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Entries in CC Sabathia (15)


InDepth Recap: CC Sabathia's Opening Day Slider

CC Sabathia's Slider Location
(Click to enlarge)

Sabathia didn't have his best slider in the Yankees' opener yesterday. His location was off as it hung up in the zone quite a bit. Over the last three seasons, batters have made contact on his slider 56.1 percent of the time. On 24 sliders yesterday afternoon, the Tigers made contact 77.8 percent, primarily on pitches in the strike zone. Obviously, it's only one game's worth of data, but it was clear he wasn't able to keep the pitch down like he normally does.

BrkX and BrkZ values provided by PitchFX measure the number of inches the ball moves horizontally and vertically as a result of the spin on the ball read from when it is 40 ft from home plate. Sabathia traditionally gets about 5.1 inches of BrkX (horizontal) movement on his slider. Yesterday it averaged 2.8 inches. From 2008-2010, PitchFX data has Sabathia throwing 2060 sliders in regular and postseason games combined. Only 450 of those sliders have had a BrkX reading less than 3.0.

One game's worth of data is not enough to draw any significant conclusions on one pitch. Besides, it was cold, and CC usually takes a few starts to get going. If he's still hanging his slider up in the zone in a couple weeks, then it might be time to worry.


Too Much Plate

CC Sabathia ran into trouble this post season due to his inability to hit the outside edge of the plate against right-handed batters.  During the regular season, CC worked middle-out against RHB.

CC Sabathia vs. RHB, 2010 regular season.In the post season, his most frequent pitches are down the middle of the plate. 

CC Sabathia vs. RHB, first two starts of 2010 post season. Since righties have less of the plate to cover, they're hitting CC hard.  In the Wednesday afternoon game, watch to see if Sabathia can hit the outside corner as a clue that he's back on track.


ALCS Game One Strikezone

Here are the heatmaps for both C.J. Wilson and CC Sabathia from last night's ALCS Game One, separated by balls and called strikes as determined by home plate umpire Gerry Davis.

C.J. Wilson's Called Ball Frequency (36 pitches)CC Sabathia's Called Ball Frequency (42 pitches)C.J. Wilson's Called Strike Frequency (46 pitches)CC Sabathia's Called Strike Frequency (37 pitches)

Early in the game, it seemed as though Sabathia was not getting the paint on the outside corner to righty batters.  However, it looks like Gerry Davis wasn’t calling pitches on the upper left side of the zone much for either pitcher.  It just seemed to harm CC more since he kept trying to hit that spot early on.

However, when comparing Wilson’s called strikes to Sabathia’s called balls, it appears Wilson was getting that lower right portion of the zone more.  In fact, CC seemed to miss out on a few calls that were probably within that lower right portion of the strikezone.

Combining the called strike and ball data gives us the called strike rates for both pitchers:

C.J. Wilson's Called Strike RateCC Sabathia's Called Strike Rate

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