One of the big topics of discussion in Philly has been his pitch selection. There was a lot of speculation if Ruiz being out had an effect on that. He’s throwing a lot more cutters (17.3% vs 9.1% last year) and less changeups.
Comment by gorillakilla34 — May 20, 2013 @ 1:55 pm
I’ve got nothing against the cutter, but I did watch Kenley Jansen throw 9 in a row against the Braves on Saturday. The 8th and 9th cutters were put in the left field stands by Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons. It can be a great pitch, but you generally have to have SOMETHING else. (FWIW, Rivera also throws a 4-seamer and 2-seamer….not as much a “one-pitch” guy as he’s made out to be.)
I don’t think pitchers generally want to throw a changeup in the strike zone – an effective changeup will usually end up down, out of the zone. Therefore, the disguising of a changeup as a fastball is more important than whether it is thrown for a strike.
Comment by fantasysportshawk — May 20, 2013 @ 8:04 pm
Excellent work, Matt. If I might suggest one thing, perhaps as a follow-up, a piece examining what caused his problems in 2009 might lend some insight into whether or not his current issues can be corrected. His run from 2010-2012 was phenomenal, so if you were to uncover a similar underlying issue in his 2009 performance it may indicate that he made some sort of adjustments and would presumably be capable of doing it again. And once again, I can’t stress how awesome and in-depth this analysis was.
Comment by PillsburyFlowboy — May 20, 2013 @ 8:40 pm
Don’t forget Jon Lester too…..Game against the twinkies tonight just serving em up…..
I probably could have tried to comprehend the data more thoroughly first, and I admit to not understanding the walks and strikeouts by pitch type table. Does this represent the percent outcome on all counts? Matt’s work is undeniably excellent, yet it is oversimplifying the problem by saying Hamels just needs to throw more changeups for strikes. This analysis assumes that all pitches in the strike zone are equal and all pitches out of the zone are equal. The data show that Hamels has had a precipitous drop in strikeouts with the fastball and corresponding increase in fastball walks (just about equal in result % of changeup walks). I would argue that fastball command to set up the change is equally important.