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May 17, 2013
The Longest Plate Appearance of the Week, 5/17
Last Friday, I started a new series in which I'll be breaking down, marveling at, and ruminating on the longest plate appearance of the preceding week. This is the second installment of that series. The inaugural edition featured a 12-pitch showdown between Mike Moustakas and Chris Sale that remains exactly as interesting as it was when it was published, so if you want to watch that plate appearance, click this link. If you’ve already seen it, or you’re interested only in the latest longest plate appearance, read on.
Longest Plate Appearance of the Week, 5/9-5/15
1. 0-0: 85-mph slider, ball
Parnell starts Marte off with a slider off the inside part of the plate for a ball.
2. 1-0: 96-mph four-seamer, foul ball
This one's in the same general location—just slightly more centered—but it comes in 11 mph faster. Marte gets jammed a bit by the 96-mph heat but fights it off the other way.
3. 1-1: 96-mph two-seamer, called strike
Now Parnell goes low and to the outside corner, and he gets the call. According to Brooks Baseball, this one was in the strike zone, but Buck's presentation of the pitch helped make sure that it was called that way.
4. 1-2: 85-mph curveball, ball
Parnell misses low, and Marte doesn't chase.
5. 2-2: 98-mph two-seamer, ball
The mirror image of the previous pitch (but faster), and again Marte lays off . He's now seen five pitches, and we've come to a full count.
6. 3-2: 97-mph two-seamer, foul ball
Marte is down to his last strike, but that's not a tentative, stay-alive swing. Its violence is unchecked, and he times it correctly, fouling it straight back. PITCHf/x says this was a ball, which suggests that Marte could have taken his walk after only six pitches and saved everyone some time.
7. 3-2: 97-mph two-seamer, foul ball
Even though Marte was synched up with the previous blazing sinker, Parnell comes back with another only slightly faster. However, he does vary its location, and Marte spoils another borderline pitch.
8. 3-2: 98-mph two-seamer, foul ball
This is just gas, as Parnell gues up in the zone in search of a swinging strike but couldn't miss Marte's bat. Again, Marte takes a pretty ferocious hack. His two-strike swing is far from restrained.
9. 3-2: 97-mph two-seamer, foul ball
These pitches look so similar that for a moment I thought I'd embedded the same GIF twice. In last week's long plate appearance, Chris Sale didn't throw any two consecutive pitches of the same type and speed to the same spot. Parnell breaks the "vary velocity or location" rule here, but he has enough heat that Marte still swings late.
10. 3-2: 96-mph two-seamer, foul ball
This pitch is the closest to the center of the strike zone, but Marte can't keep it fair.
11. 3-2: 88-mph slider, foul ball
Since he can't blow a fastball by Marte (and since he's shown him three straight heaters), Parnell goes back to the slider to try to get a whiff. Instead, he gets a sixth consecutive foul ball.
12. 3-2: 87-mph slider, foul ball
Another slider, a little lower and farther toward the outside corner. This is the pitch Parnell threw farthest outside of the zone without a corresponding take, as Marte swings at what probably would've been ball four. He's made more contact on on out-of-zone pitches this season, but it's in this case, it's not quality contact.
13. 97-mph four-seamer, ball
After seeing two sliders, Marte gets another fastball, and he takes it for a walk. Buck desperately tries to frame the pitch, but home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher is unmoved.
You might've liked to see Marte take a couple of pitches that he swung at instead, and of course the outcome might have been even better if he'd put one of those fouls into play. On the whole, though, it was an impressive performance from the 24-year-old outfielder, who wore Parnell out with his above-average ability to put the bat on the ball.