Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stripmining the Positivity Vein

Of the myriad positive and amazing things that happened last night, I will naturally key on the least important. Scott Rolen's power, Vernon Wells hitting a home run in a win, and Scott Richmond's command are crucial, but the biggest takeaway for me was the return of Brandon League! League faced three guys, getting two ground outs and an ever-important strikeout. Better yet he threw 70% of his pitches for strikes -- Boners! Sure, it was literally a leverage-free situation (not literally the way people literally say literally all the time, I mean literally. 0.00 pLI); but he needed to get some swagger back if he's to keep his job.

Swagger is all well and good, but there was something more to Brandon League's solidly meaningless outing: release point. I mentioned a few days ago he didn't look comfortable and posited a possible mechanical problem. Turns out I'm a genius. With some help from the good people at Brooks Baseball, I checked out his recent release points. Here we go (click to englarge):

Get a life nerd

The blue dots are from good Brandon, commanding pitches and inducing groundballs. The lighter blue is yesterday's mop up outing, the other from an early season appearance that hardly lit the world on fire but wasn't awful. The red squares are two outings in Cleveland that went piss-poorly. Good Brandon throws under control and a bit more over the top. Bad Brandon slings and elevates and looks like he misses his mommy.

Hopefully Brandon League remembers that he's awesome and potentially unhittable. Like Roy Halladay and Francisco Liriano can be on any given night. Awesome matchup tonight in which the compubot loves the Jays. Exciting times. Exciting like the Shrimp! My liveblog turned into a shrimpfest last night, I couldn't have been happier. Thanks to everyone that came by and commented.


  1. League was impressive, yes. But how about Bill Murphy? 3 straight ground balls in his first big league inning as a Blue Jay.

  2. A good start but League is an important piece of the bullpen. I just realized he made his big league debut at 21. That is nuts.


Send forth the witticisms from on high