Yesterday, I went to work at 4 PM. By the time I got out, the Yankees had already defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-2 to take a two games to none lead in the American League Division Series. (Sidebar: anyone need SAT tutoring?)
What I wanted to see most was Andy Pettitte. He had one good start after coming off of the disabled list and two shaky ones. While we were all confident in Pettitte’s ability and experience, we couldn’t help but feel a bit of trepidation as he took the hill in Game Two. After all, how did we know what Andy we’d get? Luckily, we got the Andy we’ve come to know and love.
Pettitte allowed just five hits and one walk against the Twins. He surrendered two runs and struck out four. Since I missed the game entirely, the only thing I have to go off of is Andy’s PitchFX data. Let’s have a look.
Andy threw just 88 pitches, 58 of them for strikes (65.91%). He used mostly fastballs, splitting the pitches between his four seamer (37), cutter (27), and two seamer (15), while sprinkling in a curveball here and there (8). He was most accurate with the cutter, throwing it for a strike 70.37% of the time.
In terms of swinging and missing, Pettitte got seven whiffs. One was on a straight fastball and the other six were on his cutter, which is a great sign.
Here’s the strikezone plot, with pitch type labeled:
We can see the usual strategy with his cutters (the black squares): hit the inside corner against right handed batters. The two seamer was a little more spread out, but stayed towards the inside corner against lefties.
Normally, I’d be worried about the lack of curveballs, but Andy’s location on his fastballs and their variants seemed to be fine, as was the movement. From the looks of the curveballs, it seems as though Andy was trying to back leg and back door the pitch to right handed batters.
Pay attention to the black dots here:
Andy was able to get strikeouts in a few different parts of the plate, and that’s really encouraging. The fact that he was able to get those two strikeouts way down in the zone is always a great sign: guys were chasing against his pitches.
This start looks great by the pitch data and I’m sure it looked just as great live and in color. I’m annoyed that I didn’t see it, but I’ll sacrifice that for a win. Pettitte should be able to build on this moving forward and I think it’s safe to say we don’t need to be worried about him as the playoffs (hopefully) progress.
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