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« Phil Coke, Not the Real Thing? | Main | Analyzing NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro »
Tuesday
Oct232012

The Great Justin Verlander Inning-by-Inning

Like so many great pitchers, you want to get to Justin Verlander early before he establishes his rhythm and gets into controlling the batter and at bats.

Take a look at Verlander's 2012 inning-by-inning results

SplitIPERERAPAABRHHRBBSOBA
1st inning 33.0 15 4.09 139 120 16 28 4 15 31 .233
2nd inning 33.0 7 1.91 128 124 7 26 0 4 33 .210
3rd inning 33.0 10 2.73 132 121 10 25 3 8 35 .207
4th inning 33.0 15 4.09 135 124 17 32 4 10 32 .258
5th inning 33.0 9 2.45 130 124 12 31 5 6 31 .250
6th inning 31.2 3 0.85 125 116 4 20 0 7 24 .172
7th inning 21.1 5 2.11 90 83 8 18 3 6 24 .217
8th inning 15.0 1 0.60 52 50 1 6 0 2 23 .120
9th inning 5.1 5 8.44 25 22 3 6 0 2 6 .273
Innings 1-3 99.0 32 2.91 399 365 33 79 7 27 99 .216
Innings 4-6 97.2 27 2.49 390 364 33 83 9 23 87 .228
Innings 7-9 41.2 11 2.38 167 155 12 30 3 10 53 .194
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/23/2012.

 

However, when you are dealing with major league batters you are dealing with pros who make adjustments. You can see that particularly the second time Verlander faces a batter.

But, what makes Verlander one of the greats of the game is his ability to move into a whole new gear as the game progresses and become an even more effective pitcher the third time the batter faces him.

Take a look at plate appearances:

SplitPAABRHHRBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
1st PA in G, as SP 303 275 19 55 4 23 82 .200 .260 .320 .580
2nd PA in G, as SP 296 280 28 74 10 13 66 .264 .298 .411 .709
3rd PA in G, as SP 276 256 22 48 5 17 63 .188 .246 .285 .532
4th+ PA in G, as SP 81 73 9 15 0 7 28 .205 .284 .233 .517
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/23/2012.

 

As you can see, if Verlander faces a batter a fourth time, he is tremendously effective  but what you really must marvel at is his control. Of the 81 fourth time in a game plate appearances, Verlander only issued seven walks.

If you really want to be impressed check out Verlander's fastball, inning-by-inning

  • Verlander threw 275 1st inning fastballs, averaging 93.5 mph and maxing out at 99.1.
  • Verlander threw 242 2nd inning fastballs, averaging 93.9 mph and maxing out at 98.6.
  • Verlander threw 259 3rd inning fastballs, averaging 94.2 mph and maxing out at 98.1.
  • Verlander threw 275 4th inning fastballs, averaging 95.0 mph and maxing out at 101.4.
  • Verlander threw 257 5th inning fastballs, averaging 94.9 mph and maxing out at 100.4.
  • Verlander threw 225 6th inning fastballs, averaging 94.8 mph and maxing out at 100.0.
  • Verlander threw 166 7th inning fastballs, averaging 95.3 mph and maxing out at 100.7.
  • Verlander threw 118 8th inning fastballs, averaging 96.0 mph and maxing out at 101.5.
  • Verlander threw 58 9th inning fastballs, averaging 97.0 mph and maxing out at 100.3.
Yes, you are reading that correctly. Verlander threw heat from the start but was throwing harder at the end.

Grouped by innings:

  • Innings 1-3: Verlander threw 776 fastballs, averaging 93.9 mph and maxing out at 99.1.
  • Innings 4-6: Verlander threw 757 fastballs, averaging 94.9 mph and maxing out at 101.4.
  • Innings 7-9: Verlander threw 342 fastballs, averaging 95.8 mph and maxing out at 101.5.

An aspect of Verlander's greatness is his ability to mix location, accuracy, with a variance of speed.

Overall, this regular season:

  • Verlander threw 1875 fastballs, averaging 94.6 mph and maxing out at 101.5.
  • Verlander threw 839 change-ups, averaging 86.7 mph and maxing out at 91.0.
  • Verlander threw 579 curveballs, averaging 79.4 mph and maxing out at 86.3.
  • Verlander threw 466 sliders, averaging 84.6 mph and maxing out at 90.8.

 

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