Thursday, April 24, 2014

Yuki Matsui: Start Four

Yuki Matsui's fourth start of the season did not go well, as he walked eight batters and struck out six. In 127 pitches, he went five innings and gave up five runs. He was immediately sent down to the ni-gun after the game.

We will start the post the same way all the Matsui posts have been started, by looking at his velocity:

Matsui's velocity clearly declined as the start went on, especially towards the end, when he clearly shouldn't have been pitching anymore. Even his change and slider velocity dropped towards the end.

Matsui's big problem was obviously throwing strikes, as this graph shows what percentage of pitches he threw in the strike zone

Throwing less than a third of his pitches for strikes, it was clear that something was wrong with Matsui, or at the very least, he didn't belong in the Ichi-gun for the time being.

Looking at Matsui's results, we see that he still got whiffs despite his control problems:

Matsui got much more flyballs than groundballs, and got the same amount of called strikes as foul balls.

What may be helpful when discussing his problems with control is to look at is where he generally located all of his pitches:

Again, his favorite location was low and glove side, though he threw a lot of pitches high and glove side as well, meaning he was probably just yanking the ball overall. He also threw high more instead of low, while the majority of pitchers throw low more than high.

To further evaluate his outing and control problems, I think we need to look at his individual pitches. First, let's look at his overall pitch selection:

Notice how it appears that he has dropped the curve, at least in this outing. He stayed with the change more than the slider, and had a relatively normal amount of fastballs.

Looking deeper at his fastball, let's start by looking at the percentage of them he threw in the strike zone:

This rate is higher than his rates on sliders and changeups, but is still not an acceptable rate.

Here is where he generally threw his fastball location-wise:

This is where the high percentage of high glove pitches come from, though there was a good portion of low glove and high middle pitches as well.

Here were his fastball results for the game:

Matsui's whiffs didn't come from his fastball, and a higher volume of called strikes and fouls came the fastball.

I wanted to look at his locations of his other pitches, so let's start with the slider:

 This is where his high percentage of low glove pitches come from, though some of them stayed up a little and were middle glove.
His changeup locations:

Not surprisingly, this pitch was mainly located on the low arm side, with a good balance in the other zones. So really, the slider and changeups are in traditional locations, they just aren't finding the strike zone.

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