Saturday, May 24, 2008

5/24 Josh Beckett Preview

Tonight Josh Beckett starts vs the Athletics. In Beckett's last start, May 18th vs the Brewers, he got knocked around for 6 runs in 7 innings. His biggest problem in that game was the 4 home runs he gave up. Tonight, he will look to bounce back. Let us go back and take a look at his 5/18 start to see what we can find. Below is his pitch f/x data from that start:

Beckett struggled with his off speed pitches in this game. 3 of his 4 home runs came on his curveball while the other HR came off his changeup. Below is the location of all his curveballs he threw in the game as well as the changeup that Prince Fielder hit out.

As you can see, Beckett left a lot of curves in the middle of the zone. We can almost conclude from this pitch location chart that he was lucky not to get tagged for more runs. It seems that he was leaving his breaking ball over the heart of the plate.

Below is a chart showing the movement of his curveballs that got hit out.

As you can see, as the game went on, his curve lost both vertical and horizontal movement. By no means were these curves terrible, but you can see the progression as the game went on.

Look for Beckett to continue to pound the strike zone with his fastball. The key tonight will be his ability to keep the breaking ball down in the zone.

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