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Scott Kazmir 'Loses' Homecoming Game

Scott Kazmir 2009, edition 2, issue 2

The raw results glow. 99 pitches over five innings with six strikeouts, a walk, and a homerun allowed. That's not too bad. Before I provide the velocity information, let me include a note about Arlington's pitchfx readings. It seems the flat mound or machine or something there leads to velocity readers being a few miles per hour lower than in other stadiums. So Kazmir "sat" around 91-92, but in reality, may have sat closer to 92-93.

To Kazmir's credit his pitches found the zone and the backstop's netting all night, resulting in 60%+ strikes on just about every one of his pitches. His change-up sat ~79-82, slider 81-84, two-seamer 87-92, and ... curve 84. Yes, he actually threw a pitch that registers as a curve, and it looks a lot like David Price's spike curve. I'm not sure if it's intentional, something new, or what.

Kazmir had 12 whiffs through 75 pitches and only induced one over the next 24. 12/75 is ridiculous, and basically 13% overall is pretty good.  I would caution reading too much into these numbers, as they're inflated by hack masters like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Chris Davis. Take those two out of the equation and Kazmir registers six. Still good, but facing the Rangers can inflate your swinging strike rates pretty quickly when Davis and Salty are active.

This didn't seem like a good match-up for Kazmir. The Rangers lineup was predominately right-handed and in a ballpark known for homeruns, Kazmir's fly ball tendencies were less than encouraging. He fared well and used the entire plate against the righties, making his big mistake against lefty Hank Blalock - a slider up and away.

There are some areas of improvement Kazmir can work towards, but let's be honest, this is a lot better than what Kazmir was doing in April.