Before we cut to the videotape, some notes on Bard’s offering:
• Per linear weights, this lone pitch was worth -0.35 runs — that is, it cost the Yankees that much.
• The pitch was recorded at 93.9 mph by Pitch F/x. Among pitchers who throw a changeup more than 1% of the time, Bard’s is the fastest, averaging 90.5 mph. This pitch was over three miles per hour faster than that.
• Provided the Pitch F/x data is correct in this situation, Bard’s changeup appeared to break even more than usual. On average, Bard’s changeup features 8.8 inches of armside run and 2.4 inches of rise (relative to a spinless ball, that is). This pitch (courtesy Brooks Baseball) was recorded as having 9.5 inches of armside run and 4.5 inches of drop.
If there’s a drawback to this situation, it’s that ESPN doesn’t appear to use the straight-on center-field camera at Fenway, which would give us a sense of how impractical Bard’s change really was.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.