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« Granderson's Home Run Surge | Main | David Wright vs. Righties (ESPN.com) »
Friday
May132011

Chacin in the Clutch

Opposing batters hit .212 against Jhoulys Chacin (COL) this season, but only .071 (2 for 28) with runners in scoring position.  Twenty eight at bats represents a very small sample size, but might Chacin pitch batters differently in these situations?  Is it just luck, or does Jhoulys bear down more with runs on the line?

The following are Chacin's overall numbers by pitch type:

 

Jhoulys Chacin 2011
Pitch typePercent thrownBA Allowed
Fastball 58.3% .308
Change Up 9.2% .067
Curveball 12.3% .182
Slider 19.9% .071

 

Batters hit his fastball pretty well, but Chacin makes up for it by fooling batters with his off-speed pitches.  When the opposition puts runners in scoring position, Jhoulys changes his pattern:

 

Jhoulys Chacin 2011, Runners in scoring position
Pitch typePercent thrownBA Allowed
Fastball 47.0% .143
Change Up 9.1% .000
Curveball 18.2% .000
Slider 25.0% .000

 

Chacin de-emphasizes his easiest to hit pitch, his fastball, and shows batters more curves and sliders.  He gets better results on those pitches, so it's not surprising his RISP average allowed would be lower.

The question this raises is, why doesn't he use that distribution of pitches all the time?  It might be that he wants to get batters comfortable with one approach, and then fool them with another when he really needs an out.  So far, it's working.

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