Matt Moore’s Scoreless Streak Ends; Improvement Continues | The Process Report

Matt Moore’s Scoreless Streak Ends; Improvement Continues

The results said Matt Moore was off to a fantastic start to the season through two starts. He hadn’t allowed an earned run in 11 1/3 innings while surrendering just three hits and striking out 13 batters. No matter how you slice it up the results were fantastic. Yet I felt unsatisfied with the performances. Perhaps because of the eight walks, or even unfair expectations. While Moore was dominating statistically I didn’t get that feeling watching him pitch. Baseball is a funny game.

On Thursday night Moore  allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits, including a home run, and walked three more batters. And despite the lesser results, I came away with the feeling of watching a dominant start. Turns out, there was tangibility to that feeling.

Although he had not allowed an earned run before Wednesday, Moore was laboring to get outs. He averaged  18.5 pitches per inning and was nearing five pitches per plate appearance. Against Baltimore, he dropped those averages down to around 16.5 pitches per inning and finished plate appearances in average of less than four pitches.

The obvious factor in Moore working more efficiently was improved control and command. In the control department, he threw more than 60 percent strikes for the first time this season thanks to an increased in called strikes. In terms of command, the better location led to a drastically reduced rate of foul balls with two strikes.

Par for the course, Moore’s lead pitch was his fastball; however, he dropped the usage just a bit in favor of more breaking balls. He was able to work the heater north and south in the zone, avoiding the middle as much as possible. He had good arm-side control as he worked away from righties with the fastball. Conversely, Moore worked glove-side with the breaking ball, creating an unpredictable work environment for the opposition.

In addition to moving his pitches around, Moore also mixed up his usage in counts as well. With 2 strikes, his weapon of choice was the curveball—resulting in four of his eight strikeouts (all swinging). In addition to being an effective finisher, the hook was also a productive starter. The lefty threw nine first-pitch breaking balls—more than his previous two starts combined—and earned five strikes (four called, one foul) with these offerings.

Moore has emerged victorious in each of his three starts. His first two were flawless in terms of runs allowed. Any time no runs are allowed it is a good result regardless of the process taken. Be that as it may, for me at least, it took some flaws—in this case runs and more hits allowed—for Moore to look his best.

One Comment

  1. […] where he left off against the Orioles, Matt Moore allowed one run in eight innings against the Yankees. He struck out […]

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