General Red Sox

About Clay

For those interested in more about Clay Buchholz' tough outing today, surf over to an indispensable post at SoSH by a PitchFX expert.  Great stuff.

13 replies on “About Clay”

No posts about Melky, of all people, hitting for the cycle today?
More like “–SF” amirite

Indispensible? SoSH, like most fan forums (and the commenters on the LoHud blog) is obsessed with blaming the catcher for the pitcher’s failures. It’s fairly silly, as Victor Martinez didn’t catch Clay Buchholz’s other terrible starts. Was it Varitek’s fault then? You can break down terrible starts by any pitcher again and again like this. To not call it a ‘meltdown’ because of things like the catcher and BABIP (another thing SoSH is hilariously obsessed with) is typical SoSH rationalization garbage.

Interesting post at SoSH indeed. So some of the problems might, as I suggested in the gamer, have come from Martinez catching him for the first time.
Still, Clay has a lot to learn yet, and we can only hope that this is not going to hurt the Sox in the pennant race. But I agree with Rob’s frequently made point that this is the time where he has to do his learning in the majors (though I do not agree with Rob’s mantra that signing Penny and/or Smoltz was a mistake).
Oh, and kudos to Melky. And why the “of all people”? He at least is fast enough to hit triples. (His feat was acknowledged by some posts in the Sox game thread, by the way.)

NESN made sure to show the 4 yankees dancing around doing the hand jive pre-game after losing 3 straight. who were those 4?

Andrew, it’s too bad that your own biases are what are, ironically, exposed here. The post I linked to is really interesting — it is, in fact, the opposite of what you say, “rationalization”. It is a look at data, and then an attempt to understand that data. SoSH IS filled with “rationalizers” (as is this site sometimes, or any other fan-driven sites for any team for that matter), those who sometimes blame Tek for a pitcher’s struggles, or Francona for a lineup choice post-haste. But the linked comment at SoSH is just about the opposite of that: a thorough look at the PitchFX information in an attempt to dig down into what is happening to Buchholz’ deliveries.
Your comment tells us more about you than anything else, that you are willing to make a broadstroke generalization about SoSH in a thread that links to something which is about as far away from they typical emotional, fanatical, reactionary, and reflexive things that get posted at many fan-driven websites.

SoSH, like most fan forums (and the commenters on the LoHud blog) is obsessed with blaming the catcher for the pitcher’s failures.
Helps to read the post before posting rubbish like this.
SF linked to a very well-informed post by one of the most intelligent baseball commenters I’ve ever read. Sprowl is not afraid to say when a starter has been awful. He’s interpreting data. Apparently unlike you, Andrew, he can put aside his biases to speak dispassionately on a topic.
What part of the following conclusion is rationalization, again?
This was an expensive inning, but I wouldn’t call it a meltdown. A few pitches were grooved, but not many. What seemed to happen instead was that Buchholz’s fastball command again betrayed him – sometimes there was too much movement, and he missed his spot outside. At other times, it straightened out (in batters’ eyes, and in pitchfx measurements), so that even when he hit his spot inside, the batters hit it better.

Nothing about VMart’s catcher ERA? ;P
What a time for the Sox to hit on fire.. I was surprised to see the O’s made a run for it when it was 7-0 at some point. I guess 18-10 is actually a bigger margin than 7-0, but it doesn’t feel that way.. haha..

V-Mart and Clay both said he was “to quick” with his shoulder- leading to some of the control problems.
I think we’ll see allot more of Youk at third now.

Please, he’s partially interpreting raw data from Pitch F/X, but using the fact that Victor was a new catcher to explain away some of Clay’s ineffectiveness. It would have been nice had he simply explained what happened, which he did mostly, but yes, the SoSH in him snuck through and caused him to partially blame V-Mart, and even BABIP for Clay’s struggles, which is data Pitch F/X certainly doesn’t provide. There is purely opinionated rationalization in his post, and it moves it down from an ‘indespensible’ analysis using Pitch F/X to a more typical fan post about his team.

But, but, but I thought his command was so much better!?
Young pitchers need time against lineups full of MLB hitters. If you watched Hughes yesterday he was relying on the fastball. That works fine the first or second time through the order. But as a starter you have to see hitters three or four times. You need to be able to work off of other pitches. Or they they just sit there and wait for a fastball they can do something with.

the SoSH in him snuck through and caused him to partially blame V-Mart, and even BABIP for Clay’s struggles
So Clay Buchholz’s problems are solely caused by Clay Buchholz sucking, and not a combination of control problems, the catcher’s inexperience and bad luck? Apparently all pitchers are entirely in control of their destinies, even after the ball is released from their grip?
Sprowl said that on ONE PITCH Martinez’s inexperience might have come into play because Buchholz’s changeup reacts differently than most right-handed pitchers,’ and also said that on ONE PITCH, Huff’s dinky hit that forced Buchholz from the game was bad luck.
It was analysis, which by its very definition must include opinion. But it’s reasonable, informed opinion, despite your efforts to twist it into something it’s not.
You came into reading a post with a preconceived notion of what you were going to get, then seized on what you wanted to find to reinforce your bias.

Well in fairness Andrew did say in his original post it was a common problem on all fan boards, not just SoSH. FWIW, I tend to agree with the theme of his point. I don’t believe catchers have a significant impact on pitcher performance, and haven’t seen or heard of anything concrete to suggest otherwise (which is what drove me crazy w/r/t some of the bitching about Posada’s game calling by YFs – and players! – earlier in the year.

Mark, Andrew’s assertion that the post I linked to is “rationalization garbage” is completely off-base. The post I linked to is about the worst possible example one could choose to portray SoSH as a bunch of fanboy rationalizers. As Paul noted, the commenter in question, Sprowl, has done amazing work understanding the difference between pitches, between movement and expected movement, and how this has impacted results. In the context of Buchholz’ outing yesterday, it’s damn interesting stuff. Andrew’s venom was ill-founded going on this one link.

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