There are many ways to succeed as an MLB starting pitcher. One way is to strike a lot of hitters out without a lot of walks. This conventional method has created dominant pitchers in Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Chris Sale. Another way is the Kyle Hendricks special: generating infield fly balls and limiting hard contact. But, there is also the Dallas Keuchel model: getting a ton of ground balls.
Before this year, Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley did not excel in either of the first two categories; he had a below-average strikeout-to-walk ratio and a poor infield fly ball rate. His ground ball rate, of 53.8 percent, was good, at 9.5 percentage points above the Major League average.
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