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NLCS Scouting: Gallardo vs. Carpenter
Posted By Steve Slowinski On October 12, 2011 @ 3:30 pm In Brewers,Cardinals,Game Preview | 10 Comments
Just look at that lovely mug.
I’ve already previewed Gallardo once this postseason, so take a peek at this post for a full look at his pitch selection. In general, what I had to say held up over his first two postseason starts: his curveball was his main out pitch when ahead in the count, and he used his slider frequently when he fell behind in the count. Gallardo has a very similar approach regardless of if a righty or lefty is at the plate, so I wouldn’t expect him to alter his strategy much against the righty heavy Cardinals.
Carpenter is another one of those pitchers that gets by with less. He only works three main pitches — a sinker, a cutter, and a curveball — and he doesn’t mix up his use depending on the handedness of the batter too much. He throws his sinker around 45% of the time, his cutter 30% (although more often against righties), and his curveball 20% (more often against lefties). He also throws an occasional changeup, but he uses it rarely and almost exclusively throws it to left-handed hitters.
When the count is even or he’s behind, Carpenter uses his sinker quite frequently and uses it to induce around 50-60% groundballs. As he gets ahead in the count, though, Carpenter throws his cutter and curveball around 80% of the time. And if Carpenter gets into a deep count with the hitter (2-2, 3-2), he favors his cutter much more than his curveball.
For a 36-year-old pitcher, Carpenter has been extremely durable over the last year; he threw over 230 innings this season for the second season in a row. And despite missing almost two full seasons with injuries, he’s still the same old pitcher that he always was: he gets a decent number of strikeouts (7.2 K/9), but sets himself apart from the crowd with his walk rate (2.0 per nine) and groundball rate (47%). His 3.50 SIERA isn’t awe-inspiring, but he’s one of the most consistent, versatile aces you can find.
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