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« 2011's Best Bad-Ball Hitters | Main | Batters Can't Resist Beachy's High Heat, Slider »

The Change in Lincecum

Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants pitched poorly so far in June. He continues to strike out a ton of batters, but it's not leading to a low batting average allowed.  The difference between Tim now and the Lincecum of March through May is the location of his change up.

Tim Lincecum, change up location, March through May 2011.Notice that Tim threw the pitch out of the strike zone.  Coming in eight miles an hour slower than his fastball, hitters expected a pitch in the zone and would swing and miss.

Tim Lincecum, contact rate against the change up, March-May 2011.Batters could not square up the pitch as they went 0 for 31 against the change through the end of May with 15 strikeouts.

Once June came around, Lincecum started leaving the pitch relatively up:

Tim Lincecum, change up location, June 2011Tim appears to be throwing the pitch the same way, as an examination of the spin showed no obvious changes.  With the pitch up in the strike zone, however, batters are making contact.

Tim Lincecum, contact rate against the changeup, June 2011.Batters are recognizing this pitch better, and the ball more likely ends up in a better spot to hit.  Hitters are now 5 for 14 against the pitch, .357 with four strikeouts.  Lincecum is no longer fooling batters with the pitch.

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  • Response
    I do have a few things that I wonder however is that in June he has to date only thrown 14 change ups in this sample which I have to wonder if that is a big enough sample to draw any sort of conclusions from. From watching him I would think ...