Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Genius Maker #111

Hughes was really bad last night. He was very fortunate to be playing against Oakland. He couldn’t spot his fastball well, it didn’t have a lot of velocity (92) and he rarely if ever threw his changeup. He did throw only a few cutters and they were effective, but he also threw one on a 3-2 count and walked a guy. I said this before and believe it, he is best when he is using his cutter more…that is not to say he should throw it more than his four seamer, but he needs to throw it more as it will limit his pitches and get some easier outs. I also think he has a good curve, but he may look to throw 2 different speeds to it. Sometimes it is so slow the batter can readjust and hit it even when off balance.

Even though Hughes had a lot of walks (again), I thought the home plate ump was excellent, one of the better games all year. I only know a few guys when I am annoyed at them, but I looked this guy up just so I would know who it was and his name is Doug Eddings…a familiar name, although I have to admit I don’t know the umps by name.

Some other notes:

I stated a long time ago that Jeter should not be in the leadoff spot against righties…most recently last Thursday I mentioned it again yet still no move. He is 1-20 since last Thursday and has been bad of late. He is in uncharted territory for him, but he has been very weak since early this year. In fact, look at these numbers the past 4 months. After a very good April, Jeter has an OPS in May of .702, June .718, July .622 and August .652. That is 4 bad months with the last two being unplayable unless you are Ozzie Smith at SS. In the offseason we talked about the toughest decision the Yanks will face will be what to do with Jeter because we know the money he gets will be more for what he has done than what he will do. Jeter is 36, but players don’t usually drop off so significantly so we must conclude he is having a drop off that is exacerbated by a really bad and long bad streak. Nothing would suggest Jeter hitting this poorly so there should be some better AB’s at some point. I would bench him for a few games and just leave Gardner at the top of the lineup. Move Swisher back up to the 2 spot and go to work.

As I am patting myself on the back with Jeter, I must point out that I said the Yanks should ensure that Tex is back before risking the repeated injury to his thumb. Well, the next day he said he felt great, the Yanks put him in and he has had 2 good games. Maybe I was being a bit conservative with him, or maybe the injury was not as bad as I thought, but they made the right decision and I would have sat him out at least one more game and who knows if we would have won that game?

This was a good example of why Thames is mostly a platoon guy. Girardi was correct in riding the hot hand, but he looked weak against the breaking balls away…not sure why any pitcher would pitch him inside against a righty unless off the plate to pull a few pitches fouls for strikes.

The announcers were talking about how the last 5 games Granderson was really struggling and this after doing so well after Long tried and in season change that was successful. I know his numbers did not show well, but I thought Granderson hit a lot of long fly balls and line drives during this very short period of time and was a little unlucky. He then homered…and then struck out. I think he is OK now.

An especially rewarding win when both TB and Boston lose. Boston was 4 out not too long ago and now they are 8 out


  1. I was following this game on Gameday and according to Pitch f/x, Eddings' strike zone was awful. Completely inconsistent at the knees and he had his strike zone shifted half a foot horizontally. I'm not sure how it looked on TV, but it was frustrating to follow on Gameday.

    (Not that it affected Hughes all that much. He was all over the place.)

  2. This is very surprising to me. I thought he was pretty consistent (which is the key for an ump). I can't say if the pitch fx strike zone was off, but the fact there were no arguments during the game and almost no even questionable looks I would say FX was off. In a game where 8 of our guys struck out and 4 of theirs did I think I am not choosing a time to say I liked the ump because it favored us...I thought he was good (I shrug my shoulders)

  3. Jeter has been hitting into a ton of double plays. Sad to say, when Gardner's on 1st and Jeter at the plate and less than 2 out, I think Gardner should steal as soon as possible. He's more likely to be doubled up than to be caught stealing.

  4. Yeah, I was thinking Pitch f/x might have been off. If not, I agree, at least he was consistent with his calls on the left side of the plate.

  5. I am not so sure David in Cal...Jeter may hit the grounder too slow to get doubled up :) I would like to see Gardner be able to run better early in counts and even when he is being paid attention to. He has stolen 39 bases and it is almost all because of speed and very little because of instinct/read.

  6. I am always skeptical of the ability of a machine to accurately measure the high and low calls. Inside and outside yes, but while being over the plate or not is easily defined, being above a player's knees is not.

  7. That is a good point because unless every player is measured from their normal position the high and low would be off