FG on Fox: Zack Greinke’s Tinkering

Over the course of a career, every starting pitcher has to deal with change. As the velocity on their pitches wanes or the league figures out what they throw, they have to continually adapt; feature secondary pitches more often, develop new pitches, add wrinkles to old pitches, or mix up their pitch selections to keep hitters off balance. If you want to get 600 outs per year, every year, you can’t do the same thing every time out.

For Zack Greinke, much of that story of adaptation revolves around his slider.

There were the heady times, of course. The 2009 season with Kansas City brought a Cy Young Award. His slider? “It was amazing, the best pitch I ever had,” Greinke said before a game with the Giants last week. That pitch was a big part of how he posted a 2.16 ERA and struck out 242 batters.

Unfortunately, time comes for all pitchers. For Greinke, he saw it in the slider. The pitch “slowly got a little worse,” Greinke said — it was “coming out real good, but the hitters weren’t really reacting to it.” Why? Greinke shrugged. That 2009 slider “was just better, it just happens.” Watch the rates on the pitch drop.

Read the rest at FoxSports.com.

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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

6 Responses to “FG on Fox: Zack Greinke’s Tinkering”

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  1. AL Eastbound says:

    …also apparently provides easy access to informative, totally non-partial political diatribe…

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  2. Nolan Ryan says:

    Bitch I can 200 outs every year however I please.

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  3. Matthew Murphy says:

    I was a bit confused, because this page says by Dave Cameron, but the article is actually written by Eno (as it says on the Fox page).

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    • Bip says:

      I’ve noticed this before. It seems Dave is the one who actually posts the links to these stories, so his name appears as being the one responsible for this fangraphs post. Perhaps it would be better to have the author’s name in the title or something, like “Eno Sarris for Fox: “…

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  4. Bip says:

    It’s interesting that pitching to FIP made Greinke’s results worse. We know that FIP is good tool for us to evaluate pitcher performance, but that does not imply it is a good tool for pitchers to improve their own performance. And who knows, maybe some pitcher would find advanced stats to be a major benefit. As tough as it is to evaluate pitchers, actually pitching is clearly much harder.

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