That One Pitch

Derek Holland

Derek Holland made a mistake, and Mark Teixeira cashed in.

Sure, the two-run homer was damaging enough, but the pitching sequence leading up to that moment is what really hurt Holland in the New York Yankees’ 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

An unwritten rule as a pitcher is that you never throw the same pitch twice, especially at the major league level.

If you do, you’re lucky to get the ball back. It’s something you are taught in high school, and live by in college and the pros.

But that philosophy was thrown out the window with the Teixeira at-bat.

Holland and company wanted to be careful with Big Tex and with good reason. The first two pitches were outside, followed up with one high over in the middle. Holland came back down 3-0 in the count, grooving strike one down the middle.

It was the pitching strategy late in the count that I was trying to figure out.

It was obvious the Rangers wanted to stay on the outside part of the plate at this point, which was why the 3-1 pitch was from the middle of the zone out.

But I feel the mistake was made by going right back to that same spot. By now, Teixeira already knows that you are aiming outside, so no adjustment is needed on his part.

The next thing you know, you’re down 2-0 on the scoreboard.

You would have liked to maybe see that next pitch inside, trying to tie up the hitter. You could have even thrown something off speed to keep him honest. The Rangers seem to have rolled the dice in that instance and lost.

To Holland’s credit, he was able to continue on and didn’t pitch that badly. But the damage was done with that one hit and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Written by C. James


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