O'Flaherty's bad day

O’Flaherty threw 60 pitches today, 43 for strikes. Here’s how it went down:

14 sliders - 3 in play outs, 2 called strikes, 1 swinging strike, 2 fouls, 1 hit (double), 5 balls
37 fastballs - 2 in play outs, 8 called strikes (1 strikeout), 1 swinging strike, 9 fouls, 6 hits (homerun, double, 4 singles), 11 balls
8 changeups - 5 swinging strikes (1 strikeout), 1 foul, 1 hit (double), 1 ball
1 curveball - 1 fielders choice (the groundout to Yuni that he threw home).

For those following along with our home game edition:

64% strikes on sliders but only one missed swing. The one hit was a by Howie Kendrick, batting right handed, and it was the play Morse was twisting and turning around like an idiot on. This was the first “bad defense” play that hurt O’Flaherty. Two of the outs were recorded on right handers as well. Normally, a lefty pitcher wont throw a slider to a righty, unless they’re darned sure they can get it really in on them (Arthur Rhodes, Randy Johnson type sliders). Normally, a lefty pitcher would throw more changeups to righty hitters, because it tails away from them. As you can see by the changeup results above, maybe this was partially the result of bad pitch selection.

70% strikes on fastballs and, again, only one swinging strike. However, looking at the Gameday PitchFX data, there’s some interesting results on the pitches made:

Kotchman got the first fastball hit, and it was a 91mph belt high fastball on the outer half of the plate. Not a good pitch. Kotch had just stared at a slider, so throwing a fastball away was a bad call. I don’t know if that was Burke or if O’Flaherty missed his spot, but it wasn’t a good pitch at all. This is a mistake pitch he didn’t get away with. This was also a bad defensive play by Ibanez, rather, it’s one that an average left fielder makes. Ibanez had to play it on a hop and then flinched at it when he misjudged the hop. This is the second “bad defensive” play that hurt O’Flaherty.

Please bear in mind, if EITHER of those defensive plays are made, the inning is over.

The Mathis double in the 7th wasn’t that bad of a pitch. I mean, go look at the pitch location yourself if you want. According to Gameday, the fastball was nearly in the opposing batters box. Mathis just went out and poked it. Good hitting or dumb luck? Neither, Mike Morse sucks in right field.

Right after him, Aybar performs a good piece of hitting, pulling an inside 89mph fastball down the left field line. The pitch location has that thing in and slightly off the plate. Good hitting or dumb luck? Your judgment call there.

The Figgins single comes next that drops in front of Ichiro. This fastball is a 91mph fastball even FARTHER inside then the pitch that Aybar hit. It’s way in on his hands and he fights it off for a single. Good hitting or dumb luck? Neither, the Angels are annoying and live off these duck snort hits.

After the double steal, HGH Jr comes up and grounds a ball back through the box that probably would have been fielded if the infield wasn’t up for a play at the plate. Good hitting or dumb luck? I call this situational frustration. The pitch was on the outer black of the plate, so it wasn’t a horrible mistake by O’Flaherty.

The last hit on O’Flaherty’s fastball was the Mathis home run. There’s no defending this pitch. It’s a belt high 89mph fastball on the inner half of the plate. A total mistake that even a scrub like Mathis can drive out of a ball park.

As for the rest, the changeups were working wonders against the righties. Vlad Guerrero looked like a chump on two from Potatoes and the only person who didn’t flail at his offspeed pitch was Howie Kendrick, who hit a changeup off the plate and away for a double. That’s a good piece of hitting, really. Tip your cap to that.

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