Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Stats & Info [Print without images]

Saturday, May 22, 2010
The Closer: Penny for your thoughts

By ESPN Stats & Info

Brad Penny gave up 4 ER and had to leave the game after just 3 innings Friday with an aggravated upper back injury, but he made up for his struggles on the mound by hitting a Grand Slam off of Joel Pineiro. The home run was the third of Penny's career, the previous two were solo shots. The last pitcher to hit a Grand Slam was Penny's teammate Chris Carpenter (October 1, 2009) vs Reds. The last pitcher to hit a Grand Slam in interleague play was Felix Hernandez in 2008 against the Mets. As for pitchers who took care of business on the mound, we've got the breakdown below in this edition of The Closer.

Why Mark Buehrle won:
- Fastball was working as Marlins hitters were 1-14 with two of three strikeouts coming on the heater. Buehrle averaged 4.25 hits allowed against the fastball in eight starts coming into Friday.
- Buehrle finished off hitters when getting to two strikes. Marlins hitters were 0-7, the first start since the season opener Buehrle allowed zero hits on two strike counts.
- Marlins 3-5 hitters (Ramirez, Cantu, Uggla) were 0-6 with a strikeout. Coming into Friday, opponents batting in the heart of the order against Buehrle were 27-66 (.409).
- Two of three hits were doubles, but Buehrle stranded both runners. Marlins hitters were 0-7 with two strikeouts when runners were in scoring position.


Why Tim Hudson won:
- He worked quickly. He got the first batter of the inning out 75 percent of the time compared to the MLB average of 68 percent. On top of that he managed a 1-2-3 inning 50 percent of the time compared to the MLB average of 31 percent.
- He converted 2 strike at bats into outs 85 percent of the time compared to the MLB average of 72 percent.


Why Javier Vazquez won:
- Fastball has come around as Mets hitters were 0-12 with 4 K against the heater. Over his last two starts, opponents are 1-24 with 8 K compared to 16-44 in his first 5 starts.
- Mets right handed hitters were 0-8 with 3 K against Vazquez. Vazquez threw 80.8 percent of pitches for a strike to righties, which is his highest total in a start this season.
- Vazquez retired the first batter of the inning in 5 of 6 innings started
- Vazquez did not allow a Mets player to get into scoring position. It was the first time this season Vazquez did not allow a opponent into scoring position and the first time the Mets did not get into scoring position off a starting pitcher.