Monday, August 9, 2010

Holy Morrow

So Brandon Morrow struck out 17 Rays yesterday, while having his no-hitter broken up with 2 outs in the 9th inning. Hopefully the novelty of striking out 17 hitters doesn't wear off and the near no-hitter doesn't take away from the fact that... well, Brandon Morrow has some sick stuff.

I'm still figuring out how to sync my pitch database for the 2010 season... which means I won't be able to take a look at my own PITCHf/x plots of Morrow's game just yet. Fortunately, there are some awesome PITCHf/x tools on the web, such as Joe Lefkowitz's website, Brooks Baseball, and TexasLeaguers.com. I will use those sites in the mean time if I want to take a look at current season pitch data, and just would like to give them lots of credit for the great work they've done for the baseball community (especially those like me who are not as well-versed in SQL and Perl).

Anyway, I pulled Morrow's 17 K's game from Brooks Baseball just to take a look at how he did. Of the 137 pitches he threw, 97 went for strikes, 63 were four-seam fastballs, 34 were splitters, 38 were sliders, and 2 were curveballs.

Of the 20 swinging strikes Morrow threw, 14 of them came on sliders while the other 6 came on four-seamers or splitters. On the other hand, of the 25 called strikes Morrow threw, 10 came on four-seamers, 11 came on splitters (amazingly, 10 of them fooled lefties), and only 4 came on either sliders or curveballs. The Rays made contact on four-seamers more than 60% of the time, as 33 four-seamers (52.4% of all 4FBs), 6 splitters (17.6% of all FSs), and 13 sliders (34.2% of all SLs) put the ball in play (only one of them resulted in a hit, obviously).

Morrow averaged 93.3 MPH on his four-seam fastball all game, including 93.4 MPH in the first three innings, 93.5 MPH in the middle three, and 93.1 MPH in the last three, indicating that he kept his fastball velocity up the entire game, going as high as 97 at one point.

I'd talk about the movement of Morrow's sliders, since they were the most responsible for those strikeouts today, but since it'd be a bit too tedious to plot their movements without the numbers inside my database, I'll link the video instead:

video

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