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Entries in adrian beltre (12)

Wednesday
Oct052011

Matt Harrison Limits the Rays

Perhaps lost in yesterday’s HR explosion from Texas Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre was just how well Matt Harrison pitched.  In fact, his 9 strikeout performance against the Tampa Bay Rays gives him a 34.6% strikeout per plate appearance rate for the playoffs, leading all pitchers through Tuesday's games.

Harrison held the Rays to five hits and two walks through five innings on Tuesday, allowing two earned runs.  He struck out seven of the 16 right handed hitters he faced.

During the regular season, Harrison actually did slightly better against righties than lefties, holding them to a .293 wOBA, 23 points lower than opposing lefties.  When he did get hit by RHB, it was mostly on pitches in, as you can see from the following heat map:

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

Yesterday, Harrison made sure to keep the ball away and as a result he was able to not only limit damage from RHB, but also strike out nine batters in all matching his 2011 game high set against the Mariners on September 18th.

Friday
May202011

Halladay Versus Beltre

Adrian Beltre (TEX) is one batter of many Roy Halladay (PHI) shut down over his career.  The two meet Friday night as the Rangers visit the Phillies.  In his career, Roy held Beltre to a .185/.214/.296 slash line in 28 plate appearances.  Adrian doesn't strike out much against Roy, just five times in his career, but he doesn't get much out of putting the ball in play.

PITCHf/x covers the last eleven battles between the two (2008-2010) and shows us why Roy shuts down Adrian.  First, look at Adrian's hot zones:

Adrian Beltre, in play batting average, 2008-2011.So where does Roy pitch him?

Roy Halladay vs. Adrian Beltre, pitch frequency, 2008-2010.That's a total of 36 pitches.  Notice how nicely Roy fills that green bubble on the inside part of the plate, putting pitches between Adrian's hot zones inside.  Halladay avoids large swaths of the plate altogether, but sometimes tempts Beltre outside.

One big help for Roy appears to be reputation.  Beltre was never known as a selective hitter, and Halladay puts pitches where he wants, so Roy seems to get the calls on taken pitches:

Roy Halladay vs. Adrian Beltre, strike rate on taken pitches, 2008-2010.To Beltre's credit, he's not taking pitches in the strike zone.  Roy holds an unfair advantage inside, where very few calls go Adrian's way.  That puts him in a hole.  Not surprisingly, the only hit Adrian collected in the eleven at bats came on a first pitch.

Roy Halladay vs. Adrian Beltre, in play batting average, 2008-2010.That hit came in Adrian's last at bat against Roy, 5/23/2010.  He might have seen enough first pitch strikes inside to figure it was coming, and smacked the ball to leftfield.  We'll see how each adjusts tonight.

Monday
Oct182010

Clutch at the Corner

Let's take a look at the top clutch performers occupying 3rd base during the 2010 season.

Filter Criteria:
Performance by 3rd basemen when faced with 2 outs with runners in scoring position when their team was down by 1 run or tied.

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