Sunday, May 11, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka: Start Seven

Masahiro Tanaka's seventh start of the season took place in Milwaukee versus the Brewers, where he tied for his shortest outing of the year at 6.1 innings. Despite this, it was still a good start for him, as he struck out seven hitters, walked one, and most importantly, gave up no home runs. The Brewers did get seven hits and scored two runs off him, and Tanaka faced the fewest amount of batters (26) as he had faced all year on tied for the second highest amount of pitches he had thrown on the season.

First, let's take a look at his spin and speed chart for the game.

 It seems like he threw a lot of sliders, and just four curveballs, a little lower than his normal number. For comparison, here is what his movement chart for the game looked like:

 The splitter seemed to have the most spin out of all of his pitches, but it had less vertical movement than his sinker and fastball. His fastball also moved more vertically and less horizontally than his sinker, while there was no real difference in spin and very little difference in speed.

Here is where Tanaka located his pitches on average, along with his average release point.
 Tanaka was actually a glove side pitcher for the game, and that maintained throughout until his very final inning.
 Early in the game, he was an extreme low and glove side pitcher. He steadily moved higher and more arm side (with the third inning coming out of the pattern completely) as the game progressed.
 All of his pitches except the sinker, yes even the curveball this time, were glove side pitches, and basically all of his results were on the glove side of the plate.
 The swinging strikes average location most closely matches his first two innings of work. He worked extremely away from both platoons
The lack of left-handers in the Brewers lineup contributed to his heavy glove side pitching. The later in the count he got, when it came to strikes, the more likely he was going to go low and glove side.
 With balls in the count, we actually see the opposite pattern. Instead, he was more likely to throw down the middle of the plate when he got to two or three balls in the count.
 As we saw his location by inning change, I thought it would be helpful to look at what his average release points looked like by inning
The biggest differences were his last inning and his second inning, though not surprisingly looking at location, his third inning was slightly different as well.

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