Tyler Glasnow did not look good against the Cincinnati Reds. He was wild and did not have a grove to him. That changed in his second start, and he performed much better against the Chicago Cubs.
Things did not start off well for Tyler Glasnow. The first two pitches of the game were balls, and then Kyle Schwarber hit the next pitch for a double. The box score makes things appear a different way than what the data shows.
On the surface, it was a double. But given what the numbers show, it was a 50.7 mile per hour struck ball with a launch angle of 18 degrees. It also only went 93 feet in the air, so was it really bad pitching on Glasnow’s part or more being unlucky? I’ll go with the latter. Glasnow then left a 92.7 mile per hour heater down the heart of the pipe on a 2-0 count to
Glasnow then left a 92.7 mile per hour heater down the heart of the pipe on a 2-0 count to Kris Bryant, and he ended up hitting it off the scoreboard. It was 2-0 quickly with a double and a home run, but the double was extremely soft contact.
Glasnow was able to come back and strike Anthony Rizzo out on a what might have been a changeup, it was thrown at 88.7 miles per hour, Statcast picked it up as a two-seam, but it looked like a changeup. Zobrist then grounded a 68.7 mph groundball to shortstop Adam Frazier, which resulted in an error. Addison Russell tripled and Jason Heyward singled. It was 4-0 real quick, but Glasnow got Willson Contreras and to pop out and Jake Arrieta to whiff.
For the inning, he allowed four runs and four hits. But the exit velocity of the six balls in play was just 80.4 miles per hour. That’s really soft contact.
The second inning was quick for Glasnow, he struck out Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber before getting a 78.6 mph groundout to Hanson from Bryant. Soft contact and strikeouts, things we heard about Glasnow through the minors.
The third inning was a struggle for Glasnow. He allowed a double to Rizzo, and then he struck out Ben Zobrist, but a cross up between Cervelli and Glasnow allowed Zobrist to reach, which is more bad luck. Addison Russell doubled in both runs. But Heyward grounded out and, Russell was thrown out at the plate on a Contreras ground ball to Freese, and Arrieta grounded out. More bad luck for Glasnow led to one of the two runs, and he got more soft contact at 81.4 mph.
The fourth inning was much like the second. Baez and Schwarber both whiffed on curveballs and Bryant grounded out. After hitting Rizzo and walking Zobrist in the fifth inning, Glasnow found himself in more trouble. But a lineout and a fielder’s choice cleaned things up. Glasnow walked Contreras, but got Arrieta to fly out to Andrew McCutchen in right field. No harm.
A quick look at the box score shows Glasnow allowed six runs (four earned) in five innings. But he struck out seven, 26.9 percent, and walked only two. Furthermore, he got groundballs at a rate of 56.3 percent. One of the runs came off a double that was 50 miles per hour. Overall, the average exit velocity on balls in play were 78.5 miles per hour. He also picked up 11 swinging strikes on 99 pitches or 11.1 percent of the time. His fastball averaged 94.2 miles per hour, his hook was at 79.3, and his change at 88.4.
The box score shows Glasnow struggled, he did, there is no denying that. But looking at the data shows growth and improvement. There’ll be highs and lows with Glasnow this season, but his start against Chicago showed glimpses of what he can do, and it is a good stepping stone toward his next start against the New York Yankees next week at PNC Park.
*All numbers from baseball savant’s game feed