About Last Night: Brian McCann

Brian McCann is not having a good season and he would probably be the first person to tell you that.

Heading into last night’s game, McCann was batting .220/.278/.345/.623 with seven home runs, 28 RBI, 15 walks and 34 strikeouts. Even worse, his numbers in June were a dreadful .174/.240/.196/.436. He hadn’t hit a home run – in fact, his last round tripper was on 5/23 against the White Sox – he only had one extra base hit  - a double he hit against Jeremy Guthrie in Kansas City on June 6 –  he had 10 strikeouts to go along with four walks and his ISO, which measures how well a player is at hitting for extra bases, was an abysmal .022. (On the Fangraphs ISO scale an .080 is considered awful.)

Thanks to last night’s performance – he was 2-3 with a triple, a home run and a walk – McCann’s season numbers are now .226/.286/.372/.657 which are still pretty bad but maybe this sort of show at the plate will get him and his numbers moving in the right direction.

Here’s a look at McCann’s home run, which he hit off starter Mark Buehrle, came on the 10th pitch of the at bat:

atbat-summary (45)

And here is his bases clearing triple off reliever Brett Cecil was on the fourth pitch of the at bat:

atbat-summary (46)

It’s slightly amusing that McCann’s hot zones last night were actually out of the strike zone:

strike-zone (25)

And that his cold zone was right in the middle of the plate:

strike-zone (26)

But one thing about McCann that you can almost always count on is his ability to pull the ball:

hit-wedge-chart (2)

Anyway, we’ve seen this sort of thing before where McCann will have a good game and everyone thinks/hopes he’s turning a corner but it just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe this will be the turning point of the season.

[Charts and numbers courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info]

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.