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« Vladimir Guerrero Signs with Toronto | Main | Home Run Recap: Josh Hamilton »

Lincecum vs. Kemp

In last night's Giants-Dodgers game, Tim Lincecum struck out Matt Kemp in three consecutive plate appearances. Here's the pitch frequency for the 17 pitches Lincecum threw Kemp:

As you can see, Lincecum tried to keep the ball down in the zone. Kemp is only a .219 hitter on low balls since the start of the 2010 season, as opposed to .340 on pitches middle and up.

All three strike outs were swinging, the first on a slider down, and the next two on changeups also down in the zone.

Matt Kemp ISO heat map data from 2010-2012 (Click image to enlarge)All three pitches would more than likely have been called balls for being too low. From Kemp's ISO heat map, we see that he's fairly dangerous on nearly any pitch in the strike zone, and even up out of the strike zone.  However, low pitches give him trouble; Lincecum concentrated his efforts here and was able to successfully neutralize the National League leader in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS+, wRC+, and WAR.

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