One other thing I mentioned in the GT is that early on (is there any easy way on Jnai's site to filter by inning right now that I'm not seeing?) a lot of his balls were falling within a 3" box of the strike zone.
I was too lazy to pull the data and run it through Excel or Matlab, but here's a picture with the strike zone and a superimposed "strike zone + 3"" -- forgive me for the poor compression, it's early and I just used MS Paint and forgot to actually save properly.
At least 20 of his 47 balls were within this range (in fact 5 were in the actual
zone and called balls); meaning he probably could have stolen a couple extra calls if someone with a larger zone was behind the plate. This was most noticible early on in the first inning, where even though he walked a couple, he had nice clustering just off the outside and just below the knees, so he wasn't tremendously wild even though the peripherals indicate he was. A substantial portion of the scatter in the above figure came when he was clearly laboring at the end of the 6th and into the 7th; but as Sprowl said, 5 walks weren't good, but he was almost a degree of "effectively wild" in that he wasn't missing out over the plate but also wasn't missing 2' away from the plate like he sometimes does.
One other thing that struck me last night is the "arc" to his fastball velocity
. It was actually pretty low (averaging around 91-92 mph in inning 1) early on and built up in the middle innings. It's something that you can see in the 4/27 game at Toronto
and the 5/8 NYY
game but isn't really visible in other games like 4/22 vs. Texas
. Not really something that is something eye-opening into Clay's repertoire, but it stands in contrast to pitchers like Lackey whose velocities tend to peak in the early innings and tail off after that
, too. (I'm assuming this is mostly pitcher dependent; it's possible that being the home/away team (pitch immediately after warm ups at home, wait 20 minutes when away) or long 1st innings play a role in this-- I didn't take the to look at each box score).
Edited by czar, 15 May 2010 - 10:51 AM.