We know most of the stats that Wainwright collected in 2013 such as 34 games started with a 19-9 record. We also acknowledge that he tossed 241.2 innings and and ended with a 2.94 ERA.
What you may not know is how he did that. Where he threw the pitches is vitally important to his success. The following charts from Baseball Savant will give you some clues to how he became successful.
Adam Wainwright threw 3533 pitches last season with 956 batters faced. He threw 40% fastballs at an average of 91.1 MPH and included his cutter 28% of the time. His famous curveball was shown to hitters 27% and he threw a change 4% of the time.
First, let’s examine the location of every pitch that he threw. (perspective is the view of the catcher)
As you can see the “down” and out of the zone were the preferred pitches as 29% of the pitchers were in the right corner and 14% were in the “down” and to the left.Since he faced more right-handers this 29% figure means he kept the ball low and away from the hitters.
Now we look at the swing and misses (the just strikeouts but misses) from Wainwright pitches.
He got the righties to miss at 81 pitches down and away and out of the zone while he got lefties to miss at pitches that were down and in but outside the zone.
How did they hit him?
They hit a few of the pitches out of the strike zone but it appears, as with most pitchers, the balls left in the middle of the plate gets put in play for a hit most often. The top and bottom corners show the least number of hits.
Analysis: Waino is a master at getting batters out and since he fanned 219 batters (23%) and walked 35 (4%) he knows how to pitch and where to put the ball most of the time. I know, you are surprised by this. 🙂