Call me crazy, but this is one of the images I get in my head when I think of Brett Myers this year...
This was the epic battle performed while he was in the minors. Good versus evil (though, in Myer's case, it may be evil vs slightly more evil). Either way, it looks like mild mannered Brett Myers has fought off his demons and returned to us. Sure, he ain't this good, but you know, I spent a lot of time saying he wasn't that bad earlier, so, I guess it evens out.
From March 31st to June 27th, here is Myer's line:
3 W 9 L 101.2 IP 115 H 70 R 44 BB 24 HR 88 K 5.84 ERA 45 Avg GS .907 OPSA
From July 23rd to August 25th, here is Myer's line:
4 W 1 L 48.2 IP 39 H 10 R 13 BB 38 K 2 HR 1.66 ERA 64 Avg GS .587 OPSA
What can we make of this? I am sure MattS has some sort of detailed analysis of GB/FB and ratios and stuff, but has Brett been a different person/pitcher lately? I am not sure what can really be determined by this or if it is just luck or normalization of some stats. But the difference is striking and I don't know if it has anything to do with his demotion, but that turns out to be the spot of the split.
The 3 basic rate stats look like this:
Pre demotion: 3.9 BB/9 2.16 HR/9 7.80 K/9
Post demotion: 2.41 BB/9 0.37 HR/9 7.38 K/9
So, is walks per 9 have dropped by 1.5, his HRs per 9 have dropped bu almost 2 and his strikeouts have actually dropped by about .5 per 9. The biggest impact on his ERA is clearly the homeruns. You are talking about at least 2 runs a game just based on homeruns, ignoring people on base (though there is a stat (and I am doing this off of memory) that Myers has the fewest 3 and 4 run homeruns in MLB of all players with over 100 HRs given up).
Is this sustainable?
Career: 3.20 BB/9 1.31 HR/9 7.54 K/9
Looks like there is a nice middle ground for him to settle into. It seems that the decrease in walks and strikeouts result in more balls in play. Those tended to be flyballs for the old Brett, but the new Brett is seeing a ton more groundballs.
Pre: 1.27 GB/FB
Post: 1.925 GB/FB
I think the primary reason for this is his use of his offspeed pitches. He seems to be throwing his curveball (and for strikes) a lot more. He had games earlier in the year where it looked like he was 80-85% fastballs, and players were teeing off of them. I don't know if this is just teams not having a new scouting report on Myers or just a better approach for him. It will be an interesting last month of the season to see how this ends up.