The Closer: AL pitchers steal the show

Why Yankees starter CC Sabathia beat the Mariners:

- Despite allowing a season-high 9 offspeed pitches to be put in play, hitters went just 2-11 (2 K) and are now 6-64 against them over his last 6 starts (8-15 in previous 2 starts).
- Narrowing the above note to just change ups, hitters were 0-6 and are now 1-25 over his last 6 starts (4-5 in previous 2 starts).
- Finished off 11 of 12 hitters that reached 2 strikes (92 percent; MLB avg is 72) despite striking out just 4 batters (33 percent; Sabathia's avg was 45 entering today)

Why Angels starter Jered Weaver beat the Rangers:

- Threw 24 curveballs (21.2 pct of his pitches), 2nd-most in a start this season.
- This kept hitters off his heater: 1-for-15 (.067) vs fastball (.218 before Thursday).
- Also helped other pitches: 41.7 chase pct vs sliders/change ups (2nd best this season), hitters just 1-for-6 vs those 2 pitches.

Why A's starter Trevor Cahill beat the Orioles:

- Hitters were 0-8 against offspeed pitches; 0-15 over last 2 starts.
- Hitters were 4-16 against fastballs (.211 BA for the season is 2nd among AL starters).
- Kept over half of his pitches down in the zone, inducing hitters to go 1-12 (3-32 over last 3 starts).
- Hitters were 0-10 when they reached 2 strikes, 0-23 over last 2 starts.

Despite the Mets losing for the 9th time in his last 12 starts, Johan Santana bounced back from a tough stretch with his 1st quality start since June 2. The key for Santana was his ability to finish the job when the count got to 2 strikes. Recently, opposing hitters had been able to fight him off and eventually get hits:

Johan Santana

With Two Strikes


Opposing Orioles starter Brad Bergesen has struggled this season with his fastball, his primary pitch, allowing a .356 batting average against. The Red Sox are especially strong against the fastball, hitting .304 and slugging .531.

Against the Diamondbacks Edwin Jackson, teams are batting .200 (23-115) with 49 strikeouts when seeing his slider. The Dodgers are hitting .214 against sliders this season, with just 10 of their 58 home runs and 160 of their 550 strikeouts against the pitch.

The Yankees lost to Brett Cecil and the Blue Jays on June 4th when they chased 50.7 pct of Cecil's pitches out of the strike zone (most in a Cecil start this season). That game was a rarity - the Yanks' highest chase pct in a game this season - as they currently rank 28th in the majors in chase pct (20.4).

In his June 4th loss to Toronto, A.J. Burnett allowed a season-high 3 HR (since matched). Burnett threw 41 curveballs (most in a start this season), but all 3 Blue Jay HR came against fastballs.