Tuesday, August 30, 2011
A look at Monday's pitching gems
There were a number of strong performances on the mound Monday. Here's a look at how some of Monday's pitchers got the job done:
How Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle shut out the Minnesota Twins:
• Buehrle struck out four in 7 2/3 scoreless innings to lead the White Sox to a 3-0 win over the Twins. Buehrle earned his 27th career win against the Twins, the most wins for any active pitcher against a single team. Buehrle is now 27-19 in his career versus the Twins (most wins versus Minnesota since the team moved to Minnesota in 1960).
• In four starts against the Twins this season, Buehrle is 2-1 with a 0.29 ERA (30 2/3 IP, 1 ER). Buehrle is holding the Twins to a .144 average this season, but the numbers are even better against non-fastballs. After a 2 for 17 effort Monday, the Twins are now 5 for 51 (.098) in at-bats ending with Buehrle's non-fastballs.
• Buehrle did walk two hitters, but of the 29 hitters he faced, only one saw a 2-0 count. In addition, he only went to a three-ball count on four hitters (including the two walks).
How Philadelphia Phillies starter Cole Hamels bounced back against Cincinnati:
• Hamels may not have gotten the win in his first start back from the disabled list, but he still pitched well enough to help the Phillies beat the Reds, 3-2. In his previous start before hitting the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, Hamels' fastball averaged just 88.6 MPH, almost a full three MPH below his season average of 91.5. On Monday, Hamels' fastball averaged 90.1, a big step up from his last start, but still his second-slowest fastball of the season.
• Despite that, the pitch was effective for him. Reds hitters were just 1 for 11 with two strikeouts on at-bats ending with a Hamels fastball. Only one of the nine fastballs hitters put in play was well hit, according to Inside Edge.
• Hamels' changeup was dominant, as usual. Five of the six outs he recorded on his changeup were strikeouts. Reds hitters missed on eight of their 11 swings (72.7 percent) against the pitch, Hamels' third-highest miss percentage on his changeup in a start this season. No starter in baseball has induced swings and misses on changeups at a higher rate (51.2 percent) this season than Hamels.
How New York Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia beat the Baltimore Orioles:
• Forty-four percent of pitches taken against him were called strikes, his highest percentage of the season.
• His fastest pitch was clocked at 89.6 mph. It was his fastest pitch since June 28, when he reached 90.9 mph on the gun.
•He recorded four strikeouts on the night – all four at-bats ended with a splitter.
• The home run Garcia surrendered to Mark Reynolds was his first allowed since June 7. Garcia went 69 innings between gopher balls – the longest active homerless streak among starting pitchers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Lee Singer and Mike Trainor contributed to this story.