Sullivan: So you want an edge against Mike Trout

From Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs on August 27, 2015:

Like a lot of people, Wednesday evening I was watching Justin Verlander try his damnedest to no-hit the Angels. I was tuning in because of the pitcher, but in the seventh inning, I found myself thinking about the hitter. It was in the top of the seventh that Verlander faced Mike Trout for what would be the last time, and I was reminded of something Sam Miller pointed out a couple years ago. All it took was one pitch.

It’s nothing special at all. All that is is a first-pitch curveball, for a strike. Verlander did the same thing to the next guy. It’s important to mix things up. In isolation, this is just one of several good pitches. But it’s interesting, if you’re familiar with a little Trout background. How badly did Mike Trout want to not swing at that first-pitch curve?

He saw it, he read it, and he stood up straight. Trout identified the curveball and he gave up on it. Not in any kind of cowardly way — he just decided he wanted to see another pitch. Again, in isolation, no biggie. Maybe Trout just wanted to make Verlander work. But I feel like now I should get into the history.

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Originally published: August 27, 2015. Last Updated: August 27, 2015.