Is Clay Buchholz pitch tipping?
September 30th, 2009 by czar

I’m not saying it’s likely, merely pointing out that A.) Changeups are the pitches most susceptible to being tipped (that is, almost 100% of the changeup’s effectiveness is derived from the ability to deceive the batter with the same slot and arm speed as a fastball) and B.) attributing yesterday as merely a statistical occurrence (that is, all external factors; pitch tipping, sickness, etc. ignored) seemed somewhat dubious given someone with such a “good” changeup and such a low HR/AB rate who suddenly gave up 5 HR in 5 IP, 3 of which occurred on a pitch which has probably been his best this season (EV’s slider discussion not withstanding).

However, maybe it wasn’t so anomalous as my mind tricked me into believing…

Clay Buchholz 2009 Home Runs
HR# Date Batter @Bat Score Inn Out RoB bWPA bWE Pitch Type
1 2009-07-22 Ian Kinsler TEX behind 0-1 b 3 0 0.12 0.56 CH
2 2009-08-02 Ty Wigginton BAL behind 4-7 b 3 2 -2- 0.17 0.4 FB
3 2009-08-02 Adam Jones BAL behind 6-14 b 5 0 0.01 0.03 CH
4 2009-08-13 Ryan Raburn DET ahead 1-0 t 7 1 0.13 0.78 FB
5 2009-08-24 Gordon Beckham CHW ahead 2-1 t 3 0 -2- 0.12 0.78 CH
6 2009-08-24 Paul Konerko CHW behind 4-9 t 5 2 1-3 0.14 0.21 FB
7 2009-09-18 Luke Scott BAL behind 0-1 b 2 2 0.11 0.51 CH
8 2009-09-29 Jose Bautista TOR tied 0-0 t 1 0 0.09 0.59 FB
9 2009-09-29 Adam Lind TOR ahead 1-0 t 1 0 1– 0.13 0.75 CH
10 2009-09-29 Aaron Hill TOR ahead 4-1 t 2 1 0.07 0.81 CH
11 2009-09-29 Kevin Millar TOR ahead 5-2 t 3 2 0.07 0.82 CH
12 2009-09-29 Adam Lind TOR ahead 6-2 t 5 0 0.04 0.93 FB
Home Runs by Pitch Type
Type HR % Thrown Pit/HR
CH 7 0.24 48.92
CU 0 0.12 INF
FB 5 0.55 160.4

… as long as the Pf/X classification was correct on these pitches (that’s where I pulled the data from; if anyone knows where this is aggregated so I don’t have to dig through the individual games, please post!), maybe it was just a really, really bad game.

The HR Millar hit was a hanging curve, high in the zone (I was at the game), and I think at least one of the balls Lind hit was a fastball that couldn’t have been set on a tee any better.

Millar – Changeup
Lind (2) – Fastball

Pf/X got them both right.

Posted in Message Board Ramblings


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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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