Thursday, July 9, 2009

ESPN Stats, on Wandy's start

Nice to see Wandy get a little love from ESPN in what was probably the best start of his career. How did he do it? Let's ask ESPN Stats & Information:

Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez read the scouting reports and has totally restructured his approach on the mound, with great results. For the second consecutive start, Rodriguez reduced his arsenal from four pitches to two, throwing 98.4% fastballs and curveballs. This strategy has actually improved his deception on the hill, as his slider and changeup weren't fooling anyone. Opposing batters were hitting .385 against his changeup, and have chased only one slider out of the strike zone throughout the entire season (league average is 33 percent in that category). On Wednesday, he:

A) Shut the door in two-strike counts: Opposing batters went 0-17 (12 of those outs came via fastballs).
B) He had an outstanding 78.3 strike percentage when behind in the count (as evident by his 11:1 K/BB ratio).
C) His fastball was dominant: Opposing batters hit only .143 (compared to .353 in his last start), mainly due to his heater gaining more than two extra inches of run compared to the average fastball in his previous 17 starts this season (6.51 average inches of horizontal movement on Wednesday, 4.40 in rest of season).

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