Last night, the Red Sox dropped a 2-0 decision to the Yankees. It was the sixth time the Sox have been shut out this season, this time being held to six hits and one walk against Phil Hughes (15-12) and three relievers.
In today's Boston Globe, Peter Abraham wrote:
“Hughes pitched up in the strike zone and we couldn’t lay off of it,” Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “Made a lot of quick outs swinging at some of those pitches. We were a little immature in our approach at times.”
Cody Ross, who was 1 for 4 batting cleanup, agreed with Valentine.
“You fall victim to it. You just try for quality at-bats and not grinding. When you do that you get quick outs,” he said. “It’s one thing to be aggressive, but another thing to be smart about it. We just weren’t smart the whole night.”
The team at BaseballAnalytics.org wanted to show you what Valentine and Ross meant.
Let's break down the Yankee pitchers performances
|Phil Hughes, W (15-12)||7.1||5||1||7||27||95||68||38||14||16|
|Boone Logan, H (20)||0.1||0||0||0||1||5||4||3||0||1|
|David Robertson, H (26)||0.1||0||0||0||1||3||2||1||0||1|
|Rafael Soriano, S (38)||1||1||0||1||4||12||9||4||2||3|
Let's focus on starter Phil Hughes.
Here is the array of Hughes pitches last night:
Over half of Hughes pitches (53) were in the upper half of the zone:
Over half of those 53 pitches (31) were swung at by Sox batters:
Of those 31 swings by 16 different batters, three resulted in hits (Mike Aviles and James Loney singled, while Yankee killer Pedro Ciriaco doubled) and 13 resulted in outs including seven strikeouts.
Here are the pitches that the Red Sox swung at:
Here is the summary and final support of Bobby Valentine's assertion:
- There were 53 pitches in the upper half of the zone
- There were 31 swings and 11 misses
- There were 37 strikes and balls put in play
- There were nine pitches put in play and 11 fouled off
- There 31 pitches in the strike zone and six pitches that were chased.
- There were six called strikes
- There were just three swings and misses on the lower half of the zone. T
- The Sox looked at 10 strikes in the lower half of the zone, but only took three upper half strikes.
- The two hits in the lower half of the zone came from Ross and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Say you want about Bobby Valentine as a manager, he's remains a very good analyst and when he said the Sox weren't smart against Phil Hughes, he was absolutely right.