Charting Felix, 5-26 at Twins
Look for an article on the subject shortly that will delve into his last few starts in more detail. In the meantime, here’s the numbers from last night. The numbers don’t tie exactly because of two pitches that weren’t shown by the Twins broadcast, but those two pitches aren’t a big deal.
Swinging Strikes: 38
Called Strikes: 16
Balls in Play: 16
Fastballs: 52 (50 %)
Curveballs: 34 (33%)
Changeups: 15 (15%)
First Pitch Fastballs: 15 (62%)
First Pitch Curveballs: 6 (25%)
First Pitch Changeups: 3 (13%)
Singles: 1-0 fastball, 1-0 curveball, 1-1 curveball
Double: 1-2 fastball
Home Run: 1-0 fastball
And, for fun, here’s the pitch selection broken in half.
Pre-Mauer Home Run: 26 fastballs, 12 curveballs, 4 changeups. 12 batters faced, 6 outs, 1 via strikeout, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 runs.
Post Mauer Home Run: 26 fastballs, 22 curveballs, 11 changeups. 14 batters faced, 14 outs, 7 via strikeout.
The trend is once again obvious. Establish the fastball early – 12 of his first 13 pitches were fastballs – and often. The first 12 batters of the game, he threw 62 percent fastballs, about the same as in the last start against the Padres. He quickly gave up 3 runs. He then switched tactics, throwing only 44 percent fastballs the rest of the game, and retired the next 14 batters he faced.
The Twins helped him out some by chasing a few pitches out of the zone. Their aggressive approach nullified a bit of his wildness and allowed him to pitch ahead in the count more often. The results spoke for themselves; more offspeed stuff, more strikeouts, more outs in general.
Forget the three earned runs in 7 innings. Felix was dominant. The pitch to Mauer was a bad one, and he got away with a few hanging curveballs, but all-in-all, he probably only threw 4 or 5 “bad pitches”.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been preaching less fastballs, more offspeed stuff. Last night, we saw less fastballs and more offspeed stuff. And it was good.