gave up 37 runs, an average of just 5.28 per game.

Entering play on Monday, Red Sox starters had an 8.20 ERA and allowed 40 earned runs on 66 hits over 39 innings in the nine games since Eovaldi pitched in the Bronx. That evidence strongly suggests that the team put the kibosh on whatever its pitchers were doing on the mound in order to avoid attracting the raised attention of MLB and risking another suspension — or worse — for Cora.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2021 at 04:50 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: foreign substances, red sox

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   1. bfan Posted: June 15, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6024340)
It is only 1 data point, but it is an interesting one. Here is the sequence: illegal sticky goo increases spin rates; increased spin rates make pitches more difficult to hit; pitches more difficult to hit leads to less hits and runs.
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 15, 2021 at 08:44 PM (#6024355)
And yet in yesterday's game against those same Blue Jays, Eovaldi went 6 2/3 gave up 3 hits, 1 BB and no runs. Jays got 4 hits and 1 HR the entire game.

Today's game is through 3, E-Rod on the bump(and he's been broken all year), has given up 3 hits, 1 run and K'd 6 so far.

I'll need a little larger sample size to make any judgements.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 15, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6024359)
Alex Speier of the Boston Globe has a much more thorough look. Worth a read.
   4. villageidiom Posted: June 15, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6024408)
That evidence strongly suggests that
I mean, just stop. None of that strongly suggests anything. You're playing Clue and you took one turn. The person on your left showed you Miss Scarlet, and you're going all "that strongly suggests he doesn't have the lead pipe!" Don't be a fool.

Also, listen to Jose. Speier is always worth a read, and this is no exception. His numbers are here.

   5. JJ1986 Posted: June 15, 2021 at 11:06 PM (#6024417)
What is InsideHook?
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2021 at 11:26 PM (#6024434)

11 pitchers are down big, driving the overall spin rate numbers down and making the effect seem more universal. Only 44 pitchers are down even one standard deviation.
   7. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 16, 2021 at 11:41 AM (#6024525)
Also, listen to Jose

I've always liked vi.
   8. pikepredator Posted: June 16, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6024526)
Also in that article - ERAs across the league are up in June - with no mention of the weather being warmer. As well as the NL batting average having "risen" by .001.

Inside hook looks like a Gawker-style compilation site of (not actually) edgy and/or faux-cool material across a range of topics. I think my first trip there today will also be my last.
   9. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 16, 2021 at 03:41 PM (#6024579)
The excerpt mentions a splitter. But, do you want maximum spin on a splitter like you do with a curve or a slider? If your hand is really sticky from Spider Tack or whatever, will the ball come out of your hand as well as without it?

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