Just playing around, I noticed Garcia has mixed up his pitch selection before/after July 1. It just so happened that I happened to find the break after his worst start of the year against the Royals---a 2 IP 2 BB 0 K 1 HR 5 ER suckbomb of a start. So we have a storyline! Rookie changes approach after getting lit up! In my boredom, let's take a half assed look:
Jaime's PITCHf/x horiz/vertical chart for the whole year so you people know what I'm referring to:
Obviously the "FB" designation is likely covering 4 and 2 seamers as that range is from like +3 to +12 horizontal, but I arbitrarily wanted to separate out CutFBs so deal with it. And I could be wrong, but I don't know of anybody who has 17 inches of horizontal difference on their different fastballs. This is again the seemingly effective Clusterfuck™ approach to pitching that seems to be successful if you know where the ball is going.
Now for the before/after June to July:
The differences are pretty clear IMO, his slider has been worse in terms of its depth (less vertical movement....and the fact that Gameday is calling more of them FCs than SLs tells that story) and he's thrown it a lot less. In June he threw the FC/SL designated pitches (what I call his slider) 21% of the time in his 438 pitches, the FF (most of which I call the cut fastball) also 21% of the time and his curve just 7%. In July, he went to the slider 8% of his 459 pitches, the FF (cut fastball) 31% and curve 14%.
Now there look to be some classification errors there in that a number of sliders got labeled FFs, but still, the distinction between 21% vs. 8% is pretty significant. He's going to his harder cut-fastball and curve much more for when he needs to go to the armside part of the plate. Such is the option for a guy who can throw his fastball 3 different ways and has 3 different offspeed pitches.
We're playing with fun endpoints and tiny sample sizes, but his FIP in June was 4.12 vs. 3.17 in July/his last start (and again SSS, take out the Royals game and it was 3.7). Just food for thought.
Thanks to TexasLeaguers for the graphs