June 26, 2009

Overall, Smoltz Encouraged By Outing

John Smoltz:
I can't be disappointed. Once I got through the first inning, I felt normal again.

I'm very encouraged by how good I can be, and how I felt. ... I was really disappointed on the bloop hit [Anderson Hernandez's single that put the Nats up 4-0]. Two runs is two runs. You're going to give up two runs. But that was pretty much the unfortunate pitch that put their young pitcher in a nice position to have a four-run lead.

In a matter of a few starts I'll be honed into where I want to be. My familiarity will come back real quick in two or three starts.

When I hit Nick Johnson, I kind of sped things up a little bit. All in all, a lot of hits were a product of poor placement and good placement by them. Before you know it, it's 4-0 ...

I definitely have enough [velocity] right now. My fastball is probably better than I give it credit for. I probably didn't establish enough fastballs. ... I know what in-game adjustments I have to make. I'm astute on one thing. This type of game sticks in my memory.
John Farrell:
He's now got 35 innings under his belt. You see it with the guys in our rotation now. The power pitchers don't get their stuff until the fifth, sixth week of the season. Keep in mind, John's just coming out of spring training, as far as we're concerned.
Terry Francona:
There was a little more velocity on his fastball than maybe I expected. I thought he had depth to the split and breaking ball. He just left some up, and early on he got a little ahead of himself in his delivery. I was really encouraged.
SoSH Jnai, on Smoltz's outing, with pitch-f/x data:
Inning 1 was a little bit like watching DiceK on a bad night. He was ineffectively wild, threw the ball all over the place, left some terrible pitches up over the plate, and the Nats hit them. ...

He did seem to settle down as the outing wore on.

As for stuff, let's see. He's throwing a fastball from 90-93.5 with some good movement, an 84-87 mph change that's the featured breaking pitch against LHH, a 82-86 mph slider that's featured against RHH, and a slower (75-78 mph) curve that's used intermittently against both types of hitters. ...

He had a lot of trouble throwing his fastball for strikes ... He also gave up 3 line-drive outs on the changeup, so it was hit fairly hard. ...

Overall, Smoltz was very breaking ball heavy, but exceptionally so for counts where the hitter had a slight advantage. It's like he would fall behind and go to the breaking pitch for strikes rather than being confident in his fastball.


andy said...

Damn Tek!

CometandLuna said...

I know it was a loss last night, but the fact that he didn't continue a poor outing after the first is the most encouraging thing about last night's performance.

Can't wait to see the next outing by Smoltz.

Ish said...

I can't wait to see the next outing also. I said this last night in the game thread: From what I saw - the movement on his breaking balls, the velocity of his fastball, etc. - I am not worried at all.

One thing that bugs me is something Barth said at the tail end of the thread about Smoltz being unimpressive in Pawtucket. I don't see the point on what his results in the games were during his rehab starts. This is still baseball and you will still give up runs. Throw a major league pitcher in an AAA game and he'll still give up a couple runs a game.

What matters is how he's feeling, what his pitches are doing - it's the analysis of the pitcher and not of the pitching performance. Yes, if he was getting shelled in those games we'd have a bit of a problem.

Remember about the ERA. A rehabbing pitcher is going to have an elevated ERA because he's not going to be pitching as many innings.

34 pitches in the first inning. An HBP, a double, a walk, and three singles. Take that away and what do you have?

4 innings, 4 strikeouts, only one run on 3 hits. Retired his last 8 in a row and struck out the side, IN ORDER, in his last inning of work, the 5th.

That's 4 innings throwing 58 pitches. After typical first inning rust in his first major league game in over a year, I was damn impressed.

s1c said...

Low 90's on his FB, low 80's on change that is good. Heard on WRKO last night that he was still getting the feel on his breaking balls. He will be fine

Looking forward to captain kick and total domination tonight. 5-0 .48 ERA career vs Braves!!!

redsock said...

Driveline Mechanics liked Smoltz's start.:

"His velocity is virtually the same on all pitches [as in 2008] and there are no drastic changes in movement either. Also, you have to remember that this is his first major league start in over a year, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a slight decline in stuff. ...

Very few pitches on the middle of the plate and a lot on the edges. His Strike% this game was a fantastic 69%, compared to just over 65% last year and 67.5% the year before. He allowed 7 hits, but 3 of them were on ground balls. He also allowed 6 liners, so you couldn't really say he got that unlucky either. However, with the Red Sox solid defense, you want him attacking the zone and not walking hitters. ...

The fact that his stuff and command appeared to be right at his previously established levels is great news for the Sox."