June 4, 2012
What Control (and Lack of Control) Looks Like
Daniel Bard has the second-highest walk rate in the American League. Joe Blanton has the fourth-lowest walk rate in the National League. Both of them pitched yesterday, and both of them found the strike zone about as often as expected. Here's what that looked like, courtesy of Brooks Baseball's pitch plots:
The control stats for Blanton: six innings, one walk, 73 percent strikes. For Bard: 1 2/3 innings, six walks, two hit by pitches, 44 percent strikes. Here's a complete list of the pitchers who had walked at least six batters and hit at least two in an outing of two innings or less before Bard:
You might have noticed that one pitch from Bard was so far outside it missed not only the strike zone, but the strike zone plot. Here's where that pitch (to Edwin Encarnacion) was:
And here's where Bard's final pitch of the afternoon (also to Encarnacion) was:
Finally, here's the acrobatic dance of pain Encarnacion did a split second later, which looked a little like a soccer scoring celebration. Sometimes it's even less fun to face a pitcher with control problems than it is to play behind one.