What an odd start for Javier Vazquez last night, huh? He lasted just four innings, giving up two runs while walking four, surrendering five hits, but striking out six. This game is clearly a case of “Wow, that was pretty bad but it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Literally nothing was working for Vazquez last night. His fastball had no zip (88.46 average, 89.80 max) and even though his breaking pitches were moving well, they did not seem to have any sort of command to them. They were riding out of the zone, which you’d like, but too far out of the zone.
One thing I noticed was a) a ton of foul balls which made Javy work and b) the fact that he seemed to not throw anything inside. Both of those probably stemmed from the same thing: he had absolutely nothing on his pitches. It makes sense that he didn’t want to challenge guys considering how he was throwing last night. And, of course, the lack of stuff led to guys not being terribly fooled on pitches, thus they were able to fight them off instead of swinging through them.
As for the pitching inside thing, my eyes and memory can be deceptive so I decided to look the plots up on Brooks and see if there was any truth to what I thought I saw.
Here’s the strikezone plot against LHH:
Here’s the strikezone plot against RHH:
Looks like my suspicions were confirmed. It wasn’t as bad with the righties, but Javy wanted no part of the inside of the plate with left handed hitters, save for a few pitches.
While it could’ve been a lot worse, this was still a crappy start by Vazquez. Mike Axisa brought it up in the RAB Game Thread–as well as on Twitter–that perhaps the Yankees would be better off skipping Vazquez and letting Ivan Nova get the next start. Considering today’s start, and Vazquez’s apparent dead arm, this may not be a bad idea at all.