Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Pitchers left with nowhere to turn vs. Posey
By Jeremy Mills
ESPN Stats & InformationBuster Posey hit a three-run home run in the first inning Tuesday, which proved to be enough as the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 to even their series.
Since the All-Star break, pitchers haven't had many options when looking to get Buster Posey out.
Posey’s homer came off a slider from Lance Lynn. Throughout Posey’s career, that has been the easiest way to get him out; his .234 average against sliders is the worst against any pitch that he has seen at least 200 times.
But that hasn’t been the case since the All-Star break. Posey is 5-for-12 with a double and a home run against sliders in the past four weeks.
In fact, the Giants catcher has been punishing almost everything since the All-Star break. He is hitting .508 (31-for-61) on pitches in the strike zone and, as the grid at the top of the article shows, he is hitting at least .333 in every area of the zone.
In addition to covering the entire plate, he has been able to handle almost every type of pitch. His eight home runs have come against five different pitch types. His lone kryptonite since the break has been the curveball, against which he is 0-for-7 with six strikeouts.
Posey has 30 RBIs since the All-Star break, the most in the majors. With 73 RBIs this season, he has moved into a tie for fifth in the National League and is five behind Carlos Beltran for the league lead.
He is also leading the league with 39 hits and a .448 batting average over the past four weeks.
Beast of the American League
One of the few hitters challenging Posey for supremacy since the All-Star break is Miguel Cabrera, who hit his league-leading 11th home run since the break on Tuesday.
Cabrera has five home runs in eight games against the New York Yankees this season. The only player with more is Mark Trumbo with six.
While Cabrera was vulnerable to offspeed pitches in the season’s first half, he has handled them better since the All-Star break. In that span, he is hitting (.344 to .304) and slugging (.750 to .739) better against offspeed pitches than fastballs.
The Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles played extra-inning games on Tuesday, and the end result continued long trends for both teams.
The Astros lost to the Washington Nationals in 12 innings and are 0-11 in extra-inning games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other team in major league history to lose its first 11 extra-inning games was the 1969 Montreal Expos, who lost their first 12.
The Orioles needed 14 innings to beat the Seattle Mariners. Baltimore has won its past 12 extra-inning games. The Orioles are the only team in the majors to play five games of at least 13 innings this season, and they’ve won all five.