Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
Finding: Baseball’s Movingest Curve
A Question a Sad Person Might Ask
Tyler Chatwood starts tonight for Colorado, which, for most reasonable people, is rightly regarded as “Neither here nor there” so far as life events are concerned. Of note, however, is that Chatwood’s curveball is inducing grounders at a rate of 73.3% in a smallish sample — considerably higher than the league average of ca. 50% on that same pitch. “Why is Chatwood’s curve inducing so many grounders?” is a question that at least one person — one sad and lonely and sad person — might ask himself, alone at a computer, drinking a magnum of chablis all by himself on (hypothetically speaking) a Thursday night in August.
Not the Answer to That Question
The answer to the above-asked question is not “Because Tyler Chatwood’s curveball has more movement on it than every other pitcher’s.” However, in trying to answer that question, a sad and lonely and sad person will find himself answering another question — namely, “Which pitcher’s curveball does have the most movement on it?”
The Answer to That Second Question
The answer to that second question is “Brett Myers’s.”*
How the Author Found That Answer
To determine which pitcher has the most movement on his curveball, I made a custom leaderboard of every pitcher with at least 10 innings pitched in 2012. The metrics I included on the leaderboard were: innings, batters faced, percent of curves thrown, curve average velocity, average horizontal movement of curveball (per PITCHf/x), average vertical movement of curveball (per PITCHf/x, again), total linear-weight runs above or below average on the curve, and linear-weight runs above or below average per 100 curves thrown.
How the Author Found That Answer, Part II
After making the aforementioned custom leaderboard, I added the absolute value of every pitcher’s average horizontal movement on the curveball to the absolute value on the vertical movement of his curveball.
Below are the pitchers with the greatest total movement on their curveballs who’ve also thrown the pitch at least 5% of the time. (Note: movement numbers are in inches, relative to a spinless ball.)
|Brett Myers||- – -||162||29.9%||0.93||76.9||9.6||-10.5||20.1|
|Jesse Chavez||Blue Jays||102||10.4%||0.26||74.8||9.4||-8.2||17.6|
What One Will Note
One will note, while consulting the above table, that Brett Myers’ curveball features the most total average movement in the major leagues, at 20.1 inches.
Footage of Brett Myers’ Curve
Here’s video footage from August 5th of Myers striking out Albert Pujols with his curve — specifically, with a curve featuring 7.4 inches of gloveside movement and 13.6 inches of drop, or 21.0 inches total (numbers courtesy Brooks Baseball).
Slow-Motion Footage of That Same Curve
Here’s slow-motion footage of that exact same curveball:
Click this hyperlinked text to see the complete results for pitcher curveball movement.
Today’s Notable Games
San Diego at Pittsburgh | 19:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Starling Marte Status Update: 61 PA, 3.3% BB, 24.6% K, .281/.311/.561 (.308 BABIP), 130 wRC+. And Starling Marte Rest-of-Season ZiPS: 126 PA, 4.0% BB, 19.8% K, .274/.317/.436 (.322 BABIP). And finally, Pittsburgh’s playoff odds (per Cool Standings): 67.8%.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: None, Really.
Atlanta at New York NL | 19:10 ET
Matt Harvey makes his fourth major-league start, and first at home. His line so far: 16.1 IP, 32.4% K, 9.9% BB, 35.1% GB, 2.94 SIERA, 74 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.
Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 4.7.
Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.
|Homer Bailey||CIN||6||4||4||1||7||CHN||Justin Germano*||14:20|
|Clay Buchholz||BOS||4||5||3||3||5||CLE||Chris Seddon*||19:05|
|Luke Hochevar||KC||5||7||2||0||2||BAL||Miguel Gonzalez||19:05|
|Edinson Volquez||SD||5||6||4||5||5||PIT||James McDonald||19:05|
|Kyle Lohse||STL||4||10||6||5||8||PHI||Roy Halladay||19:05|
|Freddy Garcia||NYA||4||7||2||6||2||TOR||Ricky Romero||19:07|
|Paul Maholm||ATL||4||7||7||3||14||NYN||Matt Harvey*||19:10|
|Clayton Kershaw||LAN||10||1||6||3||4||MIA||Mark Buehrle||19:10|
|Max Scherzer||DET||10||5||6||8||4||TEX||Scott Feldman||20:05|
|Mark Rogers*||MIL||10||8||6||4||6||HOU||Bud Norris||20:05|
|Brandon McCarthy||OAK||4||6||4||4||3||CHA||Gavin Floyd||20:10|
|Jeremy Hellickson||TB||2||4||3||4||3||MIN||Cole DeVries||20:10|
|Stephen Strasburg||WAS||10||5||7||7||5||AZ||Trevor Cahill||21:40|
|Felix Hernandez||SEA||9||4||5||7||3||LAA||Ervin Santana||22:05|
|Tyler Chatwood*||COL||5||8||5||4||7||SF||Tim Lincecum||22:15|