Felix 9-19 start in one graph
Looking at the Pitch FX data for yesterday, I wanted to do another series of graphs showing what Felix’s stuff looked like, and I don’t think you need them at all.
In the first inning of yesterday’s game, Felix threw three fastballs to Buck. Then two fastballs to Cunningham. Then two fastballs, two “splitters” and two fastballs. Looking at the list, I immediately saw a huge almost-purely fastball streak, and counted it. Of his first 33 pitches, seven weren’t identified as fastballs (and then he threw two changes).
Here’s a version of the graph Dave’s offered a couple times:
That’s the only thing you really need to know about the start. At about pitch 50 after Kurt Suzuki singled to left (fastball-slider-single), Felix started to mix his stuff up. The A’s didn’t score again.
To that point, Felix had 3k (two of Cust), and every other batter put the ball in play — Buck for a home run. 14 hitters, 3 strikeouts, 11 balls hit. After he starts to mix the pitches, he faces 17, strikes out five, walks one, and 11 balls are put in play.
Felix throwing almost nothing but fastballs is a pretty good pitcher. Felix mixing his pitches is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Why he, and the team, continue to think that he should work on establishing and relying on the fastball is beyond me. The scouting report on him must be “he’ll throw almost nothing but gas for three, maybe four innings — key up for that fastball and hack, hack, hack, because this defense sucks and the ball will find a hole.”