Matt Harvey: Mental, Mechanics, Muscle and Mystery … “The Butterfly Effect” Part 3

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Parkinson’s Law Definition:
Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
In 2004 I wrote the following:
“Movement will fill the time you give it. Which is a corollary of Parkinson’s law.”
Revisiting the Concept of Power
From Matt Harvey: Mental, Mechanics, Muscle and Mystery … “The Butterfly Effect” Part 2

In physics, power is the rate of doing work. It is the amount of energy consumed per unit time. Having no direction, it is a scalar quantity.

In physics, a force is said to do work if, when acting on a body, there is a displacement of the point of application in the direction of the force. For example, when a ball is held above the ground and then dropped, the work done on the ball as it falls is equal to the weight of the ball (a force) multiplied by the distance to the ground (a displacement).

A "Thought Experiment"

Considered 2 pitchers who are identical clones of each other in every respect including how they throw the baseball EXCEPT how long they take to throw the baseball.

Pitcher 2 windup and delivery takes twice as long as Pitcher 1. Pictorially this is illustrated in the following diagram.

Referring to the diagram:

F” is the force applied to the baseball. "m" is the mass of the baseball. "a" is the acceleration of the baseball. "d" is the distance that the force is applied to the baseball before it is released. "t" is the length of time. "v” is a velocity of the baseball at the end of time “t”.

In order to simplify the calculations I have made values for m, d, equal to 1. and t1=1 and t2 = 2.

I will now apply some physics mumbo-jumbo.

Relating distance traveled during the windup and delivery to acceleration time:

d=1/2 at2

The distance that each pitcher moves the baseball during the windup and delivery is identical therefore.

d1=d2, therefore 1/2 a1t12 = 1/2a2t22

Substituting numeric values and eliminating common values to either side:


More physics mumbo-jumbo which relates velocity, acceleration and time:


v1=a1t1 and t1=1. v2 =a2t2 and t2=2. But a1=4a2, therefore:

v1=4a2 and v2=2a2 and the ratio of v1 to v2 = v1/v2 = 4a2/2a2 = 2

Pitcher 1 velocity is two times that of pitcher 2.

The amount of power developed by each pitcher = 1/2mv2

Pitcher 1 power = 1/2* (1)* (4a2) 2 = 8 a22
Pitcher 2 power = 1/2* (1)* (2a2) 2 = 2 a22

The ratio of pitcher 1 to pitcher 2 power is 8a22/2a22 = 4

Which says that in order to develop twice the velocity pitcher number one has to develop four times the power.

If you gotten this far in the article I commend you

Not only do I commend you but hopefully I’m going to give you something that may pique your interest.

The following is a clip where I have synchronized 2 clips the delivery of Harvey throwing the baseball. I will emphasize again I have taken great pains to make sure that I have synchronize the clips from the very beginning of the delivery.

The clip on the left is from Harvey’s pitching performance low point of 5/19/16 against the Washington Nationals where he lasted 2.2 innings having given up 9 runs. His velocity during this game hundred around 92-93 mph. On this particular pitches velocity was 93 mph.

The clip on the right is from Harvey’s spring training, 3/30/16, where he pitched two innings and gave up a home run but threw the ball quite well consistently 95-97 mph.

This is the same clip but what I’ve done is slowed down the sequence starting with the separation of the hands from the glove using the right side clip (97 mph) as the starting point. Many years ago on SETPRO after doing literally thousands of hours of video analysis I came to the conclusion that the actual beginning of the throw starts when the hands separate i.e. the ball taken out of the glove.

To be continued…

Matt Harvey Part 4

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