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Friday: 1:20 PM CT on MLB Network/ABC-7/670AM
Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.
Michael Wacha: Michael Wacha has thrown 14,849 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and the MLB Postseason. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Change using a Circle Change grip (86mph), also mixing in a Cutter (90mph) and Curve (76mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (93mph).
His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo. His change generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ changeups and is slightly firmer than usual. His cutter is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ cutters and has slightly above average velo. His curve has a sharp downward bite and has slightly below average velo. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has less armside run than typical, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slightly above average velo.
Sean’s Note: Like the rest of the Cardinals staff, Wacha has been much better in the second half. His strike out rate is below average at just 18% and he has given up a whopping 26 homers in just 121 innings. Right handed hitters have crushed him with a .308 average and 16 homers. The Cubs scored 4 runs on Wacha in a five inning start in May.
Final Thoughts: Anthony Rizzo made a surprise return to the lineup Thursday night. The Cubs also almost pulled off a dramatic win, but it wasn’t to be. Chicago now has to win the next three games to have any chance in the division and possibly the wild card. Alec Mills gets a spot start in place of injured Cole Hamels. Do or die at this point.