Updates have been a little slow lately but watching tonight’s game against the Reds made me think. It seems that teams have really started to pitch Pablo pretty hard inside. Currently, it’s the bottom of the 8th and the game is tied 5-5, but I wanted to share my quick observation with a PitchF/X graph. At the moment, the Reds have done a great job containing Pablo. He’s gone 0-4 to this point (the game is still ongoing) with 3 strikeouts.
How have the Reds pitched him? Hard and inside.
This plot represents Pablo’s first 4 at-bats of the game by outcomes. The black square represents the strike zone. The outer red square, the one with the dashed red lines, indicates 6 inches off the normalized strike zone “away” and “in” on Pablo. We all know that Pablo’s got amazing plate coverage, but it’s hard for even skilled hackers like himself to make good contact with pitches that are at least 6 inches off the regular strike zone and in on a hitter.
Let’s check the pitch-types by location.
FF = Four-Seam, FC = Cutter, CH = Changeup
/insert usual caveats about MLBAM pitch-type algorithms here.
I give the Reds a lot of credit. They obviously had a plan on how to pitch Pablo and they stuck with it. Hard stuff in on his hands over and over. Pablo has made some incremental steps this season on laying off really bad pitches. I wonder if this way of pitching him is the next continued trend? At times this season, he’s looked better on laying off the high fastball. I’m guessing his next step this year, as a hitter, will be laying off the way inside stuff.
Anyone else notice this trend? I’m thinking of going back the past 20 or so games to see what the plots look like.