Jeff Niemann Goes Eight, Jason Isringhausen Debuts

Pretty results for Niemann, but tonight he threw 81% fastballs.  He did go to his slider six times tonight, his change four times, and his curve 11 times. Of 109 pitches, only one resulted in a swing and a miss. That's less than 1%. Abysmal. To Niemann's credit, he did throw a few of those "curve-curve" patterns I talked about following his last start. I think I counted three occurrences. After the Rays got a comfortable lead, it was fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball- fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball- fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball. That's 24 straight to end his outing. Take those pitches out of the equation and you get closer to 70% fastballs.

One word about fastballs. All along, Gameday has been classifying everything as a four-seamer. I don't think that's the case. Look at this, compared to this:

Break_php_medium

It appears like there's two distinct clusters at work. If this is the case, then all of those numbers we've been talking about for average movement are pretty useless. That doesn't mean he should still be using 70% fastballs, and heavens no 80% fastball nights, but it does mean he can throw a fastball that has a lot more tail than the one usually credited to him. Without going through each start on a hand-by-hand bias I have no idea how much the data is off. Rather than using false data, let's just toss it out. We know that Niemann's four-seamer moves up, but little horizontally, his two-seamer rides in to righties. The four-seamer is the pitch getting hammered more often than not, while the two-seamer is generating grounders at a pretty good rate, here's tonight's view:

Break_php_medium

So new gameplan; less fastballs, less four-seamers, more bendy, more sinkers. Thanks much.

---

As for Isringhausen. Six four-seamers (cuts inside to righties, average velo around 90), two sinkers, a pair of sliders, four curves, and a single cutter. Everything moved, and almost everything wound up over the plate, most of it coming down the middle. Isringhausen's inning could hardly have came in a lower leverage situation, but whatever, he looked a lot more crisp than expected. Interested to see more of him moving forward, even if I'm not going to lower my expectations of a ~4.75-5 FIP quite yet.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker