The Washington Post

Nothing’s changed with Stephen Strasburg’s changeup. It’s still unhittable.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It’s been a rocky start for the Washington Nationals. They have been an average team in both hitting and pitching. They lead the league in errors with 25 (Ian Desmond has eight, also worst in majors) and now sit three games back of the Atlanta Braves after stranding 14 base runners during Thursday night’s extra-innings loss to the Padres.

Luckily, Stephen Strasburg’s changeup is as reliable as ever.

According to BrooksBaseball, Strasburg has thrown his changeup 1,164 times in the major leagues. It has been hit for just seven extra-base hits, with the last one a Tyler Colvin homer on July 6, 2012.

Last season, batters barely got any results, hitting a minuscule .130 and whiffing on the pitch 47 percent of the time. This season, it carries a 33.7 percent whiff percentage, and no hitter has put the ball in play safely in any of the 92 offerings.

Pitch type Count AB K BB BAA SLG Strike% Swing Whiffs
Four-seam 247 58 14 6 0.345 0.535 29.5% 47.4% 8.5%
Sinker 8 2 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.0% 37.5% 0.0%
Change 92 23 17 1 0.000 0.000 39.1% 63.0% 33.7%
Slider 46 10 5 0 0.400 0.700 45.7% 45.7% 30.4%
Curve 72 15 6 1 0.333 0.400 37.5% 36.1% 9.7%
Source: BrooksBaseball

He throws the changeup to both righties and lefties, like during this strikeout of Colby Rasmus in 2012, Strasburg’s 100th career strikeout.

Batters are still chasing that pitch today.

Strasburg Whiff rate on CH 2014

There is a lot going wrong with the Nationals, but Strasburg’s changeup isn’t one of them.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.



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Neil Greenberg · April 25, 2014