Why do Mets pitchers have so much success?
Throwing hard does not correlate to pitchers’ success. Yes, it does get you noticed by scouts in some aspect, but it does not always work for you. From my experience as a College Softball player, I can tell you that a 70 mph fastball (equivalent to 90-100 mph in baseball) is hard to hit. But with enough batting practice and exposure to the pitching you are facing, they are hittable. When a pitcher throws a ball, a batter has about 1/10th of a second to react to the pitch. A good hitter will recognize the pitch and decide if he wants to swing or not. If he swings and the pitch is 85-100 mph, then he has a greater chance of increasing his exit velocity at contact. Some pitchers rely too heavily on their fastball and eventually get burned for it. This is called being “fastball happy”.
Giancarlo Stanton owns the top three exit velocities this season.
Why does this have anything to do with the Mets pitchers?
As many of you know, the Mets pitching staff is number 1 in the MLB with an average fastball velocity of 96 mph. Some guys throw 95-100 MPH and still get crushed. So why aren’t hitters crushing the balls off of them? Because the Mets staff changes speeds, pitches inside and outside, and changes the batter’s eye level. Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz, all have a great understanding and knowledge of pitching well beyond their age. You might question me and say “well okay other great pitchers like Kershaw and Grienke do that too.” Well, guess what? The Mets have 4 legit pitchers and potentially another one when Zack Wheeler returns, who display those characteristics so well. This is why they are the known as “the Core Four” or “Ace Rotation”
Here are some stats so you can get a better understanding of how fast and often the Mets pitchers threw:
In 2015, he threw his Fastball 60.9% of the time averaging 95.7 MPH. His slider, thrown 14.1% of the time was clocked in at 89.7 MPH. His curveball averaged at 83.9 MPH and his changeup was 88.4 MPH.
In 2015, he threw his Fastball 61.7% of the time averaging out at 97.1 MPH. His slider (that he adopted during the season) averaged out at 87.9 MPH. His curveball clocked in at 80.7 MPH and his changeup at 88.3 MPH.
In 2015, he threw his fastball at 95 MPH. He threw is slider 15.8 % of the time, averaging out at 89.7 MPH. His curveball clocked in at 81.8 MPH and his changeup was 85.5 MPH.
In his short time in the big leagues in 2015, he threw his fastball 68.4% of the time. His developing slider was clocked in at 87.1 MPH. His deadly curveball clocked in at 77.2 MPH and his changeup was 83.6 MPH
As you can see from these charts, the Mets pitching staff is equipped with hard-throwing pitchers who change speeds. Their fastballs are predominately used to get ahead in the count and to strike out a hitter. Their pitches include not only fastballs but sinking sliders, knee-buckling curveballs and swing and a miss changeups. The Mets pitchers are also not afraid to throw inside to batters (as you might have seen from Syndergaard in game 3 of WS). This young core of pitchers has displayed their great pitching knowledge thanks to in part by Dan Warthen. The Mets pitching staff is only going to get better through experience and time. All four pitchers have experienced the playoffs, and more importantly, the World Series. With that experience, they’re poised for a breakout year in 2016.
As a final thought:
What is a better nickname for these great group of young pitchers?
A) The Core Four
B) The Ace Rotation
C) Create Your Own!
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