I’m thinking this one deserves a picture at the top, rather than just a graph (which you can still see alongside a filthy
slider curveball GIF via @dshemie8, after the jump), because Marcus Stroman.
Sure, the Jays’ offence took advantage of some poor Royals pitcher’s self-immolation, but Marcus Stroman. Theeeeeeere’s what we were looking for and kept telling every cretin it was stupid to stop dreaming on after 6.1 not-so-hot innings spread over a few stints out of the big league bullpen. Six innings, five hits, no walks, one run, six strikeouts. Ninety-four pitches, sixty three for strikes. Most importantly of all, perhaps, is that he kept the ball on the ground, producing a ground ball rate as high as any qualified starter in baseball (64.7% on the day; only Dallas Keuchel’s 66.5% is better among qualified starters). It’s just one game, I know, and it’s just the Royals, but that’s what he had to do, and he fuckin’ did it!
His ERA is still 7.50 as a big leaguer, but his FIP and xFIP both sit at 2.97.
And now: The curveball (which I suppose is what one is to call this pitch, rather than a slider, as Brendan Kennedy tweets that “contrary to what Gameday (and most people’s eyes) were seeing, Stroman said that wipeout breaking pitch was his curveball, not his slider.”
Oh, and for the sake of completeness (and to remind that there were noooooooot a lot of high leverage situations for Stroman to pitch through), this thing:
Image/chart via FanGraphs.