|Boston Red Sox||6||26||4||1||10.00||.167||.231||.292||.522||0||1||.231|
|Chicago White Sox||2||7||0||0||0.00||.000||.429||.000||.429||2||0||.000|
|Kansas City Royals||2||9||0||0||.000||.000||.000||.000||0||0||.000|
|New York Yankees||8||35||6||0||6.00||.188||.235||.250||.485||1||0||.300|
|Tampa Bay Rays||8||43||11||3||2.40||.297||.395||.595||.990||1||1||.364|
Wow. Somehow, Brandon League completely owns the Yankees. He has his entire career. The number one offense in baseball in terms of runs, home runs, wOBA, walks, pretty much any number you could use to evaluate an offense. Yet Brandon League holds them to .464 OPS. Also note his K/BB ratio of TEN TO ONE in 7 appearances versus the Red Sox. Try to ignore the savage beatings he took at the hands of the National League. How in God's name does this happen??
Last night he sandwiched a lonely double & sac bunt with a two fly outs and two strike outs (with the patented Brandon League wild pitch thrown in for flavor). He struck out Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira, a feat unto itself. It makes such a small amount of sense that a team traditionally chock full of power hitting lefties gets run over by League consistently while a more slap-dash team like the Rays completely owns him. Let's revive the speed * vertical break graph from a few weeks ago to see what he had last night.
So the blue dots are a combination of three separate outings; some good, some bad. Green was last night's outing against the Yankees, red is the legendary 3 inning ball gag and whips outing in the Bronx. What does this tell me? His stuff during the extra innings marathon was nuts. Insane. Last night he kept the Yankees at bay with pretty much is standard arsenal. None of this explains why League owns the Yanks or why he's so inconsistent though. What about spin?
That is a little messy. Generally, speed versus spin direction angle charts show much more distinct patterns (like this), grouping pitches nicely to ease identification. With Brandon League we get a typical clusterfuck that leaves me scratching my head. Apparently Brandon League can't do a couple things:
- Maintain a consistent release point/arm angle to support a repeatable breaking ball or
- He throws a second breaking pitch so badly it is nearly indistinguishable from his splitter.
The real question is: will I ever "crack the case" on Brandon League? Will I one day discover the key to his future success, to dozens of saves and healthy paychecks? Probably not. But if you've been reading this site for long enough you know I'm having a great time trying to figure it out.
Thanks to Brooks for the pitch data, B-R for the splits, and Daylife for the photo