A Feature Is Born

» 17 May 2010 » In npb »

On May 7, Hideaki Wakui of the Seibu Lions tossed a one-hitter against the SoftBank Hawks. A lot of the players involved commented that Wakui was throwing harder than usual, which gave me an itch to find out how much harder. I scratched.

Here’s a breakdown of Wakui’s repertoire in his 2010 starts prior to his May 7 gem, in mph:

pitch min max avg
fastball 82.5 91.875 87.51
curve 63.75 76.25 69.66
slider 74.375 84.375 79.02
changeup 75.625 81.875 79.18
cut fastball 81.25 81.25 81.25
shuuto 80 90.625 87.01
forkball 75.625 83.75 80.14

What jumps out at me here is the variance in velocity for each of his pitches, particularly the curveball.

Here’s Wakui’s breakdown for May 7:

pitch min max avg
fastball 86.875 93.125 90.04
curve 65.625 72.5 69.38
slider 75 83.75 80.69
changeup 80 83.125 81.77
shuuto 88.75 90.625 89.38
forkball 80.625 83.75 82.19

On May 7, Wakui found a few extra mph on his fastball and changeup, and also worked in his high range with the rest of his stuff as well.

I turned this itch into a bolt-on feature for the Data Site, so this breakdown is available for every game I have velocity data on. I’m working on a way to make this type of data available in aggegrate, but won’t make any promises as to when it might show up on the live site. NPB Tracker Data is basically the culmination of a series of itch scratches, so the way this addition came together is fitting. The css formating of the Data site is a kind of messed up right now, so if there are any designers or css whizzes out there who wouldn’t mind helping me fix it, drop me a line.

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