The Number #1 Threat to Pitchers on Tuesday:
Larry Vanover: VERY small Left Side (catcher's left hand). VERY small High Zone.
He's 9-4 to the OVER even though he's running a 2.35 K/BB ratio!!!! He's filling up his sheet with UNDER percentages, but this is a result of Pitchers that have scouted Vanover. They seem to immediately sense the batter friendly inside on the RHB, and they can't hide in that outside edge on the southpaws. This is a nice "cornering" effect on pitchers, which means that the Ump has restricted the top of the zone and one of the edges to form a tight corner on half of the strike zone.
So you get this Umpire with UNDER surface stats, but he actually has a pre-negotiated OVER zone for the pitcher. Veterans see this, and they pitch accordingly. Rookies don't know what the hell they're doing, but they learn quickly.
11 runs per game on average this year.
He threw us off in 2009 with a weak schedule.
He was in the 10 run zone in 2008 and 17-12 Over.
But what we want to prey on is the pitchers that need the top zone to throw off batters. They won't get it in a Vanover zone....The 10% top pitching hurlers need that sort of diversion to throw off a batter...sometimes to mask a weak change-up.
So who do we have?
Oh Lord! Dontrelle Willis is not locating against UNDER Umpires, so I think we have a Crapper in the making on this one. He was horrible against the Yanks, and they didn't have to work hard, since only 27 of his 67 pitches were thrown for strikes.
Dontrelle owns left handed batters this year, and it's the RHB's that are tearing him up. This is a bit of a problem because Dontrelle doesn't really need the zones that Vanover is fond of stealing from pitchers on the Right Handers. He'll lose the little "high-low" switch-a-roo on the RHB's but it's not a devastating zone for him on paper. ON PAPER!
But if he's not locating, then what does it matter?
The important thing to consider is that Vanover is closing off a corner of the zone to a pitcher that isn't locating well.
If you want me to say Willis is going to get destroyed, then I CAN'T say that, but you MUST locate with Vanover. Dontrelle should be able to pitch his game, but there won't be any diversionary pitches and that's never good for him.
Don't back him in this zone.
I don't see a ton of trouble for Wainright, but his treatement of left handers will take a ton of skill. I think he should command the RHB's pretty well, and this zone will crimp him on his low inside stuff on the Righty, but I think he has the Fastball to get him out of the counts that don't favor him. You'll see a lot of pitches thrown for strikes by both pitchers and Dontrelle should suffer much more than Adam. if there's contact, then we can seek an over, but i think Adam might smoke Zona (unless there's a reason for his lousy outing in the last game. (I'll try to find out, but Maholm made me look like a dipshit, so who knows.)
Dontrelle sucks in Larry Vanover's zone:
Larry Vanover dismantled Dontrelle in 1.1 innings against Cleveland with 8 earned runs and 4 walks with just 2 strikeouts a few years back, so I wonder what the Cards will do to him tomorrow......
On May 29th of last season the Orioles killed Dontrelle with 10 hits, 7 Earned, only 1 strikeout...all in 5 innings.
Wanna go back to 2007? Paul Maholm and the Pirates beat him with Vanover calling the shots. 114 pitches in 7 innings and only 9 base runners, but he lost and Pitt sucked then...just as now! Dirty, Stinking, Maholm! (Naw, Great game.)
I think we might be able to do SOMETHING with this......take the info and run with it boys!!!!!!