Daily Notes: Featuring Gerrit Cole Against Jose Fernandez

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Pittsburgh at Miami, 13:10 ET
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Pittsburgh at Miami, 13:10 ET
The Purpose of This Post
The purpose of this post — besides serving to keep the present author employed through the weekend — is to announce, for the benefit of the wide readership, how young and hard-throwing Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (48.2 IP, 100 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces young and hard-throwing Miami right-hander Jose Fernandez (111.2 IP, 92 xFIP-, 2.0 WAR) at 1:10pm ET today.

Regarding Gerrit Cole, How Young and Hard-Throwing He Is
So far as Gerrit Cole’s years and fastball are concerned, he has 22 of the former and throws the latter at 95.4 mph on average, according to PITCHf/x.

Regarding Jose Fernandez, How Young and Hard-Throwing He Is
With regard to Fernandez’s age and average fastball velocity, those are 20 and 94.7 mph, respectively — the latter figure once again courtesy PITCHf/x.

Regarding Cole, Another of His Notable Qualities
Also notable with regard to Gerrit Cole is that he works rather quickly. His pace of 20.2 seconds between pitches is a full standard deviation better (i.e. faster) than other lanceurs who’ve thrown 20-plus innings in a starting capacity.

And Now in re Fernandez, Another of His Notable Qualities
Apropos Jose Fernandez, one finds that he is among the league’s more accomplished strike-throwers. His strike rate of 65.9% is also a full standard deviation among pitchers with 20 or more innings as a starter.

Regarding Cole, His Strikeout Pitch
Cole’s strikeout pitch — or at least the one which has produced whiffs most often this season — is his changeup, which offering presently features a 18.2% swinging-strike rate.

Here’s an example of Cole’s changeup to a Adam LaRoche from a recent start against Washington:

Cole LaRoche CH SS

Regarding Fernandez, His Strikeout Pitch
Fernandez’s top pitch in terms of inducing swings and misses this season has been his curveball, with which the right-hander has recorded a 13.9% swinging-strike rate.

Here’s an example of that curve to Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman that’s actually probably not ideal in terms of location, but still features considerable movement and induces a swinging-strike and is also in slow-motion:

Fernandez Zimmerman CU

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Kansas City at Chicago AL | 14:10 ET
Bruce Chen (45.2 IP, 120 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR) faces Hector Santiago (93.1 IP, 106 xFIP-, 1.1 WAR). Relevant not to the Chicagos today, but most likely to that club’s future, is the performance of late, and also all season, of infielder Marcus Semien. Just 22 and at Double-A, Semien has produced the following line in July: 107 PA, 23.4% BB, 8.4% K, 7 HR, .378/.523/.756 (.364 BABIP).

Here he is hitting one of his seven home runs this month:

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Difficult to Say.

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 5.4.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Matt Moore TB 5 10 5 2 5 NYA Phil Hughes 13:05
Alexi Ogando TEX 3 4 4 7 4 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 13:05
Jarred Cosart* HOU 7 3 6 7 6 TOR Todd Redmond* 13:07
Jon. Pettibone PHI 5 0 6 7 8 DET Rick Porcello 13:08
Gerrit Cole PIT 9 7 8 2 10 MIA Jose Fernandez 13:10
Jon Lester BOS 5 8 5 8 3 BAL Jason Hammel 13:35
Carlos Torres* NYN 6 6 6 2 7 WAS Taylor Jordan 13:35
Bruce Chen* KC 4 6 4 2 5 CHA Hector Santiago 14:10
Tommy Hanson LAA 2 7 4 6 3 OAK Jarrod Parker 16:05
Travis Wood CHN 3 4 5 6 8 SF Tim Lincecum 16:05
Tony Cingrani CIN 7 3 5 3 5 LAN Chris Capuano 16:10
Tom Gorzelanny MIL 6 5 6 7 5 COL Jhoulys Chacin 16:10
Kyle Gibson MIN 3 2 4 5 6 SEA Erasmo Ramirez* 16:10
Tyson Ross SD 4 6 6 2 9 AZ Patrick Corbin 16:10
Shelby Miller STL 10 4 7 8 5 ATL Kris Medlen 20:05

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

17 Responses to “Daily Notes: Featuring Gerrit Cole Against Jose Fernandez”

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  1. Pablo says:

    Has anyone ever mentioned that Carson writes the way Perd Hapley speaks?

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  2. Bryrob58 says:

    So, are more strikeouts coming for Cole? I see an unimpressive collective 7.2 SwStr% for him, but that change up…

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    • Cole hasn’t thrown the changeup very often — which, admittedly, is why the swinging-strike rate is higher (i.e. because batters don’t expect it).

      From the lone example here, though, it certainly looks fine, especially at 88 mph.

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      • Bryrob58 says:

        True. I just took a deeper look at Cole’s numbers, would you expect a wider variety of pitches as he gets older? Not many guys throw 70% fastballs, but it’s not like he can’t be successful doing that. Is the reliance on the FB just a part if his early development? Maybe this is common and I just haven’t noticed; I guess it makes sense that other pitches would develop as they age.

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        • rotowizard says:

          That’s exactly what it is. He’s still learning to command the secondary pitches.

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        • It stands to reason that he’ll get a better feel for his secondary stuff as he ages. It’s also very probable that his fastball velocity will decrease along the way. So, yeah, he’ll likely utilize his repertoire more broadly in the future (which, as you suggest, probably isn’t uncommon).

          For the moment, though, throwing a fastball at 95 mph for strikes seems like a pretty effective strategy.

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    • rotowizard says:

      The K% will rise, the question is how much. I don’t think he’ll ever hit that magical 10% K rate, but he should fall into the 7-8% range for his career and maybe a 9% in his peak years. So far in his rookie season he’s just been keeping things simple, pounding the strike zone with his fastball to the tune of 70%. He’s kept his other three pitches around the 10% marks. Most K heavy pitchers throw their SO pitch about 30% of the time. I think it’s the smart move on his part, when your defense is that good, and your fastball that fast, it becomes easier and easier to change your pitching approach once you start facing teams for the second and third times.

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  3. Josh M says:

    Is there zero NERD score for the Phillies a poke at the trolls who have polluted this site of late?

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    • In this particular case, the Phillies have earned it on their own merits. They’re old and don’t hit particularly well and don’t run particularly well and don’t field particularly well (per UZR) and the bullpen has been one of the league’s worst (per xFIP) and yet still feature an higher-than-average payroll.

      It’s not a “recipe for success,” you wouldn’t say.

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  4. Willy says:

    Carson, enough with the homage to George Saunders! I’m sure you can develop a writing style all your own. Richard Lawson, ex-Gawker writer and author impersonator extraordinaire, you are not. But your baseball content is great, and I love reading it.

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  5. Jay29 says:

    Fernandez is putting on a show.

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  6. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Fernandez put on a hell of a show today.

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  7. DetroitMichael says:

    Regarding Jose Fernandez and to the degree in which he put on a show today. It was a hell of one.

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  8. Ovid_Rex says:

    This was the best pitching matchup I’ve seen this year…

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