The Mockingbird

Jesse Litsch – What Went Right?

with 11 comments

As I mentioned last week, Jesse Litsch has been all over the place as he learns on the mound this year. Fortunately, the good people at pitch f/x managed to capture his latest gem against the Yankees in all it’s glory, so we can dissect it to see what he’s figured out to get over his late-season slump.

Here is a graph of the movement on his pitches that befuddled the Yankees. As could be expected, it looks a lot more like his gem against the Mariners than when he was getting shelled. His changeup is back, and although it’s not dropping as much consistently, he’s throwing it more often than he ever has.

Also of note is that there isn’t much difference, if any, between his two big breaking pitches any more. This is good since his cutter/sinker/whatever has progressively started cutting further down and in this season. It has as much movement as his slider which almost makes that pitch redundant. Instead, Litsch is concentrating on a breaking ball that is halfway between his slow looping curve and faster slider, and throwing it as often as he was those two combined.

He was also getting his curve over for strikes low in the zone, and trying to back-door the Yankee’s left-handed hitters with it. Surprisingly, a lot of hit cutters ended relatively high in the zone, which is why he did get hit hard but for a lot of ground balls. He did manage to keep his tailing fastball low and away.

All in all, a nice way to end the year for the 22 year old – not just because he shut down the best offensive team in the majors, but because he did it with a return to consistency and a slightly streamlined approach that could help him continue that going into next season, wherever he ends up.


Written by halejon

September 25, 2007 at 5:44 pm

11 Responses

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  1. Great stuff!


    September 25, 2007 at 7:00 pm

  2. Thanks man, just getting started on this for the long, cold offseason. Once I get the full database in, it’s going to be madness. Quick, what’s J-mac’s average on 92+ mph fastballs on the inside half of the plate? Do we really want to know???


    September 26, 2007 at 5:34 pm

  3. I’m going with “broken bat” and “bloop single”.


    September 26, 2007 at 8:02 pm

  4. I’m going with “zero contact” on anything over 94. Seriously, just look at his swing and I don’t know why the word isn’t out to just throw everything down the middle as hard as you can. One of my favorite moments of the year was when Kenny Rogers threw him an 0-2 curveball and was cursing himself as it was still coming out of his hand.

    Wow, he sure learns a guy’s stuff though…# of at bats in the game against the starter? 1/2/3 he’s hitting .183/.267/.351.


    September 27, 2007 at 3:16 am

  5. How does that split compare with league average?


    September 28, 2007 at 8:35 pm

  6. League average is .270/.277/.286


    September 28, 2007 at 8:42 pm

  7. […] Jesse Litsch – What Went Right? […]

  8. […] September 25, Jonathan Hale published “Jesse Litsch–What Went Right?“, an article about Jesse Litsch’s September 25th […]

  9. […] September 25, Jonathan Hale published “Jesse Litsch–What Went Right?“, an article about Jesse Litsch’s September 25th […]

  10. […] far using pitch f/x it’s been pretty easy to break down what is important for Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, and A.J. Burnett to be effective. Compare a really good start to a really bad one and things pop […]

  11. […] September 25, he published “Jesse Litsch–What Went Right?“, an article about Jesse Litsch’s September 25th […]

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