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 world series (12)

Saturday
Oct192013

Matt Carpenter: Two-Strike Warrior

The St. Louis Cardinals scuffle against left-handed pitching, posting the fifth-worst team on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.672) in the majors in 2013. Clayton Kershaw, the game's lefty par excellence, is fooling hitters at a level that not even vintage Sandy Koufax matched (Kershaw's park-and-league adjusted ERA was 94 percent above average during the regular season, just beating out Koufax's epic 1966 campaign).

Naturally, then, the Cards crushed the soon-to-be two-time Cy Young Award winner last night, clinching a World Series berth by tagging Kershaw for 10 hits and seven runs in four innings pitched. The beginning of the end for Kershaw came in the third inning, when Matt Carpenter got down to his last strike but then waged an 11-pitch battle culminating in a double to right field for the stealth NL MVP candidate. St. Louis went on to score four times in the frame on their way to a 9-0 triumph. Here's how the Kershaw-Carpenter duel played out in NLCS Game Six, pitch by pitch:

  • 0-0 - Ball on a 89 MPH Slider - Inside
  • 1-0 - Foul on a 94 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 1-1 - Foul on a 94 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 95 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 75 MPH Curveball - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 88 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 86 MPH Slider - Low
  • 1-2 - Foul on a 94 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
  • 1-2 - Ball on a 93 MPH Four Seamer - Inside
  • 2-2 - Foul on a 94 MPH Four Seamer - Outside
  • 2-2 - Line Drive Double on a 86 MPH Slider - Over the Plate
  •  

    Kershaw pounded the outside corner for most of the at-bat, trying to target the second baseman's relative weak spot (Carpenter slugged .383 versus pitches thrown to the outer third of the strike zone during the regular season, compared to .457 on middle pitches and .702 on inner-third pitches). But Carpenter prevailed when Kershaw caught too much of the dish with his slider:

    Kershaw's pitch location to Carpenter in the third inning of Game 6

    How rare is it for Kershaw to surrender an extra-base hit to a lefty on his slider? Just three left-handed batters accomplished the feat during the regular season. Jay Bruce belted a pair of Kershaw sliders over the fence on September 9, Sam Fuld tripled on August 11, and Gerardo Parra doubled on June 10. That's it. That's the list.

    Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised that Carpenter came out on top against Kershaw, considering his two-strike prowess in 2013. Carpenter has a .780 OPS with his back against the wall, besting the MLB average by 266 points and placing second to Miguel Cabrera among all qualified hitters.

    Highest OPS in two-strike counts, 2013

    Sunday
    Oct282012

    Prince Loses Patience During Postseason Slump

    Prince Fielder is a big dude, but it's still shocking that Miguel Cabrera's tag team partner has failed to slug his weight during the 2012 playoffs. Fielder enters tonight's elimination game batting just .188/.250/.250 in 52 plate appearances, with his homer off Oakland's A.J. Griffin in Game 4 of the ALDS being his only extra-base hit. Why? His plate discipline has all but disappeared.

    Prince has swung at pitches thrown from his eyes to his ankles during the playoffs. Check out his swing rate by pitch location during the regular season, and then during the postseason:

    Regular season

     

    Postseason

    Fielder has chased 40% of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone this October, compared to 25.9% during the regular season. He's 1-for-21 when he connects on a pitch thrown outside of the zone. Giants pitchers have taken note, throwing him an in-zone offering just 33% of the time during the World Series (Fielder got an in-zone pitch about 40% of the time during both the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs). The Tigers are likely cooked no matter what Fielder does from here on out. But it would be a big help if he stopped making it so easy to get him out.  

    Thursday
    Oct252012

    What Went Wrong For Verlander in Game 1?

    Justin Verlander was Bob Gibson-esque during his first three starts of the 2012 postseason, surrendering only two runs and posting a 25-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24.1 innings pitched. Last night, however, the Giants jumped the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP for five runs and chased him after just four frames. What went wrong for the best pitcher on the planet in Game 1 of the World Series? Here's a quick rundown:

    • Verlander fell behind hitters often, throwing a first-pitch strike to nine of the 19 batters that he faced (47.4%). During the regular season, Verlander's 61.1% first-pitch strike rate was comfortably above the 59.8% average for American League starting pitchers.
    • He also caught too much of the plate. Verlander threw 29 of his 98 pitches (29.6%) to the horizontal middle of the strike zone, well north of his 19.9% average during the regular season.

    Verlander's pitch location from Game 1 of the World Series

    • San Francisco went 4-for-4 when Verlander left a pitch over the middle of the plate, with Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey and Barry Zito (!) recording hits. Verlander's two-strike offering to Zito, a career .097 hitter, must have had Jim Leyland reaching for his Marlboros:

    Where not to throw a two-strike pitch to Barry Zito