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Entries in heatmap (3)

Thursday
Jun142012

Matt Cain: Perfect Game Heatmap

 

The heatmap above is a visual representation of Matt Cain's pitch locations during his perfect game on June 13, 2012. He threw a total of 125 pitches with a called strike rate of 46%.

Thursday
Oct282010

Murphy Over Vladdy

Texas manager Ron Washington, in the face of Vladimir Guerrero's defensive debacle in Wednesday's World Series Game 1, elected to start David Murphy in left field for Game 2, with Nelson Cruz moving over to right. The defensive upgrade is almost undeniable, as Guerrero has showed his legs to be lagging far, far behind his still-cannonlike arm.

As for offense, can Murphy fill the void in the lineup left by Vlad's departure? How will Matt Cain's approach differ, if at all?

During the 2010 season, Guerrero posted a .287/.328/.482 line in 476 PA against right-handed pitchers, while Murphy, the lefty bat, had a .298/.368/.479 line in 342 PA against opposing righty hurlers. The slugging difference is negligible, but Murphy is clearly the more patient hitter. That isn't really hard to be, given how we're talking about Vladimir Guerrero here, but it's worth noting.

Guerrero vs RHP, 2010Murphy vs RHP, 2010
Guerrero continues to be the living definition of a "low ball hitter," and his damage contrasts nicely with Murphy's: where Vlad will hammer anything that deigns to venture off the corners and into the middle of the plate, Murphy will instead pounce on pitches on the upper and inside edges of the zone. Cain would do well to pepper the outer edge with his off-speed stuff against Murphy, and he'll be likely to avoid great damage.

Friday
Oct152010

Mariano Rivera's Pitch Frequency

With the first game of the ALCS less than an hour away, let's take a quick look at the pitch frequency for a player that has been so instrumental in the New York Yankees postseason success: Mariano Rivera.

As the heatmap below shows, Mariano Rivera has an amazing ability to command the strike zone.

Mariano Rivera's 2010 Pitch Frequency vs. All Major League RHP Notice how Rivera barely touches the middle of the plate.

Here are Rivera's Righty-Lefty heatmaps vs. the rest of the league:

Mariano Rivera's 2010 Pitch Frequency against LHB (439 pitches) vs. All 2010 Major League PitchersMariano Rivera's 2010 Pitch Frequency against RHB (476 pitches) vs. All 2010 Major League PitchersAs you can see from the top map, Rivera lives on the inside corner to lefty batters.  In fact, the majority of his pitches fall outside the designated strikezone.  Meanwhile, the rest of the league favors throwing down and away to LHB.

Against RHB, Mo spreads out his pitches a bit more.  However, notice how he barely ever throws to the middle inside part of the plate to righties.  He also busts righties up and in, again in contrast to the rest of the league.

As a matter of comparison, here are the pitch frequency heatmaps for 3 other AL closers:

Rafael Soriano's 2010 Pitch Frequency (890 pitches) vs. All 2010 Major League RHPJoakim Soria's 2010 Pitch Frequency (1086 pitches) vs. All 2010 Major League RHPNeftali Feliz's 2010 Pitch Frequency (1072 pitches) vs. All 2010 Major League RHPAll three of the above closers tend to pitch to the middle of the plate, a striking contrast to Rivera's pitch frequency.

Lastly, here's a look at Rivera's pitch frequency since 2008:

Mariano Rivera's Pitch Frequency since 2008