Sunday, June 1, 2014
Sunday's stars: Great pitching abounds
By Mark Simon
Sunday was one of those days that featured the best of what major-league pitchers had to offer. Rather than focus on one of the many well-pitched games, we decided to take a snapshot look at all of them.
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays
Buehrle became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 10 wins. The Elias Sports Bureau noted that he’s the fifth Blue Jays pitcher to be first in the majors to 10 wins. The others are Dave Stieb (1983), Roger Clemens (1997), David Wells (2000) and Roy Halladay.
Buehrle had a good changeup and curveball on Sunday. Royals hitters were 0 for 6 in at-bats ending with each of those pitches.
Yu Darvish, Rangers
Darvish struck out 12 against the Nationals, making him the fourth pitcher this season to have multiple games with at least a dozen strikeouts (Jon Lester, David Price and Corey Kluber are the other three).
Darvish got misses on a season-high 37 percent of swings against him. Right-handed hitters were 2 for 16 against him with eight strikeouts, missing on 14 of 31 swings (45 percent).
Roenis Elias, MarinersElias earned his first career shutout, holding the Tigers to three harmless hits. The Tigers have now been been the victims of three pitcher shutouts in which they recorded three hits or fewer in their last 54 regular-season games. The other two were by Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins (no-hitter to conclude 2013) and Andrew Cashner of the San Diego Padres.
Elias won with his curveball, a pitch he threw 28 times that netted him 26 strikes and 13 outs, without yielding a baserunner.
Tim Hudson, Giants
Hudson allowed no runs over seven innings for the second straight start in a win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hudson’s key was escapability. The Cardinals went 0 for 10 with a walk with men on base against Hudson.
Phil Hughes, TwinsHughes allowed two runs in eight innings as the Twins came from behind to beat his former team, the New York Yankees.
Hughes has a 1.68 ERA and only one home run allowed in his last seven starts. He averaged 93 mph with his fastball on Sunday, his best average fastball velocity of the season. Hughes also had great success with his cutter, netting 11 outs on the 19 he threw against the Yankees.
Jon Lester, Red Sox
Lester gave the Red Sox their seventh straight win with a 12-strikeout gem against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Lester matched his season high for fastball velocity, averaging 92.6 mph with the pitch. Rays hitters were 1 for 13 with six strikeouts and a walk against that pitch on Sunday (the only hit was an infield hit).
Kyle Lohse, Brewers
Lohse pitched a three-hit shutout to beat the Cubs, his eighth career shutout.
This was Lohse’s third-straight walk-free start. In fact, Lohse has struck out 39 and walked only three over 56 innings spanning his last eight starts.
Chris Sale, White Sox
Sale pitched a two-hitter and recorded his sixth career complete game in beating the San Diego Padres.
Since the start of last season, only two pitchers have thrown more complete games than Sale's five (Adam Wainwright with seven and Price with six).
Sale had an injury issue earlier this season, but has returned as strong as he ever was. Opponents are 4 for 78 against him in his last four starts.
Sunday, Sale’s offspeed stuff was terrific. He threw 54 changeups and sliders, netting him 13 of his 18 swings and misses, and 13 outs, without yielding a baserunner.
Steve Martinez also contributed to this article