#SFGiants Unlikely Pitching Velocity Increases, Hitters’ Homeruns

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#SFGiants Pitchers Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Heston Improve Velocity Each Year


Seems like whenever the Giants go on one of their prolonged losing streaks or whenever a pitcher has had a bad game or two, they/ he turn it around at will.  Latest most extreme example is Ryan Vogelsong, who had come off a bad May after a good April. Just when the Giants were having one of their worst streaks mid-June (losing a historic eight in a row at home), the 37 year old vogelsong suddenly turns up the juice against Seattle and throws six shut out innings.  Even the announcers noted  the surprising velocity spurt to 93 mph on many of Vogelsong’s pitches – we’re talking Bumgarner territory for a pitcher  who had seen a big drop offs amidst increases.    #Peavy peds, #Bumgarner peds,


But then, just as hitters Joe Panik and Mat Duffy were suddenly slugging it out in a friendly homerun competition with unlikely homer numbers for 2015 – they’re both at six, only three high of leader Buster Posey- here comes Bumgarner, suddenly cranking up his velocity to 95  against Seattle, as the Giants still managed to lose despite Bumgarner.


'Madison Bumgarner » PitchFx  5-18-15» Velocity Graphs » FA I FanGraphs Baseball' - www_fangraphs_com_pitchfxo_aspx_playerid=55Bumgarner’s fastball velocity has jumped around but gradually incrasing from  averages of 89 in 2013 to 93 in  2015,during which he threw a number of pitches at 95 for perhaps the first time ever.



Bumgarner’s  overall velocity average has actually increased each year since 2009 when he aveeraged 89.2 mph according to FanGraphs. In 2010 it took a big spike to 91.0 mph, and again increasing to 91.5  in 2011 only to drop a bit , to 90.8 in 2012. But, then ,  velocity was up again  to 91.2, on average in 2013 and a whopping 92.0 in 2014 ,  especially in the postseason when he averaged  just shy of 93 mph.  This might help explain how Bumgarner’s ERA dropped to a  postseason low of 0.29  among pitchers, after having only the 21st best during the regular season.  Only one other pitcher in major league history had that low an ERA during post season, pitching more than twenty innings. And this year, 2015 , Bumgarner’s velocity is up even further , to 92.4 with pitches going as high as 95 mph for the first time,as noted.


BUMGARNER giants pitching regualr season vs post 1000





Ryan Vogelsong has shown a similar, unlikely, increase in his pitching velocity, going from the high 80s in 2013 to an average of almost 93 mph in his most recent (2015) game against Seattle June 17, when he struck out nine hitters in six innings. He helped the Giants stop a skid and salvage a series tie. The 93 mpg is ‘Bumgarner territory,’this for an aging pitcher who was thought to be on his way out a month ago. We’ve seen similar resurrections from older pitchers like Jake Peavy,  who had lost 13 games in half a season before his unlikely 2014 turnaround after coming to the Giants.

'Ryan Vogelsong 5-18-15» PitchFx » Velocity Graphs » FA I FanGraphs Baseball' - www_fangraphs_com_pitchfxo_aspx_playerid=1011&position=P&pitch=FA

37-year-old Vogelsong, who will be 38 next month has gone from a low velocity of 85 in 2013 to a high of 94 in 2015.




Some pitchers have been known to sometimes hold back some of their velocity for late in a game when they really need it, but this is fairly rare.They usually will throw a pitch as hard as they can control it.


There are other pitchers on the Giants who have had similar unlikely average increases in velocity with the Giants each year, or , especially in the post season.


Chris Heston may be another, but he hasn’t been on the Giants long enough for comparative stats. We do know that his ERA is better with the Giants that it was in the minors. He was a last minute call up late last year when the pitching staff  was short, as was Joe Panik on the hitting side; the Giants had tried out six other second baseman , never even considering Panik, who didn’t have great numbers in the minors. Same goes for Mat Duffy.  Now you look up and all three are doing better, after only a few months in the majors than their much higher paid counterparts on the Giants.


‘Splain that Lucy.  Shall we just say , ‘The Beat Goes On ‘… 24 indicted PED players later on the Giants.


The Giants have won the three Worlds Series in five years, as we know, after goingo almost 60 years without a World Series victory. This has been done not even with Barry Bonds,but with names one would have never expected… in 2010 it was Andre ‘Adderall’ Torrez, Jose Guillen, Pat Burrell. Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross.In 2012 , it was  Marco Scutaro, replacing the PED suspended Melky Cabrera and the new upstart, Bumgarner and Sandoval, all with unlikely performances, espcially in the playoffs.  And  last year , 2012, it was PED indicted Michael l Morse,  along with Sandoval and Bumgarner again, leading the way along with little known pitchers named Petit and Machi, and over the hill pitchers Peavy, Vogelsong and Hudson.


Had the Giants on the three World Series three years in a row with a consistent nucleus of established, known entities it would have been one thing but to do it with  three different casts of unlikely characters including FIVE KNOWN PED PLAYERS you gotta wonder.  And then stats likes these for Vogelsong and Bumgarner – and a lot of others reported elsewhere,  such as skinny Duffy and Panik hitting more homers at this point in the season than ever before, including the minors and and for  unlikely averages for a player drafted low (Duffy) and same goes for ‘No Hit’Heston, a 12 th round draft pick who just pictched the major’s first no-hitter of the season!