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  1. On a slightly different note, I got a question. Is a quick pitch from the windup considered bush or no? Ala Luke Hochevar. A kid asked me this the other day and I had no idea

    Comment by snoop LION — September 24, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  2. I doubt a fast hitter can affect a slow pitcher. I think the slow pitcher is the least common denominator.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — September 24, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  3. I never thought of it that way. In fact, I’ve briefly wondered why more guys don’t do it.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — September 24, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  4. Pace = max(PitcherPace,HitterPace) ?

    Comment by Seattle Homer — September 24, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  5. Have you ever noticed the best players seem to be in control no matter how fast or slow the game goes?

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — September 24, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  6. This is awesome.

    Comment by Neil — September 24, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

  7. If there’s 2 slow hitters, he can affect the second one by drilling the first one in the back and immediately picking him off, before pitching to the second one.

    Comment by Chris from Bothell — September 24, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  8. Plenty of people do consider it bush. But a small amount of pitchers do it anyway.

    Comment by John Ford-Griffindor — September 24, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

  9. I’d say the league ought to take control of pace. I turn the TV off when someone like Bedard is on the mound.

    Comment by ProfarMVP — September 24, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  10. for what it’s worth, I’ve seen Joey Votto just stand in the box ready to hit while the pitcher goes through is Penabulations. It has the same kind of effect, where the pitcher sheepishly steps onto the rubber.

    Comment by AJK — September 24, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  11. The Pena-Buehrle matchup would suggest otherwise…

    Comment by Matthias — September 24, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  12. Cliff Lee is a joy to watch because of his brisk pace. I love how he runs out to the mound and throws the ball, then runs back to the dugout. I’ve been watching Papelbon this year since he came to Philly, and I hate it. I turn the game off sometimes when he’s on the mound.

    Comment by Mike N — September 24, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

  13. Can you run the query with the slowest pitcher vs. the quickest hitter and see if the compromise is any different?

    Comment by Greg W — September 25, 2012 @ 12:48 am

  14. you mean the rule that states the maximum amount of time allowed between pitches with no runners on base, otherwise a ball shall be called? (aka the rule that no umpire seems to care about at all but would benefit the game a lot if they did)

    Comment by tyke — September 25, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  15. Love this. As another ex pitcher, I used pace to make up for a lack of velo. No I never played at anything close to a pro level, but it was huge for me once I was introduced to the idea. My thing was to vary pace. IMO the extremes listed above are cool, but to really use it effectively one has to throw the routine thing out the window. Take forever sometimes, go fast at others. It almost creates an extra pitch feel. Make guys wait for you, once they get used to that start pitching faster etc. At the high school and college level this can have a huge effect, and I actually coach it to pitchers now. Every advantage matters, squeeze the life outta every one you can find! Prob has less of a real effect in the bigs, and screw people who call it “bush” anyway. If it helps you win, do it until the ump calls you out on it (this actually happened to me once). For those who have to “turn the channel” I just smh. If this game cant teach u patience, nothing will

    Comment by WahooManiac — September 25, 2012 @ 3:23 am

  16. Save that for Johnny College.

    Comment by TX Ball Scout — September 25, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  17. I dispise pitchers running for cover. Looks like little league.

    Comment by TX Ball Scout — September 25, 2012 @ 8:59 am

  18. Two years, ago, college baseball used a pitch clock when the bases were empty (or at least they did at TCU home games). If the batter wasn’t ready when it hit 0, it was a strike. If the pitcher didn’t deliver before 0, it was a ball. I loved it. Sadly, I did not notice the clock being used in the 2012 season.

    Comment by Eric — September 25, 2012 @ 9:32 am

  19. What would be an interesting thing to look at would be how batters affect the pace of the pitchers they face. If you compare the pace of an at bat to the pitcher’s average pace, I expect you’d see a pitcher really slow down and bear down on a Joey Votto or Miguel Cabrera. By contrast, I imagine lesser hitter don’t cause the pitcher to slow down at all (and likely results below average pitcher pace times to balance out the longer ones that go to better hitters). I imagine these difference are even more exaggerated in pressure situations.

    I simply suspect that some of the better hitters have pace values that are driven more by the care that pitchers take in preparing to face them vs. their own pre-at bat routine.

    Comment by badenjr — September 25, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  20. As with all things, the most limiting factor is determining. Slower shall always prevail.

    Comment by Ryan — September 25, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  21. I am a Tigers fan, and I have to say that Jose Valverde, useless clown pitcher that he is, ought to be penalized on every pitch until he gets his act together. I don’t think it’s OCD stuff. I think it’s self-important, nonsensical histrionics. He is an embarrassment to the team, and to all of baseball when it comes down to it.

    Comment by Dan — September 25, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  22. It’s interesting that Pena performs about the same against Buehrle as he has against everyone else throughout his career. For his career he’s a .235/.350/.473 hitter. Against Buehrle he’s .279/.360/.442. On base a little more, slugging a little less, but pretty close to his career averages.

    I sort of expect that slow hitters who are forced to speed up against quick pitchers would perform worse than normal. Maybe they do and Pena’s simply the exception. Or maybe there really is a myth about pitchers being in control.

    Great piece here, Jeff. It’s really interesting and, like any thoughtful piece, creates more questions and further opportunities to learn rather than attempting to provide all the answers.

    Comment by chuckb — September 25, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  23. As a chemist, I strongly disagree with your suggestion that the term ‘covalent’ implies evenness or equality. While a covalent bond does involve the sharing of electrons, there is no inherent implication that it is an equal sharing. While a few molecules have equal sharing of electrons – diatomic molecules like oxygen and nitrogen – the vast majority include unequal sharing.

    The term covalent can be used colloquially to imply that a link that is unbreakable, but without regard to the equality of the bond.

    Comment by Jerry — September 25, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  24. “Quick pitching” for me has two factors:

    a) it can only happen when working from the stretch

    b) the pitcher must begin his delivery (which may or may not be speedier than usual) before the hitter is ready.

    Hochevar, therefore, didn’t quick-pitch Miggy, he just changed his mechanics in an attempt to deceive a batter who was ready to hit. Much different. Legit.

    Comment by Matt NW — September 25, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  25. Really, you despise it? Do you also despise drivers who turn right on red lights and yield the passing lane?

    Comment by payroll — September 25, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  26. What about looking into the hitter’s routine outside of the box as compared to inside the box, and if that routine changes with different “pitcher paces”. An in box routine would be the additional time needed for a hitter to get into a “set position” after the second foot becomes positioned in the box.

    When you look at Buehrle vs. Pena… it’s interesting to see that Pena is in the process of taking a sort of warm up sway with the bat as Buehrle is in the process of his wind up. It may not be a pace controlled by Buehrle, but It’s definitely a pace influenced by Buehrle. While facing him with no runners on, you know that you have to be prepared as soon as you plant your second foot in the box. I imagine this could affect a hitter’s routine, even if it doesn’t affect the way they hit.

    Ultimately, I think hitters can control pace for as long as they have some sort of control with prep time between pitches outside of the box.

    Comment by baty — September 25, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  27. Yeah, I screwed that up.

    Comment by Jeff Sullivan — September 26, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

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