Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quick Tim Wakefield Chart

As Red Sox fans, we have come to take Tim Wakefield for granted over the years. But it is truly remarkable what he has been able to do over the course of his career. In the modern game, to be as successful as he has been with a knuckleball, is something to marvel at. We might not ever see another pitcher who is as successful as Wakefield while featuring a knuckleball.

Let us take a quick look at pitch f/x just to see what that knuckleball looks like.


This is a horizontal vs Speed graph. It is seen from a catchers view. I just circled the three pitch types here instead of breaking them down by color because it was quicker and fairly obvious what is going on.

The top circle is his fastball that he throws when he needs a strike. Notice some of the fastballs have a positive horizontal movement? That resembles a cutter, but I have never heard him say he throws one. Either way, that fastball has cutter movement.

Next is his knuckleball. What I find so remarkable is how it breaks to both sides of the plate. It almost looks like half his knuckleballs break right and half break left. This could explain why it is so hard for a catcher to catch the knuckleball. When you don't know which way it is going, how are you supposed to catch it?

Lastly, we have his curveball. This is a big, slow breaking ball as you can see the speed is even less than the knuckle.

So that is Tim Wakefield. I am not sure that pitch f/x tracks the knuckleball as well as regular pitches, but either way, very interesting data.

If you would like to read more about it, here is a hardball times article by John Walsh in November of 2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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