MLB 08 THE SHOW Weekly Update: Pitcher/Batter Analysis

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Hi everyone. My name is Lorne Asuncion, Designer for the MLB: The Show franchise. I’m here to explain two of our new features this year: the Pitcher and Batter Analysis. One thing we wanted to improve on and enhance was the strategic thinking of the hardcore sports gamer who play this game. With the Pitcher and Batter Analysis, you as the gamer, will be able to break down the game even more by using these two features to sort and filter different categories to get accurate and helpful results. This is a Scouting Report that’s quick and easy to manage.

On the Pitcher Analysis, you can sort by numerous categories (which have sub-categories) such as the team, the specific pitcher, the batter handedness, the pitch type, the situation and the result. This sort will break down a pitcher’s tendencies on where he likes to throw each pitch and how often. A pitch plot will appear on the right-hand side of the screen to give you a visual on the selected sort. On the bottom left-hand side, a breakdown of each pitch that the pitcher throws is shown. Each pitch type is tracked by the number of pitches, strike percentage and opponent’s batting average. All of this information is pertinent because it shows the pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses for each pitch, in each zone, in all situations.

The picture below is an example of the Pitcher Analysis. It shows that Josh Beckett likes to throw his changeup very low and sometimes out of the strike zone. The Yankees haven’t had too much success with that pitch by only getting one hit out of Beckett’s last nine changeups.


Another example below shows how the Red Sox have been doing against Chien-Ming Wang’s devastating sinker. As you can see, Wang consistently throws his sinker down with positive results (an out, three foul balls, two swing and misses out of eight pitches). Because he’s been successful with that pitch all game long, swinging at that pitch might not be the best idea.


The Batter Analysis breaks down a batter’s tendencies and batting statistics by sorting through different categories and their sub-categories. When pitching, this will give you a better idea on where a batter has positive and negative results in each section of the strike zone. You can also view the batter’s Batting Average and Slugging Percentage in each area of the strike zone. If a batter hits well in a zone, that zone appears red. If he doesn’t hit well, that zone will appear blue. After a long period of time, you’ll see a heavy sample on where a batter like to hit pitches and, conversely, make outs. This is very useful in Road to the Show because you will be able to see the success and failure in each zone for your created player. This information might help your player get to “The Show” even sooner.

In the picture below, you can see the pitcher-batter duel between Jake Peavy and Andruw Jones. By looking at the pitch plot, you can see that Jones has been very patient with all of Peavy’s pitches by taking nine of the 13 thrown. Even though he was patient, the results were mixed because he had only one hit, on a fastball down low. If you were batting with Jones, you should be looking for a lot of pitches down in the strike zone as there were only two that were high.


In another Batter Analysis picture below, you can see the how the Padres have been doing against Brad Penny by looking at the Hot/Cold Zones on the right-hand side of the screen. It shows that the Padres haven’t had any success on pitches that are down and away or down and inside. On the flip side, they’ve gotten hits when Penny leaves a pitch around the heart of the plate.


By using these two features consistently more and more, you will gain more knowledge and a feel of all tendencies for a batter and a pitcher. This is exactly what we want you to take away from this game. It’s more than just a “See Pitch, Hit Pitch” type of game. There’s an enormous amount of strategy, much like real baseball and this is another way of conveying that. I hope you enjoy these two features and the rest of MLB 08: THE SHOW.

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  • This is a must have for me. I need a good baseball game for my PSP.

  • This title needs a little mini-game where you try to use steroids to boost your stats, but then try to hide it from the Feds. Its ok, MLB won’t get mad. They like the roids.

  • It’s features like this that make The Show, the best baseball game on the market.

  • Is there a way to chart how many times the batter spits and/or scratches himself during any given inning?

  • You got me with the phrase “quick and easy to manage.” (Not that Jeff- get your mind out of the gutter! :P ) Sometimes games go a little too in-depth, y’know? This looks simple enough that I could actually get something out of it. Nice job! :D

  • After seeing the screenshots, gameplay, and everything else you guys are implementing this has quickly become a MUST buy!

    I behalf of all video game lovers and sports fan applaud your effort put into this game, and can only wait for it.

    Thank you!

  • yes… it’s looks like sony will have the best baseball game now… it not only look awesome… the gameplay is better and all… any baseball fan needs this game…

    Now, we need a better basketball game please…

  • Very informative blog today. Lets hope were done with Sony providing commercials and focused on information. That’s the best way to get games out to the hardcore.

  • This is a pretty extreme amount of detail in it. Hopefully these little tweaks add a random gameplay factor into it making it more replayable. I’ve never played a Sony MLB game before.

  • this game is looking awesome. Great post!

  • nice. I don’t usually play sports games other than the “quick game” feature, but this is pretty cool. (and looks easy to use and helpful)

    @#2 davivman

  • Looks complicated, but it really isn’t.

  • I can’t wait. The fact that the crowd is not a bunch of blurry mess rocks

  • this is very interesting :) looking at the pictures it seems very detailed. Awesome :)

  • Sony, can we get an official reply on the status of the influx of disc drive failures on the PS3s? My 60GB’s drive failed Thursday and I’m waiting on a box to send it to you guys, but I’m noticing that it’s only happened to people with the new patch (though I know it’s a very rare problem still), and am just wondering what the deal is with this?

    A reply would really be appreciated considering I’m looking at giving you $150 since I can’t find my receipt because my HOUSE BURNED DOWN, and I’d like to know what’s going on relative to other people’s PS3s as well as my own.. I don’t see why an online receipt or credit card receipt from a seller isn’t authorization enough. What’s the point of even registering the PS3 to your name on the site if it has no actual use? If I wanted to be jerked around by a game company and eventually made to pay for something I’ve already bought AND have a working warranty for, I would have bought a Microsoft product. I don’t expect this kind of crap from you, Sony.

    tl;dr: disc drive failure – Sony’s fault via new patch, or users’ collective faults for…unknown reasons?

  • I always wondered how EA didn’t manage to get there hands on this. Wonder how good / bad a job they would do?

    Anyway, I’m ready for a baseball title for my PS3 and I think this is the one to do it. I passed on ’07 but found myself fondling the package as I traversed the aisles of Best Buy more than once, only to put it down again. I’ll be there.

    Go Cardinals.

  • I, first, must comment on the fact that Sports/Racing games are at the absolute bottom of the barrel for me. Never bought one.

    But this tracking system is implemented in a manner that pleases me, and additions like these are good in ANY game.

  • BTW ‘Lorne Asuncion’ is the coolest name on this blog

  • The new features for 08 look awesome. I agree with Mattyinkwell it’s going to be great to finally see a more realistic crowd. Also the music jukebox features that let you listen to whatever music you want to while you are playing. I can’t wait to play with the new graphics made for the PS3. Can’t wait for this game to come out

  • It’s the work these guys are putting into this game that makes us really happy and pumped to get it.

    Man, the days where one had to stare at pitchers not knowing anything ’bout how they pitch are long gone.

    This really makes Season mode way more interesting and deep. Hope the CPU can use our tendencies against us as well.

    Hey Lorne, as a long time mlb fan I think it’d be awesome for you guys to add co-op. Yes it’s good facing off against your brothers/friends, but teatming up with them can be just as fun.

    Even if it’s not online, co-op in baseball games is overdue.

  • @Everyone: Thanks for all of your positive comments. We’re looking forward for all of you guys to try these features and the rest of the game.

    @Scarecrow: We’re always looking into doing new features for our game and co-op could just be one of them. I’ll take that idea back to our brainstorming sessions when we have them.

  • The BIG thing that I am wondering is load time. I bought 07, loved the Road to the Show mode, except for the couple of time I went back and forth through the Farm system when I had just won the World Series. I digress, my point in all this is that last years game had horrendous load times, I was wondering if you have fixed that in this installment?

  • This game looks awesome the only problem that i have is in last years ps3 game and so far in this years screenshot and videos is the bug that has every player from both teams wears long sleeves only during night games. During day games only the players created to have them wear them but at night it changes for some reason. Like i said it is only onthe ps3 game that has this problem hopefully you know this to fix it other than that I can’t wait for this game

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