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Entries in St. Louis Cardinals (38)

Friday
Oct192012

Adam Wainwright's Wicked Curve

Adam Wainwright has both tested his reconstructed elbow and tortured hitters with his curveball this postseason. Wainwright, who stretched the Cardinals' NLCS lead over the Giants to 3-1 last night, has struck out 20 hitters overall. Seventeen of those whiffs have been on curveballs. Simply put, Wainwright has left a curveball high in the strike zone about as often as TBS has run a Bruce Springsteen-less commercial break.

The 31-year-old righty has unleashed 75 curveballs this postseason. Just four of those curves, or about five percent, were located in the upper third of the strike zone. For comparison's sake, starting pitchers threw 18% of their curves high in the zone during the regular season, and they have done so about 14% during the playoffs.

Against righties, Wainwright is placing his curve low and away:

Wainwright's curveball location vs. righties

 

He's mixing it up more against lefties, throwing low-and-away curves for strikes but also burying pitches in the dirt:

Wainwright's curveball location vs. lefties

Those earth-bound breaking balls have produced most of Wainwright's strikeouts:

Location of Wainwright's strikeouts with his curveball

Hitters have gone just 2-for-26 against Wainwright's hammer this postseason. If the Cardinals do finish off the Giants, Wainwright's curve could be in for a challenge against the Tigers. Detroit has a collective .427 slugging percentage against curveballs thrown by righty pitchers this season, far above the .335 major league average. Just don't expect Wainwright to hang one, Miggy and Prince.

Saturday
Oct132012

Cardinals Notes

Allen Craig hit .240 when he had a full-count on him with 22 walks and 22 strikeouts, but that only tells part of the story. Against righties, Craig hit .152 with 19 walks and 15 strikeouts but against lefties he hit .412 with three walks and seven strikeouts.

David Freese put 72 first pitches into play this season and hit .389. including five homers. He's less likely to swing on the first pitch against lefties swinging on 144 first pitches but he was successful going 11-for-20 (.550). Against righties, he swung at 450 first pitches going 17-for-52 (.327) with four homers.

During the regular season, Yadier Molina hit .154 against the Giants starters but in four at bats against the bullpen he had one walk, one double, and one homer with both extra-base hits against Sergio Romo.

Daniel Descalso hit .227 on the season, but he loves htting against the curveball hitting .324. From the 7th inning on (including extra-innings), Descalso in the regular season hit .218 wth two homers which made his homer and 2-6 in those innings against the Nationals even more unusual.

Kyle Lohse has seen a big improvement in his slider over the last three seasons. In 2010, Lohse threw 458 fastballs and 450 sinkers. Batters hit .385 against the fastball and .309 against the sinker. He also threw 293 sliders and batters hit .361. In 2011, Lohse threw 101 fastballs and 1538 sinkers. Batters hit .227 against the fastball and .289 against the sinker. He also threw 460 sliders and batters hit .254. In 2012, Lohse threw 319 fastballs and 1331 sinkers. Batters hit .222 against the fastball and .256 against the sinker. But in 2011 he threw 732 sliders holding batters to a .198 avg.

No batter in baseball hit the Cardinals staff as well as Buster Posey who hit .476 (10-21). Angel Pagan swung at 43 pitches against the Cards, the most on the Giants; he missed only two pitches. 

Tuesday
Sep112012

Jaime Garcia is no road warrior

Last night, Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia pitched three innings and allowed seven hits and four runs at the Padres clobbered the Cards, 11-3. Garcia has not had a good season, standing now at 4-7 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.469 WHIP.

But this season, Garcia has been particularly toxic on the road. He has pitched 48 innings at home and 48 innings on the road, after that there is no similarity between Garcia's performances at home and on the road.

Take a look:

Jaime Garcia

Home

Away

Games Started

7

9

Innings pitched

48.0

48.0

Wins

2

2

Losses

2

5

W-L %

.500

.286

ERA

2.63

6.19

Hits

52

63

Runs

18

33

Earned Runs

14

33

Home Runs

0

6

Walks

9

17

Wild Pitches

3

6

WHIP

1.271

1.667

SO/9

7.9

6.6

SO/BB

4.67

2.06

Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table

 

Check out the dramatic differences in Garcia's home and road graphics:

Garcia at home:

Garcia on the road:

Here are the numbers that extrapolate what you see above. 

Jaime Garcia

Home

Away

At Bats

181

194

Hits

52

63

Runs

18

33

Doubles

12

12

Triples

1

2

Homers

0

6

Walks

9

17

Strikeouts

42

35

Batting average against

.287

.325

On-Base percentage

.318

.372

Slugging

.365

.490

OPS

.682

.862

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: Generated 9/11/2012.
 

If the Cardinals reach the postseason, you can be sure that Mike Methany will be adjusting his rotation to allow Garcia hear the hometown cheers.  

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