Baseball

Dodgers hammer Diaz despite his “excellent pitches”

During yesterday’s ninth inning loss, the Mets’ closer, Edwin Diaz, pitched batting practice for the Dodgers. As a result, his ERA in away games jumped to 4.50. At home, it is 2.19.

When he entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers had a 3.4% chance of winning, according to FanGraphs. Then, seven batters and one out later, the Dodgers won the game 9-8.

The graphic below shows how the game’s Win Expectancy shifted in the bottom of the ninth.

Source: FanGraphs

Five of the seven batters that Diaz faced had batted balls: two homers, two doubles, an intentional walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly. The chart below shows the pitch location of five of the six batted balls. (Justin Turner’s double is shown. Cody Bellinger’s is not.)

Source: Baseball Savant

Here are Diaz’s pitches the Dodgers hit (data from Baseball Savant):
– Home run: Slider (Pederson)
– Home run: Four-seam fastball (Muncy)
– Double: Slider (Turner)
– Double: Four-seam fastball (Bellinger)
– Single: Two-seam fastball (Beaty)
– Sacrifice fly: Slider

Diaz threw 30 pitches, but only four- and two-seam fastballs and sliders. Three of the nine sliders were batted balls, but only three of the 21 fastballs were. Further, while 11 fastballs were fouled off only one slider was. But the average exit velocity of the fastballs was 100.1 mph, four mph faster than for the sliders.

Only 43.3% of the pitchers were in the zone; however, the Dodgers swung at 84.6% of them, showing excellent plate discipline: They made contact with 81.8 % of them.

Source: Baseball Savant

The next chart, a spray chart shows how spread out the Dodgers’ batted balls were.

Source: Baseball Savant

After the game, Diaz said,

“Today was easily the worst day of my career, the worst game of my career, the worst game of the season for me,” Diaz said through an interpreter. “I thought I threw excellent pitches.”

Anthony DiComo — Edwin Diaz blows save against Dodgers | New York Mets

What makes yesterday’s outing particularly surprising is that, after it, left-handed hitters are batting .188/.250/.531 against Diaz; whereas, right-handed batters are hitting .286/.344/.429. Six of the seven Dodger batters that Diaz faced were left-handed.

As, if not more, surprising is that in away games, batters are now hitting .310 against him versus only .196 in home games.

Yesterday, while Diaz was on the mound, Wilson Ramos was behind the plate.

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