Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. Featured Pitch: Luis Avilan’s Curve
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule
Featured Pitch: Luis Avilan’s Curve
What Happened Yesterday
Yesterday, left-hander Luis Avilan pitched two perfect innings of relief for Atlanta in the 6-2 victory over the New York Nationals (box).
What Has Happened More Generally
More generally, Avilan, who pitched almost exclusively as a starter at Double-A Mississippi, has been an entirely proficient member of the Braves bullpen for two-plus months. To wit: 35.0 IP, 23.2% K, 7.3% BB, 45.7% GB, 3.15 SIERA, 90 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR, 5 SD, 1 MD.
How Avilan Has Done That
Avilan’s success is based largely on his curveball, on which pitch he has posted a 19.0% swinging-strike rate (relative to a league average of ca. 11%, according to work by Harry Pavlidis). Avilan’s curve has been worth close to four runs above average for every 100 he’s thrown.
Leaderboard: Curves by Run Value
Here are the top-five leaders by run value above average among pitchers who’ve thrown at least 50 curveballs this season (R/100 is runs above average for every 100 curves thrown):


Name
Team
IP
Pitches
CU%
Tot. CU
Runs
R/100


Jesse Crain
White Sox
47.0
838
6.0%
50
3.1
6.2


Scott Atchison
Red Sox
50.2
685
14.9%
102
4.6
4.5


Brett Anderson
Athletics
35.0
527
11.1%
58
2.4
4.2


Sam LeCure
Reds
55.2
919
14.5%
133
5.3
4.0


Luis Avilan
Braves
33.0
500
18.6%
93
3.4
3.7



Action Footage
Here’s some Action Footage™ of Avilan’s curve from Sunday, a called strike three to Lucas Duda:

More Action Footage
Here’s some Action Footage™ of Avilan’s curve from Saturday, featuring a different called strike to Lucas Duda:

Still More Action Footage
Here’s more footage from Saturday, in which Avilan gets Duda swinging:

What One Learns
One learns from this footage that the break of Avilan’s curveball isn’t particularly devastating, but also that the pitch features considerable horizontal movement (a full standard deviation more than league average for a left-hander, it turns out) and is likely quite effective against left-handed batters for that reason. (Indeed, according to PITCHf/x data from Texas Leaguers, Avilan throws the curve ca 29% to left-handed batters and just 11% to right-handed ones.)
Today’s Notable Games
Boston at New York AL | 19:05 ET
In the event that the reader had ever entertained notions of visiting Barf City, watching this game will provide a direct route to it.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Boston Radio.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay | 19:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Playoff Implications™ abound. With three games remaining the upstart Orioles — who are actually among September’s best teams by run differential and WAR — are tied atop the AL East with the despotic Yankees.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore Radio.
New York NL at Miami | 19:10 ET
Right-hander Jeurys Familia, ranked third among Mets prospects on Marc Hulet’s preseason top-15 list, makes his first major-league start. The 22-year-old has pitched well in seven relief appearances so far (8.1 IP, 91 xFIP, 0.1), while sitting at ca 96 mph with his fastball. This game also features the benefit of Miami’s excellent, straight-on center-field camera.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.
Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 3.3.
Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.



Away
 
SP
Tm.
Gm.
Tm.
SP
 
Home
Time


Paul Maholm
ATL
5
6
4
4
9
PIT
Jeff Locke
19:05


Clay Buchholz
BOS
4
4
5
7
10
NYA
CC Sabathia
19:05


Hector Santiago*
CHA
7
4
4
2
6
CLE
Corey Kluber
19:05


Kyle Kendrick
PHI
4
6
2
7
2
WAS
John Lannan
19:05


Es. Vasquez
MIN
0
4
0
4
1
TOR
Aaron Laffey
19:07


Wei-Yin Chen
BAL
5
3
4
6
7
TB
Alex Cobb
19:10


Jeurys Familia*
NYN
9
2
4
4
6
MIA
Josh Johnson
19:10


Lucas Harrell
HOU
5
4
2
2
3
CHN
Jason Berken*
20:05


Rick Porcello
DET
7
4
3
6
3
KC
Bruce Chen
20:10


Clayton Richard
SD
4
6
3
10
5
MIL
Shaun Marcum
20:10


Bronson Arroyo
CIN
4
4
5
9
9
STL
Jaime Garcia
20:15


Drew Pomeranz
COL
4
6
3
7
6
AZ
Wade Miley
21:40


Martin Perez
TEX
4
6
4
7
7
OAK
Jarrod Parker
22:05


C.J. Wilson
LAA
4
7
5
4
9
SEA
Felix Hernandez
22:10


Matt Cain
SF
6
4
2
1
1
LAN
Aaron Harang
22:10



To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.
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