FanPost

Swing and a miss. He STRUCK him out!

Hopefully it's not off-color to say that it is Tim Lincecum's off-speed pitches that separate him from Matt Cain.  Because it is indeed the rainbow of pitches Tim employs that separates him from Matt.

As good as Tim's fastball is, Matt actually gets about half again as many swing-throughs as Tim.  Tim's 13% swing-through rate on fastballs is good, but Matt's 19% is even better. Matt's fastball is tougher to get wood on than even Tim's.

But the majority of Tim's strikeouts come on his secondary pitches, and it is easy to see why.  Tim's 34% swing-through rate on his curve is nearly twice that of Matt's 18%.  Tim doubles Matt on sliders, with a 49% swing-through rate to Matt's 24%.  And at 41% swing-throughs, Tim's change up is also well ahead of Matt's 24%.

It is with his secondary pitches that Tim sets himself above.

And while Matt's fastball is even harder to get wood on than Tim's, Matt has yielded a hit on 33% of balls put in play or out of the park on his fastballs, while Tim is slightly better at 30%. The big difference, though, is that batters have extra-base hits on 14% of the fastballs they hit against Matt, while Tim limits them to extra bases on just 8% of the fastballs batters put into play or out of the park.

On all pitches, Tim has limited batters to that same 8% extra base rate, while Matt is at 15% overall.  This has provided Tim perhaps his greatest advantage over Matt -- the ability to limit extra bases.

Batters have increased their .236 batting average against Tim by only 87 points in achieving a mere .323 slugging percentage.  Matt has allowed his .240 batting average against to soar by 164 points in allowing batters a .404 SLG.  Tim has allowed just 26 extra-base hits, just five of them home runs.  Matt has yielded 42 extra-base hits including a dozen homers.

Both Tim and Matt are hard to hit, but Tim is much harder to hit with power.  Perhaps that is because Tim's great off-speed pitches make it harder for batters to get wood on the ball, allowing Tim a 24% overall swing-through rate to Matt's 17%.

Matt is tough to hit.  Tim is VERY tough to hit.  That is why even though Matt beat Tim to the majors by 20 months, Tim has beaten Matt to the All-Star game.  Apparently Tim won't be starting the All-Star game.  But he has outpitched Brandon Webb, the man who will be.

Oh, and he also gets more swing-throughs than Brandon.

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