Expect Albert Pujols to see off-speed stuff

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
2:51
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When Yu Darvish faces Albert Pujols for the first time Friday. ESPN Stats & Info expects Darvish to throw Pujols something other than fastballs. Here's part of that thinking:
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Darvish has many pitches, including two different curveballs. Almost 15 percent of Darvish’s pitches this season (98 of 661) have been curveballs, and opponents are hitting just .059 against it. That’s the lowest batting average this season against a pitcher who has thrown at least 75 curveballs.

Darvish has been tough on right-handed hitters this season (.196 BA, 9-46), which does not bode well for the struggling Albert Pujols.

Based on the numbers, Pujols can expect to see a heavy diet of off-speed pitches from Darvish. Pujols is hitting .239 against fastballs and .125 against off-speed pitches (changeups, curves, sliders).

As good as Darvish is against righties, left-handed bats have teed off on his fastball. Left-handed batters are hitting .457 against his heater, another reason why the Angels might see a lot of off-speed pitches from Darvish.


There's lots of good C.J. Wilson-Darvish stuff in the complete post here.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .322
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159