Admission: I didn’t stay up too late watching last night’s Yankees/A’s game. I’m in the midst of a very busy stretch at work and I already don’t get enough sleep as is. I watched the first four innings and was remarking that Hughes was making things look VERY easy. His fastball looked great, around 93 mph, backed up by a wicked cutter. What I had no idea was that he’d take that no-hitter until the 8th inning.
So how’d Phil do it? Well, let’s look at some data to back up what we already know was a scintillating night. Here’s his pitch chart. What’s worth noting is how few first pitch balls were thrown. By my count, I see only five (including one that should have been a strike) out of twenty-five batters faced:
This is the way pitchers need to attack the zone. Throw strikes, get ahead of the count, control the game and the situation. Nibbling and trying to be too perfect is just not the way to do it.
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