Buchholz and Hansen: Second Looks

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }
.flickr-yourcomment { }
.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }



Warmup, originally uploaded by Plutor.

If you’re craving reassurance with respect to the rough outings today from first Buchholz and then Hansen, well, you shouldn’t.

Repeat after me: it’s. their. first. outing. Against the pros, anyway.

But I was curious to see what – precisely – went wrong for the two on the day, because the box score doesn’t always tell the full story. Herewith is my quick scouter on the pair’s efforts today, which – considering that I’m completely untrained for the task – isn’t terribly valuable.

Anyway.

Buchholz

Not a terrible outing, overall, Buchholz just got some balls up in the first inning and had some balls hit just far enough away from defenders to cause problems. More:

  • The NESN gun had his fastball between 88-92, and in his post-game remarks he mentioned that he sees himself sitting between 90-93 easy, with a couple extra available when he needs it.
  • Four seam fastballs that dominated the first IP were frequently up, which has been a bit of a problem in his “last two bullpens.”
  • Mentioned that he “might have been trying to throw too hard”
  • Great separation velocity-wise with his changeup: arm action is good and the gun had them generally at 78 with an occasional 75
  • Second IP was much smoother, primarily because he went to a two seam fastball that generated some quick outs on the ground
  • All three pitches – fastball, curve, and change – got hit, but all three looked good at times
  • First few hits came in two strike counts

Hansen

Hansen’s outing was less promising than Buchholz’, primarily because his velocity crept down but his control – particularly of the slider – did not improve. Still, if the infield behind him had managed to turn a double play his line would have looked very different. More:

  • The NESN gun had Hansen’s fastball between 90-95, and his slider was fairly consistent at 83.
  • Fastballs were generally thrown down in the zone, but command within it was spotty.
  • Sliders were so-so on the day, with one or two good ones thrown against several way out of the zone. Remy’s characterization of the pitch was “flat”
  • Clearly had difficulty throwing strikes with either the fastball or the slider
  • Subtracting velocity did not necessarily improve his control: the third batter of the inning took four straight balls, which came in at 93-92-91-90
  • While several of the non-strikes were borderline pitches, several – particularly after runs scored – missed by a significant margin
  • Fastball showed good velocity to close out the inning (95)

Well, We Can Beat College Kids

Whether they’re from BC or Northeastern.

So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.

Be better than the Boston media, however, and forget the scores. Professionals beating amateurs isn’t a story, top or otherwise.

Even looking at the performances isn’t going to tell you much. Which is the difficulty with these games, of course. If you beat them like a rented mule, well, you’re supposed to. If you get roughed up, though, you’re not only going to take shit from your teammates, you’re going to look bad and you might even begin to doubt a bit.

Unless, of course, it’s Manny, because the odds of him actually knowing who he’s playing at any given time are slim.

Not that there was any failure today. BC was one hit, Northeastern added two, while our offense scored a couple of dozen runs. Even Belichick would have a tough time going negative on this one. Or positive, for that matter.

Stars of the game?

  • Best Hitting Performance: Take your pick between Bubba Bell (AA starting outfielder) who walked three times or Brandon Moss (AAA starting outfielder or trade bait) who had three hits and a sac fly.
  • Best Pitching Performance: Beckett – no hits, no walks, 4 K’s in 2 IP.

The one general trend I was pleased with was the command. Sure, they’re pitching to college hitters. Yes, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters at this point in the spring. But you still have to throw strikes.

Which we did. The number of walks on the day? 2. With both arriving in the 9th 7th inning of the second game.

We’ll see how they do against their fellow pros, of course, and I’m reading approximately nothing into the game, as mentioned. But as season openers against college teams go, I’ve got no complaints.

Your Wait is Almost Over

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }
.flickr-yourcomment { }
.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }



2007-01-75339-06A, originally uploaded by el swifterino.

Sure, the regulars will get one AB, two tops. And the pitchers will be all be of the minor league variety and will be featured for an inning or a pitch count, whatever comes first.

But tell me you’re not excited by the prospect of baseball, broadcast live, from City of Palms park tomorrow afternoon. According to Kevin Thomas, tomorrow’s 6:05 game between the Good Guys and Northeastern is to be broadcast live on WEEI.

I know I’ll be listening.

Courtesy of Thomas, the Sox lineup looks as follows:

  1. Crisp, cf
  2. Cora, 2b
  3. Drew, rf
  4. Ramirez, dh
  5. Casey, 1b
  6. Carter, lf
  7. Mirabelli, c
  8. Lowrie, ss
  9. Ginter, 3b

The pitchers scheduled to throw are: Justin Masterson, Craig Hansen, Michael Bowden, Craig Breslow, Hunter Jones, and Kyle Jackson.

Let’s play some freaking ball.

Merry Truck Day, and To All a Goodnight

Truck Day (courtesy of the Boston Globe)There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s the headlights of an 18 wheeler. But a good 18 wheeler, not like that one with the goblin head from the crime against film that was Maximum Overdrive.

I don’t care what that frigging groundhog said: truck day means spring is at hand. My people, baseball is but four days away. Let there be much rejoicing, but no eating of minstrels.