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Entries in San Francisco Giants (49)

Thursday
Jun232011

The Change in Lincecum

Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants pitched poorly so far in June. He continues to strike out a ton of batters, but it's not leading to a low batting average allowed.  The difference between Tim now and the Lincecum of March through May is the location of his change up.

Tim Lincecum, change up location, March through May 2011.Notice that Tim threw the pitch out of the strike zone.  Coming in eight miles an hour slower than his fastball, hitters expected a pitch in the zone and would swing and miss.

Tim Lincecum, contact rate against the change up, March-May 2011.Batters could not square up the pitch as they went 0 for 31 against the change through the end of May with 15 strikeouts.

Once June came around, Lincecum started leaving the pitch relatively up:

Tim Lincecum, change up location, June 2011Tim appears to be throwing the pitch the same way, as an examination of the spin showed no obvious changes.  With the pitch up in the strike zone, however, batters are making contact.

Tim Lincecum, contact rate against the changeup, June 2011.Batters are recognizing this pitch better, and the ball more likely ends up in a better spot to hit.  Hitters are now 5 for 14 against the pitch, .357 with four strikeouts.  Lincecum is no longer fooling batters with the pitch.

Wednesday
Jun222011

Flat Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants pitched poorly Tuesday night, giving up nine hits to the ten batters he faced.  The problem came from a lack of differentiation between his fastball and slider.  During this season, through June 15th, Bumgarner showed a difference between the pitches in three dimensions:

Madison Bumgarner, fastball and slider movement and speed, 2011 season through June 15th.Madison's fastball tends to stay up in the zone, while is slider dips and moves father in on a right-handed batter.  On Tuesday night, both pitches flattened out:

Madison Bumgarner, fastball and slider movement and speed, June 21, 2011.The fastball wasn't staying up in the zone as much as usual, taking away much of the difference between that pitch and the slider.  The fastball was also moving in more than usual, lowering that difference as well.  With both pitches coming in flat, Twins batters hammered them for eight of the nine hits, five doubles and three singles.

Friday
Jun172011

Most Squeezed Pitchers to Date

(2011 data through June 15th - Min. 150 pitches thrown within the strike zone)Brandon League of the Mariners remains near the top of the list.  However, Cubs' righthander Marcos Mateo has taken over the top spot.

And here's the flip side of the coin, pitchers with the highest percentage of strikes called on balls within the pitchFX defined strike zone:

(2011 data through June 15th - Min. 150 pitches thrown within the strike zone)Apparently, pitching in relief for the reigning World Series Champions helps umpires correctly identify strikes.