Trent Thornton and some fun

Trent Thornton, today’s starting pitcher for Toronto, doesn’t present anything unusual for Major League batters or fans to look for or deal with.  He has a pretty good strikeout rate, but also a pretty high walk rate and a pretty high rate for home runs.  That doesn’t require any deep mathematical research and analysis to figure him out:

He’s like most big league pitchers.  If he hits the black, you’re going to have a problem.  But quite often, he misses which results in many pitches outside the zone, and many very hittable and inside the zone.

That being said, by taking a quick look at his heat maps, one can see that when he makes mistakes, he does have a tendency to make them inside to right-handed batters.  Not too uncommonly, pitches presumably intended for the inside corners (both high and low) to right-handed batters end up middle in.  As you would imagine, the results typically haven’t been good for him.  With a lineup filled with numerous patient and powerful right-handed batters, that’s something to keep an eye on today.

Somewhat tangentially, it is so cool to be a baseball fan today.  In about 10 minutes online, I found out more about Trent Thornton’s performance and skillset than previous generations would ever know.  It wasn’t that long ago that people would have to watch opposing pitchers and make educated guesses as to what to expect.  Today any amateur with a laptop knows – no guesswork, educated or otherwise – is necessary.

Today’s game is so cool, part 2:

Last night Aroldis Chapman came on to protect a 2 run lead against a poor team in general and specifically a poor offensive team.  Chapman hit triple digits on the radar gun on multiple occasions topping out at 102 mph.  One.  Hundred.  Two.  MPH.

And Toronto still managed to scratch together two hits and a run to make us all a little concerned.

All I kept thinking is how insanely good Major League players are.  This dude is throwing one oh two, for cryin’ out loud, and a below average team can still hit him.  Ridiculous.

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