Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Matchup for G28 - Cubs at Astros

This could get a little ugly. Or it could be totally fine. Two teams who recently lost key pieces to injury (in the Cubs' case, that would be Big Angry Z), and who should be faring better than they have. The Cubs are 14-12, 2.5GB of the Cards and the Astros face Rich Harden today and Ted Lilly tomorrow in a shortened, two-game series. The Astros were 4-3-(1) on their eight-game road trip.

Mike Hampton
Hampton was hit hard last Friday night in Atlanta, and has been both brilliant and piss-poor at times this season. But he hasn't been hurt. Hampton hasn't been getting as many swinging strikes, his last three starts. His lone win of the season - Apr 15 @ Pittsburgh - came when Hampton got 15 swinging strikes. He hasn't had more than 7 in the other four starts.

Last three starts:

4/20 vCIN6.18/35:116/5100/68
4/25 vMIL68/44:311/8101/62
5/1 @ATL4.15/50:210/972/42

Let's do the '09 Splits!
Vs Righties: 22x78, 2HR, 12K:9BB, .282/.364/.385
Vs Lefties: 7x26, 1HR, 10K:2BB, .269/.321/.385

First-Pitch Ball: (47) 6x38, 11K:8BB, .211/.348/.289
First-Pitch Strike: (61) 19x56, 11K:3BB, .339/.383/.482

So what does that mean? Hampton gets comfortable when pitching ahead? Hitters become more aggressive? After throwing a first-pitch strike 61 times (50.8%), Hampton has then thrown a second-pitch strike just 16 times.

RISP: 13x21, .381/.458/.762, 2HR, 2K:3BB
Runners on: 11x42, .262/.392/.452, 10K:9BB
2OwRISP: 5x12, .417/.500/.917, 2K:2BB

Rich Harden

Rich Harden has been hit-or-miss for the Cubs, as well. His ERA is 5.11, but the Cubs have won the last three games Harden started (though he tried his best to lose to the Marlins his last time out.)

Last three starts:

4/21 vCIN63/28:27/692/60
4/26 @STL64/29:22/11107/69
5/1 vFLA3.26/52:48/786/50

So basically Harden has either thrown what we now consider a quality start (which is a bullcrap stat, but we'll roll with it) - three times - or he hasn't made it out of the 4th - twice.

Let's do the splits:
vs Righties: 9x57, .158/.372/.644, 25K:7BB
vs Lefties: 12x35, .343/.452/.657, 12K:7BB

After First-Pitch Strikes (53): .160/.208/.300, 25K:3BB
After First-Pitch Balls (52): .333/.490/.641, 12K:11BB

RISP: 7x16, .438/.609/.438, 3K:6BB
Runners on: 10x36, .278/.422/.306, 13K:8BB
2OwRISP: 4x8, .500/.714/.500, 1K:5BB

Vs Your 09 Astros (min 4ABs):