Search Archives
Analyze This

Do you have something you would like to analyze? Send us a note and we will be happy to do the research!

What's New
  • September 13 - Bill Chuck
    Felix is good, he's just not a king this season
  • September 13 - David Pinto
    Morrow with Men On
  • September 13 - David Golebiewski
    Vernon Wells: Historically Bad Power Hitter
  • September 13 - Jonathan Scippa
    Top HR Hitters since the All-Star Break
  • September 12 - David Pinto
    Desmond Jennings and Selectivity

In Broadcast Analysis
Twitter Feeds
  • Bill Chuck (Editor)
  • Dave Golebiewski
  • David Pinto
  • Jonathan Scippa
Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Facebook Page

Analytics Posts
  • Morrow with Men On
  • Felix is good, he's just not a king this season
  • Vernon Wells: Historically Bad Power Hitter
  • Top HR Hitters since the All-Star Break
  • Desmond Jennings and Selectivity
  • Pomeranz makes MLB debut
  • Top Bat-Missing Fastballs of 2011
  • Javy Vazquez Finds His Fastball
  • Sanchez Fools Batters and Computers
  • Haren Loses His Cutter
  • Baseball Analytics Blog RSS

« Randy Choate: Lefty Killer | Main | Scott Rolen's Vanishing Walk Rate »

Axford's Highs and Lows

John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers may or may not lose his closer role to Francisco Rodriguez.  Axford has been striking out batters at a high rate this season, thanks to his ability to change the level of his pitches.  Axford throws his fastball high in the strike zone, and batters chase it:

John Axford, swing rate on fastballs, 2011.While they swing high, they don't make contact high:

John Axford, contact rate on fastballs, 2011.The high fastball presents the batter with less time to swing, and a poor angle for making contact with a slight upper cut.  Twenty six percent of plate appearances against John that end in fastballs end in strikeouts.

The high fastball also sets up the curve.  John's curve breaks sharply down.  Batters are good at recognizing  a curve in the strike zone:

John Axford, swing rate on curve balls, 2011.The problem, however, is that they are recognizing those as high pitches, so they swing and miss:

John Axford, contact rate on curve balls, 2011.Forty-eight percent of plate appearances that end on a curve go down as strikeouts.  By buzzing batters high, and then breaking the ball low, Axford gets opposing batters to generate a lot of wind, and earns saves for the Brewers.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: