On May 7, Hideaki Wakui of the Seibu Lions tossed a one-hitter against the SoftBank Hawks. A lot of the players involved commented that Wakui was throwing harder than usual, which gave me an itch to find out how much harder. I scratched.
Here’s a breakdown of Wakui’s repertoire in his 2010 starts prior to his May 7 gem, in mph:
What jumps out at me here is the variance in velocity for each of his pitches, particularly the curveball.
Here’s Wakui’s breakdown for May 7:
On May 7, Wakui found a few extra mph on his fastball and changeup, and also worked in his high range with the rest of his stuff as well.
I turned this itch into a bolt-on feature for the Data Site, so this breakdown is available for every game I have velocity data on. I’m working on a way to make this type of data available in aggegrate, but won’t make any promises as to when it might show up on the live site. NPB Tracker Data is basically the culmination of a series of itch scratches, so the way this addition came together is fitting. The css formating of the Data site is a kind of messed up right now, so if there are any designers or css whizzes out there who wouldn’t mind helping me fix it, drop me a line.