Search Archives
Follow Us

Featured Sponsors


Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds

This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks

Entries in Milwaukee Brewers (41)

Monday
Jun242013

Understanding John Axford's Scoreless Streak

2013 has been a tale of two seasons for Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford

Beginning the season with an Opening Day blown save, Axford's headaches continued in his next three outings (2.1 IP) when he yielded a total of eight earned runs on eight hits (including three home runs) and two walks with a fly-ball to ground-ball ratio of 13-to-1. After being demoted from his closer role, his next month's worth of appearances were primarily spent in innings other than the ninth, and he performed well, lowering his season peak ERA of 24.30 on April 9 down to 9.20 as of May 14.

And May 14 marks the last time Axford has let a run cross home plate

Since then: 

  • He's tossed 17.1 innings of scoreless baseball
  • Struck out 18, walking seven
  • Held hitters to a slash line of .180/.275/.213 with just 11 hits allowed. 

His turnaround has had a ripple effect on Milwaukee's bullpen, too, posting an ERA of 2.45 as a staff, which ranks second-best in baseball since that date.

Axford's success can be traced largely to his success against lefties

 

Zone%

In-play%

Miss%

Chase%

Well Hit Avg (BAA)

Apr. 1-May 14

49.3%

44.0%

26.0%

16.2%

.300 (.400)

May 15- June 22

41.7%

30.9%

34.5%

25.9%

.115 (.154)

  • The most prominent deviation against left-handed opponents comes on the in-play rate; nearly a 14-point difference in the amount of pitches hit in play is enough to say that either a) Axford's approach has changed and his command has improved or b) it is simply a matter of coincidence.
  • When you are looking at the world through an analytic eye, you don't buy into "coincidences." So, despite the fact that Axford is throwing less pitches in the zone, evidenced by his 41.7% zone rate, lefties are swinging more frequently at pitches that are not in the zone (25.9% chase rate).
  • Consequently, lefites are having a more difficult time making hard contact on his offerings, as his signficantly decreased .155 WHAV indicates.

Axford's approach within the strike zone.

These maps compare pitch frequency

  • Early in the season, Axford was much too over the plate with his offerings aganst lefties, pitching into a portion of the zone where left-handed batters produce a large portion of their extra-base hits. 
  • While his command could certainly be better during his scoreless streak, he has made it a point to stray away from the lower portions of the strike zone with his offerings, focusing instead on the up-and-outside portion of the zone to which left-handers traditionally are less apt to generate extra-base hits.
  • Axford has also focussed more on 'painting' the edges of the zone more frequently than he did prior to his late success, especially down and inside. Since Axford is more cautious within the zone, lefties are finding difficulty in putting quality contact on the ball.

April -May 14 contact rate and hit charts

During Axford's scoreless streak

  • Early in the season, Axford pitched more frequently to left-hander's strengths within the zone resulting in solid contact and power
  • During his scoreless streak, lefties have primarily made contact on pitches that are in on their hands, and that has resulted in weaker contact and subsequent lazy fly-ball outs.

With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching, it's tough to say whether Axford's scoreless streak has made him a legitimate asset in a package deal. If it continues well in July, general manager Doug Melvin may have no other choice but to move him to a buyer in need of late-inning help out of the bullpen. But, for now at least, the Brewers may want to ride Axford's scoreless streak for as long as possible -- there hasn't been much worth cheering for this season.

Wednesday
Jun122013

B. Chuck: Yovani Gallardo, the 1000 K pitcher

This week,  Yovani Gallardo joined the Brewers' 1000 strikeout club. Gallardo has 899 whiffs since 2008

Brewers franchise leaders in strikeouts

Rk Player SO From To G GS CG SHO W L W-L% SV IP ERA
1 Ben Sheets 1206 2001 2008 221 221 18 4 86 83 .509 0 1428.0 3.72
2 Teddy Higuera 1081 1985 1994 213 205 50 12 94 64 .595 0 1380.0 3.61
3 Yovani Gallardo 1000 2007 2013 165 162 4 3 74 49 .602 0 998.0 3.72
4 Jim Slaton 929 1971 1983 364 268 69 19 117 121 .492 11 2025.1 3.86
5 Moose Haas 800 1976 1985 245 231 55 8 91 79 .535 2 1542.0 4.03
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 6/11/2013.

Top 10 MLB Active leaders in strikeouts

There are 56 active pitchers with at least 1000 strikeouts
Rk Player SO From To G GS W L W-L% SV IP H BB ERA Tm
1 Andy Pettitte 2368 1995 2013 511 501 250 145 .633 0 3192.0 3309 1001 3.85 NYY-HOU
2 CC Sabathia 2297 2001 2013 397 397 197 107 .648 0 2659.1 2462 787 3.52 CLE-TOT-NYY
3 Roy Halladay 2101 1998 2013 410 384 201 104 .659 1 2721.2 2624 573 3.37 TOR-PHI
4 A.J. Burnett 2070 1999 2013 359 354 141 127 .526 0 2252.0 2041 923 4.01 FLA-TOR-NYY-PIT
5 Ryan Dempster 2001 1998 2013 560 335 128 130 .496 87 2291.1 2243 1027 4.34 FLA-TOT-CIN-CHC-BOS
6 Johan Santana 1988 2000 2012 360 284 139 78 .641 1 2025.2 1726 567 3.20 MIN-NYM
7 Bartolo Colon 1882 1997 2013 394 388 179 124 .591 0 2476.2 2482 783 4.01 CLE-TOT-CHW-ANA-LAA-BOS-NYY-OAK
8 Tim Hudson 1862 1999 2013 420 419 201 110 .646 0 2766.0 2581 829 3.45 OAK-ATL
9 Barry Zito 1836 2000 2013 412 406 164 136 .547 0 2505.0 2275 1030 3.93 OAK-SFG
10 Roy Oswalt 1818 2001 2012 356 335 163 96 .629 0 2213.0 2150 511 3.28 HOU-TOT-PHI-TEX
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 6/12/2013.
Tuesday
Jun112013

Homers by Lefties, Here, There, But Not Everywhere

So far this season, there have been 1913 homers hit.

  • Of that total, 1053 (54%) have been hit from the right-side of the plate, 860 from the left (45%, yes I rounded off).
  • Of the 860 homers that have been hit by lefties, 435 (51%) have been hit at home, 425 on the road (49%, yes I rounded off).
  • There have been 54 batters this season who have hit 10+ homers.
  • Of that total, 33 (61%) 10+ homer hitters did it from the right-side of the plate, 21 (38% yes, I rounded off again) from the left.
  • There have been 11 batters this season who have hit 15+ homers.
  • Of that total, six (54%) 15+ homer hitters did it from the right-side of the plate, five (45%, more rounding off) from the left.
  • The major league leading home run hitter is Chris Davis with 20 and the NL leader, Domonic Brown, has 19. They are both lefties.

Lefties are clearly hitting their share of homers.

Except for the Angels and for Kansas City in the AL.

The last Royals lefties who homered at home were Jarrod Dyson and Mike Moustakas off of Phil Hughes on May 10. 

Hank Conger homered for the Angels on May 2, the only homer the team has hit at home this month.

Except for the Brewers, Marlins and for the Dodgers in the NL.

Especially the Brewers

Norichika Aoki is the only Brewer lefty batter to homer this season.

Aoki has hit three at Miller Park, the last one on April 29.

The Marlins lefties  have hit one homer at home in each month this season.

Adrian Gonzalez hit the last Dodger lefty road homer and that was barely away since it was off Ernesto Frieri in Anaheim

By the way, the Brewers lefties only hit 27 homers lats season, 16 at home including an Aoki walkoff homer.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 14 Next 3 Entries »