Sonny Gray versus Xander Bogaerts

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 Sonny Gray versus Xander Bogaerts at-bat, pitch-by-pitch using PITCHf/x.

The Boston Red Sox exploded with six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and went on to win easily 14-7, but in the bottom of the third it still looked as if the Oakland Athletics were in control. With the A’s leading 4-1, Xander Bogaerts’s at-bat against Sonny Gray reinforced that impression as Bogaerts struck out on six pitches, only two of which were actually in the strike zone.

Gray started off with a curve, dropping it into the middle-outside of the zone for a called strike. Gray has consistently thrown a very fast changeup, in the high 80s; his second pitch was an 88.9-mph changeup, well below the strike zone, and taken for a ball. Bogaerts fouled off the next three pitches: A two-seam fastball (“FT”), or sinker, right at the bottom of the strike zone; a four-seam fastball; and a curve. The four-seam fastball should have been a ball, just inside, but may have been a dangerous pitch to take with two strikes. The curve was certainly a ball, several inches below the bottom of the zone; Bogaerts was completely fooled, and was lucky to foul it off. With the count 1-2, Gray served up yet another curve, again below the strike zone. Once again, Bogaerts was fooled, swung, and missed for the strikeout.

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

About Ian York 208 Articles
Ian is an immunologist and virologist who lives in Atlanta with his wife and two sons. Most of his time is spent driving his kids to baseball and soccer games, during which he indoctrinates his children on the glories of Pedro Martinez, the many virtues of the Montreal Expos, and other important information.

1 Comment

  1. Cool.

    Watching on TV, Xander missed the last pitch BADLY. Because X was so far out in front of that final pitch, I thought the previous pitch was a slider – a little faster, a little tighter break – than the final pitch. But Gray threw the same pitch in the same place twice in a row. That was a poker play by Gray. Xander must have been sitting fastball after the previous pitch was a curve, and ended up way out in front of the breaking ball.

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