Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Snooze Button

I couldn't be happier about two things: 1) The Giants finally notched their second victory. 2) I feel asleep immediately following Kevin Correia's perfect eighth inning.

What I learned this morning is that Armando Benitez tried his mightiest to blow the game for Matt Morris and Co. in the ninth inning, giving up two runs before closing the game. Had I been awake to see the Benitez debacle, I surely would have punched myself in the stomach. Like most of Giants Nation, I can't stand Benitez. I really don't even want to talk about him anymore.

What I do want to mention is an interesting fact I learned while watching the broadcast via the Padres home announcing crew of Matt Vasgersian and former Giants pitcher Mark Grant. (I rank that duo as my second favorite baseball broadcasting team behind Kruk and Kuip. They're that good.)

Through the first two games of the series, the Padres broadcast has highlighted an assortment of stats that you would otherwise never even think about. For example, Gaylord Perry has the lowest Giants ERA against the Padres (minimum 35 innings) at 1.40. Matt Cain is fifth at 1.89. Also, Marcus Giles led the league last year in swinging at the first pitch - a whopping 52% of the time. Pedro Feliz (whom OZ rightly refers to as the "Shareef Abdur-Rahim" of the Kings) was seventh in the league at just under 40%.

At any rate, it's not hard to notice that Matt Morris throws a TON of curveballs. I've actually thought to myself before, in all seriousness, that Morris must throw more curveballs than any other pitcher in the game. You know what? He does! And the Padres team had a stat for it!

The top five % of pitches that were curveballs by starting pitchers last year (I can't believe somebody keeps track of this):
Matt Morris - 28.6%
Chris Carpenter - 21%
Somebody I can't remember - 20.5%
Dave Bush - 20%
Brad Penny - 19%

That's a LOT of curveballs. He's probably throwing even more this year, judging by his two starts. I'd say 40% of his pitches last night had to be curveballs. He's getting away with it though and is off to a fine start to the season.

3 comments:

OZ said...

No mention of the hand the baseball gods had in the Giants offense getting started? How else would a gold glove center fielder miss a routine pop fly?

SonDog said...

There was no way they were going 1-7. They may go 2-7 after Maddux tonight, but they weren't going 1-7!

DMo said...

Good call on the 2-7. I forgot we already had won our 1 for the week. Not even Benitez could blow Morris's pitching.