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Entries in Detroit Tigers (64)

Tuesday
Apr122011

InDepth Spotlight: Brad Penny vs. Nelson Cruz

(Click to enlarge)

The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers square off this afternoon.  Brad Penny will have his hands full with a dangerous Rangers lineup.  Keep an eye on the Penny and Nelson Cruz matchup.  The above graphic shows all data dating back to 2008.  Cruz gets a lot of big hits up in the zone, and Penny tends to give up more hits there.

It will be interesting to see if Penny tries to come in on Cruz at all.  He's been fairly successful hitting that low inside corner against right-handed batters, holding them to a .136 batting average and .227 slugging percentage since 2008.  However, Cruz has done a lot of damage on pitches down and in from righties over that same period, producing a .649 SLG% and a 10.5% home run rate.

Will Penny challenge him?

Monday
Apr042011

Orioles Pitching Dominating Rays Hitters

The Baltimore Orioles shut down the Tampa Bay Rays offense in their first matchup of the season, allowing 3 total runs, one in each game.  Here's a look at how the O's pitching staff located their pitches over the weekend:

Orioles Pitching (4/1-4/3)
(Click to enlarge)

The Orioles effectively pitched lefties and righties away the whole series.  The result: Rays batters could barely muster any offense.

Rays vs. O's (4/1-4/3)
(Click to enlarge)

Due to injury, Evan Longoria only batted six times the whole series, which certainly hurt the Rays offense.  A fairly potent Detroit Tigers offense comes to Baltimore today.  It will be the first test of the season for young righty Jake Arrieta, and another chance for the entire O's ballclub to show just how much they've improved this year.

Friday
Apr012011

InDepth Recap: CC Sabathia's Opening Day Slider

CC Sabathia's Slider Location
(Click to enlarge)

Sabathia didn't have his best slider in the Yankees' opener yesterday. His location was off as it hung up in the zone quite a bit. Over the last three seasons, batters have made contact on his slider 56.1 percent of the time. On 24 sliders yesterday afternoon, the Tigers made contact 77.8 percent, primarily on pitches in the strike zone. Obviously, it's only one game's worth of data, but it was clear he wasn't able to keep the pitch down like he normally does.

BrkX and BrkZ values provided by PitchFX measure the number of inches the ball moves horizontally and vertically as a result of the spin on the ball read from when it is 40 ft from home plate. Sabathia traditionally gets about 5.1 inches of BrkX (horizontal) movement on his slider. Yesterday it averaged 2.8 inches. From 2008-2010, PitchFX data has Sabathia throwing 2060 sliders in regular and postseason games combined. Only 450 of those sliders have had a BrkX reading less than 3.0.

One game's worth of data is not enough to draw any significant conclusions on one pitch. Besides, it was cold, and CC usually takes a few starts to get going. If he's still hanging his slider up in the zone in a couple weeks, then it might be time to worry.