A Baseball Weblog

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dominance from Lincecum

Tim Lincecum was simply filthy yesterday, throwing a complete game two-hitter with 14 strikeouts against only one walk. If you include the 3 foul tips, he generated a ridiculous 31 swinging strikes in his 119 pitch outing. He showed all five of his pitches, though only one curveball by my count. The columns below (click for a larger image) show pitch mix, including lefty/righty splits:


Lincecum has one of the harder repertoires to classify. He has a two-seamer, a four-seamer that usually cuts, a changeup, a slider, and a curveball; since is motion is straight over the top, nothing has a whole lot of horizontal movement, and that makes the slider, changeup, and curveball difficult to distinguish. Whatever the pitches were, they were working against the Braves yesterday. Here are some metrics for each pitch.


#SwingsWhiff Rate Zone Rate Chase RateRV/100
FF3615.600.444.150-1.86
FT3618.500.444.350-5.18
SL2817.471.429.563-9.35
CH1851.000.111.313-3.45
CU10


3.69

11955.564.387.329-4.84

Whiff rate = swinging strikes / swings
Zone rate = pitches in the strike zone / total pitches
Chase rate = swing rate on pitches out of the strike zone / pitches out of the strike zone
RV/100 = linear weights run values per 100 pitches, a stat that John Walsh (among others) popularized in February 2008. The values were kindly provided by Dan Brooks of brooksbaseball.net.

The Braves' batters missed on over 56% of the pitches that Lincecum got them to swing at. Even for one game, that is extremely impressive (over a full season, it's rare to see even a 30% whiff rate from a pitcher). Even though he hit the strikezone with less than 40% of his pitches (below both his average and the major league average), he got enough swings out of the zone to make up for it. It's worth noting that no Atlanta hitter made contact with the changeup yesterday.

There's not really much else to say. Lincecum was completely and utterly dominant, and even though he reached 94 mph only one time, he was able to fool the Braves with both his offspeed pitches and his heaters.


Gameday PITCHf/x data are from MLB Advanced Media.

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