Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yuki Matsui: Start Two

Yuki Matsui made his second career official NPB start for the Rakuten Golden Eagles on Thursday, and packed 86 pitches into three and one thirds of an inning. Out of the 17 batters he faced, he struck out 7 and walked 5, with 2 runs and 3 hits. Similar to his last start, what follows will be a few charts and graphs on his start. Like last time, let's start with his full velocity chart from pitch to pitch:

While he threw less pitches, it does appear that he maintained his velocity a little better, though again, he peaked out early in the outing. When only looking at fastballs (all Matsui throws is the 4-seam fastball, or at least that is the only classification he has through two starts), I think we see this exaggerated a bit.

His fastball averaged about 87.48 MPH in the outing, between Dan Haren and Jason Vargas in the Majors in 2014. How does his pitch selection compare to his last start? Here is the pie chart from start two:

All three off-speed pitches saw increases, with him throwing less fastballs overall. The slider is what increased the most. The pitch actually lost about .2 kilometers per hour on average from his last start, slightly less than the fastball (.7 kilometers per hour on average). Here is how he located the pitch:

Low and glove side, where you want a slider to be, was the most common place, but too many of them stayed high or in the middle. Surprisingly, more than half (13 of 23) were actually thrown in the strike zone. Perhaps this is why he threw it so much, as he had problems throwing in the strike zone overall:

So the slider may have been the only pitch that Matsui could actually get over, and since it wasn't hit (his problem was walks not hits), then he had no incentive to go away from it. So where did he locate the majority of his pitches?

Because of the slider, low and glove side was the most common location, though he threw more pitches in the middle and arm side in this outing. A simpler chart:

He didn't throw hardly any pitches low and arm side or middle and arm side, which made me curious about his changeup locations, which you can see here:

Weirdly, he throws the pitch to the glove side, or at least he did in this start. Just one of the seventeen changeups turned out to be in the zone, so it is easy to see that he doesn't have much feel of the pitch.

Now, let's take a look at Matsui's results:

The higher volume of balls from last start isn't surprising, though he increased his whiff percentage and called strike percentage. When he threw strikes this time, he was more effective than his first start, as there was even a lower foul percentage.

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