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Entries in Max Scherzer (6)

Friday
Sep142012

Bill Chuck’s Friday Nine to Know

 

  1. From the day of Andy Pettitte’s first start May 13th (a loss) through his last game (a win) on June 27, the Yanks went 27-14 (.659) tied with the Angels for the best record in baseball. Since that date, the Yanks have played .515 (35-33) ball.
  2. The last time the Red Sox did not have a 15-game winner was 2001, the streak will end this season.
  3. The last time the Red Sox did not have a hundred RBI batter was 1997, the streak will end this season.
  4. Mike Leake leads all pitchers this season with two homers, but Yovani Gallardo has one this season, giving him 10 in his career tying him with Livan Hernandez among active pitchers and trailing only Carlos Zambrano who has 24.
  5. While Albert Pujols is ending up with a strong season, he is not stopping an alarming trend: Pujols hit .357 in 2008, .327 in 2009, .312 in 2010, .299 last season, and .286 this season.
  6. Aroldis Chapman leads all full-time relievers with 119 strikeouts in just 67.2 innings. Dick Radatz who had 181 whiffs in 157 relief innings for the Red Sox in 1964 holds the record.
  7. So far Mike TroutAlex RiosB.J. Uptonand Ryan Braun are the only members of the 20 homer/20 steal club this season, the most in any season were the 19 in 1999. There were 12 last season.
  8. Max Scherzer is the first starter (with a least 162 IP) to average over 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched since Kerry Wood in 2003 when he averaged 11.35. Scherzer is at 11.21.
  9. Dickie Dietz is the only Giants catcher since the team moved to SF to have over 100 RBI (he had 107 in 1970); Buster Posey had 89.
Monday
Aug222011

Curtis Granderson, the right man against lefties

December 9, 2009 was a date that has had a profound affect on three teams that are in first place today. On that date, the Detroit Tigers sent Edwin Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees. The Yankees sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ian Kennedy to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Arizona Diamondbacks sent Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers. Talk about deals that deserve the Charlie Sheen Award for WIN-WIN-WIN!

Austin Jackson finished second in the AL last season in the Rookie of the Year voting. Ian Kennedy at 15-4 is getting some Cy Young Award talk this season and now, Curtis Granderson is in the mix for the AL MVP award this season. The Grandy Man leads the league in runs with 114, in triples with 10, in RBI with 98 and has 35 homers and a .965 OPS.

Watching Granderson's improvement has been dramatic. Let me remind you that on July 7 of last season he was hitting .225 and hitting seventh in the Yankee lineup. 

Here's what Granderson looked like up to July 7 last season:

Granderson was hitting a weak .225Granderson only had 8 doubles, 4 triples, and 7 homers.

But it was his inability to hit lefties that was killing him:

Granderson was .198 against leftiesHe had 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 homer.

Then along came Kevin Long:

Granderson hit .257 from July 9 onGranderson worked hard with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and it produced results. He had 9 doubles, 3 triples, and 17 homers to end 2010 strongly.

Here's how he did against lefties from July 9 on:

Grandy hit .257 against lefties and .257 against rightiesAgainst lefties he had 3 doubles and 3 homers, but more importantly he had started getting better plate coverage.

Up to July 7, from the inside to the middle of the plate against lefties, Granderson was getting killed hitting .156. From the middle to the outside of the plate against lefties, Granderson hit .203. From July 9 on from the inside to the middle of the plate against lefties Granderson hit .429. From the middle to the outside of the plate against lefties, Granderson hit .257. 

Jump to 2011:

Grandy is hitting .281 overall this season.

Grandy this season against lefties:

Now Granderson is hitting .281 against lefties and .281 against rightiesOf his 35 homers this season, 13 are against lefties.

Granderson's quick bat against lefties, Inside to the Middle of the plate:

Grandy is hitting .270

Granderson's quick bat against lefties, Middle to the Outside of the plate:

Grandy is hitting .278 with 12 homersLooking at these heat maps you can see the incredible difference in Granderson. Since last July 7, Granderson is hitting .276 with 31 doubles, 14 triples, and 53 homers.

Granderson has clearly been the right man against lefties this season, which means if we are looking at the postseason, the Texas Rangers with their three lefty starters have to prefer to face the Boston Red Sox.

Friday
Apr292011

Scherzer's Slider

In the middle of May 2010, Max Scherzer (DET) discovered a flaw in his delivery while watching video.  Before he could tell the Tigers staff, he was demoted to the minor leagues, where he fixed the flaw. When Max returned two week later he started amassing high strikeout totals.  What's changed the most for Scherzer since his return is the slider.

Max Scherzer's slider, location and movement, 2008-May 14, 2010.Note that the location of his slider (on the left) is mostly in the strike zone.  It's a hittable pitch.  Since returning from the minor league assignment, he gets the slider down more.

Max Scherzer's slider, location and movement, since May 30, 2010.Scherzer now throws the pitch out of the strike zone frequently.  You'll notice on the movement, the vertical component often goes lower than the previously.  The result is a very good .282 wOBA on the pitch before the he fixed flaw dropped to an excellent .207.  In addition  he now gets a 29.6% strikeout rate with the pitch as compared to 20.5% before.  Max's slider is now a great out pitch.

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