A quick-fire post before I settle down this Sunday and get ready for tonight’s game.
(1) Will Vogelsong be able to (again) successfully pitch inside to Cardinal right-handed batters?
Vogelsong’s Game Two start was magnificent. As I noted at the time, Vogelsong really hammered right-handed batters inside with his fastball.
The result was this:
The first image is a heat map of Vogelsong’s “hard stuff” location against Cardinal hitters. Notice the huge amount of pitches on the inside part of the plate. The second image was the Allen Craig strikeout in the third inning — note Craig’s arms, totally pinned against his body as a 92 mph two-seam fastball sails past. Great pitch. Great location. In his Game Two start Vogelsong showed excellent command of his fastball; at first, throwing it away and then, as the game progressed, running it in on hitters. The Cardinals will probably look to protect the inner part of the plate more in today’s game. If so, let’s see how Vogelsong and Posey adjust their plan.
(2) When hitting against Chris Carpenter, look away.
In his Game Two start against the Giants, Chis Carpenter worked almost exclusively away from the Giants’ righties.
Since returning from a pretty serious surgery, Carpenter has — as one might expect — lost a couple of mph off the top end of his fastball.
Despite the loss of velocity, Carpenter’s offspeed stuff still looks pretty good. His game is still centered around throwing pitches that cut and sink and that induce groundballs. (The Giants hit 18 balls in play against Carpenter in Game Two; 11 of them were on the ground.) But if the Giants can take some good swings on fastballs over the middle of the plate, I like the odds.