Posted by: Peter | April 13, 2009

Game 8: Ick.

Well, that wasn’t much fun. Kevin Slowey had a bad night, and judging from the pitch f/x data, the culprit was his curveball and changeup. Or the lack thereof:

Kevin Slowey's pitch locations

Kevin Slowey's pitch locations

These filled circles are triangles, and the triangles are changeups.  Slowey threw a grand total of six curveballs and four changeups. And it’s probably just as well that he didn’t throw any more, since five of those ten pitches were turned into hits. But the fact remains that Slowey doesn’t have overpowering stuff, so he won’t be very successful if he has to rely on only his fastball and his slider.

Hopefully Slowey will fiind the feel for those offspeed pitches the next time around. Things look less good for Toronto’s Jesse Litsch, who came out of the game in the fourth inning with an arm injury of uncertain severity. Watching the game, it appeared that Litsch suddenly experienced some kind of pain and then immediately took himself out of the game. But look at this plot of the spin and speed of his pitches, by inning:

Jesse Litsch's pitches

Jesse Litsch's pitches

It looks like something was already wrong with Litsch after the first inning–his velocity went down, his slider wasn’t breaking as hard, and his fastball had a different spin, more like a changeup. Maybe that explains why he got hit so hard.

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