People have noted that the No. 1 starter hasn’t been effective in his two starts, with no strikeouts on Saturday against the Cubs. I’ve read that he didn’t have his curveball in either start, but these stats on Fangraphs.com show something completely different: He’s throwing a lot of sliders and not as many fastballs. And the fastball’s about 2 mph slower than usual.
Here’s a summary of the data:
2007: 66 percent fastballs, 11 percent sliders, 16 percent curves, and 7 percent changeups. 2006 and 2005 look similar.
2008: 57 percent fastballs, 26 percent sliders, 16 percent curves, and only 1 percent changes.
Not sure what the problem is, but when a power pitcher stops throwing his power pitch and starts throwing twice as many sliders, that doesn’t seem like a good sign.