Pardew: The game of fouls

From Isabelle Pardew at Baseball Prospectus on April 3, 2020:

The Mets played the Phillies in Philadelphia on June 27th, 2019 — Zack Wheeler vs. Aaron Nola — in what began as a seemingly routine game. The first inning of work for both pitchers was nothing extraordinary, not allowing any hits or runs. However, things got more interesting in the bottom of the second inning — Jay Bruce came up to bat, and took seven pitches only to ground out to first. Maikel Franco came up two batters later, and remained at the plate for seven pitches, only to pop out to third. It would be tempting to think that so far, we had not seen a lot of action in a still-scoreless game. Now to the bottom of the third, where Andrew Knapp started off with a ten-pitch walk, seeing five of Wheeler’s six pitch types, and Aaron Nola attempted a sac bunt, but actually reached on an error. Wheeler saw three batters over 19 pitches in the rest of the inning—one of those being an eight-pitch strikeout. At this point, it is interesting to note that Zack Wheeler was at 59 pitches through three innings. However, he’d only given up one hit and one walk. This trend continued for six innings of work, with Wheeler ultimately exiting the game early due to a pitch count of 107 (see Figure 1 for the breakdown of pitches).

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Originally published: April 3, 2020. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.