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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
ESPN Stats & Info notes from Tuesday

By ESPN Stats & Info

Minnesota's Joe Mauer went yard against the Los Angeles Angels' Joe Saunders, removing an 0-for-8 collar that had been Mauer's biggest against any single pitcher.

In Mauer's nine previous appearances vs Joe Saunders (includes one HBP):

- He swung at only 11 of 30 pitches, including just two of 13 out of the zone.

- Eight of the nine hitting zones are represented (all except middle-in), but only ONE of the 30 pitches was over the heart of the plate (the "5" on your phone). That's precisely where Tuesday's home-run ball got served up.

- Average speed of the pitches he saw in the previous meetings: 85.6. The home run pitch was 90.4. Only one of the previous 30 pitches broke 90 mph (it was up-and-in, and Mauer flied out on it).

Justin Morneau also hit a home run for Minnesota later in Tuesday's game. The pitch that he cranked was middle/away, the zone that has produced the most homers for Morneau over the last four seasons.

Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles got hold of an 81-mph changeup right over the heart of the plate. Of his 10 career homers, it's only the second one that's been on an off-speed pitch.

Carl Crawford's game-winning double was a 91-mph fastball over the plate, but well above the strike zone.

Last season Crawford hit .364, and had an OPS of 1.015, on fastballs that were out of the zone high. The MLB averages were .160 and .744.

Only Todd Helton (.378) and Marco Scutaro (.375) had better batting averages among players with 40 or more plate appearances ending on such a pitch.

Pitcher Chris Young of San Diego faced center fielder Chris Young of Arizona on Tuesday. The combined Chris Youngs went 1-for-6 with an RBI double and a walk. They also pitched 6 one-hit innings (although only one of them really did the work on that). Chris Young vs Chris Young: 0-for-2, two grounders to third.

Ian Stewart finished a single shy of the cycle, thanks in large part to not chasing bad balls out of the strike zone. In fact, Stewart didn't swing at a single bad ball on Tuesday. Last season he went fishing 21.4% of the time.

Clearly the Brewers missed the scouting report. All three of Stewart's hits came early in the count (0-1, 1-0, or 1-1). He hit .346 in those situations last year. All three also came on pitches that were in the middle third vertically. Stewart smacked those at a .343 clip last season.

Unfortunately for the Rockies, all three of his hits also came with the bases empty. That means Stewart went for 9 total bases, yet drove in only one run (on the homer). Only one player (Nelson Cruz of the Rangers) had that happen all of last season.