01 July 2010
| Barry Enright
won has major league debut on Wednesday against the Cardinals, allowing 1 ER in 5 innings, with 4 Hits, 4 Walks, and 5 Strikeouts. To get through 5 IP, Enright threw 101 pitches, 55 of which were strikes, and 46 were balls. Although Enright did pitch effectively, it was a little surprising to see Enright walk so many batters, and throw so many pitches in just 5 innings, after showing excellent command
in the minors. Was Enright already struggling with his command like so many other pitchers on the Diamondbacks ?
It turns out that the problem may have been the small strike zone of umpire Angel Campos. The plot below (from the excellent web site BrooksBaseball.net
) shows the normalized strike zone map for Enright against the Cardinals. The width is based on the average umpire's strike zone, while the height is normalized based on the batting stance of each batter. The view is that of the home plate umpire (not the pitcher). The green squares represent pitches that were called "Balls," the red squares are the called "Strikes," and the blue squares are the balls in play.
It is clear that Enright had several pitches within the strike zone that were still called "Balls" - I count at least 10. At least two of Enright's pitches were a good three inches within the zone, and were still not called strikes. Enright did get the benefit of two high called strikes, and also received four other borderline strike calls on each edge of the plate.
The plot below shows the pitch location for the final pitch of each at bat. Of the four batters that were walked by Enright, three of them were awarded Ball Four on a pitch that was actually within the strike zone. So maybe the problem on Wednesday was not Enright's command, but Angel Campos' strike zone. He'll get another start next week, as he'll stay in the rotation while Dontrelle Willis
moves to the bullpen.