Right Field

Reveille 9/17/12

Good morning!

With only 16 days left in the regular season, here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:

  • Jack Moore of Fangraphs points out that the second-place Orioles can win in Yankee Stadium, Tropicana Field, Fenway Park, and the Rogers Centre, but not in the Vegas sportsbooks.

  • Also from Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan has a great post detailing the “fifth-weakest dinger of the year,” an Adrian Beltre swing that happened to take place in one of the toughest venues to hit a home run, Petco Park.

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Now I’m a tad color blind, but even I can see the scarcity of blue here as red has become the predominant color. You can also see by the location of the red in pitches down the middle, that Sabathia has not been effective in fooling or overwhelming batters in the heart of the strike zone. This season, batters are hitting .301 against the fastball that is now averaging 92.4 MPH. That’s a jump of 53 points since the 2009 season on a fastball that is slowing down. He’s allowed six gophers among the 74 hits, but he’s also allowed 12 doubles as batters are slugging .488. He has 31 strikeouts on his fastball.

Understand that the diminishing speed of the Sabathia fastball also lessens the the impact of his other pitches as batters have a smaller differential and are less frequently fooled or can make adjustments.


  • The Astros have had little reason to cheer this season but, by taking three of four from the Phillies, including a 7–6 victory on Sunday, Houston crippled Philadelphia’s last-ditch effort to make the postseason.

That’s it. Have a walk-off week and, to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, a good, sweet year!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.


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