For those of you who do not know, MLB StatCast is a service that registers many things. It measures distance on balls hit, exit velocity, pitch speed, spin rate, launch angle, running speed, and a whole lot more. It’s extensive. In yesterday’s loss to the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers racked up some pretty impressive StatCast numbers regardless of the result. Let’s look at exit velocity.
First off, starting pitcher Alex Wood only had an average exit velocity of 87.15 on the batted balls that he allowed. This is quite low. In fact, it was lower than David Price’s first start with the Boston Red Sox. There were only three hits he allowed all day with an exit velocity of at least 100 MPH. All three went for hits. Regardless of the end result, Wood generated some easy outs.
The Giants did get lucky with some hits, though, as Yimi Garcia gave up two hits that were soft. One registered at 82.85 MPH and the other was 74.73 MPH. The third hit he allowed was a 110 MPH single to Buster Posey. It was the only hard hit ball he gave up. Some bad luck was at play yesterday on the others, though.
Even J.P. Howell wasn’t immune to giving up weak hits, as he gave up a hit on a 69.82 MPH liner by Gregor Blanco, and also a bunt single. Obviously there were hard hit balls by the Giants during the game, but the Dodgers did give up plenty of weak hits to them which suggests they got dinked-and-dunked a little bit. It happens.
As for the offense, the Dodgers had 11 balls put into play against Jake Peavy that registered an exit velocity of at least 100 MPH. Eight of them went for hits, as you would expect. The harder you hit the ball, the likelier it is to fall in for a hit or be a home run. The harder, the better. It’s that simple.
In total, the Dodgers put 34 balls into play yesterday. 14 of those 34 had an exit velocity of at least 100 MPH. On the flip side, the Giants put 34 balls into play yesterday, and only six of them registered an exit velocity of at least 100 MPH, suggesting that San Francisco just had a good game softly hitting the ball wherever the Dodgers weren’t.