Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jon Lester's No Hitter

So when I did the 5/19 pitcher preview of Jon Lester, I said he needed to use his changeup to be more effective. Well evaluating a no-hitter would be a great way to test that statement, wouldn't it? So let's dig in.

Average Pitch Movement
Pitch Type PFX_X PFX_Z SPEED
FB 5.49 8.02 92
CB -6.06 -4.00 78
SL -2.31 4.50 88
CH 6.83 7.68 84

These numbers are on point with his season averages. The biggest difference was the horizontal movement of his slider. Coming into this game, his slider pfx_x average was -1.5. Also notice that Lester's changeup doesn't have much vertical drop. In fact, it has about the same drop as his fastball. Moving forward, he will need to add more depth to the pitch if he wants to use it as an out pitch.Here is Lester's pitch type by count:

Count CB CH FB SL Grand Total
00 1 1 21 4 27
01 4 2 6 4 16
02 2 0 4 1 7
10 0 0 7 2 9
11 3 3 6 2 14
12 5 0 5 4 14
20 0 0 3 0 3
21 0 0 4 3 7
22 1 0 8 3 12
30 0 0 2 0 2
31 0 0 3 0 3
32 0 0 4 0 4
Grand Total 16 6 73 23 118

Notice the 1-1 count. Lester was not afraid to fall behind 2-1, as evidence by his pitch mix.

Here is the pitch results by pitch type:

Type CB CH FB SL Grand Total
Ball 7 4 23 7 41
Called Strike 3 1 16 1 21
Foul 3 1 12 7 23
In play, out(s) 2 0 14 2 18
Swinging Strike 0 0 8 6 14
Swinging Strike (Blocked) 1 0 0 0 1
Grand Total 16 6 73 23 118

Going back to the pitcher preview I did on 5/18, I said Lester would need to use his changeup to be more effective. Well as this chart shows, Lester decided against using his changeup completely. He only threw the pitch 4 times all game, instead relying on his fastball/slider combination. The 4 times Lester threw the changeup, he was either ahead or even in the count.

Finally, this last chart shows Lester's fastball speed throughout the game. In his post game comments, he said his adrenaline was pumping towards the end and that helped increase his velocity. This chart shows Lester indeed added velocity towards the end of the game:


Overall a great game by Jon Lester. He threw first pitch strikes to get ahead and battled back in the at bats where he got behind. As long as his slider continues to be as effective as it was tonight, there won't be an immediate need for the changeup. I would still like to see him throw it more going forward, if only as a show me pitch to change speeds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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