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« Andre Ethier's Hit Streak | Main | Erick Aybar and the Inside Strike »
Thursday
May052011

Prince Fielder's HR off Tommy Hanson

In Wednesday's game between Milwaukee and Atlanta, Brewers' slugger Prince Fielder took Tommy Hanson deep in the 4th inning.  It was the second lefty HR yielded by Hanson this season, and the 7th HR for Fielder.

Hanson attempted to work Fielder very carefully and for the most part his pitch location wasn't bad.  He started Fielder off with a fastball that just caught the low outside corner for a strike, followed by a curve that he seemed to get a bad release on, floating it up and away for a ball.  His next pitch was a fastball outside of the strike zone that Fielder fouled off.  On his fourth and final pitch, Hanson tried to slip a slider down and in on Fielder.  However, he didn't get it down as much as I suspect he wanted to, and it came into the bottom portion of Fielder's power zone.

Tommy Hanson vs. Prince Fielder 4/5/2011, 4th Inning
Prince Fielder's SLG% heat map Data from 2008 to Present (Click to enlarge)

From the video, you can see that Fielder was sitting on an off-speed pitch.  Since his debut in 2009, Hanson has gone to either his curveball or slider with two strikes 50.2% of the time.  On 1-2 counts, that number jumps to 58.7%.  It wasn't necessarily a bad strategy for Hanson.  In fact, when throwing the slider with two strikes, he's held opposing batters to a .193 batting average with a .272 slugging percentage.  And before yesterday, he'd yet to yield a HR on any of the previous 460 two strike sliders he's thrown.

But this particular slider was thrown to a spot in Fielder's wheelhouse, and he was waiting for it.  Just a great piece of hitting from an excellent power hitter.

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