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Digesting Beckett's Dominance


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#51 Drocca


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:37 PM

I just wanted to note how beautiful it was. Flowery baseball language has been so overdone that, like many things, it has lost its luster but at one point there was a shot of Beckett with the bleachers behind him standing and cheering furiously and there was this quiet, cocky, serene look about Beckett. He controlled every aspect and while it was certainly dominant what really struck me was the beauty of the whole performance.

And so concludes my most embarrasingly soft post ever.

#52 tailwind


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:47 PM

I just wanted to note how beautiful it was. Flowery baseball language has been so overdone that, like many things, it has lost its luster but at one point there was a shot of Beckett with the bleachers behind him standing and cheering furiously and there was this quiet, cocky, serene look about Beckett.


I made a comment when that shot first aired about how cool it was. At that point, there was absolutely zero chance of anything getting to Josh. The Angels couldn't touch him, he knew it, his teammates knew it, and the crowd knew it. The look on his face was absolutely priceless.

EDIT: excess wordage.

Edited by tailwind, 03 October 2007 - 10:48 PM.


#53 gammoseditor


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:03 PM

From going through baseball reference I have Beckett's post-season numbers at;

INN: 51.67
ER: 10
K: 55
BB: 12
H: 25
ERA: 1.74
K/9: 9.58
K/BB: 4.58

#54 mabrowndog


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:08 PM

And so concludes my most embarrasingly soft post ever.

I'm sure Lurker Nation approves...

#55 singaporesoxfan

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:17 PM

You are the 4th person to post this same information, including SSF just two posts before you.

Is anyone actually reading this thread???


But I had a link! Okay, that was embarassing - I did read the thread but somehow I missed the previous information.

More on topic - at no point did I feel Beckett was even reaching back for anything extra. Even after each single or the Ellsbury catch in the 9th he looked really comfortable - more a sense of "well, I placed it where I wanted it, sometimes these balls fall in". The Angels might as well have been waiting for Godot, so futile were they against Beckett.

#56 Eric Van


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:21 PM

Here's the Enhanced Gameday file for the game. This article explains the general idea and some of the data therein.

This one has a very nice breakdown of the data fields, and here's Alan Nathan's comprehensive rundown.

Edited by Eric Van, 04 October 2007 - 04:38 PM.


#57 plusbrians

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:45 PM

During the first inning I was a bit concerned- I think his first 6 pitches were fastballs IIRC... I was hoping he had at least somewhat of a breaking ball, and wasn't going to rely on pure heat-

But good god did he mix it up- especially with the two-seamer... I was astounded at how early the game ended...

No nervousness- no nothing..

Truly spectacular!

#58 JimBoSox9


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:46 PM

The one moment that captured it for me was in the 6th inning. Beckett struck out Napoli, had retired 16 straight batters, had a 4 run lead, and was absolutely pounding the strike zone. Reggie Willits came up and on the first pitch halfheartedly tried to fake a bunt and took a strike. Considering how pesky of a hitter he is, that's when I turned to the guy next to me and said "The Angels don't believe they can get to Beckett anymore." The rest of the game was just a formality, except for Vlad ("He doesn't know it's a damn exhibition, he thinks it's a damn fight!")

Worth posting again: 83 strikes and 25 balls. Put that in your pipe and fucking smoke it.

During the first inning I was a bit concerned- I think his first 6 pitches were fastballs IIRC... I was hoping he had at least somewhat of a breaking ball, and wasn't going to rely on pure heat-

But good god did he mix it up- especially with the two-seamer... I was astounded at how early the game ended...


Ha, I was bitching about that first Figgins AB for about two innings. Question about the second part: not a great view for me from the bleachers, how many two-seamers do we think Beckett was throwing? I know he got a couple of Ks on lefties via the inside cutter, but there were a bunch of pitches that righties were chasing down and in that I couldn't tell if they were two-seamers with hair or hard changeups. Just wondering.

Edited by JimBoSox9, 03 October 2007 - 11:50 PM.


#59 MidnightC

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:47 PM

Tom Verducci weighs in:

To understand the difficulty of what Red Sox ace Josh Beckett did Wednesday night at Fenway Park, first you have to know that his was the 124th shutout in the 104 years of postseason play. Not bad. Beckett has three of those 124 shutouts himself; only the great Christy Mathewson, with four, ever threw more. Even better.

But what you really need to know is how many times in those 124 postseason shutouts that the pitcher allowed no walks and no extra-base hits while striking out as many as eight batters. I'll give you the entire list here:

1. Josh Beckett, Boston, 4-0, Game 1, ALDS over Los Angeles.

That's it.


Not much new material there, but it's worth a quick reading. (Note that he misspelled Daisuke's name a bit further in the article. Whoops.)

#60 templeUsox


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:56 PM

But what you really need to know is how many times in those 124 postseason shutouts that the pitcher allowed no walks and no extra-base hits while striking out as many as eight batters.

Really, I mean this kind of diminishes the accomplishment, if it does anything. Nothing like arbitrary baselines (8 K's?) to make something a 1st-in-history accomplishment. I bet Tim Kurkjian is upset he couldn't have unearthed this gem before Verducci.

Edit: This reminds me of my intriguing "Lenny Dinardo is the only player in the minors to pitch at least 100 IP, have a G/F over 2.5, and a K/9 over 7.5" line back in 2005.

Edited by templeUsox, 03 October 2007 - 11:59 PM.


#61 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:07 AM

Really, I mean this kind of diminishes the accomplishment, if it does anything. Nothing like arbitrary baselines (8 K's?) to make something a 1st-in-history accomplishment. I bet Tim Kurkjian is upset he couldn't have unearthed this gem before Verducci.

Edit: This reminds me of my intriguing "Lenny Dinardo is the only player in the minors to pitch at least 100 IP, have a G/F over 2.5, and a K/9 over 7.5" line back in 2005.

I agree with Temple. There is no reason to apply arbitrary standards to try raise Beckett's game. Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the World Series, but since he only had 7 strikeouts it doesn't compare?

Beckett was wonderful, that's all you need to know. Hopefully, his next start is Game 1 of the ALCS next Friday night in Boston. But if we need someone to close out this series on Monday, I guess he'll do.

#62 Tangled Up In Red

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:22 AM

shutouts that the pitcher allowed no walks and no extra-base hits while...
doesn't need qualifiers.

#63 mabrowndog


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:37 AM

shutouts that the pitcher allowed no walks and no extra-base hits while...
doesn't need qualifiers.

Agreed. In fact, I'd have preferred to see Verducci list ALL of the games that met that criteria to add a better historical perspective. How many guys who threw shutouts did so without allowing walks or XBH? Is it a smattering? A handful? A dozen?

EDIT - If you want something done right, do it yourself....

Here's the list of 11 pitchers who have done it before Josh.

Edited by mabrowndog, 04 October 2007 - 12:45 AM.


#64 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:41 AM

Here's the coolest thing: the second time around the lineup he struck out five of the first eight hitters, on five different pitches: Figgins on a slider (one of only three he threw, and the only one for a strike), Cabrera on a 2-seamer, Anderson on a change, Kotchman on a 4-seamer, and Napoli on a curve. (He then got Willits on another curve for good measure).

Second coolest thing: he threw 24 of 26 2-seamers for strikes*, and all 11 of his changeups.

*or 25 of 27, if we can assume that Napoli's grounder to Lowell that led off the 3rd and was missed by both TV and Enhanced Game Day was also one.

Enhanced Game Day is so cool! (No, they don't identify the pitches, but it's easy to do that by sorting by speed and by plotting pfx_x and pfx_y, which is horizontal and vertical break after removing gravity).

Beckett 2007 ALDS 1
[td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1B, LD, LF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]84[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Anderson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]93.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Called Strike[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]85[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Anderson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]93.4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]P5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]86[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Izturis[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]94.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ball[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]87[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Izturis[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]93.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Foul[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]88[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Izturis[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Change[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]88.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]89[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kotchman[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Change[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]90.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3-1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]90[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kendrick[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]93.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Called Strike[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]91[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kendrick[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Curve[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]79.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ball[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]92[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kendrick[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Swinging Strike[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]93[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kendrick[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Foul[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]94[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kendrick[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Curve[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]77.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1B, GB, LF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Aybar[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Change[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]89.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Swinging Strike[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Aybar[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Change[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]90.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Swinging Strike[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]97[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Aybar[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Change[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]88.7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]98[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Morales[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Foul[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]99[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Morales[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Curve[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]78.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ball[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]100[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Morales[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Curve[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]78.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Foul[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]101[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Morales[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Called Strikeout[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]102[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Figgins[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]94.8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ball[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]103[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Figgins[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Foul[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]104[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Figgins[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7![/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]105[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cabrera[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5-3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]106[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Guerrero[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Foul[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]107[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Guerrero[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1B, GB, CF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]108[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Anderson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]95.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td]
Inn No Batter What Speed Result
1 1 Figgins 4-Seam 96.0 Ball
1 2 Figgins 4-Seam 95.9 Foul
1 3 Figgins 4-Seam 96.4 Foul
1 4 Figgins 4-Seam 95.9 Ball
1 5 Figgins 4-Seam 96.5 Ball
1 6 Figgins 4-Seam 96.7 1B, GB, off 2B
1 7 Cabrera 4-Seam 94.6 Foul
1 8 Cabrera 2-Seam 96.7 6-3
1 9 Guerrero 4-Seam 96.5 Ball
1 10 Guerrero 4-Seam 96.9 Foul
1 11 Guerrero 2-Seam 97.1 5-3
1 12 Anderson Change 92.5 Swinging Strike
1 13 Anderson 4-Seam 97.2 Foul
1 14 Anderson Curve 79.0 Swinging Strikeout (2-3)
2 15 Izturis 4-Seam 96.0 Ball
2 16 Izturis 4-Seam 95.4 Ball
2 17 Izturis 4-Seam 96.5 Called Strike
2 18 Izturis 4-Seam 96.2 Foul
2 19 Izturis 2-Seam 97.2 5-3
2 20 Kotchman 4-Seam 97.6 Called Strike
2 21 Kotchman Curve 77.9 Called Strike
2 22 Kotchman 4-Seam 97.2 Foul
2 23 Kotchman Curve 78.5 Foul
2 24 Kotchman Curve 78.3 4-3
2 25 Kendrick 4-Seam 97.0 Ball
2 26 Kendrick 2-Seam 96.6 Foul
2 27 Kendrick Curve 75.7 Ball
2 28 Kendrick Curve 76.8 8
3 29 Napoli (No Data) ? 5-3
3 30 Willits 2-Seam 95.5 Called Strike
3 31 Willits 2-Seam 96.3 Ball
3 32 Willits 2-Seam 95.8 Foul
3 33 Willits 2-Seam 96.0 Foul
3 34 Willits 4-Seam 96.5 Foul
3 35 Willits Slider 94.9 Ball
3 36 Willits 4-Seam 96.9 7
3 37 Figgins 4-Seam 97.0 Called Strike
3 38 Figgins 4-Seam 97.6 Foul
3 39 Figgins 4-Seam 95.5 Ball
3 40 Figgins 4-Seam 95.9 Ball
3 41 Figgins Slider 94.4 Swinging Strikeout
4 42 Cabrera Change 87.0 Called Strike
4 43 Cabrera 4-Seam 96.2 Foul
4 44 Cabrera 2-Seam 96.3 Foul
4 45 Cabrera 2-Seam 95.7 Ball
4 46 Cabrera 2-Seam 96.4 Swinging Strikeout
4 47 Guerrero 4-Seam 97.0 Foul
4 48 Guerrero 2-Seam 97.6 6-3
4 49 Anderson 2-Seam 95.0 Foul
4 50 Anderson Change 90.9 Foul
4 51 Anderson Change 88.6 Swinging Strikeout
5 52 Izturis 4-Seam 95.6 Foul
5 53 Izturis Change 90.7 Foul
5 54 Izturis 4-Seam 96.0 Ball
5 55 Izturis Curve 76.9 Ball
5 56 Izturis Curve 78.2 Foul
5 57 Izturis 4-Seam 97.0 Foul
5 58 Izturis Slider 94.6 Ball
5 59 Izturis 4-Seam 96.0 P6
5 60 Kotchman Curve 76.2 Called Strike
5 61 Kotchman 4-Seam 94.3 Foul
5 62 Kotchman 4-Seam 96.3 Ball
5 63 Kotchman 4-Seam 97.6 Swinging Strikeout
5 64 Kendrick 4-Seam 96.9 4-3
6 65 Napoli 4-Seam 95.6 Swinging Strike
6 66 Napoli 2-Seam 96.0 Foul
6 67 Napoli Curve 77.3 Swinging Strikeout
6 68 Willits 4-Seam 95.4 Called Strike
6 69 Willits Curve 78.4 Called Strike
6 70 Willits Curve 78.6 Foul Tip Strikeout
6 71 Figgins Change 90.8 Swinging Strike
6 72 Figgins 4-Seam 95.5 L8!
7 73 Cabrera 2-Seam 95.6 Called Strike
7 74 Cabrera Curve 77.3 Ball
7 75 Cabrera 4-Seam 95.7 Ball
7 76 Cabrera 4-Seam 95.9 6-3
7 77 Guerrero Curve 79.7 Swinging Strike
7 78 Guerrero Curve 80.3 Ball
7 79 Guerrero Curve 78.5 Swinging Strike
7 80 Guerrero Curve 79.7 Foul
7 81 Guerrero 2-Seam 96.4 Foul
7 82 Guerrero 4-Seam 95.9 Ball
7 83 Guerrero


Summary
[td=*][color="#000000"]Pitch[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Speed[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]BrkIn[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]BrkDn[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tot[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ks[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]S[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kc[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]C[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]F[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]B[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]GO[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]AO[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1B[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.0 +/- 1.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0 +/- 1.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0 +/- 0.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]46[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]17[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]15[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2-Seam[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]96.0 +/- 0.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2.5 +/- 1.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3.0 +/- 1.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]26[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Curve[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]78.1 +/- 1.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]-12.6 +/- 1.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]14.1 +/- 1.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]21[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Change[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]89.8 +/- 1.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1.1 +/- 1.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5.4 +/- 1.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]11[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Slider[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]94.6 +/- 0.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]-5.5 +/- 0.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1.3 +/- 1.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Unknown[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td]


BrkIn is average break in inches in on a RHB, BrkDn is average break down, both measured relative to the 4-seamer (how much "hop" Beckett's 4-seamer has compared to the average MLB 4-seamer, which would be a better standard, I don't know.) BrkDn excludes the effect of gravity; slower pitchers drop further than faster pitchers, which adds to the deception of the change.

Note that the pitch that's referred to as Beckett's slider is by any objective view a cutter.

Edited by Eric Van, 04 October 2007 - 09:56 AM.


#65 singaporesoxfan

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:49 AM

If not for Grady Little's lack of a brain, the offensive machine that was the 2003 Red Sox would have faced Beckett in the World Series. I can't tell if that makes me feel a little better about 2003, since you could argue that Beckett was so dominant that the Marlins would've beat the Sox any way, or worse, since that would have been a great matchup to watch.

#66 Kitchkinet

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:25 AM

Another thing that's amazing is how he shut down the meat of the Angels' offense

Chone Figgins: 1-4, K
Orlando Cabrera: 0-4, K
Vladimir Guerrero: 2-4
Garrett Anderson: 0-4, 2 K
Maicer Izturis: 0-3

The first inning looked nasty with the deflection by Pedroia and the 2-3 K to end it, but Beckett shut the door from there.

Beyond the K's, Beckett scattered 12 groundouts to 7 flyouts. Coco Crisp had some superb fielding in center to back Josh up. And Tito's move to put Jacoby Ellsbury in LF in the 9th was pure genius. I don't think Manny makes that grab, and we might not have seen the shutout. Enabled Beckett to slam the door.

#67 OttoC


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:51 AM

Babe Ruth had a Game Score of 97 in Game 2 of the 1916 World Series. He threw 14 innings, giving up 1 run.

Yeah, I managed to skip right over that game when I was looking at Game Scores. That was even higher than Don Larsen's game in 1955 (94) and Bob Gibson's 17-strikeout performance against the Tigers in 1968 (93).

I think this points to a drawback in the Game Score metric when used for historical comparisons: total innings pitched is weighted too heavily, especially in today's environment. All other things being equal, 8.1 IP of no-hit ball gets the same Game Score as 9 IP of 2-hit ball.

#68 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 06:25 AM

Josh's "report card"... They actually gave him an A- for something, the hardasses

Posted Image

#69 RSN Diaspora


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 06:41 AM

I know it received a passing mention early on, but I think this merits a comparison to Bruce Hurst's performance in 1986 WS Game 1. Yes, Schiraldi closed out the ninth, but it was this game that I immediately thought of when we got into the later innings last night. I'm only 30, so I'm too young to have seen Tiant's 1975 performance, but here are some comparisons (in order of Game Score):

Dominant Postseason Performances
Pitcher Series IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit-Str GmSc
Lonborg (1967 WS) 9 1 0 0 1 4 0 Unavail. 88
Beckett (2007 ALDS) 9 4 0 0 0 8 0 108-83 87
Hurst (1986 WS) 8 4 0 0 4 8 0 123-78 78
Tiant (1975 WS) 9 5 0 0 2 3 0 100-65 78


Some particular noteworthy items:
  • It's a pity I can't find Lonborg's number of strikes and pitches, because this is the category where Beckett towers over Tiant and Hurst. An unbelievable 77% of his pitches were strikes, compared with 65% and 63% for Tiant and Hurst, respectively.
  • While Game Score is as imperfect a metric as any other, by that measure, Beckett was only a hair short of Lonborg's near no-hitter.
  • Only Beckett kept from issuing even one walk.


#70 Flynn4ever

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 07:41 AM

If not for Grady Little's lack of a brain, the offensive machine that was the 2003 Red Sox would have faced Beckett in the World Series. I can't tell if that makes me feel a little better about 2003, since you could argue that Beckett was so dominant that the Marlins would've beat the Sox any way, or worse, since that would have been a great matchup to watch.

Interesting point, but no matter how you slice it I think the 2007 vintage is less 'hitable.' I think we wore out the MFY's and he caught them napping, but our offense that year was more of a juggernaut.
One thing I will say is that I haven't felt as secure with a one run lead after the first inning since Pedro in the '99-2000 range. After Youks' homer and the mowing down of the Angels in the 2nd I almost gave the outcome no thought.

#71 86spike


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:18 AM

Agreed. In fact, I'd have preferred to see Verducci list ALL of the games that met that criteria to add a better historical perspective. How many guys who threw shutouts did so without allowing walks or XBH? Is it a smattering? A handful? A dozen?

EDIT - If you want something done right, do it yourself....

Here's the list of 11 pitchers who have done it before Josh.



check out that list... the last guy to throw a complete game shutout in the postseason with no BBs and no XBHs did it in 1987.

20 frickin years ago!

#72 JimD

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:18 AM

Josh's "report card"... They actually gave him an A- for something, the hardasses


Yes, for 'Overall Effectiveness'. :rolling:

I'm guessing the Angels thought he was plenty effective.

#73 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:35 AM

Pretty amazing performance and one of those games that is just a joy to watch. Sox get an early lead, and the pitcher is in such complete control that it was never really in doubt, at all. That's pretty rare, especially in a playoff game. The 3 career playoff shutout stat is just amazing; this guy certainly dials it up when it matters the most. It's funny to think of how frustrating he was last year and where he is at this year, I imagine we'll see the same kind of thing with Dice-K as well. He's just really learned how to control and manage a game. Watching the game yesterday, the offense, and the crowd and I kind of came to the realization that we may take how good this team is for granted at some times.

#74 riveraulwick

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for posting that pitch chart Eric. Very interesting stuff.

I remember thinking as I was watching the game that Beckett used his change in perfect situations but I had no idea that all 11 change ups he threw resulted in either strikes or outs. Pretty amazing, especially when you consider how things turned out last year for him. Josh has made some great adjustments to the league this year.

#75 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:23 AM

Department of all the more impressive . . . with that strike percentage, he must have had an ump with a generous strike zone, eh?

No. According to the tremendous Enhanced Game Day data,

Number of gift calls from the ump: 1. First pitch to Kotchman in the 2nd was actually an inch outside. Which is within the acceptable margin of error in most analyses of umpire performance.

Number of strikes the ump missed: 4 or 5, all of them high strikes:

-- First pitch of the game
-- Ball 1 to Willits in the 3rd, two-seamer
-- Ball 3 to Izturis in the 5th (had him struck out on a slider on the high inside corner)
-- Ball 1 to Cabrera in the 7th? Curve just high as it broke the front plane of the zone, probably broke down into it
-- Next pitch to him, 4-seamer at top of zone, would have been called strike 3 if he'd gotten these 2 calls

Admittedly, most umps don't call these pitches strikes . . . but they ought to.

#76 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:47 AM

Question about the second part: not a great view for me from the bleachers, how many two-seamers do we think Beckett was throwing? I know he got a couple of Ks on lefties via the inside cutter, but there were a bunch of pitches that righties were chasing down and in that I couldn't tell if they were two-seamers with hair or hard changeups. Just wondering.

I've added data on pitch breaks to the summary of the pitch chart. You can see that his change breaks less in (on a RHB) than his 2-seamer, but more down.

#77 DeltaForce

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:00 AM

check out that list... the last guy to throw a complete game shutout in the postseason with no BBs and no XBHs did it in 1987.

20 frickin years ago!

According to that list, Jason Schmidt did it to Florida in the 2003 ALDS.

Opposing pitcher: Josh Beckett.

#78 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:15 AM

Josh's "report card"... They actually gave him an A- for something, the hardasses

Man, if I'd had that teacher, I would have raised holy hell.

Overall Effectiveness: 2 A+, A-, B+ = A, not A-

And Offspeed Effectiveness and Efficiency are both midway between A and A+.

In fact, if you use their weights as stated and use a grade-point system, their scorecard actually adds to an A+ (a fraction closer to it than it is to A).

Kind of embarrassing that a historically great performance just rates an A, doubly so when it's because some bozo put together a bogus spreadsheet for calculating the score (my guess is that they average the rounded figures for each category, which is bogus if a guy is being arbitrarily rounded down in several categories).

#79 LoweSox


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:20 AM

If not for Grady Little's lack of a brain, the offensive machine that was the 2003 Red Sox would have faced Beckett in the World Series. I can't tell if that makes me feel a little better about 2003, since you could argue that Beckett was so dominant that the Marlins would've beat the Sox any way, or worse, since that would have been a great matchup to watch.

-singaporesoxfan (I can't get the quoting feature to work.)

I thought Florida was going to beat anyone after Beckett got done steamrolling Chicago. Seeing that performance last night, though, I had this unsettling thought that, had Beckett been a Red Sox killer rather than a Yankee killer, he might not have come to Boston at all. Boston missed him in that series at Fenway in '03, and so never got the sour taste of what he's capable of.

#80 alannathan

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:36 AM

BrkIn is average break in inches in on a RHB, BrkDn is average break down, both measured relative to the 4-seamer (how much "hop" Beckett's 4-seamer has compared to the average MLB 4-seamer, which would be a better standard, I don't know.) BrkDn excludes the effect of gravity; slower pitchers drop further than faster pitchers, which adds to the deception of the change.

Note that the pitch that's referred to as Beckett's slider is by any objective view a cutter.


I agree with Eric. Given that the vertical break and the speed is comparable to that of the 4-seam fastball, I agree that this is a cutter and not a slider. A slider usually is thrown a bit slower and with more vertical drop than a fastball.

#81 mr guido

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:56 AM

EV, thanks for posting the pitch data. I too love Enhanced Game Day. It allows for some interesting observations.

Beckett threw a curve in just 11 of the 31 plate appearances... but of those 11 PAs, 7 of them featured multiple curveballs (and 2 of the other 4 ended at-bats)... and in 6 of those 7, curves were thrown back-to-back. This tells me that they were only mixing in curves to hitters who are susceptible to them, and pounding them with it if so. A "I know you can't hit this so good luck" approach rather than using one pitch to set up another.

Figgins & O-Cab combined for 28 pitches, of which 24 were fastballs. Meanwhile Pinkeye, Kotchman, Aybar, Kendrick, and Morales (the kids under 24 years old & the old man w/ the gimpy eye) got 36 pitches, of which only 18 were fastballs. Vlad got all fastballs except for the stretch of 4 consecutive curves.

#82 86spike


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:18 AM

According to that list, Jason Schmidt did it to Florida in the 2003 ALDS.

Opposing pitcher: Josh Beckett.


derr... reading skills rusty

So here's a question... do you think that dominant performance is the type of thing that can/could/would put the LAA batters into slumps for the next few games? They got nothing to hit all night... and now have to sit another night before getting another crack. I imagine a lot of them would rather get right to it tonight.

#83 William Robertson

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:48 AM

To put it in SoSH terms, Josh a'Beckett's performance has taken 6 pages and counting to say enough about it. My first thought last night was that in Sox terms it was Ruthian. I always like that word. But thanks to dog, Eric, and others for digging up some good stats and comparisons.

#84 MentalDisabldLst


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:44 PM

More on topic - at no point did I feel Beckett was even reaching back for anything extra. Even after each single or the Ellsbury catch in the 9th he looked really comfortable - more a sense of "well, I placed it where I wanted it, sometimes these balls fall in".


It's pretty hard to reach back for something extra when every pitch you're throwing is already 96 or 97. Seriously, look at gameday, the guy threw like 3 fastballs under 95mph the whole game. His pitching mechanics were an absolute clinic of consistency.

edit: and you can read EV's chart on the last page to prove it

Edited by MentalDisabldLst, 04 October 2007 - 03:50 PM.


#85 IronManny

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:04 PM

It's pretty hard to reach back for something extra when every pitch you're throwing is already 96 or 97. Seriously, look at gameday, the guy threw like 3 fastballs under 95mph the whole game. His pitching mechanics were an absolute clinic of consistency.

edit: and you can read EV's chart on the last page to prove it


I'm not sure where that gameday data is coming from exactly - but I'm a little surprised to see those numbers. I was at the game watching the gun readings all night, and according to those Beckett was around 94 with his fastball all night. I definitely didn't see any 97s or 96s. This reminds me of hearing about juiced up guns so Zumaya could break 102 in Comerica Park.

Miles Per Hour aside - Beckett was clearly filthy last night.

#86 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:36 PM

I'm not sure where that gameday data is coming from exactly - but I'm a little surprised to see those numbers. I was at the game watching the gun readings all night, and according to those Beckett was around 94 with his fastball all night. I definitely didn't see any 97s or 96s. This reminds me of hearing about juiced up guns so Zumaya could break 102 in Comerica Park.

Miles Per Hour aside - Beckett was clearly filthy last night.

Enhanced Game Day velocities are accurate, they're just measured a bit earlier in the path to the plate than the "slow gun" used at the ballpark. (The ball slows down continually as it approaches the plate to wind resistance; at the plate it's 9-10 mph slower.) The network was using a "fast gun" that apparently picks up the ball at the same point as the EGD cameras, because the two were agreeing.

Since the fast guns agree with the EGD readings, I think you'll see that become the standard (which will have the added advantage of giving old-timers more things to bitch about).

#87 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:47 PM

I agree with Eric. Given that the vertical break and the speed is comparable to that of the 4-seam fastball, I agree that this is a cutter and not a slider. A slider usually is thrown a bit slower and with more vertical drop than a fastball.

Hi, Alan! Are we going to need an Enhanced Game Day hacking thread?

I called the pitch a slider originally because I've heard that he throws one occasionally and didn't want people to say "Beckett doesn't throw a cutter." But it is a cutter, just like Tavarez's and Sabathia's sliders are slurves. It will be interesting to see whether the objective classification of breaking pitches by EGD hackers has any influence on the terminology. But right now it's a great tool for figuring out what a guy's repertoire is (Tavarez, e.g., has two different two-seamers, his bread-and-butter sinker and one which rides in much harder).

BTW, I have a DVD dub of the game where Dice-K threw a seemingly obvious gyroball -- but there was no EGD data for the game. And as I watch games in high def and look at the EGD data, it seems clearer than ever that a gyroball is essentially an intentionally thrown hanging slider that works because it doesn't have the expected break. The usual slider axis of rotation is not that far off from the bullet-spin gyro axis.

#88 Eric Van


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:57 PM

EV, thanks for posting the pitch data. I too love Enhanced Game Day. It allows for some interesting observations.

Here's a tip -- the first thing you should do if you're looking at pitch location is plot the human-entered data (x, y) against the computer-generated data. They don't always agree. Then (if possible) check the discrepancies against video of the game.

In the Beckett game, there were four pitches that the human got really wrong (11, 14, 19, 108). But the tricky part is pitches 42-46, Cabrera's PA leading off the 4th. The Px and Pz data for pitch 42 agree with x and y but it's not the pitch Beckett threw. The x and y data for pitches 43 to 46 belong to pitches 42 to 45. Very strange.

#89 alannathan

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:34 PM

Here's a tip -- the first thing you should do if you're looking at pitch location is plot the human-entered data (x, y) against the computer-generated data. They don't always agree. Then (if possible) check the discrepancies against video of the game.

In the Beckett game, there were four pitches that the human got really wrong (11, 14, 19, 108). But the tricky part is pitches 42-46, Cabrera's PA leading off the 4th. The Px and Pz data for pitch 42 agree with x and y but it's not the pitch Beckett threw. The x and y data for pitches 43 to 46 belong to pitches 42 to 45. Very strange.


Hi...Alan here again. Sometimes there are "operator errors" that get the pitches jumbled up, the most famous of which was the Bond's 756th homer pitch, in which a throwback pitch was recorded rather than the actual pitch. To my knowledge, there is no "human-entered (x,y)" data, only the computer-generated data. So, one cannot compare with that.

I am doing my own analysis of Beckett's pitches from last night and will post it here later on tonight.

#90 OttoC


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Posted 05 October 2007 - 06:33 AM

Hi...Alan here again. Sometimes there are "operator errors" that get the pitches jumbled up, the most famous of which was the Bond's 756th homer pitch, in which a throwback pitch was recorded rather than the actual pitch. To my knowledge, there is no "human-entered (x,y)" data, only the computer-generated data. So, one cannot compare with that.

The top and bottom of the strike zone is still operator-entered in Enhanced GameDay, although once enough data is built up it will be generated automatically. How well this will work with batters who change their stance depending on pitcher/situation remains to be seen.

Also, EGD has tweaked the break readings about three times by changing the point from which it is first measured. I believe my memory is correct in saying we were told that was produce results that were more in line with what sportscasters would accept. In other words, they were toned down. This means that comparing the pitch breaks for pitchers from game-to-game when comparing eary data to later data. A pitcher showing 80% of the break yesterday that he showed on day 1 is not necessarily pitching any differently.

#91 missinpedro

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 09:04 AM

Question how many pitchers are there out there capable of throwing a 2 seamer in the 96-98 mph range. I can only think of two who are close: prime Pedro whose 2-seamer topped out at 94-96, if I recall correctly, and Mariano at his best can dial up his 2 seamer to 95. Besides that I canít really think of anyone getting their 2 seamer above 93. Looking at EVís chart and Beckettís effectiveness with all of his pitches, I would say that the only thing separating Beckett from Pedro in his prime is that Pedro had all the pitches Beckett does only his change-up was 10-12 mph slower and had much more movement. Granted thatís a huge difference and accounts for well over 1 ER per game, but its still pretty damn good to have your 4 seamer, 2 seamer, and cutter be Pedro-esque.

I said it in the game thread and Iíll paraphrase it here: it wasnít quite Pedro but that was one of the more impressive combinations of pure stuff and cerebral pitching that Iíve ever seen. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but I think we havenít seen the best of Beckett yet as far as regular season performance is concerned.

#92 alannathan

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:20 AM

The top and bottom of the strike zone is still operator-entered in Enhanced GameDay, although once enough data is built up it will be generated automatically. How well this will work with batters who change their stance depending on pitcher/situation remains to be seen.

Also, EGD has tweaked the break readings about three times by changing the point from which it is first measured. I believe my memory is correct in saying we were told that was produce results that were more in line with what sportscasters would accept. In other words, they were toned down. This means that comparing the pitch breaks for pitchers from game-to-game when comparing eary data to later data. A pitcher showing 80% of the break yesterday that he showed on day 1 is not necessarily pitching any differently.


What Otto says is exactly right. In my own analyses I have done of the pitch logs, I am able to correct for the different starting point. Actually, as a matter of convention, I compute the break starting 40 ft. from home plate. In the figure is a plot of the vertical vs. the horizontal break, which I calculate myself from the PITCHf/x data logs. These numbers are the computed difference between the actual location of the pitch as it crosses the front plane of home plate and the location expected in the absence of the Magnus force (computed from the 40 ft starting location). The plot is color-coded according to the release speed as follows: black (v>91 mph); red (82<v<91); green (v<82). I associate the green points with the curveball (break is down and to the catcher's right) and the red points with the changeup. You can see the black points can be subdivided into three groups depending on the amount of break in each direction. The four-seam fastball is the cluster around dx=-7.5, dz=10. I haven't yet had a chance to look at this plot in detail. Perhaps one of you out there might be interested in doing that and posting your remarks.Posted Image

#93 Eric Van


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Posted 05 October 2007 - 11:07 AM

What Otto says is exactly right. In my own analyses I have done of the pitch logs, I am able to correct for the different starting point. Actually, as a matter of convention, I compute the break starting 40 ft. from home plate. In the figure is a plot of the vertical vs. the horizontal break, which I calculate myself from the PITCHf/x data logs. These numbers are the computed difference between the actual location of the pitch as it crosses the front plane of home plate and the location expected in the absence of the Magnus force (computed from the 40 ft starting location). The plot is color-coded according to the release speed as follows: black (v>91 mph); red (82<v<91); green (v<82). I associate the green points with the curveball (break is down and to the catcher's right) and the red points with the changeup. You can see the black points can be subdivided into three groups depending on the amount of break in each direction. The four-seam fastball is the cluster around dx=-7.5, dz=10. I haven't yet had a chance to look at this plot in detail. Perhaps one of you out there might be interested in doing that and posting your remarks.[/img]

You've inspired me to go to the work of posting my own chart, which is pretty much the same . . .

Posted Image

#94 JohntheBaptist


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Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:04 PM

Question how many pitchers are there out there capable of throwing a 2 seamer in the 96-98 mph range. I can only think of two who are close: prime Pedro whose 2-seamer topped out at 94-96, if I recall correctly, and Mariano at his best can dial up his 2 seamer to 95. Besides that I canít really think of anyone getting their 2 seamer above 93.

Off the top of my head, I think Bartolo Colon in his prime could get that backup 2-seamer of his into this neighborhood, but I'm not 100% on his ability to sit at ~93 with it.

#95 Noah

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:34 PM

Carlos Zambrano throws a 2-seam fastball harder than I think I've ever seen from anyone. And when he hits his spot with it inside to lefties, it's ridiculous.

#96 Paul M


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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:00 PM

In terms of sheer velocity, Felix Hernandez can throw a 2-seamer 97-99. And actually maintain it pretty well into the 7th inning. (Kevin Brown in his halcyon days was 95-96 all night and it had great sink).

I think there are actually quite a few (15 or so) that can get 93+ on the 2-seamer, but 96+ is a very short list.