Phil’s No Good Very Bad Day

Towards the end of Spring Training, we began to hear some rumblings about a lack of velocity on Hughes’ fastball. A lot of us, including me, were inclined to write it off as much ado about nothing. After all, if it weren’t something be alarmed about, wouldn’t we have heard about it sooner? It was probably just a bad day or a bad gun. Well let me take that back; this might be a legitimate problem.

Here’s a couple of striking facts from today. Out of 90 total pitches for Hughes, 37 were cutters. The average velocity of that pitch today? 83.5 MPH! Hughes also threw 40 regular fastballs, averaging 89.25 MPH, according to Brooks Baseball. But more striking than that is the fact that Hughes didn’t record a single swinging strike with the fastball all game. Not one! In fact, Hughes only got two swinging strikes the entire game, both of which came via the cutter. To state the obvious, that’s not good!

By now you’re probably looking for a silver lining. Maybe hoping that Hughes at least had good command of his pitches? Sorry, no such luck.

As you can see, there are a lot of pitches up, and precious few in the zone. Combine that with the low fastball velocity and lack of breaking balls thrown for strikes and it’s not at all hard to see why Hughes got shelled today. Let’s hope this problem irons itself out. Soon.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

10 thoughts on “Phil’s No Good Very Bad Day

  1. I hate that baseball people use the word velocity instead of speed. Velo is direction of pitch. Speed is what you are talking about

    • Since the baseball is going in one predominant direction and no one cares how fast the ball is dropping, using velocity fits. Then again, who am I to nit pick a nit picker.

      • Actually that's why it doesn't. The direction and drop DON'T matter, and therefore speed is the proper term.

        • No, it's velocity. The Radar gun measures speed in its directional plane (hence velocity) (scalar+direction, vector). Therefore it is the velocity in the direction of the radar guns directional axis (where it is pointed).

  2. 37 cutters? Seems like there are classification issues going on here. Pitch f/x is confused because his cutter last year came in at 88-90 when yesterday that 's how fast his fastball was.

    • And his "fastball" was coming in at 89.5, instead of 92-93+ mph. Your point? Slow is slow.

      • My point was that because his four seam velocity yesterday was similar to his cutter velocity from last year, the MLBAM classification system got confused. It's classification system takes in data from the entire pitcher's career. My point is that there's no way he threw 37 cutters.

  3. This is exactly where he left off last year. He gets 2 strikes on guys and he gives them a cookie to hit or misses location. I don't care about speed at this point. If he can locate his pitches he should have no problems. 2 guys killed him yesterday and he had them both in 1-2 counts before giving up hits or homers with 2 outs.

  4. Regardless of what counts he got them into he got shellacked. I would have rather had him get a lot of fist pitch groundouts. Going 1-2 probably gave each hitter too many pitches to see before they smacked the next one over the fence. I just pray he doesnt have that dead arm syndrome…

    And what about Bartolo the toad? The bats made up for hughes but whey the heck did they let BC pitch? Hughes should defnitely get the loss but they should have awarded two losses in that game. One to hughes and one to colon. This fool reminds me of Irabu!