Author Topic: MacKenzie Gore Vidal Sassoon (2024) - Throw Ur Stuff 4 Strikes!  (Read 2162 times)

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Online Natsinpwc

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they have Corbin for length. Irvin gives them some length. Williams is hit or miss, but he gets them through 5+ most starts until late in the year, when he'll be gone. You want to save the bullpen? Use Floro and spot in Barnes. Rainey is your mop up guy.

By the way, the Nats are 20th in bullpen innings this year going into today. They are not overused. After today, they average 3.2 IP per game. That just is not a lot in the contemporary game.
It won’t last though.  Of course this year does not matter.  We are tanking. 

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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for perspective, going into Saturday, only one team in all the majors averaged less than 3 IP per game from their pen - KCR.

Offline imref

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Zuck noted gore today had the most strikeouts in five innings or fewer in team history. That’s impressive given Stras and Max.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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some nice tidbits in Patrick Reddington's reporting at Federal Baseball:
https://www.federalbaseball.com/2024/4/14/24129292/washington-nationals-news-notes-mackenzie-gore-ks-11-in-5-0-scoreless-nats-beat-as-3-1

He picks up on Eno Sarris's point about the velocity changes in Gore's 4 primary pitches - Fastball up to 97 (+2 MPH), slider up 3 mph, curve slightly harder with more drop, and change 2 MPH slower, improving the split between the hard stuff and the change.

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[Gore]’s throwing it [4 seam[ slightly less, 50.8%, after leaning on it 61% and 59.5% of the time in 2022 and ‘23, respectively, with a jump in his changeup usage 15.5% so far, up from 5.2% in ‘22 and 2.9% last year, while his curve (17.1%) and his slider (16.6%) have, thus far, been fairly steady compared to previous seasons.
...
“He’s been terrific,” Rizzo told The Junkies of the early returns on Gore in 2024. “His stuff is elite. He’s got elite stuff, and he’s really challenging hitters more and pounding the strike zone at a much greater pace. I think you’ll see his pitch selection has been much more balanced than it was last year. I think last start against the Phillies he threw somewhere around 15 or 16 percent changeups, along with the curveball, slider, and four-seam fastball, so that’s a dramatic jump from last season where he’s really trying to work that into his repertoire as a fourth pitch and I think you could see that coming, when that pitch comes I think he’s going really, really turn a corner for him.”

Why is the progress of his changeup such a big deal?

“Because he’s got all the power stuff in the world,” Rizzo explained to the Junkies, “… if he can get something to get those right-handed hitters off his fastball and off his hard slider, I think it’s gonna make him even better.”

Yesterday, he reverted to 58% FB use, but was in the strike zone constantly and untouchable.

Online Natsinpwc

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I thought the Nats were unable to do this?

Offline Five Banners

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I thought the Nats were unable to do this?

Maybe Gore got his advice from this thread and turned it around

Online Natsinpwc

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Maybe Gore got his advice from this thread and turned it around
For sure!

Offline IanRubbish

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Maybe Gore got his advice from this thread and turned it around

Smart guy

Online Natsinpwc

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Just turned it on but you can’t be an ace if you only go four innings.  92 pitches but only one walk.  Sounds like a lot of deep counts. 

Offline imref

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Bad outing for him but he bounced back.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Just turned it on but you can’t be an ace if you only go four innings.  92 pitches but only one walk.  Sounds like a lot of deep counts. 
lots of spoiled 2 strike pitches. Burned by weak contact to extend innings.

Offline Five Banners

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lots of spoiled 2 strike pitches. Burned by weak contact to extend innings.

Reminiscent of 2019 game three

Online GataNats

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Weak contact and bad defense hurt him.   That fastball is electric.  Just needs to work on that change against righties

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Just turned it on but you can’t be an ace if you only go four innings.  92 pitches but only one walk.  Sounds like a lot of deep counts. 
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS202404190.shtml

There's a recap of the game that gives each PA, the number of pitches, and the count at the time the PA ends (as well as the result, score, WPA, etc...).  The game basically got away from Gore over a 4 batter sequence in the second that started with Tucker on second after a 2 pitch opposite field bloop that dropped in for a double (let me add that I hope the Nats sign Tucker). The next 4 hitters had 3 3-2 counts, required 24 pitches (6 + 2 + 6 + 10), and went double (grounder), double (hard hit), single (liner that drops), and lineout to center. That more or less cost Gore an inning of work and racked up his 3 runs. Those were also 3 of his counts of 6 pitches or more.

Of those other 3 PAs, there was an 8 pitch grinder that went to 3-2 with Bregman in the first (fly to right), there was a 3rd inning, 6 pitch, 3-2 BB to Tucker (did I mention I hope the Nats sign Tucker) right after a 5 pitch K of Bregman, and an incredible 8 pitch 4th inning 1-2 Altuve grounder into a forceout in the 4th. Altuve also had 2 5 pitch at bats against Gore that ended in swinging K and a single.

When you look at the names that pop up as working him for a lot of pitches, you are seeing a borderline HoF guy notorious for being able to make contact, an All Star who somehow is anonymous on one of the best teams over the past 7 or 8 years, and a mouthy cocky little piece of crud whose dad was Bob Short's lawyer but also is very good when you put that aside. The old cliche of tipping your cap sometimes does apply for Gore.

Online Natsinpwc

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Looks like his next five starts are Dodgers, Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Phillies. Yikes.

Online nobleisthyname

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He's obviously got great stuff, but it always seems like batters are able to foul his pitches off and drive his pitch count up that way.

Kinda faced opposite ends of major league professional hitting quality with the A's and Astros, but both were able to drive his pitch count up with lots of foul balls as he only walked one batter in each game and had a pretty good strike to ball ratio.

If he can figure this out I think he could be a true number 1 guy in a rotation. Otherwise he'll be a weak 2/strong 3.

Online Natsinpwc

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Best outing of the year considering who he faced. Just lower the pitch count a bit more and go seven.

Online GataNats

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This guy is an ace.   Never seen any pitcher completely dominate Ohtani like that

Online Natsinpwc

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Weak contact and bad defense hurt him. 
Yesterday he got great defense.  So things even out.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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double plays helped, but it's a skill to induce groundballs and weak enough flies to double up guys (the exception being Freddie's jaunt around the bases when Young made that sliding catch and doubled him off).

Offline rbw5t

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I see upside too, and like how he battles, but he's allowing way too many baserunners.  Sure it's a skill to induce double plays, but he allowed 9 runners in 6 innings yesterday, and bailed himself out with 4 ending inning double plays.  That's not sustainable as a run-prevention plan, and 1.5 WHIP is not good.  But again, I do like how he battles, and am hopeful he continues to improve.  The biggest problem is see is not putting guys away once he gets to two strikes, which ultimately gets the pitch count too high.  And there are momentarily control lapses.  Yesterday, he walked the 9 hitter Barnes with two outs.  You just can't walk Barnes there to extend the inning and bring up Betts/Ohtani/Freeman (even though he got out of it).

Offline imref

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https://blogs.fangraphs.com/im-just-mackenzie-my-k-9-is-over-10/

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MacKenzie Gore was the high schooler with the big leg kick and unreal velocity for a lefty. Then he was arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball. Then he was trade fodder — but still a key component of the deal that brought Juan Soto from Washington to San Diego. And in 2023, Gore was fine. He made 27 starts, threw 136 1/3 innings, and posted a 4.42 ERA. Did he look like a future Cy Young winner? No. Was this worth giving up on Soto and risking sending the franchise into a tailspin? No. But he was competent in a big league rotation, and not all pitching prospects even achieve that.

In 2024, however, Gore is different. He’s striking out 28.7% of opponents and walking just 7.4%, both career bests. And despite allowing a BABIP of .400, his ERA is down to 3.12. He’s had at least one cupcake on his schedule in five starts, but he’s beaten the Phillies and held the Dodgers to one run over six innings in a losing effort. Is this the ace Nationals fans have been waiting for?

Before the season, Dan Szymborski predicted that Gore would have more success in 2024 than he did last year, just based on the proposition that Gore — who was ridiculously homer-prone in 2023 — would be able to keep the ball in the yard this year. And it’s been only five starts, but Gore’s HR/FB% has dropped from 18.2%, which was seventh in the league among pitchers with at least 100 innings last year, to 8.3%, which is a couple points under league average.

Even taking that into account, Gore has definitely learned one or two new tricks. The first is that he’s throwing ridiculously hard. Gore’s fastball is now averaging 96.8 mph, which makes him the hardest-throwing left-handed starter in the league. It’s also the fifth-biggest velocity gain in the league, according to Baseball Savant, and two of the four pitchers ahead of him on the list are pitchers who moved from the rotation to the bullpen.

Offline zimm_da_kid

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Still sitting on a babip of .353.  That era will drop.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Still sitting on a babip of .353.  That era will drop.
I suppose he is not getting NL pitcher of the month, but his line was excellent -27.2 IP, 2.60 ERA, 34 Ks, 8 BBs, .231 opponents batting average.  .287 wOBA.

Offline Slateman

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He's overachieving by xERA though