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  1. This really does belong on NotGraphs

    Comment by Juan B — August 14, 2012 @ 12:57 am

  2. “turns out probably not to be.”

    I approve of this awkward wording.

    Comment by William S. — August 14, 2012 @ 12:59 am

  3. If Dave Cameron didn’t want it published on the main site, he shouldn’t have gone to bed like that.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — August 14, 2012 @ 1:03 am

  4. But there’s a graph…

    Comment by General Crosier — August 14, 2012 @ 1:20 am

  5. I dig it. That was fun.

    Comment by Nils — August 14, 2012 @ 1:22 am

  6. Also, I’m a blind fanboy of all things Cistulli.

    Comment by Nils — August 14, 2012 @ 1:23 am

  7. the two-seamer is the coolest pitch in baseball

    Comment by Uncle Remus — August 14, 2012 @ 1:25 am

  8. Do u get paid for this article?

    Comment by Don Draper — August 14, 2012 @ 1:52 am

  9. Dave must get replacement level sleep at best knowing you have direct posting rights, Cistulli.

    Comment by Billion Memes — August 14, 2012 @ 1:56 am

  10. those pitch rises don’t match up with my eyeballs. the last one looks like it sinks. the second one looks like it rises the most of all of them. me no understando.

    Comment by dudley — August 14, 2012 @ 2:28 am

  11. a spin-less ball would fall between the pitcher and home plate due to the force of gravity, back spin (and therefore displacement due to airflow against the seams) causes the ball to fall X inches LESS than a spin-less ball (or in other words rises)….

    Comment by Pat Golden — August 14, 2012 @ 2:50 am

  12. Yeah, when you combine the slower speed with the decreased rise relative to a fastball, it really DOES appear to drop.

    Comment by Brandon T — August 14, 2012 @ 5:17 am

  13. If it helps, a Cole Hamels fastball has ~12 inches of “rise”. If you want to think of that pitch as being “flat”, the changeup “drops” ~three inches. It’s that plus the speed differential that makes hitters look bad.

    Comment by CJ — August 14, 2012 @ 5:36 am

  14. Plots of pitch location always make me feel foolish. I wouldn’t have called that last pitch a strike, for two reasons: a) because the Phillie catcher stabs at it, and b) it’s 0-2. Honestly: looking at the .gif, I think, “man, Ruggiano chased a really bad pitch”.

    Makes you realise framing works.

    Comment by CJ — August 14, 2012 @ 5:39 am

  15. And by three, I mean three to six.

    Comment by CJ — August 14, 2012 @ 5:40 am

  16. The first pitch is more likely a cutter that didn’t cut much, he usually throws it 87-90, and he doesn’t throw a 2 seamer.

    Comment by DD — August 14, 2012 @ 8:07 am

  17. Pitch one is clearly a fastball.

    Pitch two really isn’t all that great a pitch. It works out because it’s on the outside corner, and maybe even slightly off the outside corner, but it’s way up in the zone — not where Hamels intended it.

    Pitch three is just ridiculous. Absolutely unhittable. Ruggiano should’ve just taken it and hoped the ump called it a ball.

    Comment by chuckb — August 14, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  18. I would have mashed that second pitch into Biscayne Bay

    Comment by The Former Mike Stanton — August 14, 2012 @ 9:07 am

  19. Pitch 2 is pretty sick as well. Those of you saying it’s definitely hittable, I’m not so sure.

    Coming out of his hand, it definitely looks like it’s headed for the heart of the plate. It’s outside, but it’s angling straight towards meatballville. It really doesn’t cut enough to be obvious. Just enough to stop the fade in and paint the outside corner.

    Same with the height. Out of the hand, you would think it will keep dropping to belt height, but it just doesn’t. Seems to float into the mitt.

    So the pitch looks so tasty you can’t lay off it, but then it’s on the upper outside corner of the strike zone, and by the time you notice, you’ve already swung at the heart of the plate.

    Worst case scenario for this pitch seems to be a pop fly. Pretty much everyone will get under it if they hit it.

    Comment by noseeum — August 14, 2012 @ 9:40 am

  20. We really need to figure out a better solution for the righty lefty inside outside graph thing. It can’t be that difficult to have the X axis have a direct relation to units of measurement. It isn’t like home plates are different sizes.

    Comment by Tyler Norton — August 14, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  21. Yea, and Ruggiano drops to his knee to swing at it.

    Comment by Dave — August 14, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  22. Damn you physics… y u no be simple!!

    Comment by NJ — August 14, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  23. What’s remarkable about pitch two is that Ruggiano seems to wait on it for a really long time. His front foot comes up right away, but his swing seems delayed, like he knew this pitch would be considerably slower than pitch one but he still whiffs.

    I’m not going to speculate on how Hamels hoped the batter would react or where he intended the pitch to go, but given the outcome, I would hesitate to say that “it isn’t all that great a pitch.” For that batter and that count, it got the job done.

    Comment by BookWorm — August 14, 2012 @ 10:34 am

  24. Maybe, it might also have a really late break from the time it passes the plate and reaches the catcher.

    Comment by ilzilla — August 14, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  25. I think we’re all overlooking the absolute best part about this post: “Click to embiggen”.

    Comment by Patrick — August 14, 2012 @ 10:58 am

  26. It always says that.

    Comment by rogue_actuary — August 14, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  27. très cromulent to notice that.

    Comment by Dave S — August 14, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  28. I agree completely. There is an instant in that pitch’s journey to home plate where the batter must think: I’m gonna crush this pitch… yet still can’t get to it.

    Also, when Cole is “on”… focused and intense, but not frustrated at himself… its a joy to watch him pitch.

    Comment by Dave S — August 14, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  29. Cole Hamels = Ace. It is very annoying that the Phillies were able to lock him up.

    Comment by Jack — August 14, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  30. i personally was hoping he’d take a 1000% paycut and sign with the astros for maybe $15M guaranteed over 5 or 6 years. greedy bastard…..

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — August 14, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  31. On the chart, why is the x axis inside and outside, instead of +- from the center of the plate?

    It just seems weird to me to have the location of pitch two on the right of the graph, when the pitch was actually to the left side of the plate.

    Comment by swyck — August 14, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  32. juan B: official arbiter of fangraphs article classifications

    Comment by jim — August 14, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  33. It looks to me like the batter swings right over this pitch, waiting and waiting as it floats into the zone, but then swinging over it as it drops at the last moment. Doesn’t that suggest that batters might top the ball or hit a grounder? Am I missing something?

    Comment by Jon L. — August 14, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  34. One can only hope that this spawns a late night fangraphs series titled “Nickname Seeks Baseball Writer”.

    And if it does, might I suggest that “Ruthless Blog Tyrant” seeks some of the fine managers over at CBS Eye on Baseball, Home for all Baseball Fans.

    Comment by Jaybo Shaw — August 14, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

  35. a cutter would move the opposite direction, in to a righty. first pitch is a two-seamer, moving away from a righty

    Comment by timtebow — August 14, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  36. THIS IS THE SPARK THE PHILLIES NEEDED TO TURN THEIR SEASON AROUND

    Comment by Kruk and Mitch Williams — August 14, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  37. Happy 1 year anniversary of being embarrassed Justin

    Comment by mch38 — August 13, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

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