One Night Only: Hot Game Previews for June 9th

Who watches the Blackmon?

This edition of One Night Only contains:

1. An expanded preview of tonight’s Dodger-Rockies game.

2. An in-particular examination of Jhoulys Chacin’s increased ground-ball rate.*

*The same Jhoulys Chacin who, in turns out, isn’t pitching tonight. I give the reader my solemn vow that (a) he really was listed as the probable for Colorado when I ran the numbers last night and (b) there are still some interesting things about his ground-ball rate, even if they’re not relevant to the present game.

Also, Juan Nicasio — who is pitching — is also an interesting case and will suffice.

3. Brief previews of three more games: Boston at New York (AL), Arizona at Pittsburgh, and Oakland at Chicago (AL).

4. Pitcher and Team NERD scores for every one of tonight’s games.

5. Some total throw away-type lines.

Los Angeles Nationals (3) at Colorado (7) | 20:40 ET
Starting Pitchers
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (10)
85.2 IP, 10.09 K/9, 2.73 BB/9, 39.7% GB, 2.85 xFIP, 77 xFIP-

Rockies: Jhoulys Chacin (7)
79.0 IP, 7.41 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 59.3% GB, 3.35 xFIP, 90 xFIP-

A Thing I’d Like to Hear Said About Jhoulys Chacin in a New York Accent
Whaddoo we got, Mr. Ground-ball Pants over here?

Why That Would Make Sense
Because Chacin has the third-highest ground-ball percentage among 114 qualified pitchers.

Why That’s Notable
That’s notable because, all things being equal, ground balls are better than balls in the air.

A Phrase I’ve Immediately Regretted Typing
Balls in the air.

Why That’s Notable, Part II
Chacin’s ground-ball rate entering the season was about 47% (through ca 150 IP, or over 600 batters-faced).

A Thing We Know About Ground-ball Rates
They generally become reliable after just 150 batters-faced.

A Possible Explanation for the Increase
Per Pitch F/x, Chacin appears to be throwing his two-seamer about twice as often this season than last — 21.9% after 13.4% last season.

A Further, Way More Developed Explanation
The internet (taking the shape of THT’s Josh Smolow) says that Chacin’s inducing more grounders per fastball pitched — at a possibly unsustainable level, even.

Charlie Blackmon Watch
Charlie Blackmon, last night (4 PA): 1 K, 2 GB, 1 BIA.

Charlie Blackmon, in the majors (7 PA): 1 K, 3 GB, 3 BIA.

Three Other Games
Boston (7) at New York Americans (7) | 19:05 ET
This game will track you, hunt you down, and force you to watch it.

Arizona (10) at Pittsburgh (4) | 19:05 ET
Josh Collmenter (6) pitches — unfortunately, in front of the league’s worst camera angle.

Oakland (1) at Chicago Americans (2) | 20:10 ET
“Sometimes I’ll throw a changeup…95 percent of my changeups will sink down and away, but every once in awhile it will cut. It will be like a cut changeup, and I wish I could throw it when I wanted to, but I can’t, because I don’t know what I do differently.” — Mark Buehrle to our man David Laurila.

Also Playing
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.

pNERD = Pitcher NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD of 5 (or 10 for debuts)

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