Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. A Brief Note Regarding the Regular Season
2. Summary: Shelby Miller’s First MLB Start
3. Forthcoming Games
A Brief Note
It might have occurred to the reader — as it did to the author, last night, as he started writing these very same Notes — that the 2012 regular season is now over. There is really nothing to recommend this state of affairs.
Brief Summary: Shelby Miller’s First MLB Start
What Happened Last Night
Last night, top Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller (after five September relief appearances) made his first major-league start — and did so in front of the straight-on Cardinals center-field camera.
Miller was entirely proficient in his starting debut. To wit: 6.0 IP, 21 TBF, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 GB on 11 batted-balls (27.3% GB), 3.97 xFIP. Also, he and the Cardinal defense allowed just a single hit — albeit, not against what the most imposing version of the Cincinnanti offense. Miller threw 52 of 72 pitches (72.2%) for strikes. (League average for starters is ca. 63%, with a standard deviation of ca. 2.5%.)
A Note on Miller’s Fastball
As he did in his real-live major-league debut — and has done in his appearances since — Miller generated a number of swing-and-misses on his fastball. Per Texas Leaguers, Miller got whiffs on eight of his 51 total four-seam fastballs, or about 16%. The league-average whiff rate on fastballs is about 6%. Miller’s swinging-strike on fastballs is currently at 13.0%.
Most Overpowering Fastball
Here’s footage of Miller’s hardest fastball (93.7 mph) that was also a swinging-strike — to Drew Stubbs in the fifth inning:
This curve by Miller — an 0-1 pitch to Chris Heisey in the sixth — was both the slowest (78.6 mph) and most-breaking of all his curves. It was also, according to PITCHf/x, a pitch that is sometimes called a strike.
A Comment on Miller’s Curve, Generally
It probably wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that what is referred to as Miller’s “curve” — given its velocity (high-ish) and lack of overall break — to suggest that it’s somewhere close to the hypothetical dividing between curve and slider.
Data from Brooks Baseball was helpful in writing this.
NL Wild Card Game | St. Louis at Atlanta | 17:00 ET on TBS
Kyle Lohse (211.0 IP, 101 xFIP-, 3.6 WAR) faces Kris Medlen (138.0 IP, 76 xFIP-, 3.9 WAR).
AL Wild Card Game | Baltimore at Texas | 20:30 ET on TBS
A mysterious someone faces Yu Darvish (191. IP, 85 xFIP-, 5.1 WAR).
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