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  1. I think Burnett actually throws a ‘spike’ curve, but same difference. A question, guys like Molina, Posey, and a few others stop and ‘read’ the balance of the hitter, before they set the target. Is it possible to quantify that attribute in any more or less direct way.

    I’m sure this passed under your microscope…

    Comment by channelclemente — December 28, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

  2. Hello Jeffy Boy. :-)

    Comment by Steve — December 28, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  3. It would also be interested to explore pitchers’ additional strikes and pitch height. Pitches in the dirt are obviously more difficult to receive than high pitches. Instead of looking at strike/ball differences, it would be neat to identify the pitchers with the highest rate of pitches in the dirt and correlate that to their extra strike percentage.

    Comment by Travis L — December 28, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

  4. I thought spike curve and knuckle curve are exactly the same thing. You did say “same difference”, but then I’m not sure why you brought it up.

    Comment by J — December 28, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  5. The grip is different, and I’m not inclined to call a spade and club. The guy who throws the spike curve has been known to file his nails and doctor the ball to his advantage in plain site…Burnett.

    Comment by channelclemente — December 28, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

  6. This has been a really insightful series, thanks for all the hard work Jeff.

    Comment by samuelraphael — December 28, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  7. This was great, Jeff.

    Comment by James Gentile — December 28, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  8. I like looking at the impact of pitch type – I’m not sure Mike Fast’s work in this area controls for pitch type. I’m assuming sample size starts becoming an issue if you have to control for pitcher and pitch type. Does anyone know for sure one way of the other whether Fast’s work controls for pitch type?

    One other area that might be worth looking at is handedness (both pitcher and hitter). A catcher receiving a loaded lefty or righty rotation may also impact the framing #’s

    Comment by Hank — December 28, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  9. This also makes me curious as to catchers who rank high in pitch framing separately, in the context of pitch type values, for further research.

    Comment by samuelraphael — December 28, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

  10. When is a pitch in the dirt going to be called a strike?

    Comment by Cliff — December 29, 2012 @ 12:39 am

  11. Based on the provided gifs, I wonder if where the pitch breaks in relation to where it crosses the plate might not make a difference.

    Since Burnett’s pitch has a much slower, loopy break, it could be that the pitch crosses the front plane of the plate “outside” of the strike zone but then sort of breaks back into what appears to be the zone (or bordering on the zone) when it is framed. The Zeigler pitch seems to break much later in relation to where it crosses the from of the plate.

    I’m no expert, clearly. Just spinnin’…

    Comment by Robert J. Baumann — December 29, 2012 @ 3:38 am

  12. I think all the changes now look great!

    Comment by Baseball fan — December 29, 2012 @ 4:07 am

  13. Wikipedia does it best: “The first, more common pitch called the knuckle curve is really a standard curveball, thrown with one or more of the index or mean fingers bent.” – Which is what Burnett throws.

    People also call this version a spike curve, because the “knuckle curve” that comes to most people’s mind is probably this: “The second type of knuckle curve is a breaking ball that is thrown with a grip similar to the knuckleball. Unlike a knuckleball, which spins very little, a knuckle curve spins like a normal curveball because the pitcher’s index and middle fingers push the top of the ball into a downward curve at the moment of release.”

    Comment by AK7007 — December 29, 2012 @ 4:53 am

  14. If both pitches had been framed by receivng wrist supinated (palm up), I think they’re strikes. Catch “am I Being Framed” at BTB.

    Comment by StrikeThree — December 29, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  15. Is commenting still broken?

    Comment by I Agree Guy — December 31, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  16. I guess not.

    Comment by I Agree Guy — December 31, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  17. When Delmon Young is at the plate?

    Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — December 31, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  18. no such thing as a knuckle-curve…..might be a knuckler that you can make break one way when you want……. a curve ball needs spin in order to curve….a knuckleball isn’t supposed to spin

    Comment by dave — December 31, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  19. A knuckle curve isn’t called that because it has the knuckleball’s trademark lack of spin. It’s name comes from the fact that you hold the ball with a modified knuckleball grip. And from there you impart the traditional curveball rotation.

    Comment by Nem — January 2, 2013 @ 4:17 am

  20. Great work on this Jeff! I’m inclined to believe that umpire discretion and missed calls are a huge factor in this study. Probably magnified more so at the ML level because of the high quality of catching play versus that of the minors or college/prep ball. Thoughts?

    Comment by Jeff — January 2, 2013 @ 9:09 am

  21. “What isn’t controlled for in here are the counts.”

    This whole article seems like a big miss than, as just last week we had an article showing how different the strike zone is in a particular count. It seems a big strange to ignore this.

    Also, pitch framing is one of the things I’d love to see dissapear. How well a player fools the umpire into making an incorrect call isn’t all that interesting to me. Doesn’t seem very different than hiding the ball, or anything like that.

    Comment by Synovia — January 2, 2013 @ 9:43 am

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