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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Indians at Yankees, Game 3 Part 4

Starting in the top of the fourth...

End of five innings, Indians 3, Yankees 5.

  • Tailing. Tony Gwynn mentioned that the fastball Phil Hughes threw to strike out Trot Nixon in the fourth was a good running fastball. Generally speaking Hughes' fastball rides more than it tails (I presume the definition of "running" likely includes both). On the season his fastball will typically record a vertical movement value of 12 or more inches, meaning that it comes in about two to three inches higher than a typical fastball thrown at that velocity. The tailing action on his fastball, however, is only in the range of one to three inches. In fact, that pitch referenced by Gwynn had a value of 1.3 inches according to PITCHf/x.

  • Consistency? Robinson Cano doesn't move his body and get in front of the ball and after scoring it a hit initially the call is changed to an error. The right call I think but terribly inconsistent given Jeter's gift in the first.

  • Curve. As noted by Bob Brenly Phil Hughes has established his curveball and threw it four of the first eight pitches in the fifth inning and then used it setup the fastball on the outside corner to Ryan Garko to end the top of the fifth. Nice.

  • Shift. Before Jason Giambi struck out in the bottom of the fifth I think Tony Gwynn was going to take Giambi to task for not attempting to beat the shift with his team desparately needing base runners. BIPChart says Giambi hits 75% of his grounders from the middle to the right side of the infield and the shift worked perfectly in his first at bat.

  • Getting the Ball Up. The three straight singles in the bottom of the fifth off of Jake Westbrook were all elevated sinkers at 2.2, 2.4, and 3.3 feet above the ground. Not mentioned but two very nice plays by Kenny Lofton to hold Hideki Matsui at third and to charge the single by Melky Cabrera and hit the cutoff man.

  • See Above. As was the homerun Johnny Damon hit to give the Yankees at 5-3 lead. That pitch was thrown at 91.7 mph and came in at 3.4 feet above the ground and was also about 2 inches towards the left-handed batter's box. Can the relievers get ready any faster? As a result, Derek Jeter sees only one sinker out of five pitches and now Westbrook is trying to adjust by working his curveball and slider. Maybe a little too late.