GAME TIME 7:10 CDTthe nats have won 4 out of 5, which explains their Challenge Rating of 1029 --- they're a bad team that's playing well, which means they pose a slightly above-average test. the pitcher's a left-hander --- always a test for the cardinals.
in the comments to this morning's post about anthony reyes and pitch selection, enoscountry made a legitimate point: more than half the runs reyes has allowed have scored in the first two innings. if pitch selection is the problem, shouldn't that show up in the data? good question, so i decided to check. here are the percentage breakdowns, by inning, of his three main pitches, accompanied by an inning-by-inning breakdown of results:
to me, this is a mish-mash. the pitch distribution in innings 1 and 2 is not much different from the distribution in innings 5 and 6 --- but the results couldn't be more different. in innings 3 and 4 --- the 2d time through the order, in most cases --- he mixes in a few more breaking balls, although the difference isn't dramatic. the results are a mixed bag --- better than innings 1 and 2, but not particularly good.
how about we look just at the first pitch of each at-bat?
again, we're getting contradictory information. in the innings where reyes is most apt to start each hitter with a fastball, he either gets killed (inning #1) or he mows them down (innings 5 and 6). when he relies more heavily on off-speed stuff (innings 2 through 4), he gets hit in varying degrees.
if he's doing anything different in innings 5 and 6 (as opposed to inning 1), i haven't found it yet. maybe he just makes better pitches later in the game; or maybe it's simply that he's always facing the top of the order in the first inning, and those guys are usually the opposing team's best hitters. i'll keep looking.
put it all together and get a win tonight, kid.