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Game 29 Open Thread

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Another ridiculous early day game. You know, these things make sense once school's out and kids and parents on vacation. Until then, it's positively absurd.

Ohlendorf Wellemeyer
3-2, 3.48 2-2, 5.28

Ohlendorf's been one of the Pirates' very good starterss so far this season, though his 3.48 ERA belies a 4.63 FIP. He doesn't miss any bats -- to which his 3.48 K/9 IP will attest -- but, to his credit, he isn't walking many batters either (2.32 BB/9). The key has been getting ground balls -- a 50% GB% and 1.75 GB/FB.Wellemeyer's been horrendous this season. Interestingly, however, his FIP is only 3.46. He's only walked 8 batters in 29 innings, he's given up just 1 homer, and has a .390 BABIP. Of course, when batters are ripping you for a 24.3% LD%, your BABIP is going to be high.

One thing that's noticeable about his pitch selection is that he's throwing substantially more changeups than in previous years. So far this season, 17.7% of his pitches have been changeups whereas last year it was just 12.1%. He's throwing fewer fastballs and sliders as well. The fact that he's thrown more curves and changeups and fewer sliders and fastballs leads me to believe that he's faced an unusually high % of left-handed batters...and...boy am I right! So far, a whopping 60.6% of the batters Wellemeyer's faced have been lefties. Last year, it was 41.6% and for his career it's 43.6%. Considering the fact that lefties have always hit him pretty hard (.799 career OPS) and are pounding him this year (.950 OPS) -- maybe the fact that he's faced such a disproportionately high number of lefthanded hitters is the explanation for the slow start. Perhaps regression to the mean here means that Wellemeyer will face many more righties going forward and his numbers will improve from that alone.