What has gotten lost in all the calls for do-overs and commissioner over-rides is the remarkable precision with which Armando Galarraga pitched against the Indians Wednesday night.
A quick look at the bottom-line stats are stunning on their own:
- 88 pitches
- 67 strikes
- 21 balls
As ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick points out, that pitch count includes the five pitches Galarraga threw to Trevor Crowe for the final out.
Awesome, right? Well, it actually gets better.
Thanks to a Pitcher Report Card produced by the good folks at Inside Edge, we gain insight into these nuggets of statistical goodness:
- 86 percent of Galarraga’s first pitches were thrown for strikes
- 93 percent of his first two pitches were strikes
- 75 percent of his fastballs were strikes
- 77 percent of off-speed pitchers were strikes
- 93 percent of two-strike at bats became outs
- 4 percent of Indians at-bats went to three-ball counts
In fact, out of the 23 categories Inside Edge uses to grade a pitcher’s performance, Galarraga earned an A+ in 20 of them. The three in which he fell short were:
- 50 percent of 1-and-1 counts became 1-and-2 counts (the MLB average is 54 percent) – Grade: C+
- 7 percent of outs were strikeouts in four pitches or less (MLB average, 12 percent) – Grade: C-
- 7 percent of Galarraga’s pitches were swing-and-miss strikes (MLB average, 15 percent) – Grade: F
As you might have guessed, Inside Edge graded the outing an A.
Galarraga’s surgical approach to the Cleveland lineup also included first-pitch strikes to every right-handed batter he faced (73 percent to lefties). Remarkable.
For a while, perhaps a long while, baseball fans will remember this game for what happened when the 27th batter hit a ground ball to Miguel Cabrera. That’s fine.
But I hope Tigers fans will also remember how tremendous — rather, how virtually perfect Armando Galarraga’s pitching was on June 2, 2010.