I Hate Seeing the Bucs Flag Being Raised in Cleveland
I attended my first Indians game this summer on July 24th and saw so much offence…from the opposing team. The Tribe played the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were on a huge winning streak at the time and decided to tee-off on Shane Bieber. Bieber ended up being pulled out in the second innings with 7 runs on over 50 pitches. With that being said, I wanted to look at the offence power of this team, since they have seemed to come out of nowhere. They are currently 3rd in the NL Central, but if they keep up the offense, the 7 games they are back will disappear.
In the 5th inning, Josh Bell homered to right. He is a switch hitter who gets a hit 5.9% of the time. From the chart below, we can see where the pitchers need to stop throwing to Bell. He seems to be good down the middle, lower in the zone. I am sure these are balls that move toward the middle, or mistakes by the pitcher. I feel like the Tribe pitcher left one down the middle on that night.
We can also look at where the field position players could shift to when he comes up to bat. It looks like most Bell’s hits are in “no man’s land”, aka the space in front of the center field and too far for the short stop or 2nd baseman to get to. This is good placement for the batter, but very hard to get to as a position player. If I were a coach, I would consider moving my infield over to the first base side and drop them back to shallow grass, to try to inhabit “no man’s land”.
In the 2nd inning, Corey Dickerson triples to center, scoring two. He is a left-handed batter who gets a hit a staggering 8% of the time. With being a left handed batter, we can tell from the graph below that Dickerson enjoys low-inside pitches. These tend to be hard pitches to hit, so I can see where a pitcher would throw a ball in this location. If I were the pitcher, I would try to keep the ball high, and hit the corners, because he seems to have a harder time with those.
For the lay-out of the field, I don’t think I would move the field around too much. He has a very wide hit area, spreading all over the field. If anything, I would back up my infield, but I’m not sure how useful that would be in the long run. I would just be ready for anything as a position player.
To start this game off Starling Marte hit a bomb to left. He is a right-handed hitter who get a hit 7.1% of the time. If I were the pitcher at the time, I would have tried to keep the ball high and mainly inside, since he has very little success with those balls. But I have a feeling the pitch that was throw got into his sweet sport, which is right down the middle, and possibly a hit outside.
As a right-handed batter, Marte likes to pull the ball, which is interesting because he likes to hit the outside ball. If you want to pull a ball, the best pitch to pull is an inside pitch. An outside pitch should go to the left side of the field, so I have a feeling his hits don’t have much power but find a hole. The graph below shows that most of his hits seem to be right behind the third baseman, so I would try to push my third baseman back a bit, or even move my left fielder in a tad.
I wish the Tribe had this information before I was embarrassed by my friend’s team. It is very interesting to see the strengths and weakness of each batter, and I believe every pitcher should know this going into the game. Yes, there will always be mistakes, or lucky hits by batters, but there could be less runs/hits if everyone involved knows how to throw around the batter or how to defend properly. There is always next time Cleveland.
MLB Advanced Media, LP. Statcast Search. n.d. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/statcast_search.
ESPN. n.d. http://www.espn.com/mlb/game?gameId=380724105.