Cubs-Astros: Chicago Goes for a Series Win Against Brandon Backe

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Cubs-Astros: Chicago Goes for a Series Win Against Brandon Backe
Saturday, an offense appeared. Hopefully this wasn't a fluke. More like a Fuk, actually.

The Cubs will send Carlos Zambrano to face Brandon Backe in Sunday's series finale. Henry Blanco and Reed Johnson are scheduled to start for the Cubs. The Astros will be without at least one starter. Lance Berkman, who left with neck spasms during today's game, will not play. Darin Erstad is expected to get the start at first, while Ty Wiggington is not a sure thing at third, after bruising his thumb during Saturday's game.

Opposing Starter - PITCHf/x Profile
Brandon Backe looks like a four or five pitch guy. His two fastballs are very possibly just one pitch, but there's enough difference to split 'em apart here. He mixes in a slider and a curve, and has what looks like a vicious change-up.

PITCH id's are my own, not MLB.com's (there was no such thing for this dataset, from Backe's 2007 games in Houston)












 mphpfx_xpfx_zSpinDirSpinRate
CH79.24-6.475.16232.40916.67
SL82.412.662.94146.04476.46
FB189.19-6.7910.51212.701507.90
FB288.97-7.737.37226.271283.04
CU74.134.19-4.58223.63629.77














 BCSSSFXHR 
CH91423019
SL126594137
FB1391831616193
FB215160812051
CU84254023
 83451440392223














 BCSSSFXHR 
CH47.4%5.3%21.1%10.5%15.8%0.0%8.5%
SL32.4%16.2%13.5%24.3%10.8%2.7%16.6%
FB141.9%19.4%3.2%17.2%17.2%1.1%41.7%
FB229.4%31.4%0.0%15.7%23.5%0.0%22.9%
CU34.8%17.4%8.7%21.7%17.4%0.0%10.3%
 37.2%20.2%6.3%17.9%17.5%0.9% 














 SwRtWhiffB:CS
CH47.4%44.4%9.0
SL51.4%26.3%2.0
FB138.7%8.3%2.2
FB239.2%0.0%0.9
CU47.8%18.2%2.0
 42.6%14.7%1.8


That slider looks like an awfully effective pitch, but pales in comparison when you look at the Change-up whiff rate. That's pure filth.

Here are the spin movement (PFX) charts, plate location and release points







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