Walking under the radar gun

Another day, another loss.  Actually, that’s pretty unfair, because it seems like quite a while since the Rangers lost two in a row.  Okay, so looking back, it was only last week, when they lost the first two in Anaheim on Friday and Saturday, but it feels longer because they’ve been playing good baseball.  Prior to Anaheim, you have to go back to June 28-29 for the last two losses in a row, and prior to that, all the way back to June 10-13 when they lost three in a row.  Since then they’ve had six streaks of at least two wins in a row themselves.  An indicator of improvement, you’d say, and you’d be right, but not enough.  They’re 3-4 since the All-Star break, which means they already dropped a game to Anaheim post-break, since they have gone 4-3 including a surprising couple of losses to Tampa Bay.  Still, I’m sure we’re about to see another quote about not having an X by our name yet, so we better keep playing good ball.

Kam was the man again tonight, this time walking four as he got his second loss in a row.  I wasn’t able to pinpoint much of anything in his last start, so maybe a larger dataset will help find out what’s changed, if anything.  Maybe he’s just hit a couple of good teams who have been able to lay off close pitches, or maybe he’s just getting a little too far off, or maybe, well, maybe a lot of things.  I’ll let you know if I find anything in particular.

While watching the game tonight, I suddenly got curious as to how well the stats on tv match up to the stats in Gameday.  I’m pretty sure they’re using the Gameday numbers for generating those strike zone charts they’ve been putting up, where else would they get the data from?  But it occurred to me, after some comment by TAG about the speed of the pitcher (Betancourt, in this case) that maybe the radar they have doesn’t work off Gameday.  In fact, just the other day in Anaheim we talked about the woman who was raising her radar gun on every pitch, and wondering why they still had someone doing that.  So, I started counting the speeds on tv, to compare to Gameday.  From the middle of Marlon Byrd’s at-bat in the eighth, I memorized seven pitch speeds.  Wow, all of seven, I hear you say?  Actually, it’s worse than you think, because the first four were all 91 mph, the next two were 92 mph, and the last was 84 mph.  That’s when I was interrupted from counting and lost track, but I figured comparing them would be an interesting subset.  So here’s what I got:  the first four were all 91 mph on the tv, and Gameday gave them 91.3, 91.1, 90.9 and 90.9.  The next two, tv had at 92, Gameday had 91.5 and 92.2.  The last, 84 on tv was 84.1 on Gameday.  They are clearly if not the same numbers, at least matching after rounding.  I wouldn’t guarantee they came from the same source, but they may as well have, and that woman in Anaheim ought to be afraid for her job.

Just as I suspected, they put Aki on the DL.  I’m assuming it was retroactive to the last time he pitched, July 1, but I haven’t confirmed that.  If it was, then he’s eligible to come off any day.  You know, in the NFL they have a salary cap coordinator, the guy whose job it is to track where the salary cap is, because there’s a bunch of rules about it that are difficult to follow.  But in MLB, it’s pretty much just “hey, the guy’s hurt, put him on the DL for a couple of weeks”.  It’s not brain surgery.  In fact, it shouldn’t even take a couple of weeks to get the guy to be examined by a doctor and say yeah, he’s hurt.

McCarthy tomorrow, against Fausto Carmona.  On the strength of things, the Indians have the upper hand, sending a guy who is 11-4, 3.77 against 4-6, 5.59.  But McCarthy has been pitching better than his line lately, so it could be a pretty good game.  Of course, you could have said that about today’s game too, Sabathia against Loe, and look how that one turned out.

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