As was expected, Arizona rolled out a southpaw heavy lineup last night to face off against Dinelson Lamet, and it unfortunately proved to be more than he could handle as he allowed them (minus SP Robbie Ray) to go 4-8 with three walks and 4 RBI’s. Additionally, he left two lefties on the bases for Diaz in the fourth inning that eventually scored thanks to an error by D’arnaud, giving him 9 (7 earned) runs allowed.
If you read yesterday’s morning report, we talked about Lamet’s struggle with locating the fastball against southpaws. Well, he partially adjusted, and instead of getting caught with a ton over the middle of the plate, he tried to work even more on the inside edge of the plate. While that is something he had been doing to some degree previously, he threw more below and above the zone than he had this season. Yet, there wasn’t particularly sharp execution with an increase in obvious balls causing the swing rate to drop to 23.3 percent and the whiff rate to fall under 4 percent after being at 54 percent and 7 percent in his first two starts.
The obvious balls were not the only problem with a dangerous aspect of pitching inside to lefties as a right-hander is that the ball can leak back over towards the inside to middle of the plate, providing a meaty pitch for hitters. And it is exactly what happened here with Lamb:
Another item of interest is that Lamet didn’t throw a single sinker according to Fangraphs or Brooks Baseball. He had previously been throwing the pitch roughly 10 percent of the time, so it’s indeed a peculiar sign that he threw zero because the reality is that the changeup plays better off his sinker than it does his four-seasmer. As the chart below depicts, the horizontal movement on the changeup and sinker are almost identical while there is generally 4-5 inches less on the four-seamer.
The significance of this is that similar movement horizontally can do a superior job masking the two pitches as they approach the plate render it more difficult for hitters whether it is the fastball or changeup headed at the plate. Although, this is not to say that the four-seamer can’t play off the changeup if he does a better job with location, but the use of his arsenal wasn’t clicking last night even though he threw a few wicked changeups.
Padres: Hunter Renfroe kept the Padres from being shut out, cranking his 12th homerun in the fourth inning and another 436 foot shot in the top of the ninth. Meanwhile, the recently promoted Jose Pirela went 0-4 with a strikeout in his first game with the big league team, and the San Diego bullpen (Diaz, Quackenbush, Torres, & Buchter) didn’t share in Lamet’s struggles as they struck out 10 batter in five innings with no earned runs.
Chihuahuas: Carter Capps made a rehab appearance for Triple-A El Paso but because of a recent MLB rule change, he had avoid the hop in his mechanics, which made him less imposing on the mound as he gave up a run and two hits in his one inning of work.
Missions: Be sure to check out Marcus Pond’s coverage from his trip to San Antonio yesterday to San Antonio.
Storm: Cal Quantrill was phenomenal for the storm against the Stockton Ports, striking out six batters while allowing just one run in six innings. It wasn’t the strongest of lineups with no real notable prospect bats in the lineup, but it’s good to see Quantrill look strong after a few mediocre starts.
Tin Caps: Fort Wayne lost a 13 innining nail-biter despite starting pitcher Adrian De Horta pitching lights out for six innings of two hit ball.