Chicago Cubs: Will the real Brian Duensing please stand up?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Brian Duensing #32 of the Chicago Cubs stands on the mound in the eighth inning during game four of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Brian Duensing #32 of the Chicago Cubs stands on the mound in the eighth inning during game four of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Developing a deeper understanding

Looking further into Brian Duensing’s statistics, measuring last season in comparison to this season, there is a noticeable difference in underlying areas which could more also exacerbate the problem.

One difference, in particular, is the decrease in first pitch strikes. Last season, Duensing posted a 57.6 percent first-pitch strike rate. This season, that rate is down nearly five percent, to 52.7 percent. When Duensing begins a hitters count 1-0, opposing teams have posted a heinous .443 wOBA against Duensing.

Last season, Duensing still did not post great statistics in the situation, however, opposing hitters wOBA was nearly one-hundred points less in comparison. Teams slugged .434 last season in this situational hitting, while this year it is almost 100 points higher at .533. The number of strikeouts for Duensing has also decreased significantly when he does not throw a first-pitch strike.

When Duensing starts a batter with a first-pitch strike, the opposing wOBA drops all the way to a paltry .216 with a .237 slugging percentage. Situational pitching is critical for Duensing and his success moving forward.

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