Take a look at Ryan Vogelsong’s career fastball velocity from Brooks Baseball:
So, yeah, he always gets a velocity boost when October rolls around. When I asked him about it, he mentioned making some “adjustments mechanically” that helped him this time around. But he admitted: “At the same time, there’s adrenaline, no question… It’s going to make you throw harder and do some things that you prodably don’t do on a normal afternoon in Milwaukee or Colorado. No offense to those cities, they just came to mind.”
That adrenaline affects most starting pitchers in the postseason, as they can see the finish line and rest is for the offseason. But Vogelsong is getting the biggest velocity boost of anyone on these World Series rosters:
|Pitcher||Season Velo||Postseason Velo||Delta|
Vogelsong does his best not to let this turn into a situation where he’s overthrowing — Doug Fister found himself in a similar situation this postseason and had to adjust. The pitcher cited experience in helping him know when to use the velocity best. “Knowing how to curb it and make it work to your advantage” is something that comes “from being their before,” the pitcher said Friday before Game Three.
But no matter what, he’ll be throwing closer to 93 than 91, and that changes how you appraise him as a pitcher — every mile per hour of velocity is worth about .28 runs allowed per nine innings.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.