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2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions. - Page 1798

post #53911 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post

He really wasn't that bad. One rough inning capped by Forest Gump's home run.

Didn't you know? One inning of bad pitching in october outweighs a season's(or even a career's worth) of great pitching.
post #53912 of 77344
Thread Starter 
The whole ________ can't pitch in the playoffs because of a tiny sample size of struggle is up there as one of the things that needs to be gone from baseball.
post #53913 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

The whole ________ can't pitch in the playoffs because of a tiny sample size of struggle is up there as one of the things that needs to be gone from baseball.
Imagine if Willy Mays played today. His pathetic performances in the World Series would make people think he was some random dude.
post #53914 of 77344
Thread Starter 
OCTOBER MOMENT: THE UNLIKELIEST OF HOME RUNS.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The postseason always provides some surprising storylines, but this year, nothing has been more unexpected than Daniel Murphy turning into Babe Ruth.

The Mets second baseman is mostly known for his extremely high rate of contact -- he posted the lowest strikeout rate of any hitter in Major League Baseball this year -- but has turned into a super slugger in the playoffs, hitting five home runs in the Mets' first seven postseason games.

While the team's pitching staff is New York's greatest strength, Murphy's success against the best pitchers in baseball is a big reason why the team is two wins away from reaching the World Series.

But even given his recent power surge, his two-run home run off Jake Arrieta in the first inning of the Mets' 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday night remains something to marvel at. Not just because hitting a home run off Arrieta is impressive (after all, Murphy has also gone deep against Jon Lester, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw -- twice -- this postseason), but because the home run was one of the least likely we've seen all year.

First, watch the home run for yourself.
http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/94788780/v524242483/nlcs-gm2-murphy-swats-a-tworun-homer-to-right-field
Arrieta threw a 1-2 curveball to Murphy, and given that the Cubs ace was ahead in the count, he naturally tried to get the ball to break out of the zone, hoping for a strikeout. And he hit his spot, as the curveball was down and out of the zone. Per Brooks Baseball, here's a plot of where the pitches in that at-bat were relative to the strike zone; note the location of pitch No. 4.



That pitch was registered by the PITCHF/x system as being 12.76 inches off the ground, and yet, somehow Murphy not only went down and made contact with it, he managed to hit it out of the ballpark. When you look at the other pitches thrown that far below the bottom of the strike zone, it becomes pretty clear just how amazing it is that Murphy turned that pitch into a home run.

According to the data mined from PITCHF/x via Baseball Savant, major-league hitters swung at 14,318 pitches that were as low or lower than Arrieta's curveball to Murphy. Seventy-four percent of the time, they swung and missed, because simply putting the bat on the ball down there is difficult. Sixteen percent of the time, they fouled the ball off. Only 10 percent of swings -- 1,457 to be exact -- ended up resulting in a ball in play.

So it's rare enough to take a pitch that low and hit it fair, but Murphy didn't hit it, he elevated it. And that's pretty amazing too.

Of the 1,457 balls in play on swings at pitches no higher than 12.76 inches off the ground, 73 percent resulted in ground balls. Even hitters who made contact at swings in these locations almost always hit it on the infield, which makes perfect sense given how low these pitches are. Only 12 percent of balls in play on these low swings resulted in a fly ball or a popup, and that's 12 percent of the subset of swings that put the ball in play to begin with. As a percentage of total swings at pitches that low, only 1.2 percent resulted in a fly ball or pop fly.

And then, there's the small matter of the fact that it went over the fence. Per Statcast (and queried from Baseball Savant), the ball was only coming off Murphy's bat at 91 mph, which is right around the average exit velocity for a ball in play in the major leagues. Including Murphy's home run Sunday night, only 49 balls hit at 91 mph or less went for home runs, and three of those were of the inside-the-park variety, so really, only 46 balls hit at that velocity cleared the fences.

Murphy swung at a pitch that was only a foot off the ground, and didn't even really hit it all that hard, but thanks to a windy night and the fact that he hugged it right down the right-field line, that swing somehow resulted in a home run off one of the best pitchers in baseball. When you're going good, everything seems to smile upon you, and no one is going better than Daniel Murphy right now.

HOW THE ROYALS CAN COOL OFF THE BLUE JAYS' HUGE BATS ... MAYBE.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The mission for the Royals is actually complicated. They need to be able to score, of course, which means they'll need to score against pitchers like David Price and Marcus Stroman. They'll need to contain every member of the Blue Jays lineup, because it's not like you can ever afford to take a hitter off in the playoffs. But let's be real -- as far as the focus is concerned, many eyes are going to be on how Royals pitchers deal with Toronto's offensive core. While it won't be everything about the series, the Jays have grown accustomed to watching the same sluggers blast through all their opponents. The Royals are going to want to stop that.

Toronto had the best offense in baseball, in largest part because they had three of the best hitters in baseball. According to the FanGraphs leaderboards, among qualified hitters, Josh Donaldson ranked seventh-best in the majors. Edwin Encarnacion ranked eighth, and Jose Bautista ranked ninth. Bautista was tied with someone named Chris Davis, just ahead of one Andrew McCutchen. It's an embarrassment of riches, and just to maximize the terror, the Blue Jays bat the three back-to-back-to-back. It's on the Royals to figure out how to get them out. And I can offer a little bit of advice, although it's less helpful than it might appear.

Flash back to Toronto's Game 5. (Who could get sick of flashing back to Game 5?) Just prior to all the insanity, Encarnacion tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. This is the pitch that he hit out of the park:



OK, great, move ahead. Advance to the plate appearance that resulted in the bat flip that divided a people. The bat flip that set all prisoners free, the bat flip that pushed children over in the playgrounds. This is the pitch that Bautista hit out of the park:



Encarnacion blasted a pitch on the inner edge. Bautista blasted a pitch even more on the inner edge. These are representative swings and results. The Jays' three best hitters thrive on pitches in. Relatively speaking, they're most vulnerable down and away. Many right-handed hitters are most vulnerable down and away, so this isn't any sort of exceptional thing, but if you're looking for some kind of weakness, there you go. As the Royals go through the 2-3-4 section of the Toronto order, they're going to want their pitches at the knees, and they're going to want them by the outer third.

I'm going to show you some images that I know might be overwhelming. There's a lot going on, I recognize that. But really, these images are simple to understand. I'm going to show you heat maps for the three big hitters, covering the last three seasons. The maps reflect productivity by pitch location, and the more red an area, the more productive the hitter has been there. Blue is the opposite. We'll start with Josh Donaldson:



It's red all around the strike zone, because those pitches are balls, and balls are good for hitters. Within the strike zone, you see a hotter area down and in, and you see cool zones away. Now, Edwin Encarnacion:



It's maybe a little less dramatic than Donaldson, but again, hotter inside, cooler away, especially down. Finally, Jose Bautista:



Bautista's hot spot is a bit higher than Donaldson's is. But he does have a cool zone, over the outer half. It's not too surprising for a guy who's just about a dead-pull hitter. Bautista's whole game is getting the bat head out in front, as he did against Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson, and that allows him to smash the ball to left. But it also means his plate coverage isn't perfect.

The advice is so simple, it's almost not worth giving -- stay away, and when you can, stay down. That's how a lot of sluggers get pitched. But here it might be even more important than usual. This season, against pitches inside from the middle of the plate, Bautista ranked first among righties in slugging percentage. Donaldson ranked third. Encarnacion ranked seventh. Now, what if we were to measure the difference between slugging percentages against inside pitches and outside pitches? Bautista had the highest difference in baseball among righties. Donaldson ranks fifth. Encarnacion ranks 18th, out of 156. These are big gaps, worth paying attention to. Encarnacion has a little more coverage than Bautista does, but he still has his relative strengths and weaknesses.

A few points. First, a season ago, we noticed a hole in Mike Trout's game. It became glaringly obvious that Trout couldn't do much damage against hard pitches up, and it was hard to believe he had such a vulnerability. Tens of thousands of words were written about it, and every opponent knew about it, and while we all waited for Trout to be exposed, he continued to play like the best player in the sport. See, Trout did have a vulnerability, but the area was small, so it demanded a lot of the other pitchers. Sure, they knew where to put the ball, but they had to be perfect. They knew they could get Trout out, in just the right spot. This year, pitchers knew they could get Bryce Harper out in just the right spot, inside. Those spots are hard to hit, and great hitters punish the mistakes.

The Cole Hamels pitch that Encarnacion hit out? It was inside, but the catcher set up away. The Dyson pitch that Bautista hit out? It was inside, but the catcher set up away. Location is always important, but against the best, it's extra important.

Then, there's just one other thing. The Jays' best hitters are better inside than away, but that doesn't mean they're awful out of their comfort zones. I mentioned that, against inside pitches, all three hitters finished with top-10 slugging percentages. But, against outside pitches, all their slugging percentages still ranked in the upper third. Each was worse, but here we're talking about relative weaknesses, instead of actual weaknesses. Bautista hit a home run against Texas on a pitch up and away. Donaldson hit a home run against Texas on a pitch down and away. They're pretty good hitters almost everywhere. They just happen to have their favorite spots.

As the 2-3-4 hitters come up, the Royals need to focus down, and they need to focus away. The hitters are sufficiently disciplined that, if the pitches miss off the plate, they probably won't be chased. So it's important to catch that outer third. And, also, the Royals can't just pitch there exclusively, because the Jays will catch on to that. There have to be some inside pitches, to keep the hitters honest, but on those pitches the Royals need to be most careful. They need to get in enough on the hands that the Jays can't make fair contact. With the right sequences and locations, the Royals can work through this part of the order. That would be true against anyone, but here, they know what they have to do to execute. Now they have to execute. It's no longer about just throwing the ball in the strike zone. They'll need to command micro-zones. The good news is Johnny Cueto can usually do that. The worse news is he just pitched.

One particularly interesting potential matchup: this season, against right-handed hitters, Kelvin Herrera ranked second in baseball in rate of pitches inside. Only Glen Perkins finished higher, and Herrera, of course, is a major component of the Royals' late-inning bullpen. The Royals are still going to trust Herrera, and few can match his velocity, but his style might play right into the Blue Jays' strengths, if he faces that part of the order. So that's something to watch for. The opposite of Herrera is Luke Hochevar, who mostly stays away from righties. Hochevar might be better equipped to handle the 2-3-4, but that might also be an overstatement. I do know that I'm thankful I don't have to make these decisions.

At least a dozen times, and probably many more, the Royals are going to have to deal with Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion in order. Assignments don't get much more daunting, but if the Royals want this to go as well as possible, they need to keep most of their pitches away, around the outer edge. They can mix in a few pitches tighter than that, to back the hitters off. The Royals, probably, know what they have to throw. All that's left for them is actually doing it.
post #53915 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

The whole ________ can't pitch in the playoffs because of a tiny sample size of struggle is up there as one of the things that needs to be gone from baseball.

 

I've been fighting this battle. 

 

Join the battle with me :hat

 

:rollin

post #53916 of 77344
Dudes hit bad pitches over the fence every year throughout the season eyes.gif
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post #53917 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

The whole ________ can't pitch in the playoffs because of a tiny sample size of struggle is up there as one of the things that needs to be gone from baseball.


Replace "pitch" with "perform" and it needs to be gone from all sports as well.
SF Giants, SF 49ers, SA Spurs...
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SF Giants, SF 49ers, SA Spurs...
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post #53918 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Degenerate423 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

The whole ________ can't pitch in the playoffs because of a tiny sample size of struggle is up there as one of the things that needs to be gone from baseball.


Replace "pitch" with "perform" and it needs to be gone from all sports as well.
Except when it's LeBron since the lulz are brought at that point.
post #53919 of 77344
Wasn't around at all yesterday, how did that b-day party go Friday night JRS?

2015 Melancon close or 200_ (take your pick) Kyle Farnsworth close nerd.gif
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post #53920 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbk View Post

Wasn't around at all yesterday, how did that b-day party go Friday night JRS?

2015 Melancon close or 200_ (take your pick) Kyle Farnsworth close nerd.gif
Farnsworth laugh.gif we talked things through yesterday and realized it's best if we just stay friends. she felt a little uncomfortable with things since i'm really close to her sisters and one of their boyfriends and she didn't want stuff to get weird. i tried to segue into us becoming fwb's and keeping it to ourselves but she wasn't having it laugh.gif i'll smash one day though.
post #53921 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post

Imagine if Willy Mays played today. His pathetic performances in the World Series would make people think he was some random dude.

Try having this discussion with a Giants fan, laugh.gif

Bumgarner is the best pitcher of all time because he is post season jesus. laugh.gif
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post #53922 of 77344
I've never actually seen a Giants fan say Madison is the best pitcher


Everything was qualified with 'post season'

(Shrugs)
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Official Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
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TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Official Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
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post #53923 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxfury View Post

I've never actually seen a Giants fan say Madison is the best pitcher


Everything was qualified with 'post season'

(Shrugs)

Too much real life...
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post #53924 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post

Farnsworth laugh.gif we talked things through yesterday and realized it's best if we just stay friends. she felt a little uncomfortable with things since i'm really close to her sisters and one of their boyfriends and she didn't want stuff to get weird. i tried to segue into us becoming fwb's and keeping it to ourselves but she wasn't having it laugh.gifi'll smash one day though.

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post #53925 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post


Farnsworth laugh.gif we talked things through yesterday and realized it's best if we just stay friends. she felt a little uncomfortable with things since i'm really close to her sisters and one of their boyfriends and she didn't want stuff to get weird. i tried to segue into us becoming fwb's and keeping it to ourselves but she wasn't having it laugh.gif i'll smash one day though.

 

:{

 

Go on a tinder rampage and flourish :hat

post #53926 of 77344
we went out on a couple of dates like 7 months ago and things went nowhere before we started dating again recently. i know how she is, she'll be attainable again laugh.gif

signed up for bumble pimp.gif tons of cuties, but i hate not being able to initiate first.
post #53927 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post

we went out on a couple of dates like 7 months ago and things went nowhere before we started dating again recently. i know how she is, she'll be attainable again laugh.gif

signed up for bumble pimp.gif tons of cuties, but i hate not being able to initiate first.

 

what the hell is bumble? :lol

post #53928 of 77344
same thing as tinder except unlimited swipes and the woman has 24 hours to message you first after you connect. you can't message her till she does. but the talent pool is better.
post #53929 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post

same thing as tinder except unlimited swipes and the woman has 24 hours to message you first after you connect. you can't message her till she does. but the talent pool is better.

 

post #53930 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3simet View Post

ShtBallPlayrsDo ‏@ShtBallPlayrsDo 2m2 minutes ago
This kid is throwing 100 mph cheese in the NLCS right now @Noahsyndergaard


No way, this cannot be real! laugh.gif
Quote:
Noah Syndergaard Used To Be A Self-Described "Chunkster"
10/19/15 10:54am
Tom Ley

1480952802660827975.jpg

There aren’t many athletes who have a more apt nickname than Noah Syndergaard, who has been dubbed “Thor” because he truly looks like a Norse god and is likely a descendant of real-life Vikings. But before he became a hulking Norseman who throws 100 mph, Syndergaard looked like any other kid.

That’s really him, I promise. Syndergaard was a late bloomer who didn’t start throwing hard until he hit a big growth spurt in high school. Back in 2012, when he was a year out of high school and in Single A, Syndergaard spoke about his transformation:

“Back in eighth grade I was a chunkster, kids would tease me for being overweight,” said Syndergaard.

He came home from school one day in Mansfield, Tex., told his father he wanted to join the YMCA and eat healthier.

So, he worked out at the Y, ate his veggies, worked out some more and, oh yeah, had a growth spurt from 5-foot-11 to his current height.

The bad news for those kids who used to tease him is that they are not getting into Valhalla.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
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post #53931 of 77344
Zito officially retired. Check The Player's Tribune.
post #53932 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by madj55 View Post

Zito officially retired. Check The Player's Tribune.

Zito pimp.gif
post #53933 of 77344
Hudson, Mulder, Zito pimp.gif
post #53934 of 77344

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-importance-of-fly-balls-for-hitters/

 

interesting article.

 

cliff notes: you can't do damage getting hits on grounders. Elevate to celebrate :hat 

post #53935 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm View Post

Hudson, Mulder, Zito pimp.gif

They also had Cory Liddle (RIP) and Ted Lilly
post #53936 of 77344
Phillies took Dom Brown off the 40-man? I know he's been a flop, but I'd like the Mets to take a chance on him. Low risk, high reward.
post #53937 of 77344
He's a horrible outfielder. Where would you play him?
post #53938 of 77344
Thread Starter 
I can't remember if it was Champ or someone else but I kept telling someone how much a bum he still was that year he hit almost 30 laugh.gif
post #53939 of 77344
Domonic Brown was supposed to have next mean.gif

NY Knicks | NY Jets | NY Yankees

 

"When I die I want the Knicks/Jets to carry my casket so they can let me down one last time"

 

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NY Knicks | NY Jets | NY Yankees

 

"When I die I want the Knicks/Jets to carry my casket so they can let me down one last time"

 

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post #53940 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

I can't remember if it was Champ or someone else but I kept telling someone how much a bum he still was that year he hit almost 30 laugh.gif

 

He hit 27 homers and had a 1.9 WAR season.

 

Chris Carter is jealous of that :{

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