Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers hit his fifth home run of the season against the Houston Astros Sunday afternoon. He came into the game 19 for 43 against the Astros with ten extra base hits. What are the Astros doing wrong against the first baseman?
Most teams work Fielder away.
They also tend to work him up and in, which is good for limiting his power:
The Astros follow a similar pattern:
Again, they work him up and in, which should be good, and away, which should be good. They do put too many pitches down in the middle of the strike zone.
It looks like the Astros pitchers are leaving too many pitches up and in the middle of the plate. When pitchers go after Prince up and in, they really need as much in as up.
The other problem comes from the slider. Overall in 2011, Prince's worst production comes against the slider, with a .267/.360/.480 slash line. (You get an idea of how well Fielder hits when that is his worst slash line against a pitch.) Against Astros sliders, however, Fielder is 4 for 5 and the one non-hit resulted in an error. Most teams work sliders away from Prince, but Houston used it up and in. That was a mistake, as Prince pounded the pitch.