This is quite an interesting example of how blogs, the Internet, and new technology are improving our world, our culture, and our American way of life. Major League Baseball has installed cameras in 20 ballparks or so that allow MLB’s Gameday to chart the speed and trajectory of every pitch thrown in a ballgame, and the results are archived (click on the Gameday link). USS Mariner blogging dude Dave Cameron studied the data for the Mariners’ ace pitcher, young Felix Hernandez, and found he’s been throwing too many fastballs in the first inning. So he sends the pitching coach an e-mail, which he passes on to Felix, and things change:
This team needs Felix to be better in 2007 than he has been. Since itâ€™s unlikely that you can fix his command before his next start, there has to be another way you can help Felix get over his first inning struggles. Thankfully, I believe there is. Itâ€™s pitch selection.
Last night (6/26), Felix threw 10 straight fastballs to start the game. Coco Crisp singled on an 0-2 fastball. Dustin Pedroia singled on the first pitch he saw, a pitch he knew was going to be a fastball. David Ortiz drew a four pitch walk, all on fastballs. The bases were loaded with nobody out after 8 pitches, all fastballs.
In his previous start against the Pirates (6/21), Felix threw 13 consecutive fastballs to start the game. Those 13 pitches turned into 5 outs, as the Pirates hitters arenâ€™t very good.
Of course, this could go too far, as we certainly don’t want Mike Lascioscia taking Matt Welch’s lineup and batting order suggestions.
Anyhow, computers are cool, and so is baseball. Link via Slate.