Friday, September 23, 2016

"25 Things You Didn't Know About Baseball"


1. 1. Seth Lugo’s curveball is a vertical tornado.


MLB’s data on the spin rate of pitches goes back to 2008, and coming into this season, only 26 times had a pitcher thrown a curveball that turns at least 3,300 rpm. Then came Seth Lugo, he of the curveball that did this in his debut for the New York Mets.

That was a 3,485-rpm spinner that Anthony Rizzo swung through before it bent and hit him on his back foot. When you’re striking out on a pitch that should automatically place you on first base, you’ve swung at a good pitch.


Of the 796 pitches Lugo has thrown, 76 have been 3,300-rpm-plus curveballs. The rest of the major leagues this year has done so 34 times.


7. The Brewers, the base-stealingest team in half a decade, take crazy leads.

One of the best parts of Statcast is it can measure just about anything on a baseball field, and that includes the distance, to the inch, of a lead off a base. At the moment a pitcher makes his first move to the plate, Milwaukee runners who attempt a steal average 12.4 feet off first base. Toronto is next best at 12.1 feet, whereas, the A’s and Orioles average a mere 10.2 feet.


11. Chris Young’s fastball wasn’t just bad. It was historically bad.