THT on pitch sequences

Open Thread: PECOTA's projected standings
Congress to leave well enough alone

Over at The Hardball Times, Josh Kalk used PITCHf/x data to take a look at pitch sequencing and tries to figure out why guys with great stuff might not get the results a guy with fringy stuff does. That data reinforces the old adage that everything in baseball revolves around the fastball, and shows just how devastating the splitter can be. Make sure you check it out, very interesting stuff.

Open Thread: PECOTA's projected standings
Congress to leave well enough alone
  • Whozat

    Man, I love this stuff. The closer to the raw data, the better.

  • Spaceman.Spiff

    Word of the day: fringy. Learn it. Use it. Love it.

  • Jeremy Brown

    i surprised by the effectiveness of “doubling up.” that is, following a curve with another, for example. fascinating stuff.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      I liked the part about how the change up leaves you with no really good followup pitch, and how mysterious the pitch is in general.

      Of course, so much depends on the quality of the pitch being thrown. Very few pitchers have really good change ups. It’s typically a 3rd or 4th pitch for most pitchers.

      • Ryan S.

        I’m curious what Johan Santana’s follow up pitch data looks like for his change-up.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    I was just reading the same article when you posted this. Interesting stuff, but High Fatsball/Curve isn’t a rule by any stretch, as the article shows. Its just one of the tools in the toolbox. If you fell into the pattern of High Fastball/Curveball away, hitters will adjust and be ready for the curve. The predictability will work against you.

    Its really an art, as the opening line implies.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    One thing to factor in is when pitches tend to be thrown in a count. Take the change up for example. That’s usually a 3rd or 4th pitch, one that a pitcher will use when ahead in the count as a put away pitch, throwing it out of the zone for a swing and miss.

    If you have to throw another pitch, you know it didn’t work. You were ahead in the count, and just threw a pitch out of the zone. Maybe he fouled it off, but chances are the count is evened up. Now the batter is in a better position and the pitcher needs to come back with a strike. Most often that will be a fastball, and the hitter will be expecting it.

    So the change isn’t a bad pitch, the inability to follow it up has more to do with when its used.

  • Simon B.

    Josh Kalk = Awesome.

    • joshkalk

      I am glad you guys liked the article. Stay tuned as some more interesting stuff will be unveiled next week.

  • Ace

    What an amazing article. I also enjoyed “Searching for the game’s best pitch” and I’d love to see the results for the 2008 season.