Hughes Da Man

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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Huuuuuuuuuuughes

I promised Mike the regular game recap, since he’s out in the Bay Area and was at last night’s game, but he just texted me that his Internet is down and won’t have a post up until midday, so here are my stray observations from last night’s Phil Hughes gem, bullet-point style: – This was probably the best I’ve ever seen Phil Hughes pitch. We all fondly remember his flirtation with a no-no in Texas in the second Major League start of his career in 2007, which ended with a pulled hamstring after 6 1/3 innings. Last night he was Continue reading Huuuuuuuuuuughes

Minors Notes, 4/21

Scranton defeats Syracuse, 8-2 Eduardo Nunez was 2 for 4 for the Yankees, walking twice, and raising his average on the season to .380.  Nunez has faced high expectations since putting up a .313/.365/.427 line as an 18 year-old in Staten Island in 2005.  Since then, he has largely underachieved, and it wasn’t until his 2009 season (.322/.340/.433 in Trenton) that he began to look like a real prospect again.  With bonus baby Carmen Angelini’s struggles in low-A and Ramiro Pena’s offensive deficiencies, Nunez may be the best internal possibility as a successor to Derek Jeter.  Nunez has struggled defensively Continue reading Minors Notes, 4/21

Jeter Needs To Talk To Nick Johnson

[image title=”97433976JJ009_New_York_Yank” size=”full” id=”16899″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] And, here’s another interesting stat on the day, this time in relation to the Yankees’ beloved captain, Derek Jeter. This season, Jeter has walked 1.8% of the time. That’s just one measly walk over 13 games (again, this is a post lightly discussing numbers derived from an extremely small data sample, so don’t be too bothered by this figure or my decision to discuss it). Last season, over 13 games, Jeter walked four times. For comparison’s sake, Jeter’s career walk rate is 9.0%. As of right now, Jeter just isn’t walking. In addition Continue reading Jeter Needs To Talk To Nick Johnson

A quick bit on Robbie Cano

Here’s a random item on the day. Currently, Robinson Cano’s batting average on balls in play – not his batting average, but his BABIP – stands at .300. On his career, Cano’s BABIP is a robust .321, meaning that his current BABIP is actually lower than the norm (but, to be clear, we are only 13 games into the season, so take this analysis lightly). Hence, while his .327/.375/653 triple slash line is nice, Cano should probably have an even better line right now (compared to his career average, he’s also hitting more balls in the air, further impacting his Continue reading A quick bit on Robbie Cano

Mariano Rivera May Never Age

[image title=”ALDS Yankees vs. Indians” size=”full” id=”16892″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] A lot of ink has been spilled over the last few seasons discussion the Yankees plan of succession at closer once Mariano Rivera begins to age and retires. Joba Chamberlain’s name is the most common suggestion, Mark Melancon has gotten some support, and future free agents such as Jonathan Papelbon and Joakim Soria have been mentioned as well. All of these discussions presupposed that eventually Rivera would begin to show signs of aging, and would need to be replaced. Yet here we are in 2010, Mo has passed age 40, Continue reading Mariano Rivera May Never Age

Vazquez Better, But Still Not Quite Right

Javier Vazquez turned in a solid performance last night, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts in 5.1 innings. The last two runs came on one swing from Kurt Suzuki on Javy’s final pitch of the night, and followed a misplayed popup that dropped between Cano and Granderson. In all, it was an improvement over his previous outings, but a variety of elements still do not look quite right. 1) His fastball velocity was still down. Javy averaged 88.9 MPH on his four seamer last night, and was unable to exceed 91.4 all night. He has Continue reading Vazquez Better, But Still Not Quite Right