So, this was a debacle. I don’t know how Jamie Moyer does it, but he has definitely had this group of Marlins’ respective numbers pretty much each and every time out. Let’s take a look at some observations.
Chris Volstad, long ball, yada yada yada
I don’t think we need to say much more than that. This has been Chris Volstad’s Achiles heel all season long, and today it looked extra bad, to the tune of three home runs, two by Raul Ibanez and one by Ryan Howard, his 200th career shot. The rest of Volstad’s peripherals looked fine, as he struck out five and walked only one in his six innings of work. He had the curve working well, getting 65% of them for strikes, and overall he stayed in the strike zone, ith 64% of his pitches going for strikes. The problem was the location of those strikes. Pitch f/x stuff all courtesy of Brooks Baseball (thanks Dan!).
Compared to his previous start against the Giants, Chris was much higher in the strike zone last night, and for him that isn’t conducive to a good game. With his pitches often being hit for long balls, the key for Volstad is to get the ball down in the zone, and today he simply couldn’t locate low. Even though his pitches were going for strikes, they weren’t the type of quality strikes you want to see. He gave up nine fly balls and three line drives compared to just five grounders (six including the bunt by Moyer), not the type of results for a pitcher who isn’t supposed to be a heavy strikeout threat.
Let’s take a look at one of the home run at bats. This is the first shot from Ibanez, in the second inning.
There’s not a whole lot going on over here. He threw Ibanez four fastballs, had him swinging on one bad one, and hung one up for the homer. Each of the three home runs came on fastballs, so at least he has curve breaking enough and the change in the correct location to avoid hanging any easy breaking balls. Still, you want Volstad’s location to come down; he simply does not have the velocity to throw it by hitters, and in locations such as Pitch 4 above, major leaguers are going to hit your low 90’s fastballs hard. The key for Volstad is to get his grounders, and that means getting those fastballs down in the zone.
Jamie Moyer owns the Marlins, yada yada.
It was the same old schtick for the Marlins against Moyer last night. Moyer induced nine fly balls and only two line drives, meaning the Marlins were not hitting the ball very hard all night. In fact, the Marlins probably hit three or four balls hard the whole evening, many of them on foul balls. Moyer also struck out four Marlins hitters. It’s very difficult to win when you get only one hit, and the Fish simply looked uncomfortable at the plate against the 46-year old lefty. There really isn’t much more to say after that, so this wasn’t the greatest analysis, but the Marlins really don’t like seeing Moyer. I’m gathering up data through Baseball-Reference about the Marlins performances against the dreaded soft-tossing left hander, and we’re going to see soon enough how indeed the Marlins cope against such a pitcher.