Aside from his sinker, Jacob deGrom has thrown his changeup more than any other pitch so far in August, and the results have been telling. The pitch, which deGrom has thrown almost 19% of the time this month, has been extremely effective this season, but especially of late.
"It's been huge," deGrom told Maria Guardado of NJ.com. "I went to it a lot [Sunday, August 6th] to get some of those ground-ball double plays, I would say it's been a really big pitch for me."
Through all of July and his first two starts in August, deGrom has given up two earned runs or fewer in each of his starts, save for one ugly day in Miami. During those non-Miami games, deGrom has thrown his changeup between 7% and 20% of the time. That Miami start—his worst game of the season—saw deGrom throw by far his fewest changeups of the season: just one changeup in his 3.2 innings of work. By contrast, in yesterday’s game against the Tigers, he tossed 19, one shy of his season-high.
For most of the season, his changeup has had the lowest line-drive rate and the lowest isolated slugging percentage (ISO) of all of his pitches. In June, which was a dreadful month for deGrom, the changeup got hit quite hard. He threw it less than nine percent of the time, but opposing hitters posted a staggering .667 ISO against the pitch.
Now, though, it seems as if he has his good changeup back.