Playoff Pitching Domination – What the Numbers Show

Pitches That Hurt You?
October 25, 2010
Your Best Pitching Performance?
October 25, 2010

Could it be that we’re stepping back in time when pitchers used to dominate? Maybe hitters are using The Juice less? Nah.

In talking to my Angels scout buddy recently his theory is that the knowledge of biomechanics is improving each year. Pitchers are being trained better. We’ve seen this with a steady increase in velocity at the Big League level. I wrote on this a couple weeks ago.

Thus far these 2010 playoffs are being dominated by stellar pitching performances each of the first two days. We’re in for some real fun if this continues.

In the first six games, we’ve seen five pitchers have great starts. What do they have in common? What do the numbers tell us? Have a look below:

Roy Halladay (Phillies) – Game 1
104 pitches thrown
79 strikes
76% strikes thrown
28 batters faced
25 first pitch strikes
89% first pitch strike thrown

Cliff Lee (Rangers) – Game 1
104 pitches thrown
76 strikes
73% strikes thrown
27 batters faced
21 first pitch strikes
78% first pitch strike thrown

C.J. Wilson (Rangers) – Game 2
104 pitches throw
65 strikes
63% strikes thrown
25 batters faced
16 first pitch strikes
64% first pitch strike thrown

Tim Lincecum (Giants) – Game 1
119 pitches thrown
75 strikes
63% strikes thrown
30 batters faced
19 first pitch strikes
64% first pitch strike thrown

Andy Pettite (Yankees) – Game 2
88 pitches thrown
58 strikes
66% strikes thrown
26 batters faced
15 first pitch strikes
58% first pitch strike thrown

Five above starts combined:

69% strikes thrown
71% first pitch strike thrown
38.1 Innings pitched
3 earned run allowed
5 wins

During the fall and winter back in college we kept diligent charts of our bullpens. Our goal was to throw 60% strikes with two or more pitches, and 80% first pitch strikes. Our coach explained over and over again that if we could do this during any game we would have a high percentage chance of winning.

Pitching a baseball consistently takes thousands of repetitions. There is a reason more and more pitchers each year are working harder earlier at mastering their craft.

Are you charting your pitches? Do you have some standards to measure yourself against, or are you just throwing for the sake of throwing. Do yourself a favor and start being diligent about your practice. Who knows how far baseball will take you.

If you’re lost as to how to begin mechanically, our Pitching DVD will help you with that.

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