Sometimes a game can come down to one at-bat, whether the hitter strikes out or lifts his team with a big home run an entire season can hinge on one swing. Ian York breaks down the Tyler Skaggs versus Jackie Bradley Jr. at-bat, pitch-by-pitch using PITCHf/x.
Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs made his second start of the 2016 season on July 31 against the Red Sox, after missing all of 2015 with Tommy John surgery. His curveball was impressive, with Skaggs apparently able to harness its dramatic vertical movement to drop his pitches into the strike zone. In 5 1/3 innings, Skaggs struck out eight while yielding just four hits and two walks.
In the fourth inning he showed off his curve against Jackie Bradley Jr.:
Skaggs dropped in a big curve for a called strike one. A second curve, just off the edge of the strike zone, was called a ball, and a third was called strike two. Bradley then fouled off three consecutive fastballs, and one more curve, before singling on a curve that dropped nearly a foot below the strike zone. Bradley didn’t make it past first base, with Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz behind him both grounding out, but the Red Sox went on to win on Dustin Pedroia’s dramatic 9th-inning, two-out home run. Nevertheless, Skaggs showed poise and promise in his start and will be an interesting pitcher to watch the rest of this year.
Ian York uses the PITCHf/x to monitor the strike zone, highlights great performances, monitors league-wide trends and tracks the performances of some interesting young hitters.
Follow Ian on Twitter @iayork.
All data compiled from PITCHfx and Baseball-Reference.com.