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Entries in rangers (15)


Moving Lee

Cliff Lee played with batters minds Monday night, and no where did it show up better than on his second inning strikeout of Alex Rodriguez.  The following graphic shows how Lee's pitches to right-handed batters moved during game three.  Note that the movement is from where the ball reaches the plane of the plate, not from the center of the plate.


Cliff Lee pitch movement vs. RHB, 2010 ALCS Game 3

Lee's pitches either moved away from right-handers as they reached the plate, or down and in.  In Alex's at bat, pitches four and five both had movement away.  Both started out over the plate and moved away.  Pitch six, however, started out a bit away.  After seeing the previous two pitches, Alex responded by assuming it would break away for a ball.  Instead, it broke in and down for the third strike, Rodriguez starting for the dugout before the ump rung him up.  It's a classic example of establishing a pattern, then pitching against that pattern to fool a hitter.


Painting with Mr. Lee

Cliff Lee was impressive last night in Game 3 (pitch log) of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium. He threw 122 pitches with an unpredictable mix:

fastballs: 52

cutters: 40

change: 14


Of his 23 "first pitches" he threw 13 fastballs and 14 cutters.

Most importanly he painted the strike zone. As you can see from our pitch location heat map below Lee effectively painted the strike zone and rarely threw anything down the middle.

Heat Map: Cliff Lee pitch locations ALCS Game 3Very impressive.

This blog was created using the In Depth Baseball analytics platform. For more information on the platform click here.


Phil Hughes with Two Strikes

Phil Hughes had a little trouble with two strikes against the Rangers' hitters in Game 2 of the ALCS.  He went to two strikes on two lefty batters, walking one and yielding a double to the other.  After two strikes to 10 right handed Rangers, Hughes allowed 4 hits (2 doubles, 1 triple) while striking out 3.

Phil Hughes Contact Rate with 2 Strikes (26 pitches)Phil Hughes In Play Rate with 2 Strikes (26 pitches)The top map shows the contact rate (number of balls in play + fouls / number of swings) against Phil Hughes with two strikes on Saturday.  Too much red there.  The bottom map shows the in play rate (balls put in play / swings).  It seemed as though Hughes was trying to elevate his pitches with two strikes against the Rangers, but they weren't missing.  Just for comparison, here's his 2010 in play map:

Phil Hughes 2010 In Play Rate with 2 Strikes vs. RHB (492 pitches)

Phil Hughes 2010 In Play Rate with 2 Strikes vs. LHB (524 pitches)