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June 27, 2014

Working the Count

Starting Pitcher Repertoires and Times Through the Order

by Noah Woodward


Last week, Clayton Kershaw put on quite a show. He struck out 15 Rockies out of the 28 he faced, and he threw a first-pitch strike in 21 of those at-bats. He faced each Rockies hitter (with the exception of Corey Dickerson) no more than three times, and he set down all but one of those hitters every time.

What interests me isn’t the number of strikeouts Kershaw collected on the way to no-hitting Colorado. Instead, I’m interested in the way in which Kershaw used his repertoire and how he varied his pitch usage each time he turned over that Rockies lineup.

Conventional wisdom might suggest that a starting pitcher save his off-speed pitches until he makes his way through the opposing lineup a second or a third time. You might assume that in throwing predominately fastballs the first time through the order, a starter keeps his edge over opposing hitters.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/27)
<< Previous Column
Working the Count: The... (06/13)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Working the Count: The... (07/18)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/27)

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