Like Erik, I’m sure we all want to momentarily forget Jason Motte; however, I was curious how the amount of fastballs he throws to a batter in an at-bat affects the outcome of said at-bat. Clearly this stems form the at-bat that he gave up the home run in which he threw 6 consecutive fastballs.

First Motte in a few situations

Situation wOBA n
All ABs 0.346 240
5+ FB/AB 0.439 47
All ABs>5 pitches 0.350 89

The table is the situation, wOBA against, and the sample size. The 5+ FB/AB situation is at-bats in which the pitcher throws 5 or more fastballs within that at-bat. Clearly our samples are small, but there appears to be a sizable difference between when Motte gives a guy a bunch of fastballs and when he doesn’t. Out of context though, these numbers are somewhat meaningless. Maybe all pitchers are this way. With that in mind I pulled a couple of other pitchers (ideally I’d do league average, but I’m limited on access to my data as I write this). First Adam Wainwright

Situation wOBA n
All ABs 0.285 967
5+ FB/AB 0.333 38
All ABs>5 pitches 0.310 313

The thing I pull out of this is that he was forced into throwing 5+ fastballs much less often than Motte, primarily because he has more weapons to work with. For another point of comparison I offer Chris Perez

Situation wOBA n
All ABs 0.303 238
5+ FB/AB 0.325 33
All ABs>5 pitches 0.319 100

About the same frequency, but much better results. Possible explanation would be better movement on his fastball, and the fact that he does have the slider that the hitters need to think about too.

Clearly nothing conclusive here, but it’s definitely interesting.  Probably even insightful.

Steve Sommer

Simulation analyst by day, father and baseball nerd by night

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One Response to “Jason Motte and his Fastball Ways”

  1. Well, it’s clear that Motte needs to throw less fastballs. He throws just over 3/4ths of his pitches for fastballs (too much!) and batters are expecting it. At least he’s been working on an out-pitch. Unfortunately it’s another fastball.

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