Two Reasons Max Scherzer Got Tougher


Last week, I spent some time breaking down Max Scherzer’s great start against the Indians and pointed out some factors that led to his success: 1) command of his fastball 2) better velocity 3) and increasing velocity in the late innings. But Scherzer was strong again yesterday and I took a quick peak as to why. Here are two things I found:

1) Excellent Command

First, let’s look at his strikezone plot from the Indians start


He stayed away from the high 1/4 of the zone, only pitching there four times. But let’s look at yesterday:


Scherzer threw one pitch that was in the zone and in the top 1/4 of the zone. One. There are also fewer pitches in the dirt and a few more at hitting height but outside the reach of the hitters.

2) Fastball Movement

Here’s a plot of Scherzer’s velocity and horizontal movement from the Cleveland start and then the Twins start.



These graphs are on identical horizontal scales. Look at how much more movement he got on his fastball and changeup.

Velocity is great, Scherzer has it. Command is great, Scherzer has it. Movement is great, Scherzer has it. He’s having his best season so far and should probably start thinking about making reservations in New York for the Midsummer Classic.


4 responses

  1. […] ERA, 2.39 FIP, 2.4 WAR) who is looking to build on a couple of excellent starts (see here, and also here). Fister’s great start also gives the Tigers 4 of the top 8 pitchers in MLB by WAR and 4 of […]

  2. […] his best season to date. For one, I’ve already done so on a couple of occasions (here and here). Also, you have eyes. You’ve watched him pitch and you’ve checked out his […]

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