Sunday, April 21, 2013

Anatomy of two really bad starts

Rick Porcello of the Tigers and Philip Humber of the Houston Astros both made starts yesterday for their respective teams. To say that those starts did not go well is like saying that a glacier might move slowly. Between the two of them, they totaled one inning pitched. Combined, they gave up seventeen runs. Now that, folks, is a bad day.

Let us start with Rick Porcello. Porcello threw 47 pitches and got two outs. Both outs came on a double-play grounder. He threw 32 strikes, ten of which the Angels put in play. Of those ten in play, nine fell in safely for hits. Eight of those hits were singles and then Mike Trout hit a grand slam to finish Porcello's day. In between was a walk and a wild pitch. Here is Porcello's pitch chart courtesy of Brooks Baseball:

While Rick Porcello got singled to death before giving up the grand slam, Humber was whacked all over the place. Humber actually recorded the first out with the first batter. He never got another batter out. The sequence went: single, single, double, walk, homer, double, single and double. Ouch. 

Philip Humber made 29 pitches. 17 of them were strikes. Ten of those were put in play. Eight of those put in play led to thirteen total bases. Eight of the ten batters he faced scored.  Here is his pitch chart. It appears to me that he threw a lot more meatballs than Porcello:

So what do you get when you add both outings together? You get a real nasty mess:

Porcello Humber combined
Innings 0.2 0.1 1
Pitches 47 29 76
Strikes 32 17 49
Batters 11 10 21
Balls in play 10 9 19
Hits 9 8 17
BABIP 0.900 0.889 0.895
Runs 9 8 17
ERA 121.44 215.57 153.00

That would pretty much tell the tale of two pitchers having a really, really bad day.

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