In today’s generation of technology, the idea of charting with pencil and paper typically draws an, “Ugh,” from the duty-bound pitcher. Luckily, at least in the Indians organization, computers are the new thing. It seems complicated at first, but it works pretty simple. One of the charting pitchers each game will be assigned the “Comchart” and sits behind home plate to do so. This is a laptop computer with a program on it to chart the game pitch-by-pitch. After each pitch, the charter is obligated to mark down what happened. Here’s the “quick and easy” process between pitches. Keep in mind; the average time between pitches is usually about 15 seconds:
1. Pitch location
2. Pitch type
3. Pitch speed
4. Hit In Play/Swing and Miss/Strike Looking/Ball
IF IT IS PUT IN PLAY THE LIST GOES ON….
5. Where the ball landed
6. Hard/Medium/Soft hit ball
7. Line Drive/Fly Ball/Ground Ball
IF AN OUT IS MADE….
8. Who made the out(s)
9. Repeat steps 1-8 each pitch
PHEW! Sounds like a lot of stuff doesn’t it? Well, it goes by pretty quickly once you get the hang of it. And we definitely get the hang of it. You see, on a baseball card it would list me as a right-handed pitcher, but pitchers like myself (The starting pitchers, that is) know it is more like right-handed charter. I’ve mentioned it before. In a 5-man rotation, there are 4 days in between starts. What do we do? We chart! Each day is different. Either you are on the hitting chart, pitching chart, velocity, or Comchart. I will briefly let you know how each works.
Hitting Chart: This monitors the location of the pitches thrown TO our hitters FROM the opposing pitcher. It can actually help our manager discover trends of opposing pitchers, but it is typically used to determine what type of pitches our own hitters are swinging at, and hopefully hitting.
Pitching Chart: This monitors the pitch type, velocity, and location for each pitch thrown by our pitchers. It also allows us to keep a tally on the total pitches thrown to each batter, each inning, and overall in the game. After each game, the unlucky pitcher on this chart has to add up all of the following and mark them down: 1-1 strikes, 1st-pitch strikes, curveballs thrown/#of strikes, fastballs thrown/# of strikes, changeups thrown/#of strikes, and any others, total pitches, total strikes, hits allowed, walks allowed, runs allowed, strikeouts, innings pitched.
Velocity Chart: Pretty simple. The person on this chart holds the radar gun in one hand and writes down the speed of each pitch. The only thing is it needs to be marked if it is from the windup or the stretch.
And you know about the Comchart, the 21st century’s way of combining all the other charts into one easy, computerized stat machine.
Leave any comments you like and I will respond ASAP. Thanks for reading.