Robertson pays price for missing his spot
September, 7, 2012
By Mark Simon | ESPN.com
ESPN Stats & InformationThe difference between where David Robertson wanted to throw his pitch to Adam Jones (top of image) and where the pitch ended up (right side of image).
Adam Jones’ go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth put the Baltimore Orioles ahead for good in a 10-6 win over the New York Yankees.
On a 1-2 count, the strategy was clear. Notoriously a free swinger up in the zone, the Yankees were betting that Jones would chase a high fastball. Russell Martin set a high target, about as high as he could without standing up.
Jones swings at 55 percent of pitches in the upper-third of the zone or higher. In the American League, only Derek Jeter swings at a higher percentage of high pitches. Of those swings, Jones misses 26 percent of the time.
In other words, the logic was sound for Robertson to finish Jones off with a high pitch. It was the execution that failed the Yankees. Robertson missed his spot.
ESPN Stats & InformationAdam Jones struggles with pitches up in the zone, but feasts on balls middle-in.
Martin’s target was above the zone, in an area where Jones misses on 36 percent of his swings.
However, the pitch wound up middle-in, a zone where he misses just 8 percent of the time.
In fact, when an at-bat ends with a middle-third/inner-third pitch, Jones is hitting .360 with 7 HR in 75 AB. His 7 HR is tied for 4th-most in MLB. The .360 batting average is 84 points better than MLB average.
Jones wound up with his MLB-leading 18th game-tying or go-ahead HR this season. All stemming from a missed spot.