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« Rangers Can't Resist Fister's Fastball | Main | Catching Grind Leading to Grounders for Avila? »
Tuesday
Oct112011

Cruzin' for a Brusin'

Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers hit two home runs and a double Monday night, tying the game with his first home run and winning it in extra-innings with the first walk-off grand slam in playoff history.*

Cruz's power envelops the top and inside halves of the plate.

 

Nelson Cruz, in play slugging percentage, 2011 regular season.It makes sense then that pitchers try to work him low and away:

Nelson Cruz, pitch frequency, 2011 regular season.The Tigers did not seem to get the memo, as they worked Nelson inside:

Nelson Cruz, pitch frequency, 2011 ALCS game two.Three of those pitches ended up in his wheel house.

Nelson Cruz, in play slugging percentage, 2011 ALCS game two.Note that working him well inside was a good idea, as the only out he recorded was on an inside pitch off the plate.  Whether the pitches he crushed were meant to be more inside or more away, Tigers hurlers missed badly three times, and Nelson made them pay.

 

*Robin Ventura hit a walk-off grand slam in the playoffs, but due to a base running blunder, it only counted as a single.

 

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