I spent the early afternoon writing about Mike Bolsinger and how I would rather see him pitch than have Mat Latos on the mound. That still stands, but I did not mean to use my jinxing magic to ruin it for Bolsinger as well. There are two possible reasons as to why Bolsinger only lasted 3.2 innings tonight.
The first reason could have to do with batters recognizing his arm slot. Back in June, Eno Sarris of Fangraphs wrote about Bolsinger’s the subtle differences of the pitches in his arsenal. While he was not necessarily cruising through the innings, he really started to labor in the fourth – the second time through Arizona’s lineup. With only the arm slot to really differentiate his pitches (you did click on the link right?), it is possible that Arizona knew which pitch was coming before it even left the mound. Here is a look at his release points from all four innings.
I get that it is difficult to decipher which pitch is which based off of the quality of the gif. The point I want to highlight is that after the first inning, there was virtually no change in his arm slot with his slider and his cutter. Interestingly, the release points of his pitches in tonight’s game is noticeably different from the release points in his previous three starts.
This leads to the second reason as to why Bolsinger was off.[tweet https://twitter.com/DanielBrim/status/642881167461613568]
There is little room for error when it comes to Bolsinger. The movement of his pitches relies so much on release point that any change in delivery can alter the pitch tremendously. I present you one last gif.
As you can see, Bolsinger’s pitches were flat and predictable. There was very little movement, especially when the pitches made tonight are compared to those made in his last three starts. Whether this a trend that continues remains to be seen, if he gets another start.
That was more of a pitching recap than anything else. Moving on, Corey Seager esta en fuego tonight! He went 4-4, drove in three runs, and drew a walk. He also smacked his first dinger over the right field wall. Yasmani Grandal made his return tonight and went 0-3, striking out twice but also drawing two walks. The bullpen did an outstanding job keeping Arizona at bay by only allowing two runs.
The magic number for the Dodgers is now 14 with twenty-one games left in the regular season. Tomorrow, Zack Greinke faces off against Patrick Corbin. First pitch will be at 1:10 PST. You can catch the game on Sportsnet LA or AM570.