Hughes rides new approach to success

The biggest difference with Hughes these days continues to be his near total abandonment of his cutter. Far from letting it all hang out with his four-seamer, however, Hughes has also been utilizing his changeup and his curveball with increasing frequency in his last three starts. The culmination of that trend was his last start this past Saturday against the Mariners when Hughes called on the fastball just 58% of the time (slightly less often than before he called on the great spirit of the bullpen, actually), and threw four cutters out of 112 total pitches. The difference? 14 changeups and 29 curveballs. Yes, over 1 in 4 of the pitches Hughes threw against the Mariners was a curveball, a pitch that was almost laughably bad earlier this season. Far from utilizing it as a show me pitch or getting in trouble with it, however, Hughes threw the pitch for a strike over half the time (51.7%), and generated a whiff rate of 6.9% and a foul ball rate of 10.3%.…

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Breaking down Kuroda’s stinker

Here’s a visual representation of Kuroda’s location Wednesday night, marked by pitch type:

All those pitches in the middle of the plate just jump right out at you, don’t they? The sinker, in particular, was often left up and over the plate and, indeed, the sinker was Kuroda’s least effective pitch according to Brooks Baseball’s linear weights.

Now let’s look at each of the home runs Kuroda allowed last night. First the two-run bomb J.P. Arencibia hit in the second inning:

The home run came on a slider that just didn’t get off of the plate in time, and which Arencibia was able to get in front of and square up for a home run. Not a bad pitch to throw in a full count, but Arencibia had already seen three in the at bat, and apparently was ready to hit one that caught that much of the plate.

The three run home run Edwin Encarnacion hit in the next inning:

This time the home run comes on a sinker up and slightly off the outside corner.…

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Morning stroll down memory lane

Whenever someone mentions Jason Giabmi’s tenure with the Yankees, I get pretty peeved. He wasn’t exactly the player he was in Oakland and his glove was, well, let’s just not talk about that. However, he was still productive with the bat, posting a .404 OBP and a .525 SLG (.925 OPS) in his time with...

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Yanks tattooed by Toronto, 8-1

In his short Yankee career, Hiroki Kuroda has frequently had trouble in the 1st inning, putting his team in a hole early in the game.  The good news about today’s outing was that Kuroda managed to avoid 1st-inning trouble, sending down Toronto’s first 3 batters in order.  The bad news, however, is that Kuroda got...

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Kuroda spanked. Offense tanked. A Yankees loss in the dome

In the game thread before the game, it was mentioned that Hiroki Kuroda needed to keep the ball inside the ballpark. Mission so not accomplished. Kuroda, who has struggled in the first inning, set the Blue Jays down in order in the first and struck out two. But in the second inning, Edwin Encarnacion singled, was forced out at second by Brett Lawrie. After Colby Rasmus struck out and Lawrie stole second, J.P. Arencibia hit a 3-2 pitch just over the wall in left. That was just the beginning.

In the third inning, Kuroda easily got the first two outs. A two-out double to Eric Thames was followed by a walk to Jose Bautista. That brought Edwin Encanacion to the plate. Kuroda left a 1-0 fastball over the plate and Encanacion belted it into the second deck in straight away center field. The Yankees were down, 5-0 and the game was essentially over.

Jose Bautista completed the scoring against Kuroda with one of the hardest hit balls I have ever seen.…

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The Farm Report: 5/16/12

Trenton lost to Binghamton 1-0:
Despite having two baserunners on in each of the first three innings, Trenton could not come through with a run.  Binghamton failed to take advantage of a triple by Juan Lagares in the second and the game entered the ninth scoreless.  Luke Murton drew a walk, but the Thunder failed to bring a base runner home yet again.  Binghamton got a big start to the bottom of the ninth with a double by Matt Den Dekker.  Josh Rodriguez singled, putting runners on the corners with no outs.  A walk loaded the bases and Jefry Marte hit a single to right, plating Dekker and giving the Mets the first and only run of the game.  Luke Murton went 2-3 with a walk.  No other Thunder player had more than one hit and none had extra base hits.  Brett Marshall made the start for Trenton, throwing seven strong innings.  He allowed just two hits and one walk, holding Binghamton scoreless and striking out two.  …

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May 16 Game Thread: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

After a disappointing end to their 2-game series in Baltimore, the Yankees north to take on the Toronto Blue Jays.  Hiroki Kuroda (3-4 3.56) takes the hill for the Yankees, and will face Toronto’s young gun in Kyle Drabek (2-4 3.66).  Drabek had a disappointing start to 2011 that caused him to get demoted to...

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